What we say...
The Mizuno ES21 is the first wedge to have a centred centre of gravity. Mizuno say the ES21 is designed to give better players increased feel and extra spin consistency.
Tour level wedges haven’t changed much for decades. Sole widths might be a little wider, leading edges a fraction straighter and there’s plenty of new groove tech to talk about, but essentially the design has been pretty stagnant for 50 years.
The thinking is that decent players are so programmed on how their wedge needs to look, that they can’t entertain any compromises on shape or looks to improve on performance. That’s meant wedge sweetspots have stayed on the heel side of centre (as the heavy hosel adds weight); hit the centre and the head wants to open, zapping feel and leading to spin inconsistency, which obviously affects stopping power and predictability.
So, for the last three years Mizuno made been investigating how to create the game’s first “centred” centre of gravity wedge, and this is it – the hollow body ES21.
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What you need to know about the Mizuno ES21 wedge
Not for choppers
Mizuno say the ES21 is neither a game improving cavity back wedge nor a High Toe copy. The new model is about being brave enough to tackle better players in a different way. Mizuno are well known for pretty irons so this model had to fit that mould. The success of this model will be gauged on how many better players convert to the ES21, not how many game improvers put them in play.
Mizuno believe the ES21 is the game’s first centred centre of gravity wedge. A two-piece hollow body construction means golfers get a familiar Grain Flow, boron infused, forged feel even though the body is cast from 431 stainless steel. Thanks to how the centred CG head deflects less at impact there’s a tighter spin differential and improved feel.
The head’s so perfectly weighted it will happily balance on a tee peg positioned behind the centre of the face, something other wedges can’t.
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Standard or wide sole?
The ES21 started off as just a wide sole wedge. But as Mizuno realised it’s potential to improve spin consistency for better players, it’s morphed into both a wide and standard sole model. Mizuno’s research has also shown while their Hydro Flow micro grooves on the face make little difference in dry conditions, when it’s wet there’s a 40% increase in backspin consistency over models without the technology.
Predictable and consistent
If you aim to hit a wedge from the centre it makes perfect sense to have the centre of gravity in line with the impact location, so you can expect improved feel and consistency from the ES21. Not only do you get more spin and stopping power but also more predictable spin too, no matter what lie you’re playing from. The hollow construction also creates extra stability when opening the face to hit high lofted ‘parachute’ style escapes too.
Verdict: Mizuno ES21 wedge
The only wedge on the market with a centre of gravity in the middle of the face, which is where most golfers try to hit shots. It’s an admirable approach but because the ES21 only come in 54°-62° lofts, golfers might struggle to work the family into their set.
By that we mean it’s highly likely you’ll need a different 48°, 50° or 52° wedge too, which really isn't ideal.
What Mizuno say about the ES21 wedge
“We’ve taken a very Mizuno type approach to the ES21 by keeping the top line very sleek – despite the technology inside. Our testing has shown there’s a lot of good golfers out there who will be surprised at the gains they could make by having more predictable spin numbers,” - Mizuno’s Director of R&D David Llewellyn.
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Review written by: Simon Daddow
Job title: Today's Golfer - Equipment Editor