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MP-33 Review 19 years to late


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I recently purchased a set of used Mizuno MP-33 irons, and wanted to give my experience and review of my experiment. I know this review is give or take 19 years after they launched but its never too late for golf club reviews right?

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Main reasons for this purchase:

  • Compare Forgiveness, shot shaping, consistency etc.)
  • Try my hand in some restoration and stamping
  • Refine my shot striking over the winter
  • Understand if I would every try to play a blade/players iron

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About Me

I took up golf at about the age of 12, being in my early 30s I have played for 20ish years. Playing in high school really got me into a groove playing several times a week through golf season which brought me to roughly a 12-15 handicap or so. My collage did not have a golf team and I had no money so golf was limited to mostly summers but tried to get out once a week during that time. Since collage having money and being unmarried my time on the course dramatically increased. I got a membership at the municipal course and was playing 2-3 times a week from April- October, this helped bring my handicap  to about a 10. I was much more focused on having fun playing, casual leagues, and destressing then I was about truly scoring low.  Now I’m married, have a house, and volunteering at work my golf has weened back to a little more than once per week and spend little to no time on the range. Over last winter I really started to working on some on-course strategies and focusing on my short game mostly putting since that’s always been my weakest part. I also consider iron play the best part of my game and has been as long as I can remember, I wouldn’t consider it great but I hit 48% GIR. So that brings me to today I brought my handicap to an 8-9.

I am an engineer by trade and have actually been data analytics oriented in the position I currently have which really got me thinking about my golf stats and analytical side of golf. Which drove me to the on-course maintenance strategy, purchasing a Game Golf, and using GPS watch to make the right decisions. Early spring I found MGS’s Golf ball article and my mind was blown. This data and analysis is so in depth and unbiased, I believe this is what customers truly need. Being quite frugal and wanting to make the right decision on a purchase, even if it frustrates the hell out of my wife, this is my process and I enjoy the “hunt” for the best product. My frugality has driven to spending money on golf not golf clubs. Since playing golf at 12 to now, I have used 3 sets of irons, and just about the rest of my clubs have always been hand-me-downs from my father. In total I may have spent $700 on clubs over that time.

So knowing all of that I’m not going to drop much if any money on golf equipment if I’m not sure I’m going to play it and play it a long time. On that note lets get to the clubs that I spent money on as an experiment that may have actually been released before I actually started playing the game.

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My current bag consists of:

Driver: Ping G30 (2015)

3wood: Callaway Big Bertha Steelhead 2 (2007)

5wood: Callaway Big Bertha Steelhead 2 (2007)

1 iron: Ping Eye2

4-GW: TaylorMade R11 (2011)

56*: Cleveland RTX-2

Putter: Odyssey White Hot RX 2-ball

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Purchase/Test

I had been looking to try this experiment and did some research(surprise) looking at testimonials on here as well as other golf forums and found that early 2000s Mizuno/Ben Hogan irons would be where I start and saw such huge praise for the MP-33s looking on eBay for a decent condition mostly full set they were in the $150+ range which was a little high so I was looking at MP-60s, MP-32s, Ben Hogan Apex Pros. Since I was killing an afternoon with my wife near Dick’s Sporting goods I wanted to go in and test the MP-20 to see if I notice a major feel difference with Mizuno as I walked past the used section I noticed the MP-33s 3-PW for $95. So I took a MP-33 7i and MP-20 7i and started hitting. At that moment I knew I was in trouble after about a dozen hits each I walked over and grabbed the MP-33 4i… then 9i… then 3i just to see how I could hit the tiny head. After about an hour of trying just about every club in the set, my tight wallet was falling open.

 

Club Specs at purchase:

Shaft: Rifle Flighted 5.0

Grip: Golf Pride Tour Wrap Jumbo

Length: ≈+1/2”

Lie:?

 

I breaking Category into Looks & Condition since they were used.

Club Designed Aesthetic (10/10)

If I had to describe the aesthetic in 3 words they would be: Classic, Shiny, and Small.

And since no one actually told me to describe it in 3 words here is really what I think really thing. First, I don’t know if Classic is to obvious to call a club that is classic, its clean lines, minimal badging, and timeless design. This bad boy is shiny, break through the bag chatter I see my face shiny. Ugh I cant tell you how much time I’ve spent polishing them… enough to get my wife annoyed. I’m also not really one to clean clubs, I hope these clubs actually help me change that habit.

