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There are a few wedges that feel better than the Mizuno S5, but you’ll have to pay a pretty penny for those. If, however, you’d rather have a great quality-to-price ratio, or bang for the buck, if you prefer the term, you just might want to check out the S5. And it’s exactly for that reason we’ve taken a detailed look at the club in this Mizuno S5 wedge review.
This wedge is often spoken in relation to the MP-T5 wedge and its successor, the T7. The biggest difference is that the T5 is more of a specialist wedge (and a forged one, at that, a rarity), while the S5 is what you might call a workhorse.
In a hurry?
Why the Mizuno S5?
While the former gives you tons of confidence around the green, as well as a plenty of precision (for better players), the latter plays equally well from over 100 yards and in. Obviously, we’ll mostly be talking about the S5 here, only mentioning the T7 and the MP-T5 wedge to bring out a contrast and occasional criticism or praise.
Another big difference you’ll notice on first glance, whether you’re a novice or a seasoned golfer, is that the head on the S5 is round, while that on the T5 is more of a teardrop. Moreover, the S5 is slightly bigger, which lends it a bit of a GI-wedge vibe (game improvement), what with its large profile head and thick edges.
To be more specific, it’s not oversized, but it’s not a precision tool, either (like the T series, case in point). On another point, there’s not much difference in the feel between the S5 and the T5, as there is in the way they look – one is round, the other teardrop, so the debate pretty much boils down to what you like to look at down there.
It’s also important to note that the Mizuno S5 is forged and should go along quite nicely with the JPX forged irons, seeing as both are made from the same steel billets (same shipment, at any rate). In other words, the feel shouldn’t be much different between the irons and the wedges.
Speaking of which, the S5 feels quite solid on impact, as well as plenty responsive. Even though it favours the JPX irons, this wedge is well able to continue the feel of pretty much every cavity back iron. On that same note, we should mention that this continuation really feels most natural with full swings.
Mizuno S5: More Forgiving than Your Local Pastor
On release (fall 2015), the S5 had six lofts going from 50 to 60 (in 2-degree increments) with one bounce per loft, and have since added another – 62. Of course, Mizuno’s always offered the option of getting another loft by bending the wedge.
However, this also means the bounce angle is decreased or increased along with the loft. These days, the Mizuno S5 has 10 stock options – 50.07, 52.09, 54.08, 54.12, 56.10, 56.14, 58.08, 58.12, 60.06, and 60.10, plus another 15 you can order. When all is taken into account, there’s actually 14 lofts (from 49 to 62, in 1-degree increments) and 13 bounce angles (from 4 to 16, again in 1-degree gaps), for a total of 25 options.
How It’s Made
Part of the reason the Mizuno S5 feels so great is the way they forge their clubs. Mizuno uses a process that’s called grain flow forging, which starts with the already mentioned steel billets. This process ensures that the grains of the metal flow continuously from heel to toe.
In a way, metal is a lot like wood, and just like wood, it has splinters and grains that run along the length of it (only on microscopic level). What Mizuno does with grain flow forging is get these grains tight and consistent, so they flow along the length of the head, which, in turn, enables you to get truer vibrations and more consistency, i. e. better feel.
It’s interesting to note that the forge which makes Mizuno’s clubs works only with Mizuno, while a number of other forges that make golf clubs (what little there are) take up orders from different manufacturers. In other words, their relationship is exclusive, while others flirt around.
Head and Shafts
On a more serious note, the S5 has a great balance shaft-to-head, although it is slightly head-heavy, which should go a long way to helping high to mid handicappers get better swing speeds (also applies to novices, kids, and elderly, pretty much anyone who needs some boost to swing as fast as possible with as little effort as possible).
On a similar note, the S5 has a nice choice of shafts, from the stock choice steel one to the custom choice graphite (Dynamic Gold for the former, Orochi for the latter), plus a number of other custom options, both steel and graphite. Either way, the balance will favour the head, as we already mentioned.
How It Looks
As we mentioned earlier, the Mizuno S5 sports a round head, and a slightly larger profile than most low handicappers will like. On the flipside, it will appeal to mid and high handicappers, as the biggish round face will look very comforting at address.
Also, as an aside, this head shape is useful in one other way – it shifts more weight lower down, as well as to the perimeters, so that you get that little measure of stability on each shot. Again, this is most plainly felt when you take full swing shots, and you should see a nice and smooth transition from your CB irons to your wedges.
On that same note, the sole of the S5 features the same channel, if you will, that was present in the T5, but now it’s a bit wider and has a stylish looking hexagon in the center. The hexagon doesn’t really do much in terms of performance, it just looks nice. Couple that with either the White Satin finish or the Blue Ion finish (especially the Blue Ion), and you’ve got yourself a wedge you’d much rather look at than play. And with that, we make a segue to the third and final section.
How it Plays
There are two main features we’d like to highlight here – the grooves and the grinds. This is mostly because they are the last major points that haven’t been covered yet, but also because they are as specific to Mizuno as the forging process.
Now, the Quad Cut grooves are CNC-milled and loft-specific. What this means is that on the stronger lofted wedges (up to 52), the grooves are narrower and deeper, which is better suited to full shots and half shots. At the same time, the grooves on the higher lofts (52 and up) are wider and shallower, which help you with your chip game.
In the way of grinds, the story is a bit more complex. As we mentioned earlier, the Mizuno S5 comes with different sole grinds which will change through the lofts. For example, in the middle and low lofts you’ll see very little grind on the toe and heel, which is just as well if you plan on playing full shot.
On the flipside, the higher lofts (some of them, at any rate) will have the bigger C Grind, which is supposed to make opening and closing the clubface easier. It used to be that you only had one grind per each loft, but Mizuno has since widened the offer, so now you have more bounce options per loft in the higher reaches (54, 56, 58, and 60).
While we’re on the subject, the word around the campfire is that Mizzy wedges used to play like they had less bounce than one would’ve guessed from looking at the sole, but the Mizuno S5 feels like it’s on the money.
The Final Verdict
Now, the Mizuno S5 is neither a JPX nor an MP wedge, but in terms of the size, the shape and the sole width, as well as the different bounce options, it’s very easy to integrate it into any bag, whether it were a JPX or an MP set. Plus, if you’re a Mizzy fan and would like to have more blue in the bag, the Blue Ion finish is pretty spot on. Granted, it does wear off rather quickly, but on the flipside, the worn out look will make you look like a pro, your actual rating notwithstanding. Until then, keep calm and yell fore!