Sniff sniff… This is my newest and already most sentimental club, yet to be hit (2:30 tee time today though). This is my “Seve” wedge, also known as the Mizuno MP-T5 6006 lob wedge.
The “Seve” Wedge
This is a 60 degree wedge with six degrees of bounce, thus the “6006.” Mizuno offers custom stamping on these wedges of up to six characters and 12 different colors.
I chose “Seve” for a couple of reasons. First, my 2.5 year old son’s name is Seve. I can think of him every time I hit this club. It will give me a nice perspective. Second, the club is a small tribute to the late great Seve Ballesteros. I hope this wedge helps channel some of the Houdini-like escape skills of Seve Ballesteros. With all the places I seem to hit golf balls other than the green, I need those escape skills.
I will be putting this wedge in play right away and posting a review soon. Stay tuned for that.
This wedge is a match for my 56 degree MP-T5. Here’s the link to my Mizuno MP-T5 wedge review.
Volvik “White Color” S3 Golf Ball
Ya gotta love how funny the language barrier can be sometimes. Case in point is this review of the “White Color” S3 Golf Balls from Volvik. Volvik, I believe a South Korean company, is a maker of very colorful golf balls. I’ve seen Volvik’s transparent models, brilliantly colored models, chrome models… you name it. I guess when you make so many varied and unique colors, you have to call the white ball a white ball.
The white color of this ball is vibrant and glows in light unlike other golf balls due to a hint of pearlescent blue color mixed in. The ball is easier to spot on the course than a typical other white ball.
White isn’t the only feature of this golf ball. This is actually a “tour” quality ball, meaning it is high performance with high spin and feel. The outer layer or cover of the ball is made of the material most top golf balls use, urethane. Urethane is where the ball gets its stopping and short game spin and softer feel around the greens.
The inner cover is the 2nd layer of three in this ball. This layer provides some distance qualities and also helps produce controlling spin.
Finally the core or center of the ball, yes like the core of the earth, is the power center. The elasticity or rebounding effect of the core gives the ball its distance and solid feel off the driver.
On The Course
I’ve enjoyed playing many rounds with the White Color ball. I poke fun at the name and tell my friends who are looking for my ball in the bushes to look for the “white color” one. It provides us some clean entertainment.
Seriously though, the ball performs very well in both the distance and control categories. It is a solid all-around ball.
Feel-wise the ball is a little harder and heavier than balls I typically play, but that is likely why the ball is so durable. Despite the soft “tour” cover these last forever. You’re more likely to lose one in the bushes or a lake long before you could wear one out.
I’d rank the White Color ball’s performance at about 80-90% of Titleist ProV1’s, Bridgestone B330’s, and other high-end golf balls. Close but not equal. The White Color S3 is a solid golf ball for mid to lower handicap golfers.
I recently learned a new lesson: don’t judge a golf ball by its cover. Typically I can tell if I will like a golf ball by simply feeling the cover. I can feel if the cover is soft and tacky, and if I can dig a fingernail into it a bit I know I’ll usually like it. When the Vision ProSoft golf balls came in for review they almost went to the giveaway pile because the cover didn’t feel soft. Almost.
The covers on the ProSoft are not as tacky or soft feeling to the hand, but then again you don’t hit golf balls with your hands. I’m glad I gave these a shot, so to speak. This is definitely a ball worth taking a closer look at.
Vision Golf Balls are originally from Australia. They’re fairly new to North America. They make all sorts of highly visible balls in a few different colors, thus the “vision” name.
Typical “tour” balls, the higher-end balls with more spin, have urethane covers. The cover on this ball is what Vision calls “durathane.” As in durable. I have a ball which has gone 45 holes and it looks like new, so yes these are very durable.
The core or center of the ball uses similar technology found in golf clubs, perimeter weighting. Moving the weight more toward the outside of the ball and away from the center reduces driver spin and increases distance.
The dimple pattern of the ball provides aerodynamic qualities to the flight, carry, dispersion, and helps with distance.
I’ve felt no drop in performance after switching from a large brand’s best “tour” ball to the Vision ProSoft. I’ve gained a ball that lasts longer as the durability of the ProSoft is remarkable.
I love the feel of this ball off of about every club in the bag, putter included. The ball compresses well on the driver, providing some great feedback. You know when it is launched. Chipping and pitching the ProSoft around the greens is nice as well.
This ball is as long as any I’ve played. Last Sunday I had a record 400 yard drive on the par-4 10th hole at Valley View with the ProSoft… Pin high in one. Yes, the ground was hard and the shot was slightly downhill, but still. 400 is 400 no matter how you slice it. No I’m not that long. No I don’t hit them 400 every time. My average is 289.
One last and cool thing: The logo and numbers on this ball are large in size and unique color/style. This ball is very easy to identify, even from a distance. “Mine’s the long one in the middle of the fairway, Bob.”
Can Vision Compete?
This ball is more durable than any tour quality ball I can think of, and the performance is not compromised as is usual with more durable golf balls. Performance-wise this ball can compete with or beat any performance ball from Titleist, Bridgestone, Srixon, Callaway or TaylorMade.