Last but not least the age old question, Does Size Matter?

Forgiveness: Yes.

Confidence: Probably

Performance: It Depends.

These are smaller (Toe to heel and topline) than club I have ever hit Period. They didn’t shake my confidence to much until you compare to a GI or SGI iron. I do carry a 1iron in my bag mostly for a nice punch/cut from the trees so the loft or lack thereof didn’t scare me to much.

 

Condition(6/10)

Obviously these clubs are used and have some wear there is some bag chatter, face wear, and some paint fill coming out. The 6 iron is the worse condition with the most face wear but even that in consideration is less then expected for 14-20yr old club. the PW has light wear and the rest have very minor wear spots.

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To spruce these up a little I added new paint fill in Mizuno logo, MP-33 logo, Number, & “Grain Flow Forged” Text on the hosel. I also regripped the clubs since Jumbo grip felt too large in my hands. Add a good thorough cleaning and touch of car wax to shine them up and I would bring my condition up to an 8/10 only due to the 6i wear and slight bag chatter.

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Sound/Feel (10/10)

So this I have to put a slight asterisk mentioning the only other forged club I have ever hit was the MP-20s I tried in a simulator/mat. With that note they felt and sound amazing. So soft on the sweat spot and off a slight heel and a little harsh on the toe and low in the face. It has a good soft feel with solid feedback and a nice pleasant sound. I really want to use the term Crisp do define it like biting into a fresh slightly firm apple. That may make no sense but that what rings in my head.

Since I have purchased them I have only hit 2 other clubs to compare, my r11 irons, and my Dad’s g700s. The MP-33s felt significantly better than those cast ones designed more for forgiveness.  

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On-Course Performance (24/30)

Once I got onto the course I was trying to play a mixed bag trying to compare them to my own as well enjoy the game. The first round I couldn’t miss with the MP-33s and my normal irons were 5 yards off each shot. Round 2 it flipped mine were spot on an the MP-33s were close but not as good. Hmm seems like it’s the swing not the clubs who would have thought. The MP-33s are weaker lofted 4* weaker on each club so all shot comparisons are comparing the same club based on loft. Each shot I really didn’t notice too much of a difference in distance control but obviously don’t have specific distances for the MP-33s so I cant necessarily judge that too much. I didn’t feel like many shot I hit was at a loss of forgiveness compared to r11s with exception of the knife with the 3 stamped on the bottom I made that thing go some interesting places. Tried to tee off with the 3i for the round but abandoned that after 3 holes due to ego and the fact that I actually wanted to enjoy the round and maybe finish with a few balls left in the bag.

Comparing the shot characteristics, I noticed the turf interaction seemed solid but the MP-33s a touch deeper due to smaller sole, but didn’t hinder the shot or follow through at all. I did notice a slightly lower flight with the MP-33s but it was only minor. I think I got a touch more spin with the MP-33s noticed a touch more stop on the greens (the greens were very soft though). I really enjoyed playing with these and although golf at 57*F I didn’t necessarily notice any shots that stung in my hands.

 Each golfer I played with tried the club, most shots were good but the size definitely played a factor in some of their heads.

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(MP-33 on top R11 on bottom)

Play it or Trade it (17/20)

I purchased these knowing I could resell them for similar cost so I felt I had little risk and minor expense. Knowing that and how I have hit them the since I have had them I will definitely be keeping these at least through the end of 2020. I have really enjoyed using these so far especially since they feel is so much better then I have experienced. I don’t play any tournaments or major outings but will probably not play these when I am going for low scores… but that may change.

I do plan to try to use these this winter frequently to help me get better feedback hitting balls into a simulator or net. If I can be consistent middling these I will feel more confident and consistent come spring. I can think of probably a dozen or so shots across the year that were absolute garbage either shank or way off the toe and I want to dial that into a very rare or nonexistent.

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Conclusion

These are a blast to try. Even if this experiment falls on its face over the next few months its great to try something very different. I have seen good results so far fortunately but this makes me think through what other areas this can be tested. I’m fairly confident on my next new iron purchase will probably won’t be this extreme of a blade but the feel and performance is definitely something to try and understand the golf landscape.

