GOLF club technology has come on in leaps and bounds, especially in metal woods. One category that was lagging in really creative design was wedges. With the ES21, Mizuno set about correcting that.
The centre of gravity (CG) on pretty well all wedges was not in the centre of the face. Due to the shorter blade length, and longer hosel, the CG is closer to the heel, like the golf Gods are trying to tighten the line between a perfect shot and a, dare we say it, shank!
However, to be able to position the CG in the centre of the scoring lines required some very creative thinking, and more than a touch of engineering genius. Fortunately, Mizuno has people up to the task.
WHAT WE LIKE
+ Form following function
+ Loft, bounce, and sole options – lots of them
+ Distance control and consistency
WHAT WE DON’T LIKE
× Looks larger at address than some would like
× Pushing new boundaries for wedge pricing
× Only available in right hand
The ES21 is a brand new product.
What it shares with T20 are the Quad Cut grooves, milled to be consistent on every wedge, the hydro-flow grooves for better all-weather control, and the feel you get from a Boron infused 1025 forged face, but face only.
The ES21 wedge is actually a 2 piece construction. The face and hosel are Grain Flow Forged Boron infused 1025 carbon steel. The magic in this wedge is the back piece. It is made of 431 stainless steel and all the weight has been taken from the heel and moved high to the toe. In fact, Mizuno have moved the CG 10mm from lower and heel side to the exact centre of the scoring lines. Unheard of.
There are two sole versions available. The standard sole will tend to suit if you play in firmer conditions, both grass and sand, or have a shallower angle of attack (smaller divots). The wide sole will lend itself to softer conditions, fluffier lies etc or steeper attack angle (deeper divots).
The blacked out finish on the ES21 could not look sharper, although as variety is the spice of life we wish there was at least one other option.
It is certainly larger at address but Mizuno have done their best to hide the rear piece when standing over the ball. It won’t suit everyone’s eye but the performance will!
Unsurprisingly, the wedge feels rock solid. Not hard, but not soft or springy. Off a tight lie you can almost hear the ball gripping on the face.
This is not an area the ES21 can lose points.
One of the challenges of testing performance on a wedge is that you need to start by being consistent, almost robotic. That’s reality from average players to PGA Tour stars. The key then is how your good shots perform, and if your poorer ones improve.
We loved the control from a spin perspective, and the fact the CG is dead centre means when you hit a ball out of the middle there is not twisting of the head. Something you probably wouldn’t know was happening until you compare your current wedge with the ES21. In fact, it makes the wedge unbelievably forgiving, and who doesn’t want that.
As it is only available from 54o and higher, this is not primarily a full shot wedge. It is built for purpose and delivers in spades. In its element around the greens and on partial shots, you’ll be sending Christmas cards to the Mizuno team, guaranteed.
Mizuno’s ES21 wedge is a leap forward in a category that has had very little advancement. The knowledge that a centre strike will provide optimum results is very comforting, as is anything that takes the focus off the heel.
Whilst the look and options won’t suit everyone, those that put it in play will become advocates immediately.