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If you’re looking for a nice-looking, game-improving (GI) wedge, then the Mizuno JPX 900 wedge might just be the thing for you. Of course, it should really go without saying that these wedges will work best within a JPX 900 Hot Metal iron set, but they’re not unusable on their own, either. In this Mizuno JPX 900 Hot Metal wedge review we’ll take a closer look at the club so you can get a better idea of what it can do for you. Let’s start with some backstory.
In a hurry?
Now, whether you’re a Mizuno fan or just have been golfing around for a while, you might be aware that Mizuno launched a line of wedges to go along with their JPX irons way back in 2011. They’ve been at it for a while, and now we have the Hot Metal wedges as the latest iteration, along with the JPX 900 Forged.
In discussing these puppies, we’ll be referring to both the corresponding irons and other wedge models for the sake of comparison. The main difference between the Hot Metal and Forged irons is, you guessed it, the former are cast and the latter are forged, and this difference translates into the wedges.
Another difference between the two lines is the material used. The Hot Metal irons use Chromoly (bonus points for anyone who can pronounce without getting stuck or giggling), which is a steel alloy that contains chromium and molybdenum, while the Forged are infused with Boron. The idea behind the former is to enable Mizuno to make a bit larger irons with cavity backs without making it too heavy, giving that little extra forgiveness and boost to get the ball airborne.
Most of these features extend into the wedges, with respect to both the Hot Metal and Forged lines, though there are some notable differences which we’ll discuss shortly. Don’t worry, these don’t detract from the forgiveness of the wedges or the line as a whole, but rather enhance it, so that you have a nice and smooth transition from your irons to your wedges.
Now, if this hasn’t been made abundantly clear, the Mizuno JPX 900 Hot Metal wedges are best played with a matching set of irons, since they were designed with matching specs and feel, but you could use them within any given configuration that’s geared towards improving your game. With these puppies, you’ll stand a good chance of shaving at least a couple of strokes off your short game.
Mizuno JPX 900 Hot Metal: Hot Stuff Coming Through!
As we repeated ad nauseam, the JPX 900 Hot Metal wedges were designed to fit into your JPX 900 Hot Metal irons set, and as such, they have fairly little in the way of lofts.
You get quite a strong lofted pitching wedge (45.05), as well as the gap wedge (50.06) with the set, but you’ll have to splash out some more and can buy the sand wedge (55.13) and lob wedge (60.09) as additional gear (we strongly recommend you do so). The 5-degree gaps are close to optimal (ideally, you should be aiming for 4-degree gaps between your wedges to have the best coverage).
Under the Hood
We’ve mentioned that the JPX 900 Hot Metal irons are cast of a special steel alloy that incorporates chromium and molybdenum, called Chromoly (Chromoly 4140 M, to be specific). Interestingly enough, this alloy has been used in the car and bike industries for quite some time, and is well known for being lightweight and incredibly sturdy (so much so that it’s even used to make tubular chassis and roll cages in racing cars).
What this does for the irons is make it possible for Mizuno to make a sizable cavity back head, aiming to increase forgiveness, so if you hit a little bit more to the toe or a little bit on the heel, you can still get away with it. Also, this head design, coupled with the qualities of the material going into it, makes it just that much easier to get the ball airborne, which is sure to help shave a stroke or two off your handicap.
This alloy, however, was not used in the wedges – here, Mizuno used an even softer X30 steel. Moreover, they modeled the head after the Mizuno S5, taking its cavity back design and incorporating it into the JPX 900 Hot Metal line just nicely.
This made for a solid-looking, solid-feeling, and solid-sounding wedge through and through. There’s plenty of mass low and to the back, giving you an enhanced launch and slightly better control on the ball. Needless to say, the wedges play beautifully on pitch shots.
Across the Windshield
Overall, the JPX 900 Hot Metal wedges (all four of them) look quite nice at address, not too big or too small. On that note, if you’re used to playing with the Mizuno MP wedges or an equivalent from another brand, switching to the JPX might feel a bit awkward. On the flipside, though, if you’ve played JPX sets, the wedges should fit right in across the board (irrespective of the specific generation you’re playing).
The head features a bit more rounded leading edge with a matching top line, giving it a pleasing tear drop profile. Coupled with the slightly bigger size, this makes for a nice, confidence-instilling wedge, without sacrificing the playability.
While we’re on the subject, it’s worth mentioning that both the leading edge and the trailing edge feature a bit of relief, which in turn allows the sole to flow nicely into all of the JPX models. What this also does is enable you to open up or close down the face at need, allowing for some creative play if the situation calls for it.
Yes, it would be nice if the wedges had more in the way of bounce (and lofts, for that matter), so that you had more options for different conditions, as well as better-fitting choices for your particular type of swing, but then again, this is not a standalone line of wedges.
That said, if you’re looking for a wedge specifically, and you’d like to have the most forgiveness you can for the money, you might want to check out the Mizuno S5. After all, the Hot Metal wedges’ style is pretty much derived from that of the S5.
The grooves are another nice selling point when it comes to these puppies. Much like throughout the rest of the Mizuno range, the JPX 900 HM wedges sport Quad-cut grooves across the face. What’s interesting about these grooves is that they’re loft-specific, so you have a little bit narrower and deeper grooves in the stronger lofts (45 and 50), which turn into a little bit wider and shallower when you go into the higher lofts (55 and 60).
For those of you not in the know, this groove design helps to accommodate the different types of shots and spins required to play with each of these lofts (hint: they’re not called pitching or lob wedges just for the fun of it).
In the Trunk
The trunk here would be where most reviews put all the odds and bits that aren’t as juicy to talk about as grooves or sole grinds – think shafts, grips, and all that jazz. Speaking of the former, the stock option right across the line is the project X LZ graphite shaft, with a somewhat stiff flex.
Of course, you can always make a custom order and folks over at Mizuno will be happy to oblige (with no upcharge). As for the latter, the stock grip these puppies sport is the MultiCompound Round BL/BK, which should perform well in both fair and wet weather.
The Final Verdict
All things considered, Mizuno is a company that has a great variety of clubs, irons, and wedges in particular, so much so that their fans are spoilt for the choice. On a more serious note, the choice really boils down to your style of play, and if you’re one to look for a forgiving GI club, then the JPX 900 Hot Metal wedges might just be the thing for you.
They will really come into their own if you already have a JPX irons set, but if you’re looking for wedges specifically, you should consider splashing out for an S5 (for mid to high cappers) or even a T7 (low cappers). Whichever way you decide to go about it, remember it’s all about having fun – just keep calm and yell fore!