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Mizuno MP-T Series Wedge Review

Jun. 21, 2008     By     Comments (25)

With a revised sole grind and Mizuno's patented Grain Flow Forging technique, the MP-T is a compelling wedge choice for good golfers.

The C Grind SoleDespite being known for making great irons and wedges, Mizuno has languished a bit in relative obscurity while irons and wedges from Titleist, TaylorMade, Callaway, and others have sold several times faster than those from Mizuno. Despite offering a pure, forged wedge, Mizuno doesn't get a lot of play in the U.S. because, among other things, they pay very few PGA Tour pros to play their wedges. Go ahead, name a PGA Tour player (besides Luke Donald) who uses Mizuno? I'll wait.

Partly owing to the lack of advertising via PGA Tour caps, visors, and bags, and partly due to the fact that Mizuno has tended towards producing clubs for the highly skilled golfer, Mizuno irons and wedges have a certain mystique about them.

I've spent a few weeks playing Mizuno wedges, and I'm happy to report that what lies beneath the mystique are some good looking, versatile, playable, and great feeling wedges. Let's take a look at the MP-T series of wedges from Mizuno.

Technology
Mizuno called 2007 their "most successful year ever" in the wedge category with their MP series of forged wedges, and look to continue their success with the MP-T Series. The MP-T, forged using Mizuno's patented "Grain Flow Forging" technique and using 1025E Pure Select mild carbon steel, is one of the few forged wedges you'll find these days.

The "T" in the "MP-T" name stands for "Teardrop" (while the "R" in "MP-R" stands for "round"), and the club is built in the classic teardrop shape. It features minimal offset and a C-grind sole that's intended to give players maximum playability. The relief it provides in the heel and toe areas allow players to open the clubface without significantly altering the bounce characteristics. The MP-T's rolled leading edge leads to minimal digging, and a cambered mid-sole and beveled trailing edge minimizes turf drag through and towards the end of impact.

Grain Flow Forged vs. Cast

The MP-T wedges offer "CNC Max Milled" square grooves for optimum spin. Each wedge is offered in Black Nickel and Chrome. The "Raw Haze" finish previously available is, sadly, no longer being offered.

Esthetics
The MP-T is, again, a teardrop shaped wedge. I've always preferred the look of a teardrop wedge over the rounded wedges, and the MP-T fits the bill with a fairly flat leading edge and a squarer high toe. Without branding, the casual golfer wouldn't be able to tell the difference at address between the MP-T and similarly lofted wedges from Titleist, TaylorMade, Cleveland, or Callaway.

Of course, when they flip the wedge over, they'll see the differences. The sole remains relatively clean, with just the Mizuno character and the loft inscribed and paint-filled in white. The C-grind sole is relatively apparent, with a soft arc from toe to heel displaying the bounce relief towards the edges of the sole.

The back of the club features the "Mizuno" name towards the sole, and the critical wedge information - "MP T Series" and "53-08" towards the high edge of the toe. The heel side of the topline will say either "Black Ni" or "Chrome" depending on the finish you've chosen. I'm not a fan of overdone graphics, and the MP-T series presents a relatively simple appearance with all of the necessary information and branding. Unlike, say, the CG12 wedges which felt the need to mention things like "Zip Grooves," the Mizuno wedges don't talk about their "CNC Max Milled" grooves or their "Grain Flow Forged" (It's stamped into the underside of the hosel, near the ferrule.) process. Even the ferrule - a plain black - is austere. So, kudos for the simplicity.

MP-T Lying Down

The Black Ni finish is hard to describe. It's more greyish than the golden color it seems to be in images. It's not polished, and it's not "black" per se, but more of a smoky silver. It frames the ball nicely and minimizes glare. Though I'm sad to see the "Raw Haze" finish go, the Black Ni is sufficiently gorgeous for my purposes.

Performance
Short of borrowing a friend's wedge on the practice green to hit some short pitches and chips, I've never really spent much time with a Mizuno wedge. Their reputation precedes them, however, and most of the people who carry wedges from Mizuno are the "let their games do the talking" types.