My Dads(18hdcp) comments for the 5-10 shots he hit. Intimidating at address, felt OK but didn’t feel like he really middled it. His impact dispersion on the face is larger then these clubs can account for so he didn’t have any desire to play these. He did enjoy the experiment and likes trying things different, he was surprised and having fun handing me different clubs between his, mine, and the MP-33 and more often then not the MP-33 give me more control (Distance & line).

If your still reading I appreciate your patience and sticking through this. I’m not a huge fans of false advertising and marketing BS but Mizuno advertising on feel is accurate. I can’t confirm the “Nothing Feels like a Mizuno” since my sample size doesn’t really include other clubs designed for feel/performance. Also if MGS/Mizuno do a MP-20 Official Member Review I will gladly compare these bad boys head to head and see what 20 years really gives for a blade. My minimal experience comparing these in the simulator in Dick’s I would pick MP-20s if price didn’t matter (unknown factors: New vs Used, neither were correctly fit, and only hitting 1 club)

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Edited by pozzit
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Driver:  Ben Hogan GS53
3W:  Callaway Big Bertha Steelhead 2
2i: Maltby KE4 FDI 
4-PW:  Maltby TS-1 - C-Taper 120g 
50º: Maltby TSW

56º:  Cleveland RTX-2 
60º: Maltby Tour Grind MG
Putter:  Odyssey White Hot RX 2-ball

Ball: Snell MTB X
Other: Game Golf Live
Handicap: 5.9  -  Best Score: 73 (1 over) Bryan Park - Players Course, Greensboro NC -2020

2020 MGS Forum Tester - Ben Hogan GS53 Driver

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@pozzit- great write up and review!  The Mizuno-ites are sure to love this one.  This could be a new sub-sub forum "Vintage Club Reviews".  We have a handful of spies who like buying, reconditioning, and playing vintage clubs ( @deejaid, @BIG STU and others).  In my case, my German-Irish stubbornness, combined with my frugal self played vintage clubs for 30 years - only just dropping some coin for G410's this past July.  Regarding the "Mizuno feel", I will say that the JPX900's were in close second place in my downselect and they did feel nice.

Welcome to the forum!

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:ping-small: G410 Plus, 9 Degree Driver | Official 2019 MGS Tester

:ping-small: G400 SFT, 16 Degree 3w

:ping-small: G400 SFT, 19 Degree 5w

:ping-small: G410 Irons 4-UW 

:ping-small: Glide 2.0 56 Degree SW   (removed from double secret probation 😍)

:ping-small: B61 Putter

 

 

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Well my friend welcome to the forum--- Speaking from experience you picked IMHO one of the Holy Grail blade iron sets of all time. Also if those Rifle 5.0s are set up correctly they are one heck of a shaft. Overall you have picked one heck of a set up. 33s have that buttery feel anyhow and with that shaft ohhhhh! I forayed from Macgregor and played a set of 33s until I wore them slap out. Miuno has special steels and processes they use to forge all their irons that results in what I call the discint Mizuno feel.  

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Driver Homna  G1- X Stock Homna Regular shaft

4 wood Adams Tight Lies 

5 wood Adams Tight Lies 

24* Hybrid Adams A 10-OS Pro Launch Red R

Irons 5 thru PW 1980 Macgregor VIP Hogan Apex #2 shafts

SW- Wilson Staff JP II 56* shaft unknown

Putter 1997 Santa Fe rusty as heck

 

 

 

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Good write-up .. fun read! I'm not .. nor ever will be .. a blade guy but it was interesting reading about your experience .. good luck with them! Also, I commend you on clearly outlining some really good reasons for trying something new! 

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WITB of an "aspiring"  😉 play-ah ...
..Tour Edge Exotics EXS 3W/HL (17*) and EXS 7W (both Tensei CK Blue)
..Callaway XR 4H (Project X SD)
..PXG 0211 6i-GW (Mitsubishi MMT) 
..Cleveland CBX2 54 (Rotex graphite) and Callaway X-Jaws 60 (TT-DG S300)
..Evnroll ER5 (33", 385g)
..all in a Datrek Hybrid bag on a Bag Boy Quad XL push cart.

