Mizuno ES21 Wedge Review

50 Words or Less

The Mizuno ES21 wedge is a decent wedge with a premium price tag.  Busy, bulky look.  Spin is average to slightly below.  Big sole.

Introduction

The big OEMs have been slowly pushing the price of wedges north over the last couple seasons.  What was once a $99 or $120 purchase is now $150 from many manufacturers.  With the release of the ES21, Mizuno told the other OEMs to hold their beer while they went straight to $200 per wedge.  Does the technology in the ES21 wedge merit this price?  I tested it to find out.

Check out the new Mizuno T-22 wedge HERE

Looks

If you’re going to charge a lot for a wedge, I think you need to start with making it look great.  The E21 definitely stumbles out of the gate in that regard.

In the bag, the Mizuno ES21 has a very busy look.  My eye kept pinging between the CG marker in the middle of the head, the loft/bounce designation, the ES21 branding, and the Mizuno running bird.  I really like the CG marker from a story telling perspective, and on a cleaner club I think it would look great.

At address, the ES21 has an exaggerated tear drop shape.  Mizuno refers to this as “high toe & low heel,” and it makes the face look very large and bulky.  The leading edge has a pronounced curve to it which some will like, but it’s not my preference.  To their credit, the black finish with the black shaft does look great.

Sound & Feel

Fair or not, clubs from Mizuno are held to a higher standard for feel.  And when your tagline is, “Nothing feels like a Mizuno,” I’d say that it’s fair.  Similarly, when you’re charging about 30% more than your competition, you should deliver on feel.  To me, the E21 wedge doesn’t feel bad, but nothing about it is premium.  

The impact sound with a urethane-covered ball is an unusual mix: staccato, quiet, and higher pitched.  Like the mixed sound, the feel is not strongly one thing or another.  It isn’t hard or soft.  The ball doesn’t feel like it’s on the face a long time.  It’s just “meh.” 

Feedback on strike quality is good through the hands.  The sound of impact also changes quite a bit as you move around the face, but I had a hard to time connecting certain sounds to specific locations.

Performance

The Mizuno E21 wedge does have an interesting tech story.  Like an increasing amount of today’s irons, this wedge is hollow.  That allows Mizuno to move the CG higher and deeper which should create more spin and stability.  They also placed the sweet spot in the center of the face which is not the norm in wedges.

In my testing, I found the spin numbers to be uninspiring.  They were quite consistent, but the average RPM was not in the upper echelons of modern wedges.

Looking at forgiveness and consistency more broadly – ball speed, launch angle, distance, accuracy – I was similarly unimpressed with the E21.  While I applaud Mizuno’s novel approach to wedge design, there are better options if you want forgiveness.  Edison’s wedges [review HERE], PING’s Glide 3.0 [review HERE], and Cleveland’s CBX 2 [review HERE] all take the “simple” approach of using a cavity back and get far better results.

Finally, there’s the sole.  Mizuno offers the E21 in both “standard” and Wide Sole configurations, and at some lofts there are multiple bounce options.  I tested a number of different lofts and bounces in both standard and Wide Sole and found the sole to be a bit cumbersome.  Even in the lower bounce options, the leading edge rises quickly when you open the face.  For those playing in very soft conditions, these soles could be helpful, but in most scenarios I think there are better, more versatile options.

Conclusion

I applaud Mizuno for taking a risk and trying something new with the hollow body E21 wedge.  However, I see nothing in the performance that makes it worth recommending at this price.  Whether you’re looking for a wedge with great feel, forgiveness, or versatility, there are simply better options for less money.

Mizuno ES21 Wedge Price & Specs

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Matt Saternus

Founder, Editor In Chief at PluggedInGolf.com
Matt is the Founder and Editor in Chief of Plugged In Golf. He's worked in nearly every job in the golf industry from club fitting to instruction to writing and speaking. Matt lives in the northwest suburbs of Chicago with his wife and two daughters.