I'll begin by saying that if you're looking for game-improvement wedges, these aren't the wedges for you. I'll table the debate as to whether wedges can really be "game improvement" clubs for another time. I tested two models, both in the Black Ni finish: the 53-08 model (which I bent to 54-09) and the 60-05. My normal wedges are both Titleist Spin Milled Vokey Wedges in the oil can finish with loft/bounce of 54.10 and 60.04, so the Mizuno wedges filled the same roles. Given that, it took all of about twelve seconds to adjust to the Mizuno wedges and incorporate them into my game. I even printed the same yardages for ¼, ½, ¾, and full swings and put them below the grip on the Mizuno wedges.

C Grind and Teardrop

Though Mizuno doesn't promote the bejeezus out of their grooves like some other companies, their "CNC Max Milled" grooves are quite sufficient at generating spin from a variety of lies. From a clean lie in the fairway, I'm able to pull the ball back to a front pin with ¾ and full swings. From the rough, the ball will hop and stop. With less than full swings, and with pitches and chips near the green, the ball reacts about as you might expect a worn-in Spin Milled wedge will behave: with control, touch, and about as much spin as you can expect to generate given your lie and the swing you put on the ball.

Spin is a touchy issue with a lot of people. My personal gold standard is a worn-in (but not worn-out) Vokey Spin Milled wedge (The first thing I do with a new Vokey Spin Milled wedge is take it into a bunker and hit about 50 shots. I find a fresh new Spin Milled wedge too "spinny" and like to play shots, particularly greenside chips and pitches, that will release more than a new SM Vokey allows.), and the Mizuno MP-T wedges performed like my gold standard from the get-go. They didn't require a breaking-in period like the Vokeys, but they consistently generated more spin than, say, the Cleveland CG12s for me in situations where I needed it.

Various Angles

Though in prior years I've relied on my 60° club from the bunkers, I've made the change this year - having read Stan Utley's The Art of the Short Game - to using my 54° wedge for nearly all of my greenside shots. I still use the lob wedge when I've short-sided myself in a bunker or the rough, but the 54° club gets 90% of the action around the greens and from the fairway.

As I mentioned before, the modified 53-08 (to 54-09) is quite similar to my SM54.10, and I found myself hitting the same shots most of the time. Where the Mizuno wedge succeeded was when I had to add a little loft (okay, so I haven't adopted Utley's style for everything) by opening the club. With my Vokey, and with the rather traditional sole, I was always conscious of hitting down a bit more through the ball to ensure that the bounce wouldn't kick the leading edge of my club into the ball. The C-grind allowed me to play a bit more of a sweeping, flatter swing through impact, which allows for a bit more versatility and often cleaner contact. If I want, I can really drop my hands low. With the Vokeys, such a move puts the leading edge of my 54° wedge fairly high off the ground; with the Mizuno, about half as much.

Bob Vokey says that even a PGA Tour player can't tell the difference between a forged wedge and a cast wedge, but that doesn't rule out the psychological side of things. Like many who try the Mizuno "Grain Flow Forged" wedges, I came away with the feeling that they were indeed a tad softer, particularly on chip shots around the green. Contact on the sweet spot is rewardingly soft, and a decent amount of feel is transmitted to the hands on slight mis-hits. On full swings, the difference was magnified, but any differences between the Mizunos and my cast wedges diminished, and any residual "softness" I might have felt was likely due to the stepless Rifle Spinner shafts (versus the stepped True Temper Dynamic Golds).

Wedge Laid Open

Specifications
The MP-T wedges are 35.5 to 35 inches long, and are available in lofts of 47°, 51°, 53°, 56°, 58°, and 60° with a variety of bounce configurations ranging from 5 to 14°. The standard shaft is the True Temper Dynamic Gold "Wedge" flex, and the standard grip the Mizuno-branded Golf Pride M-21 58 Round. The lie angle is 63° across the board (though as a forged wedge, they can be bent as necessary quite easily) and the swingweight is unknown. The 51-06, 56-14, and 60-08 models are available for lefties.

As noted above, I reviewed wedges with the Rifle Spinner shaft, and other steel and graphite shafts are available through Mizuno's Custom Club department. The Mizuno MP-T wedges, in either finish, run about $119.

Final Spin
The MP-T wedges are winners. They look good, they feel good, and most importantly, they perform well. I was pleasantly surprised with the versatility offered by the C-grind sole. My wedge game is predicated upon control, and the MP-Ts offered control to me in spades, whether it was over the spin, trajectory, or distance.

