In the billiard parlors we frequented during a misspent youth, the phrase "thin to win" was often uttered, referring to a player's ability to pocket a ball by slicing it ever-so-slightly on its outer edge to get a nice tight arcing spin. On the golf course, the imperative for a good short game is being able to "spin to win," and is an indication of one's knack for getting the ball to dance once it hits the green. To that end, one definitely needs mad skills, and an ace set of wedges helps an awful lot.
Low handicappers know the name Mizuno for its finely crafted irons, well evidenced in the design of the company's new MP-T4 wedge. One of their marquee endorsees (former world number one Luke Donald) had a say in the matter and the result is a club that cuts through turf like a scythe while maximizing ball spin – all within the new legal USGA limits, naturally.
A softened, more rounded shape in what golf eggheads call "sole grind" allows the MP-T4 to make its way through stubborn rough with less resistance and more consistency. Tour pros often grind their own to suit their individual games, but the Mizuno boys have done it for us. Also, they've cut the grooves differently for varying lofts, using a wider, shallower groove for short shots and a narrower and deeper profile for longer distances. Forged, mild carbon steel construction makes for a soft feel and palpable feedback in your hands.
On a purely aesthetic level, the T4 has an unfussy, classic "teardrop" look that is especially attractive in the black nickel finish. Neither too ungainly nor too small, this wedge will benefit anyone in search of a versatile and consistent short game. (That would mean everyone.) [$130; mizunousa.com]