Forum Member tester for the ExPutt Putting Simulator

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On 10/29/2019 at 8:03 AM, fixyurdivot said:

@pozzit- great write up and review!  The Mizuno-ites are sure to love this one.  This could be a new sub-sub forum "Vintage Club Reviews".  We have a handful of spies who like buying, reconditioning, and playing vintage clubs ( @deejaid, @BIG STU and others).  In my case, my German-Irish stubbornness, combined with my frugal self played vintage clubs for 30 years - only just dropping some coin for G410's this past July.  Regarding the "Mizuno feel", I will say that the JPX900's were in close second place in my downselect and they did feel nice.

Welcome to the forum!

This is a great idea! Maybe we can call it the "Vintage Vault" or something. There surely is a group of crazies just like us out there in MGS world. I recently posted (forgot where) about my vintage club find of Cleveland TA-1's (circa early 2000's) that I picked up in very good condition with TT DG S300 Shafts for $120. All that I had to do was get them re-gripped and have a few of the lofts and lies tweaked. I bought them really just for the fun of it but also to help me improve my striking consistency if possible. I'd been finding that when practicing at PGATSS, I've had some really good success with clubs like Cobra King Forged MB's, Ping Blueprints, etc. 

@pozzit you and I sound pretty similar in our history, skill level, and approach. I too have been playing since about 12. I'm 40 now so maybe just a few years more but I currently play off of 10 (roughly, unestablished). Friends who have established handicaps, tell me that I'm probably lower than I think/claim. No real lessons. I'm a mortgage Underwriter so very analytical by nature. Regularly shoot in the high 70's. My regular gamers are Forged CB style clubs that are larger than some but smaller than most and I play them pretty well without any major inconsistencies. I've concluded that I actually tend to play a smaller profile better. No intimidation whatsoever and I'm able to connect well and with the same consistency as my regular clubs. After having practiced and played with the Cleveland cutlery set for about a month, my original gamers almost appear like game-improvement clubs 😋 

I've taken the older sticks out for some full rounds, shot the same score, and was just absolutely beaming from ear to ear after the round because they were just so much fun to play. It's amazing how clubs from 20 years ago still hold up to today's gear. I guess with blade-style clubs, that's exactly what you're going to get as there is very little tech involved anyhow. 

1012191949.jpeg.5215797c9c2b76f84670454466326e5e.jpeg

Edited by azstu324
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:cobra-small:  F8+ 9*/ Fujikura MotoreX F1 6X
:adams-small:  Tight Lies2  3 wood (14*) / UST ProForce V2 Black (S)

post-76102-0-38507100-1525284411_thumb.jpg  TS-1 3 - P / TT DG 105 (S+) / GP Microsuede

post-76102-0-38507100-1525284411_thumb.jpg  TSW 50/6 + 56/12 Wedge 
:odyssey-small: O-Works #7 / Lamkin Sink Fit 

 

 

 

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On 10/30/2019 at 4:45 PM, azstu324 said:

This is a great idea! Maybe we can call it the "Vintage Vault" or something. There surely is a group of crazies just like us out there in MGS world. I recently posted (forgot where) about my vintage club find of Cleveland TA-1's (circa early 2000's) that I picked up in very good condition with TT DG S300 Shafts for $120. All that I had to do was get them re-gripped and have a few of the lofts and lies tweaked. I bought them really just for the fun of it but also to help me improve my striking consistency if possible. I'd been finding that when practicing at PGATSS, I've had some really good success with clubs like Cobra King Forged MB's, Ping Blueprints, etc. 

@pozzit you and I sound pretty similar in our history, skill level, and approach. I too have been playing since about 12. I'm 40 now so maybe just a few years more but I currently play off of 10 (roughly, unestablished). Friends who have established handicaps, tell me that I'm probably lower than I think/claim. No real lessons. I'm a mortgage Underwriter so very analytical by nature. Regularly shoot in the high 70's. My regular gamers are Forged CB style clubs that are larger than some but smaller than most and I play them pretty well without any major inconsistencies. I've concluded that I actually tend to play a smaller profile better. No intimidation whatsoever and I'm able to connect well and with the same consistency as my regular clubs. After having practiced and played with the Cleveland cutlery set for about a month, my original gamers almost appear like game-improvement clubs 😋 

I've taken the older sticks out for some full rounds, shot the same score, and was just absolutely beaming from ear to ear after the round because they were just so much fun to play. It's amazing how clubs from 20 years ago still hold up to today's gear. I guess with blade-style clubs, that's exactly what you're going to get as there is very little tech involved anyhow. 

