- Mizuno has announced new S23 wedges
- Game-improvement design with wedge-specific technology
- Retail price is $160/wedge
- Availability begins Feb 23.
The Mizuno S23 wedge is a solution to a problem you likely didn’t know existed. In fact, Mizuno could argue that it created a new category of wedges and you’d be hard-pressed to find evidence to the contrary.
You might recall the ES21 wedge which, odd looks aside, pushed the conversation of CG location in a different direction. Literally and figuratively.
To clarify: the direction is more towards the geometric center of the face.
Ultimately, the Mizuno S23 is the game-improvement wedge that doesn’t necessarily look like it.
The New Style
Most golfers are by definition “average.” And that puts them squarely in the game-improvement equipment category …. but the problem when it comes to wedges is that neither of the most popular options qualifies as a best-case scenario.
Option 1: Buy the “set-matching” wedges. These are generally built around the “matching luggage” design philosophy—meaning that any wedge beyond the pitching wedge is “one size fits most” and likely has little wedge-specific technology, notably bounce and grind options. Conversely, specialty wedges tend to have a heel-side CG location which isn’t the same as the CG location in most game-improvement irons. Often, the lack of CG continuity is a contributing factor to poor wedge play by “average” amateurs. And, to date, most GI wedges use an exceedingly wide flange or additional perimeter weighting as evidence of a “can’t chunk it … get out of the bunker every time” value proposition.
Mizuno believes it has a better answer. Chiefly, what Mizuno did with the S23 model was create a specialty wedge with the CG location based upon its JPX game-improvement irons. In addition, it paired a bounce/grind option with each loft to increase versatility
Mizuno S23 Design
At address, the S23 wedge has the same hosel OD (outside diameter) as the Mizuno JPX irons and a lower heel height. The purpose is to provide visual continuity between the JPX irons and wedges.
In looking at the cavity of the S23 wedge, you’ll see a heel pocket where Mizuno has carved out weight which it reallocated toward the toe. This is simple physics: taking weight from one area and moving it to another to pull the CG more in line with the geometric center of the face.
A more central CG location should result in less face deflection at impact. Put differently: when impact and CG location are closer together, the less the face orientation deviates (open or closed) as a result of the off-center strike. In addition, the ball also stays in contact with the face a fraction longer. This helps generate more spin, particularly on partial shots.
What good is a wedge if you hold back key technologies that make wedges effective? Yeah, I don’t get it, either. To that end, Mizuno uses the same loft-specific HydroFlow Micro Grooves alongside loft-specific Quad Cut Milled grooves on the S23 just as it does on its T22 specialty wedges.
The microgrooves operate similarly to tread patterns on tires. By channeling water and debris away from the face, they provide cleaner contact and more consistent spin and launch conditions. Additionally, early on in the “wet wedge” portion of Most Wanted testing, Mizuno wedges outperformed the majority of competitors with 90% spin retention.
On full shots, narrow/deep grooves are preferable. Wider/shallower grooves are better for higher-lofted wedges where golfers need better spin retention on partial shots. That’s not new information and most every manufacturer has its own version of loft-specific groove technology. Where Mizuno differs, perhaps, is by adding boron to the mild carbon material, it increases strength by 30 percent. According to Mizuno, this allows it to target a bit more aggressive edge radius which should maintain its “out of the plastic” spec a bit longer.
Bounce and Grind
The Mizuno S23 wedge is available in six bounce/loft configurations: the 46/08 and 51/09 have more of a teardrop shape at address and an S grind with a straighter trailing edge. Again, this grind is best suited to full shots or square-faced pitch shots. On wedge with 56 degrees of loft or more, Mizuno rounded out the shape a bit but there’s still a hint of some teardrop in the toe section.
The higher bounce 56/12 has an S grind with a bit of heel relief whereas the 56/10 features a D grind with both heel and toe relief but a full center. The 58/08 is similar to the 56/10, but has some center relief. The 60/06 is the lowest bounce option with Mizuno’s X grind (extreme heel and toe relief).
Pricing and Availability
The Mizuno S23 wedge is available in two finishes – white satin brush chrome or copper cobalt.
The retail price is $160/wedge and retail availability begins on Feb. 23.
For more information, visit mizuno.com
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