Mizuno S18 Wedge

9.6
9.6 score
[Editors rating (9.6)] = (Hombre Golf Club) score (9.6)/10


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There is a wide range of wedges across the board from many manufacturers, and not all of them have the capacity to deliver extreme spin and ultimate control to your short game shots. However, it is the Mizuno S18 wedge that is here to offer impressive performance and help you play a whole host of different shots on the greens. The versatility of the wedge is highly pronounced, offering a wide range of loft degrees with progressive clubhead design for a controllable short game. 

But, golfers who know and understand clubs craftsmanship, don’t get surprised by the exquisite quality of Mizuno’s products as Mizuno has been offering the finest of the forged irons and wedges for more than a century. The reliable predictability and consistency have often been tour golfers’ greatest support, and there’s almost no tour player who lacks at least one Mizuno’s club in his/her bag.  Mizuno’s irons and wedges have regularly been the most played brand in all worldwide tours, proving the fact that Mizuno is a serious player in the golf industry.

Mizuno has been unsurpassed in the production of forged irons and wedges, however, when the company introduced the proprietary Grain Flow Forging Process, it was clear that they took the cavity back designs very seriously. And, that was more than expected as the trend is moving forward cavity back designs, so in line with the highest Mizuno’s standards, they launched their cavity back constructed irons and wedges. 

The Mizuno S18 is diverting from the cavity wedge lead of its predecessor the S5, and, designed with precise lofted angles, it is a decent mid-sized club that features a more generous sole and which is intended to appeal low to mid handicappers. The choice of materials, the face construction, and the absolutely striking finish make a difference and define it as one of the appealing wedges on the market.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros

Grain Flow Forged technology that preserves the natural grain of the metal

Made from 1025 steel with infused Boron for extra strength

Quad cut grooves that change progressively

Eight lofts ranging from 46 to 62 degrees

Exceptional sound and soft, consistent and solid feel

A progressive center of gravity positioning

Dynamic gold wedge shaft

Cons

Not playable for weak mid and high handicappers

Design

Unlike most of the standard offers that we see on the market when the Mizuno S18 wedge was released, it brought a wave of unexpected refreshment which amazed most of the Mizuno’s followers. It comes in two finish options, the standard White Satin finish, and a Black IP finish that comes as a replacement of the Blue IP finish of the S5. Both finish designs look amazing at the address, and the only con of the Black IP finish is that wears on the sole area over time. However, golfers say they don’t mind the worn looks as it gives the impression of being used by a pro player being constantly ‘on-field’.

When you take a look at the back of the clubhead, you’ll notice that the Mizuno S18 wedge features a lower and narrower channel that replaces the hexagonal design that was part of its predecessor, the S5. This design gives it a more elegant and stable look of sophistication and confidence.

But, this design is not only for aesthetic purposes only as it lowers the weight in the clubhead and positions it more to the perimeter so that it yields more stability and control at impact. However, due to the progressive design, the weight is differently distributed throughout the set, and the higher lofted clubheads feature more weight on the upper half of the muscle back.

Grain Flow Forged Clubhead

Wedges go through a lot, and they are generally used on coarser material like sand so most companies make them from cast iron, however, Mizuno is one of the few that still produce forged wedges. The Mizuno S18 wedge is forged from the proprietary Grain Flowed Gorged 1025 Boron Steel. This unique process guarantees that the natural grain of the metals is preserved from the beginning until the end of the process. This is why all the wedges offer identical, consistent performance and better feel, from the ones intended for the tour players to the ones intended for the broad market. This is one plus quality that Mizuno’s clubs boast, regardless of who is playing, the clubs offer the same performance.

The Grain Flow Forging is Muzino’s patented method of using the natural grain of the metal to produce the most consistent, durable and highly precise wedge clubhead. The forged head is a tighter, more reinforced grain structure without the possibility of losing the internal grain structure. The 1025 steel is the softest feeling iron, which in combination with Boron, offers unbeatable strength, balance, and incredibly more speed. This process also ensures that the grooves can be strengthened in the process of making the forged head.

Grooves Design

Grooves are important, and especially when it comes to wedges, they can determine the spin and the control the golfer has over the ball. This is the reason why Mizuno went a step further and created very progressive, loft-specific grooves. The wedges featuring lofts from 54 to 62 degrees come with wider and deeper Quad Cut grooves, while the lower lofted wedges come with narrower and not so deep grooves. Besides the spin control, wider grooves allow more dirt channeling and better contact between the ball and the club. The grooves are very durable thanks to the Grain Flow Forged Process, ensuring stable grip and enhanced ball control.

Center of Gravity (CG)

Along with the variable, progressive groove design, the center of gravity is also variable and changes throughout the range. The idea to move the centers of gravity along with the lofts is in line with the current trend that is more and more dominant in premium designs. The point of this variety is to always position it behind the impact area of the face and deliver utmost playability and maximum accuracy.