1012191949.jpeg.5215797c9c2b76f84670454466326e5e.jpeg

Vintage Vault I love the sound of that----- Yeah in the past on MGS there has been a scattered few of us old club guys. The MGS community as a whole has put up with me for quite a few years. And keep your eyes open we are getting some converts in the old club section from another site. MGS staff and management has always been open and flexible and maybe if we get enough Vintage guys we can get our own section. Glad to have you here and I for one will talk vintage clubs anytime you want to 

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Driver Homna  G1- X Stock Homna Regular shaft

4 wood Adams Tight Lies 

5 wood Adams Tight Lies 

24* Hybrid Adams A 10-OS Pro Launch Red R

Irons 5 thru PW 1980 Macgregor VIP Hogan Apex #2 shafts

SW- Wilson Staff JP II 56* shaft unknown

Putter 1997 Santa Fe rusty as heck

 

 

 

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On 10/30/2019 at 3:45 PM, azstu324 said:

This is a great idea! Maybe we can call it the "Vintage Vault" or something. There surely is a group of crazies just like us out there in MGS world. I recently posted (forgot where) about my vintage club find of Cleveland TA-1's (circa early 2000's) that I picked up in very good condition with TT DG S300 Shafts for $120. All that I had to do was get them re-gripped and have a few of the lofts and lies tweaked. I bought them really just for the fun of it but also to help me improve my striking consistency if possible. I'd been finding that when practicing at PGATSS, I've had some really good success with clubs like Cobra King Forged MB's, Ping Blueprints, etc. 

@pozzit you and I sound pretty similar in our history, skill level, and approach. I too have been playing since about 12. I'm 40 now so maybe just a few years more but I currently play off of 10 (roughly, unestablished). Friends who have established handicaps, tell me that I'm probably lower than I think/claim. No real lessons. I'm a mortgage Underwriter so very analytical by nature. Regularly shoot in the high 70's. My regular gamers are Forged CB style clubs that are larger than some but smaller than most and I play them pretty well without any major inconsistencies. I've concluded that I actually tend to play a smaller profile better. No intimidation whatsoever and I'm able to connect well and with the same consistency as my regular clubs. After having practiced and played with the Cleveland cutlery set for about a month, my original gamers almost appear like game-improvement clubs 😋 

I've taken the older sticks out for some full rounds, shot the same score, and was just absolutely beaming from ear to ear after the round because they were just so much fun to play. It's amazing how clubs from 20 years ago still hold up to today's gear. I guess with blade-style clubs, that's exactly what you're going to get as there is very little tech involved anyhow. 

 

Vintage vault sounds like a great idea I'm sure there are quire a few people who have had old clubs since they came out,  or recently purchased would be a great area to add those reviews in. I know my dad has quite a few sets over his time golfing as well as ones from my grandfather. Those Clevelands look fantastic. 

like mentioned above playing with the blades my score was quite compatible to my normal clubs. A smile from ear to ear is a very accurate to the feeling, the excitement of knowing i can score just as well with this tiny things is a confidence boost and so enjoyable. 

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Driver:  Ben Hogan GS53
3W:  Callaway Big Bertha Steelhead 2
2i: Maltby KE4 FDI 
4-PW:  Maltby TS-1 - C-Taper 120g 
50º: Maltby TSW

56º:  Cleveland RTX-2 
60º: Maltby Tour Grind MG
Putter:  Odyssey White Hot RX 2-ball

Ball: Snell MTB X
Other: Game Golf Live
Handicap: 5.9  -  Best Score: 73 (1 over) Bryan Park - Players Course, Greensboro NC -2020

2020 MGS Forum Tester - Ben Hogan GS53 Driver

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For me since I retired from comp and big money matches my golf has went in a whole new direction. Now trust me if I went back to comp and big money matches my Mac VIPs would be in the bag. Actually my signature set is more than likely what I would play. Now my Macs have never been submitted and approved to be comp conforming but guess what? I have a set of conforming MP-68s I can play. I also have a conforming 60* or two I can use.

