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Expert Review: Mizuno S23 Wedge [with Video]

Published on 11/15/2023 · 7 min readGolf Expert Miguel Bell tested the Mizuno S23 Wedge.
Miguel B., Golf Expert
By Golf Expert Miguel B.

Curated Golf Expert Miguel Bell got his hands on the Mizuno S23 Wedge to test this spring. Check out how it performed, but consider the fact that each and every golfer is different; if you have any questions about the S23 Wedge or need recommendations on which club would be best for you, reach out to a Golf Expert here on Curated.

Before we get started, it's worth noting that Curated Experts are not sponsored by any brands. All of these reviews are completely unbiased.

Brand Claims

What does Mizuno claim about this club? Mizuno claims that the S23 Wedge is their most forgiving, easy-to-use, and advanced wedge yet.

Overall Impressions

What are the specs of the club you are testing? This is the 56 degree wedge with a 12 degree bounce, so that's a lot. And the shaft that comes with this is the KBS Hi-Rev 2.0, 115 grams wedge flex. This club I tested is the copper cobalt finish, but it comes in various finishes as well.

What design and technology elements are built into the club? They have decided to use different types of grooves based on the loft of the club. So for stronger wedges, there are going to have deeper, more narrow grooves. And for higher loft wedges like this one, a 56 up to 60, they're going to use wider, shallower grooves to displace water.

They've also got a hydro coating on this to help remove some of the water that comes from the grass or the dew, as water reduces actual spin-creating properties. So they not only change the grooves based on the wedge loft, but they've also got this hydro coating on it to help prevent water from getting in between the ball and the club.

The wedge also has a bit of a cavity too, which is new to Mizuno. This geometry is based on the head and loft of the wedge, and is going to move the center of gravity a little bit away from the heel and bring it a little bit more towards the toe, more towards center, to help more average golfers make better contact.

This is a grain flow forged head. There aren't a lot of forged wedges out on the market today, but this is one of them. And you might be thinking, well, isn't forged soft? Could this be less durable? Well, they've actually used a metal here that's infused with boron, which makes it 30% stronger than their regular 1025 steel, so this is a kind of robust steel that they have forged, and therefore, it's going to be more durable.

The wedge comes in various grinds as well. This is what they call the S grind. And in this case, it's a pretty full grind with not very much relief on the heel and toe.

What is your overall impression of the club? Right off the bat, I loved the look of this copper cobalt. But I have to say that seeing this cavity on a sand wedge kind of caught me off guard. So I'm saying to myself, what's going on here? How does it play? My first several hits with it on the range, I definitely felt like it was like any other wedge. It didn't feel different. It didn't have a different weight. It didn't come in the downswing differently, it didn't react differently. And so that was kind of pleasing because you see something that looks strange, and you're wondering if it's going to feel strange or sound strange when you hit it and instead, it does it like any other wedge, and that's a good thing.

Review

How is it for forgiveness? For me, the key technology that I wanted to feel was this cavity back. They’re claiming that this pushes the center of gravity more towards the center of the face. And I wanted to know, did that give it a different feel? Did it make it feel like it was more forgiving? Did it make it feel like it was coming out higher or lower? Did it feel like it was more spinning, less spinning? And frankly, it felt like a normal wedge.

I found that it is more forgiving than a typical full blade wedge. And I think that's more pronounced on full swings. So even though this is a 56 degree wedge, a lot of people use this for chips and softer shots around the green. And I don't know if this is going to add forgiveness so much in that regard. But for full swings, when you've got a full wedge into a green, that little bit of extra confidence I think is going to help the player be a little bit more aggressive into the green.

There's nothing wrong with having a wedge that's designed to be more forgiving. In fact, I think more companies should do stuff like this.

How is it for spin? The wider, shallower grooves on the higher lofted wedge are designed to impart more spin. I didn't find any more spin on the launch monitor data than with the wedge I currently play, and I didn't find that the ball was checking up on the green, but I'm not the most skilled wedge player, I'm not a Tour pro, I'm not spinning balls back. But when I hit full shots, the ball stayed on my target in the green area. They're also coming in steep, so you’ve got to take a little bit of a grain of salt with that. But I found it to be just fine for short chips around the green. It wasn't rolling out and it just overall does what I would want and expect the wedge to do.

So I didn't find that it was vastly improving spin or trajectory, but feeling comfortable with your brand new wedge, feeling that it's predictable in its performance, that's a great thing to have. That way you're not second guessing your choices when you approach a green or when you're chipping to save par.

How would you describe the sound of this club and feel at impact? I didn't feel as if it was significantly softer than any other wedge out there. This copper cobalt finish lends it to being a smooth, soft impact sound. Sometimes I feel with high-gloss, high-polished chrome, it sounds a little clicky. I didn't get that with this club. So for me, I liked that less clicky sound and that more muted impact.

I felt like it was a normal wedge. It didn't feel significantly softer, so I was happy with this performance in terms of sound and feel.

Are there any drawbacks to this club? I don't see any drawbacks to this club. The added forgiveness should be beneficial to all players.

Anything regarding grind optionality? There are various grind options. Again, this is the S and it's almost full. They have other options out there, and unlike other club makers, they have several, but not an overwhelming amount of bounce options. The bounce and grind options can get out of hand, I believe, with some of the wedge makers, and theirs is a more simple system. You can see where the relief is and they're not making these minute differences. So I think that you'll find a grind that fits your needs best.

Recommendations

Who would you recommend this club to? I recommend this club to anyone who needs a new wedge, regardless of their skill level. If there's a club you need to replace very frequently it's the wedge. You want fresh grooves, as grooves impart the spin that keeps your ball on the green. Overall, I like the feel of this club, which is not clicky and not too soft. It gives good feedback. I like its looks, which is not a shiny, polished chrome. And I like the fact that you're getting a little bit more forgiveness. So I think this club fits a lot of players, whether they're highly skilled – because you can find the bounce grind option for you – or even if you're a beginner, as I think that this cavity is going to help get you on the greens a little bit more frequently.

Who should avoid this club, and what type of club would be a better option for that player? I don't think anyone should avoid this club. It is a high-performing wedge that can fit a wide range of players.

Golf clubs work differently for different types of golfers. If you are wondering whether the S23 Wedge is the right club for you, chat with Miguel or any other Golf Experts here on Curated, and they’ll put together free, personalized club recommendations on the best wedge for your needs.

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Miguel B., Golf Expert
5.0
Miguel B.
Golf Expert
81 Reviews
1040 Customers helped
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Written by:
Miguel B., Golf Expert
5.0
Miguel B.
Golf Expert
81 Reviews
1040 Customers helped

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