Posted in: Clubs, Review Comments (25)

Discussion

  1. RYANyour says:

    Thanks for your thorough review!

    I play the Mizuno MP-R series wedges (rounded vs. teardrop) and I agree with your performance and versatility review above. I'm convinced the Mizuno wedges offer a softer feel than cast wedges.

    I first bought a Mizuno SW to replace a Titleist. Liked it so much I replaced my Cleveland LW. Now I've added a GW, dropped a wood and my scores have gone down.

  2. geezer says:

    Great review. I've been waiting eagerly for it!

    I too am surprised that so few PGA professionals play mizuno irons and wedges. I have the MP-R black nickel wedges 56 and 60 degree and I love them all around the green. Not massive ammounts of spin, but I like that. The BlackNi finish is, as you say difficult to describe, and very sexy!

    All in all, great review. Thank you.

  3. mick says:

    Thanks for the review. mizuno wedges definitely on my contenders list for wedges in a couple of seasons time.

  4. Bill says:

    Thanks for the review. I have been looking at the Mizunos for sometime now. Your review is just the information I need to pull the trigger and buy one. I love my MX-23's and hope the MP-T gives me the same feel.

  5. mandarin says:

    Thanks for the honest review.

    To your earlier point - whilst few players on the PGA tour play mizuno, many on the European PGA tour do. I read that Tiger was a long time Mizzi user throughout his amateur career, and even thru' his early pro career....with mizuno irons in his Titleist bag. Of course, later both Titleist and Nike made clubs specifically for Tiger. Also, for the longest time, Tiger's 2 iron was his old mizuno which he used for his "stingers". Is this true?

  6. Graeme says:

    I have been playing Mizuno blades for the last 10 years (currently the MP-37's) and would not change for anything else.

    My wedges are needing replaced as I have worn out the grooves on my two Clevelands and have been thinking about the Callaway X-Forged or the Mizuno MP-T, but I think I am going to go with the Mizuno.

    Thanks for the review.

  7. mike says:

    Stupid question...does the finish on these wedges, or any wedges, have any difference as far as what the ball does?..or is it just aestethics only?....like the look of the Black Nickel but don't mind the chrome if it makes a difference in performance

  8. Isaac says:

    I have a 60* MP-R that I love. It replaced a 60* CG10 that I also loved but the grooves were done. I have to replace my 54* CG10, I may try these out. Thanks for the review.

  9. gregg says:

    I just replaced my CG10 and CG11 wedges with a MP-T set. Off center hits is a noticeable difference in feel. Spin appears to be about the same. The biggest difference is that these clubs are more consistent in distance and control. They are also noticeably heavier in swing weight when compared to my irons and my previous wedges.

  10. Steve Brooks says:

    Fair warning for good players that like the traditional Cleveland 588/Titleist Vokey design and weight--- I am a low handicaper, die hard Mizuno player (MP-33 irons, MX-500 driver, and MP-001 woods), I played the MP-R wedges for 3 months, and I tried and tried to like them, but I gave up on them. They are noticeably light, and they don't spin the ball well on the longer shots. I prefer a heavier wedge to smooth out my swing, it makes a BIG difference on the greenside short game. I went back to the Cleveland 588 tour actions (which is what I've played for years), and as soon as I played 1 round with them (after 3 months of the mizuno's), I knew I was home again.

  11. mandarin says:

    Hi gregg, could you pls explain or elaborate on your comments that:

    1. "off center hits is a noticeable difference in feel"? How so? What is the difference?

    2. "the clubs are more consistent in distance and control". However, the review says "if you're looking for game-improvement wedges, these aren't the wedges for you". I assume the cleveland CG14 is defined as a "forgiving" wedge.

    3. Is there a difference between the black ni and chrome finish in terms of feel? or durability? I recall that the cleveland gunmetal wedges were said to have a "harder" feel than their chrome version.

    Thanks

  12. techhobby says:

    I'm not sure whether to get the MP-T or the CG11 - looking for gap wedge. Can someone comment?

    I'm about a 10-15 handicapper. Not really good with the creative shots around the green, but would like to start learning.

    Just want to pick one that will be easy for me to hit.

