Mizuno S18 Wedge Review

50 Words or Less

The Mizuno S18 wedges have Mizuno’s signature feel.  Performance characteristics tweaked to optimize each loft.

Introduction

Prior to the USGA’s groove rollback, wedge technology was all the rage.  Each new model claimed to tear the cover off the ball unlike anything else.

Today’s wedge technology may not have the same sex appeal as urethane-shredding grooves, but it’s still very important to performance.  In the Mizuno S18 wedges, everything from the sole to the CoG is optimized for each loft.  Will the average player benefit?  We tested to find out.

Looks

My first impression of the S18 wedge was that it’s larger and rounder than I expected.  Those two things tend to go hand in hand, at least to my eye: round wedges usually look bigger than teardrop-shaped wedges.  The leading edge on the S18 is squared off, but the toe is very round and the face stays tall through the heel.

The Mizuno S18 wedge is offered in white satin and gun metal finishes.

Sound & Feel

My experience with the S18 was unusual, but it speaks to how good the feel of this wedge is.  The first time I used it, I started hitting pitch shots.  I thought to myself, “This feels pretty good, but not as good as I was expecting.  Soft, but not really special.”  Then I looked at the number on the launch monitor, and they weren’t very good.  I decided to spray the face with food powder to verify that I was hitting the center of the face.  It turns out that I was missing noticeably toward the heel.  A couple swings later, I found the center and said to myself, “There’s the feel I was expecting.”

When you hit the center of the face, you know you have a forged Mizuno wedge: it’s soft, crisp, responsive.  The feel is good even when you miss the center, but there is a difference.  This consistently good feel is both a blessing and a curse because you’ll need to pay more attention to know when you’ve missed a shot.

Performance

Mizuno doesn’t have a great soundbite or high tech sounding name for the grooves.  Instead they have a thoughtfully designed progression that skilled players will understand and appreciate.

For each loft, the sole, center of gravity (CG), and head shape has been tweaked to best suit that club’s use.  In the lower lofts, the CG is lower because those clubs are typically used for full or near-full swings.  As you move into the higher lofts, the CG moves up the club face.  This is done by making the top of the blade thicker.  The reason for this is that impact on high lofted wedges is often higher on the face, so a higher CG means more consistent performance.

Most of the lofts in the S18 line have just one bounce option.  The exceptions are the 56 and 60 degree wedges, which each have two.  As you move up in loft, Mizuno makes the sole grind slightly more aggressive, offering relief in the trailing edge and heel.  This allows you to open the face of the wedge without raising the leading edge as much.

Ultimately, what I found in my testing, both on the launch monitor and on the course, is that the Mizuno S18 is a very consistent, high performing wedge.  The spin rates were in line with other premium wedges, and, because of the high CG and the face milling, the spin stayed high even on shorter shots and mishits.  I found the sole to offer ample forgiveness, even in mushy conditions, but the grind still allowed for shot making and creativity around the green.

Conclusion

If you want a wedge that comes with cool sounding names for the grooves, the Mizuno S18 wedges are not for you.  If, however, you like consistent spin, a versatile sole grind, and heads shaped for the shots you hit, you’ll want to check these out.  And if you don’t care about any of those things?  Try them just for the exceptional feel.

Buy Mizuno S18 Wedges HERE

Mizuno S18 Wedge Price & Specs

Matt Saternus

4 Comments

  1. How would you rate this compared to Miura Y grind? Which is more forgiving? Thanks.

  2. Hi Matt
    Thanks for your review. Just purchased a set of JPX 919 forged with Recoil shafts and I was thinking of complimenting them with a couple of S18 wedges, which can be bought for less £100 new. I like the look of the black nickel but wondered whether they would look a bit tatty with some wear and tear. I read somewhere that the blue wedges did discolour badly. Any thoughts?

    • Matt Saternus

      Raymond,

      I don’t know about the S18 firsthand, but I’ve never seen a dark finish that wore as well as standard chrome or satin. That said, some people don’t mind that worn look.

      -Matt

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