Therefore, lower lofted wedges that feature straighter face design, the center of gravity is positioned lower to increase the launching angle, while the higher lofted wedges come with a flatter face angle, so the center of gravity is positioned higher up.

Another change in the design is seen in the top half of the muscle back in the higher lofted wedges where more weight is added to enhance the distance of the ball when it is hit high on the face. The competition usually uses variable hosel length to achieve a similar effect, however, since the wedges are manufactured with the patented Grain Flow Forging process, the hosel comes from the same steel billet and therefore the hosel length is identical in all wedges. This way, the only viable solution is to add more weight so that the CG is raised and located above the impact point of the club.

Lofts

The Mizuno S18 wedges are a full-package offer, coming in a range of 8 lofts which start with the lowest 46-degree pitching wedge to the highest 62-degree lob wedge in 2-degree increments. The bounces are also set up to match the corresponding loft, ranging from 6 to 14 degrees. The versatility of the Mizuno S18 wedge makes it one of the most comprehensive and at the same time the most impressive in performance wedges.

Sound and Feel

One of the most peculiar features of the Grain Flow Forged irons and wedges is the difference in both, sound and feel. When you compare the Mizuno S18 wedge with the sound of any other wedge, you realize that there’s nothing similar. It sounds clear, it isn’t muted, and when you hit center shots it is very indicative that you did a great job. And at the same time, when you hit off-center, it does make that known, bringing clear feedback to you.

The feel is also very distinguishing and extra soft. The choice of the material is partly responsible for the soft feel but the variable center of gravity has its share too. So, when you put together the material, the variable CG and the grooves versatility, you get a very controllable wedge that clearly communicates with you.

Performance

The Mizuno S18 offers a lot to players who are able to understand the peculiar feedback that it delivers to you. The feel and the sound are outstanding, so low handicappers are likely to get most of it. The heads are a bit smaller compared to its predecessor, the S5, and this might cause a slight disadvantage for mid handicappers who found the S5 suitable for their needs.

The spin and the grip has been proven to be very consistent an high, even if you slightly miss the center. The predictability and accuracy are also on a high level too, which brings more confidence and assurance that you’re on the right track. The trailing edge grind is not as straight as the predecessor, so those who like to open or close the face can get the effect without affecting the bounce.

Key Features

From what we have said so far, we realize that the Mizuno S18 is an excellent wedge model that stands up to the challenges of the latest requirements. Produced with the patented Grain Flow Forged technique, it represents a one-piece club that is produced from single billet steel to form the clubhead and the hosel. This way, it guarantees durability and long-lasting performance. The clubhead integrity is well-preserved thanks to this technology which at the same time ensures greater durability of the grooves.

When it comes to the grooves, they feature progressive shape design, the lower lofted wedges come with narrower and deeper grooves, while the higher-lofted wedges feature shallow and wider grooves. The progression doesn’t stop here, though as Mizuno’s designers made sure that the CGs will move along the lofts so that they are always positioned behind the point of impact. This makes sure that golfers will get a maximum feel and will have greater control and precision from any lie angles.

The soft-feel comes from 1025 steel which is one of the softest and which has been Boron infused during the manufacturing process, providing incredible strength of the overall construction. The Mizuno S18 comes in 8 lofts and bounce varieties ranging from 46 degrees loft to 62 degrees loft.

Key Features

  • Made from 1025 steel with infused Boron for extra strength

  • Manufactured with the patented Grain Flow Forged process that preserves the natural grain of the metal

  • Harmonic impact technology delivers consistent and identical head and hosel design

  • Quad cut grooves milled narrow and deep for lower-lofted wedges and wider and shallower for the higher-lofted wedges

  • Eight lofts ranging from 46 to 62 degrees

  • Exceptional sound and soft, consistent and solid feel

  • A dynamic center of gravity positioning

  • Dynamic gold wedge shaft

Bottom Line

The Mizuno S18 is a wedge model that was released last year, following the S5 model that has a great success when it was first launched. With the S18 model, Mizuno got back to the numeric naming of their clubs as the number 18 denotes the year of release.

This model, unlike its predecessor, is slightly smaller and rounder with a longer channel and very versatile design. It comes in two initial finish varieties, the standard Satin White and Black, and later on it got the popular Blue Ion finish. The Black finish looks stylish and elegant and delivers a sophisticated impression. The only con, as it is the case with the Blue finish, is the wear after prolonged, frequent use which unravels the steel underneath.

All in all, the Mizuno S18 is a solid wedge that appeals to mainly low handicappers or strong mid handicappers. The progressive grinds and the variable CGs deliver consistent, predictable and stable feel with extraordinary sound. The fact that this wedge is found in almost any tour player speaks about the trust they put in the performance delivered by Mizuno, so yes, it is a highly recommended wedge.