    By the way the CG11 will run about $20 more for me than the MP-T... is it worth it?

    (If it helps, I currently play a Cleveland 588 SW; quite consistent for 60 yards and in, but any longer than that it gets a little long / short.)

  13. Chris says:

    I've been playing Mizuno's for over 15 years. I'm about a 5.2 index.

    I also find it pretty surprising the Mizuno's aren't really that big around here. I've converted (not intentionally) 4 of my league players to other Mizuno model irons. 2 to wedges. All of them are 10.0's and below.

    I have an all Mizuno set too MP-001's, MP60's and wedges. My Halo Hybrids and Scotty Cameron Putters are the only non Miz clubs.

    I have tried the Mx-500 Drivers but did not switch as my MP-001 (NVS shafts) are a good 15 yards longer. Go figure!

  14. Rhett says:

    I haven't had the chance to hit these on the course, but just from testing and comparing in the store, vs Vokey & Cleveland, I too noticed that they are lighter than these two. Its too bad because I really like Mizuno clubs (I play MP32) and would like a forged wedge, but I like the heavier feel of the vokey & cleveland.

  15. Nathan says:

    I currently play three of the MP-T series wedges and they work great for me. I agree very strongly with your review of these clubs. The soft feel of a forged wedge is really incredible, and that feel offers a lot of control for different shots. Whether I want to check the ball up or allow it to release and run, these do both very well. I am a mid handicap guy on my good days and these clubs have always held up their end of the bargain. When I put a good swing on the ball these clubs perform great and make me feel like a great player, far better than I really am most of the time!

    Having previously graduated from Dunlop to Wilson wedges years ago, Wilson to Cleveland wedges more recently, and Cleveland to Mizuno wedges a few years ago, I can easily say that these have been the best wedges I have ever played. Granted, there are several brands of wedges I have never hit more than a couple of shots with. These clubs make me want to take the plunge and try to play a set of Mizuno's forged irons.

    I have the 51* and the 56* in the black nickel finish, and that finish looked fantastic for quite a while. They are a few years old now and the combination of bag chatter, time, and heavy use has unfortunately dulled the appearance quite a bit. They will probably be replaced at some point this year and the spin milled vokeys were an appealing option until I finished reading this review. I will probably just get newer versions of the clubs I currently have, not sure the vokeys would do anything that the Mizunos can't do.

    The 60* I added last fall is in the chrome finish and has the C-grind on the sole, which I really like. What a great feature! I can get under the ball much easier and can even hit a semi-respectable flop shot from time to time thanks to the C-grind. While the black nickel finish is very, very nice - I think I may actually prefer the chrome finish. I am curious about how durable it will prove to be compared to the black nickel version?

    By the way, great website with really informative reviews. Keep up the good work.

  16. grant says:

    I have the 51, 53 bent to 56, and 58 bent to 60. Absolutely love them. Not overly spinney but they get the job done. I can play tons of creative shots with these wedges. My only beef with them is that the chrome is blinding on sunny days. I would recommend the black ni finish for sure. BTW, great review!

  17. Nathan says:

    I have the 51, 53 bent to 56, and 58 bent to 60. Absolutely love them. Not overly spinney but they get the job done. I can play tons of creative shots with these wedges. My only beef with them is that the chrome is blinding on sunny days. I would recommend the black ni finish for sure. BTW, great review!

    Grant, I would agree with you about the chrome finish being very shiny compared to the black-ni finish. I wear my prescription sunglasses when I play so I have not had to deal with that problem. Good point though.

  18. Banks says:

    Steve, or whomever. I am looking for a set of wedges to compliment my new set of Mizuno MP 33's. I just bought them and understand that the 48 deg PW wedge has a bounce of 7 deg. Can anyone recommend some great wedges? The MP-T sound great, but i've heard the swing weight is light. I play Taylormade RAC Satins.

    I'm currently hitting Wilson FG17 blades and absolutely love them. I hope these MP33's are even better.

    Suggestions?