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13 Comments

  1. I was initially interested in this wedge, I have MP-20 Wedges (lovely and versatile for me), but not many reviews. Recently, this has changed. I’ve read and watched various reviews – some disagree with you saying they are great spinners with forgiveness. I wondered about the sole and appearance. Went to the local PGASS and in the hand, they look bulky. At address, not so much. But it’s not the look I want and neither is the sole. I like a C grind and at least, an M Grind. Reading other comments, people like it out of the bunker and I can see that, but it’s not my cup of tea. I need a grind for all conditions (or most), and the MP-T20’s are solid, and I’ve kept them for almost a year – a record. But you’re right, if you want a CB, other options exist – almost went for a i210/Glide 3 combo but it’s taking Ping 3 months to get a custom order out. No thanks. I’ll wait. Cleveland has a large looking CBX2 that is getting excellent reviews for less money. Lots of options in wedges – I do like the moisture beating grooves in this wedge and MP-T20 to retain spin – and only Ping has something with the same effect. If you’re a dew or wet conditions player, that’s something to consider.

  2. kurt de klerk

    Thanks Matt. This is actually the first negative review i’ve seen from yourself. I was really looking forward to it being positive.I might have to reconsider buying it now and going back to look at Cleveland CBX2. I am looking for a 54 in low bounce but not sure about the Cleveland sole? any help

  3. Milton Taylor

    Gosh Mizuno, come on…. I feel like Mizuno hit a point in time a few years back, where many people; scratch that, many more people were ready to give them a shot. They were making good strides with their woods, people started to pay attention to their wedges, and what their irons truly were, were coming to light. The price was good for all of that also. Then they started to bump the price up. They stopped offering blades(big disappointment for me, I was literally about to drop the cash on some blades when I found this out) Then they dropped a $200.00 wedge. I don’t know if there is a reason for me to even look at this brand. Even the ball is…. Ehh. State side I just feel they can do better, they should be doing better. They have the tech to be better.

    • MP-20 is a blade and the MP-T20 Wedges are good – the 3% of boron in the 1025E gives endurance to the grooves.

  4. The wedges definitely look cool. The prices of wedges have got ridiculous, especially since wedges get replaced more often due to wear and tear. The prices of all clubs are getting too expensive as well and if you need new then buy one to two years old “new” and save money and get today’s performance. I put a Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue (regular flex) on a Cobra F9 and still am $200 cheaper than the new TSi series. You could probably get new “older” wedges as well probably 3 for the price of two. Keep up the good reviews!

  5. I hit about 10 shots with the 56 degree at PGA super store. Every single one hit the roof instead of the screen.

    • I bought this wedge probably around 9 months ago as was struggling in bunkers. I went to Dominican in December and the semi was snagging my other wedges so I tried using this with an open face trying to hit low spinners around the greens. It worked and I have been doing the same thing ever since on my normal grassed course in UK. I was a poor chipper and all of a sudden I am getting up and down (best 6 times in 1 round) so am really happy that u stumbled on this around the greens. I walked into the shop and said highest bounce please as was so frustrated and picked up a 14 bounce. V happy

  6. I was going to consider these but after reading your review and seeing the price, it’s a hard pass!
    In Canada, where I am, these are $280 each… for a wedge? I think Mizuno has lost their minds with pricing. They use to be nicely forged irons at reasonable prices, now the irons are over-priced and these wedges are really stupidly priced.

    • Mizuno’s irons are priced similarly to competitor’s irons as well as the MP-T20 Wedges.

      Fitting is recommended if you are going to have irons for several years – and you will pay more for a head/shaft that fits you with any iron.

  7. Todd Williams

    Dang. Looks like Mizuno might to go back to the drawing board. Which is rare. Thanks for the honest review. #SecretGiveaway2021

  8. I am happy for this very honest review. I was thinking about it but will stay with the T20 which is a good one.
    But like the other comments tells, Mizuno irons are great but others have come to thw same level. My new iron set is a Taylormade P7mc which gave me better numbers at the fitting over the MP20

  9. Bought a 58 degree to replace a beat up 58 I currently carry.

    Short game, and around the green, it’s great. However, I like to take full swings with my 58 if I’m at the right yardage. The ES21 comes up way short for me in that regard. I’m not sure if it’s the spin, the shaft, or some combination of the two, but on full swings it’s equivalent to maybe 1 to 1.5 clubs shorter than a full swing with my old 58.

    So basically, I bought something more like a 62 and play 4 wedges now…

  10. I struggled with 30 to 50 yards to the pin. Mid-high handicap. Not anymore. Deadly precise for me. I’m always looking forward to shorter pitch shots onto our small usually elevated greens instead of dreading it. Will be getting another now that the price is down considerably.

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