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Review of Mizuno MP-33 Steel Irons

TheMizuno MP-33 irons are not only popular with the pros, but also a hit with many amateurs. The satiny smooth good looks and impressive reputation make a strong statement in any player's bag.

Appearance-wise, most players love the simple, shiny look of the  MP-33 steel irons. Few blades can equal the sophisticated elegance of these understated Mizunos. They are quite popular. Two of our regular contributors play them full time and swear by them religiously. A third plays them whenever he can get his hands on a set. All three have been playing blades for years and count consistent iron play as the dominant strength of their games.

These Mizunos are friendly blades. Not only is their silky feel sweetly reassuring, but their appearance comforts, as well. The larger head shape of the  MP-33 steel irons produces a look at address that is less intimidating than that of many rival blades. Others can appear small, thin and knife-like in comparison. The MP-33's have a neutral weight distribution in their muscle-back, weight pattern compared to the earlier Miz blades such as the popular MP-14's (photo to right). That combined to a slightly larger head size does give a touch of forgiveness to the MP-33 steel irons. However, there is only a limited amount of real forgiveness that can be incorporated into any blade design.

Most of the MP-33's forgiveness is perceptual, not actual. The forging process used by Mizuno gives the grain flow of the very soft, carbon steel more vibration absorption at impact than is average for forged blades. Mishits do not convey as much unpleasantness to the hands. That gives some the impression that they are receiving more in the way of shot correction than they actually are. Amateurs should not mistakenly assume that the use of the term "forgiveness" means that the irons will be easy to hit; they won't be. There is minimal offset to the hosels, but these Mizunos long irons are essentially as tough for mid-handicappers to hit as are other bladed long irons.

These Mizunos do hit lower than do old, small-headed blades of ten plus years ago, but players who are not in proper position at impact may hit the ball too high and soft with the MP-33's. Only those who play the ball well back in their stance will see anything approaching "hot" trajectories. Though numerous shaft options can be ordered from Mizuno, most players will be best advised to stick with the standard True Temper Dynamic Gold shafts. They tend to hit slightly lower than most.

All in all, the Dynamic Golds are a fine, well-balanced match to the MP-33's. Players who use softer-feeling Rifle or Sensicore shafts may find the overall feel of the Mizuno MP-33 irons is too muted, especially if they play a soft ball. The Dynamic Golds have a brisk feel that communicates feedback from these forged heads quite well.

The irons are the current reigning kings of forged blades on the world scene. Their sweetness and workability are unsurpassed. They are not for everyone, however. The price is very high. Young players will probably see equally fine results at a lower price with other, more durable blades such as those from Golfsmith and Feel. Lastly, there are no LH versions currently available. That seems quite strange considering the worldwide popularity of these irons.

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