Whether the company can compete for shelf space in an already flooded golf ball market is unknown. I hope they can. At $39.99 a dozen their price point might be a little too high for regular golfers to be willing to take that chance.
I’ve started the first sentence of this review then deleted it several times, trying to find a witty way saying I have a new gamer 56 degree (sand) wedge. I don’t want to sound like every hack golf writer/blogger who has a new gamer every week. You know the ones: “this is the best (insert golf club here) I’ve ever hit!” Then next week they write a review about another one and say the same thing. My previous 56 degree wedge has been in my bag since 2006. Yes TWO THOUSAND AND SIX. That’s nine years for those of you counting at home. What’s even more remarkable is the number of wedges which have had the opportunity to dethrone it. I’ll be doing a WITG piece on those who didn’t make the cut soon: “what’s in the garage?”
So what is the new wedge which has been able to take a position in my bag that at least a dozen others have not been able to achieve? It is the new Mizuno MP-T5 5610. The 56 in 5610 is the number of degrees. The 10 in 5610 represents the degrees of bounce on the sole of the club.
Mizuno Golf MP-T5 5610 Wedge – click to zoom
The MP-T5 wedges are “grain flow forged.” Forging is the most popular process for higher end clubs, and clubs which have more feel to them. The other process is casting, which in my opinion produces clubs which have no feel, or basically feel the same on every shot. The metal used in the forging of this wedge is 1025 E pure select mild carbon steel. This is a soft steel, if there is such a thing. The softness gives the player control and feel.
The grooves in the MP-T5 are “quad cut,” milled out of the face with a CNC milling machine. This produces a lot of surface area on the face, giving the wedge more biting power and therefore more control via more spin.
Mizuno provides all sorts of options when they custom build the wedge for their players (at no extra charge I might add). There are 25 loft/bounce options for every possible swing style and condition.
Mizuno offers a True Temper Dynamic Gold “Wedge” flex shaft as its stock option and that’s the shaft in my test unit. There are roughly 15 other custom shaft options available.
This wedge combines a white satin finish with some great artwork and a very classy shape. The white satin to me is more of a matte-silver finish, which I really like. No distracting glare from the sun.
Mizuno MP-T5 Wedge
I don’t have the Black Ion Steel unit so I cant speak much about it, other than it looks fantastic.
I would never switch out a sand wedge which has been in my bag for NINE years to one which doesn’t have great feel. I adjusted to the wonderful feel of this wedge much quicker than I thought I would. I can tell exactly where I’ve made contact on the club face via the club’s “feedback” sound and feel.
On the Course
If you’re looking for computerized Iron Byron testing results with a TrackMan and exact spin rates, launch angles… check another site. My reviews are all hands-on, on the course. I can’t help wondering when that Iron Byron guy will finally find the right club for his perfect swing anyway. I don’t hit it perfect every time, and neither does anyone else, except Iron Byron.
Technical stuff and looks aside, the on-the-course performance is the most important factor. The first shot I hit, and no I didn’t bother hitting the range first, was a thrill. I was 96 yards from a front pin on the 10th hole at my home course Bonneville. The green is elevated (the right green for those of you who know the course) and anything short is in long rough. Oddly, this particular green has no fringe.
My shot hit right next to the pin, dead on line. It bounced a few feet past and spun back to about two feet. I made the ticklish birdie putt. I have hit many similar triumphant shots with the MP-T5 wedge. I find my accuracy around 100-110 is quite good.
Check out the milling on the face…
The real game changer for me (and “game changer” is a phrase that I really don’t like using) is in chipping. I’ve been using my 60 degree wedge for chipping around the greens, but thought I would try this 56 instead. The contact I’m getting is so much better. I think the added bounce is making a big difference as my 60 is very low bounce. The chipping has been much improved. Not great, but much improved. I’ll still use the lob for flops.
Finally, in the sand I’ve had some great results. My previous 56 was very good out of the sand and I wasn’t sure I’d ever find another wedge as good. The jury is still out as I haven’t hit enough green-side bunkers to really know, but so far so good.
The $129.99 retail Mizuno MP-T5 5610 is a fantastic sand wedge. Whether I’m hitting full shots from 100-110, sand shots, or chipping around the green, it performs as good or better than any other 56 I’ve tried. And I’ve tried more than a few. Just look in my garage.
Man do I have a lot of golf balls to review! I may do another “HOG Golf Ball Week” soon to cover them all. The latest in the large and growing golf ball review queue is the TaylorMade Project (a).
TaylorMade Project (a) Golf Ball
I’ve been hearing about these TaylorMade Project (a) golf balls. The (a) is for amateur, which is the target player for this ball. Just how they do that I have yet to discover, but my guesses would first be a lower compression and more spin around the greens.
I’ll be putting these into play soon and doing a full compliment of test rounds before my review. Stay tuned.
Regarding the photo above: I swear I almost have as much fun capturing cool images of golf equipment as I do playing it…