Gear: Mizuno ES21 wedges
Price: $200 each with KBS Hi-Rev 110 Black Wedge shaft and Lamkin ST Hybrid grip
Specs: Forged 1025, boron-infused carbon steel faces attached to hollow-bodied 431 stainless steel body with a wide sole and a standard sole option. 54, 56, 58 and 60 degrees.
Available: Sept. 17
The hosel of a golf club does not necessarily affect how much spin a wedge shot produces, but its weight can shift the center of gravity toward the heel and affect how shots feel at impact. The bigger and heavier the hosel, the more the center of gravity shifts, pulling the ideal hitting location out of the center of the face.
Mizuno’s newest wedge, the ES21, is designed to keep the sweet spot in the middle of the face, enhance spin and give golfers more control around the green.
While the black ion plating is eye-catching, it’s what you don’t see that makes all the difference with this wedge. It’s hollow, with the grain flow forged boron-infused carbon steel face and neck portion welded to a 431 stainless steel body. The boron blends with the carbon steel to make it harder, which should prolong the grooves’ sharpness without sacrificing the soft feel.
However, Mizuno said, it is the hollow-body design that makes the most difference. It allowed designers to remove material from the heel area inside the head and shift more weight toward the toe. That offsets more of the hosel’s weight and, combined with the higher toe design, pulls the center of gravity into the middle of the hitting area.
Mizuno said the sweet spot also was pulled back and elevated relative to previously released wedges, and that should help increase spin.
To hide the extra mass designed high in the heads, Mizuno made the topline thinner and curved the back of it.
To further boost spin, the ES21 wedges were designed with Quadcut grooves that are CNC-milled for precision and feature HydroFlow microgrooves that run up and down the face. The microgrooves help pull water away from the hitting area for increased consistency, especially from the rough.
The ES21 wedges come in two sole configurations, standard and wide. The standard sole has a constant width with ample heel and toe relief to allow players to open the face and hit a variety of greenside shots. The wide sole has 20 percent more width, which translates to more effective bounce, making it especially useful in bunkers and in soft conditions.