Gear: Mizuno S23 wedges
Price: $160 each with KBS Hi-Rev 2.0 115 shafts and Golf Pride Z Grip
Specs: Forged 1020E mild carbon steel infused with Boron. White Satin or Copper Cobalt finishes in four sole grind options. Lofts from 45-62 degrees.
Who It’s For: Golfers who want more stability and spin with custom-grind options for greenside versatility.
The Skinny: The S23 wedges were designed to have their sweet spot be in the center of the hitting area, and by offering every loft from 44 to 62 degrees and wedges in four different sole grinds, finding the perfect distance and short game tool should be easier.
The Deep Dive: The ideal place to hit muscleback blade irons is not really in the middle of the hitting area. It’s just to the heel side. Why? The weight of the hosel shifts the center of gravity (CG) toward the heel, so the sweet spot gets pulled in that direction too. The same thing happens on most conventional wedges, so Mizuno designed the new S23 wedges in a new way to put the ideal hitting area in the center of the face and improve performance.
In the address position, the S23 wedges have a classic tear-drop shape, but a significant portion of the back has been removed in the center and heel area. You don’t see it as you prepare to hit a shot, but by removing that mass and shortening the hosel, the CG location shifts away from the heel side and more into the center.
While Mizuno is not touting the S23 as a game-improvement wedge, shifting more weight to the toe also increases the moment of inertia (MOI) and the stability on off-center hits, so the S23 wedges should be more forgiving.
Each S23 wedge is forged from a piece of 1020E mild carbon steel, for a soft feel. However, the steel has been infused with Boron, which is an exceptionally hard material, The addition of Boron helps to improve the durability of the grooves, so they retain their sharpness longer.
The main grooves (Quad Cut) are narrower and deeper in the pitching wedge and gap-wedge lofts (44 to 53 degrees) to make them behave like extensions of a golfer’s iron set, but the grooves area wider and shallower on the sand wedges and lob wedges to help channel water and debris away on shots hit around the greens.
Between each groove, Mizuno has added its Hydroflow microgrooves, which are a series of laser-etched grooves that cover the entire hitting area. The microgrooves add roughness and increase friction for added spin. The pattern of microgrooves changes based on the club’s loft, with the pattern getting more tightly packed in the sand wedge and lob wedges (54 to 62 degrees).
The S23 wedges come in four sole-grind options, with the S Grind having a straight design and the D Grind having relief in both the heel and toe areas. The C Grind has more aggressive heel, and toe relief and the X Grind has the most material removed from the sole in heel and toe areas for golfers who want to maximize versatility around the greens.