But for me golf has several fun meanings---- I do not really reflect on score but try to see what I can actually shoot with some clubs that I found on the scrap pile at work that week. Sometimes I may have to work on those clubs to get them into halfway playing condition mostly at the start new grip and some cleaning. I may play them again and do some tuning as in lofts and lies. Sometimes I may install entirely new shafts. Sometimes I carry like 5 or 7 clubs and see what I can do as in manufacturing shots etc. I love the feel of a well struck forged blade or persimmon wood. And a lot of stuff I just love to look at remembering days gone by and enjoying the fine craftsmanship.

 Had someone on the other site I go on say one day that most of us older guys that play the old stuff are remembering our glory days when we could actually hit this stuff. Not tooting my own horn but I informed him that at 62 years of age I carry and can still hit a blade 1 ,2 or 3 iron. Now honestly I do not hit them as high or as far as I used to but I will say I call it respectable.  I still hit a blade 1 iron about quail high 190 carry 210 220 roll out. I was on our range one day in the wind hitting those Quail high stingers with a 1 iron. Some guy asked what I was hitting? I told him a 1 iron. He replied "why?"  I told him because I still CAN!!! 

I do not practice much any more belting balls. I am not tuned to that plus my stressed back can not take it anymore. If you see me on the range I am wringing out some clubs I have tinkered with. I would rather pay 9 holes or even 6 holes than hit a small bucket of balls any day. 

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Driver Homna  G1- X Stock Homna Regular shaft

4 wood Adams Tight Lies 

5 wood Adams Tight Lies 

24* Hybrid Adams A 10-OS Pro Launch Red R

Irons 5 thru PW 1980 Macgregor VIP Hogan Apex #2 shafts

SW- Wilson Staff JP II 56* shaft unknown

Putter 1997 Santa Fe rusty as heck

 

 

 

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  • 3 months later...

Love this review.  WHen these came out, I was playing alot and thought my game could handle blades but kept putting off buying a set.  Then life style changed with kids to run after and golf time went to basically none.  Then last spring it all changed.  I won a set of Callaway Rogue X's and my kids and finances reached a point that golf was back into my picture.  

Now I'm getting in 2-4 rounds a week and the handicap has come back down to mid single digets.  Ditched the Rogue's for Titleist AP3's 1st of the year.  Also started buying and selling used clubs and kept an eye out for some 33's.  Finally 2 weeks ago I got my dream irons and they still feel great.  Also came across some 1980's Titleist blades I refinished. 

Not quite ready to move full time from AP3's but the 33's will go into bag some.

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20 hours ago, Skilpat said:

Love this review.  WHen these came out, I was playing alot and thought my game could handle blades but kept putting off buying a set.  Then life style changed with kids to run after and golf time went to basically none.  Then last spring it all changed.  I won a set of Callaway Rogue X's and my kids and finances reached a point that golf was back into my picture.  

Now I'm getting in 2-4 rounds a week and the handicap has come back down to mid single digets.  Ditched the Rogue's for Titleist AP3's 1st of the year.  Also started buying and selling used clubs and kept an eye out for some 33's.  Finally 2 weeks ago I got my dream irons and they still feel great.  Also came across some 1980's Titleist blades I refinished. 

Not quite ready to move full time from AP3's but the 33's will go into bag some.

well let me welcome you back to the great game of golf. The MP33s are fantastic and a blast to play with. I was actually surprised how forgiving they really are for blade. If you have a good iron game I don't think it will be that big of an adjustment as you think. Just make sure you take an extra club on every shot. 

Driver:  Ben Hogan GS53
3W:  Callaway Big Bertha Steelhead 2
2i: Maltby KE4 FDI 
4-PW:  Maltby TS-1 - C-Taper 120g 
50º: Maltby TSW

56º:  Cleveland RTX-2 
60º: Maltby Tour Grind MG
Putter:  Odyssey White Hot RX 2-ball

Ball: Snell MTB X
Other: Game Golf Live
Handicap: 5.9  -  Best Score: 73 (1 over) Bryan Park - Players Course, Greensboro NC -2020

2020 MGS Forum Tester - Ben Hogan GS53 Driver

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