The Mizuno MP R-12 Black Nickel CC Wedge Review

What about the Mizuno MP R-12 Black Nickel CC wedge? Are you looking for a wedge that sets up nicely behind the ball and produces great shots from all types of lies? Read this review to find out if this might be the one.

Mizuno is known for the superb quality of its forged irons, including its forged wedges. The company says its Mizuno MP R-12 Black Nickel CC wedge expands upon its past success by using something it calls “loft specific sole geometry,” the rounded head shape preferred by many better players (including professionals), and proprietary “Quad Cut Grooves.” Of course, this wedge is made using Mizuno’s now-legendary, patented “Grain Flow Forged®” manufacturing process. This isn’t your ordinary investment-cast wedge. It’s forged from 1025E "Pure Select" mild carbon steel, which Mizuno says gives the wedge a soft but solid, consistent feel.

Mizuno MP R-12 Black Nickel CC wedge review

I decided to learn more and then test a 54-degree Mizuno MP R-12 Black Nickel CC wedge to see how it performed. Here’s what I found out, based on information provided by Mizuno and my own experiences on the course.

First, let me explain the name of the wedge. “MP” is the line of Mizuno wedges this club belongs to – the company also offers a JPX series. The “R” in the name stands for “round,” as in rounded head. Most professional golfers favor either rounded or teardrop-shaped heads for their wedges. The MP R-12 has a rounded head, while the Mizuno MP T-11 wedge has a teardrop head. Not surprisingly, the “Black Nickel” in the name means the head has a black, glare-reducing finish (the club is also available in a white satin chrome finish). And finally, the “CC” in the name means the club’s Quad Cut Grooves comply with the Conditions of Competition specified by the USGA. In other words, the Mizuno MP R-12 Black Nickel CC wedge is “legal” to play in PGA Tour and other professional events.

Well, that’s enough with the name. The club is available with various bounce angles in a range of lofts, from a 50-degree gap wedge up to a 64-degree lob wedge. The stock shaft is a steel True TemperTM Dynamic Gold SpinnerTM. Mizuno says this particular shaft enhances spin rates and provides a penetrating trajectory that stays controlled.

The face of the Mizuno MP R-12 Black Nickel CC wedge is CNC-milled, and it features Mizuno’s “Quad Cut Grooves.” According to Mizuno, the face milling provides the surface roughness required for optimal spin on short approach shots. The grooves are designed to impart maximum backspin while still conforming to the Condition of Competition imposed by the 2011 USGA groove rules.

But Mizuno doesn’t stop there when it comes to promoting spin and control. In addition to increasing the club’s versatility by making it effective from different lies, the company’s loft-specific geometry optimizes spin rates for the shots that are typically taken with wedges of specific lofts. In a nutshell, the width, depth, angle and shoulder radius of the Quad Cut Grooves vary with the loft of the club. The grooves of the 50- through 54-degree wedges are narrow and deep, perfect for promoting spin on full shots. But the grooves of the 56- through 64-degree versions are wider and shallower, designed to create spin on the partial swings that are often taken with wedges of these lofts. I believe Mizuno is the only golf club manufacturer that uses two different wedge groove configurations.

So, how does the Mizuno MP R-12 Black Nickel CC wedge perform under game conditions?

In my opinion, two things about the Mizuno MP R-12 Black Nickel CC wedge were extremely impressive: its buttery feel; and the amount of spin it puts on the ball – even on half-swings. It sets up squarely and confidently. The offset is minimal (if it exists at all), so if you normally hit the ball straight, you won’t need to worry about pulling your shots. In fact, hitting this wedge was like throwing darts at close range – it was that accurate. My bump and run shots rolled out predictably. High pitches landed softly, with good stopping power. What else could you want from a wedge? Well, with its black finish, the Mizuno MP R-12 Black Nickel CC wedge is a beautiful club. It’s also not subject to the same type of sun glare you can get with a highly polished, chromed club.

The Bottom Line: Mizuno’s forged clubs have always had a certain special feel to them, and the Mizuno MP R-12 Black Nickel CC wedge does too. Is it the ultimate wedge? I don’t know. But with its spin, feel and accuracy, this one could be a keeper.

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