  19. Steve M says:

    :smile: I really like Mizuno wedges and have played this model, the previous model MP T and the MP R's in the past couple of years. I love the feel of them all and really like the sole grind on these and the MP R's. For those that have the previous model MP T's, these are a big step up, in my opinion. The sole grind is much, much better in the higher lofts, allowing you to open the face with much more ease in the new model (this doesn't matter quite as much in the PW and GW) and the heads are also noticeably heavier in this new model. The new M-21 grips on all Mizuno 2008 models are also a big step up from the previous stock grips, which tended to wear very quickly.
    As stated in the main review, though, these are not "game improvement" wedges (like CG14, or Ping iwedge, for example, or the wedges you get in a set of irons). These are blade wedges and have very sharp leading edges in the 60.05, and 47.06 especially. If you hit the ground short of the ball on a soft/wet fairway with a 60.05 in either this model, or the MP R's, your divot may go further than your ball! These are for those with genuine skills.
    I also agree with one of the above reviews that the feel you get from these, on chip shots, is just fantastic. I wouldn't want to not have a Mizuno wedge for chipping, unless I had a very similar feeling forged wedge.
    The minimal offset on these is also attractive for those of us who tend to draw their shots. I had an MP R 52* gap wedge, but that has a LOT of offset, so I'm hoping to get one of these in the 53.
    PS- Mizuno were the most played irons on Tour for 8 years in a row, until the huge endorsements/sponsorships took over in about 2000 (according to Golf Digest). They don't pay many guys to play their clubs, which is why so few on Tour use them now. They're just as good as they always were, I'd say (if not better), but it all has to do with who's paying who to play what. If there was no money involved, they'd probably still be no.1.

  20. paul james says:

    Interesting review.started playing serious golf with mizuno irons and loved the game,but when I decided to change and move forward with my game I changed to different irons and my game fell apart.
    Had the old mp series wedge and loved it the look feel and response was superb and after two years of golfing pain have now bought myself a set of MX-19 irons and a chrome MP T wedge.The irons feel great and I have know doubt the wedge will be up to it"s usual mizuno high standard.
    I can honestly say that mizuno are class clubs at an affordable price.

  21. herrick9 says:

    Great and thorough review....

    Breaking in a set of MP 57's with some shaft challenges but the "wedge" review was something I was looking for....Tks.

  22. jay says:

    The minimal offset on these is also attractive for those of us who tend to draw their shots. I had an MP R 52* gap wedge, but that has a LOT of offset, so I'm hoping to get one of these in the 53.

    No offense but besides the available lofts the only difference between the MP-R and MP-T is the head shape. The MP-R is rounded and the MP-T is teardrop. They both feature minimal offset.

  23. Alex says:

    These are all great comments an opinions. I love this golf game and have been abck and forth looking for the perfect clubs to fill my bag. Have the mizuno mx-25 set and the grain-flow forged iron makes the feel alot softer than other irons I've tried. I was missing a GW so went out and got a mizuno mx-300 GW since it was at a good price. But saw the new Cleveland CG-15 laser-cut grooves so traded my Mizuno Mp-R series for this wedge. And still have my Titeleist Vokey 60 deg Spin-milled LW. Havent used the new CG-15's long enough yet to let others know if this new laser cut is worth the high price tag of $100, but if anyone has tried a mizuno wedge and played the CG-15 56 deg wedge please let me know what your thoughts are.

  24. wolverine_man says:

    I have these in the 51 and 58 degree variants, both in black nickel. In my 16 years of golf, I have never used a more accurate and solid feeling wedge! The 58 is absolutely lethal from 85 yards in. The C grind allows me to really open up the face even from light rough and tight lies if I so desire, without increasing the bounce too much. I added the 51* only about a week ago, replacing a 52* CG12. It is my 108 yards and in go-to club. Very accurate and soft buttery feel. I'm loving the 51 from around the greens. Works great with a nice forward press, ball back in my stance. Comes out running low with a nice little check and then a slow release to the cup. Could not be happier with these wedges! Bravo Mizuno.

  25. Micky Bell says:

    Thanks for the accurate review - My Mizuno MPT 56 degree s/w & my MPR 60 degree lob/w are a massive improvement on my rusty Phil Rogers King Cobra wedges (same lofts). I immediately felt more control thus giving me a more confident short game, they are superior to anything I've tried before, I also aim to try my 60 degree from the sand to obtain a higher flight & shorter drop.......Well that's the plan anyway!

    Cheers MB (Blyth)

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