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.
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
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.
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.
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.