WHAT does Mizuno need to do to be considered with the ‘big boys’ when it comes to drivers?
The journey from ST190 to ST-Z has been one typical of Mizuno; applying learnings and making adjustments rather than leaping from 1 idea to another. Seems those who dabbled with the ST200 benefited from this philosophy, yet too many never considered it a viable option.
The big question for the Mizuno ST-Z Driver is: has it done enough to compete at the top end of town? In short, we think it absolutely has.
WHAT WE LIKE
+ Sits beautifully at address
+ Simplicity of design (no fancy names)
+ Head/Shaft Combination (Motore X)
WHAT WE DON’T LIKE
× Toe seems to extend too far beyond the face
× Higher launching than expected (9.5o)
× Carbon crown is almost too disco
The ST-Z continues to feature a combination of Titanium and Carbon to distribute weight for optimum MOI and launch conditions. The adjustable hosel remains also for fine tuning flight and address characteristics.
The ‘secret sauce’ is the SAT 2041 face, which is both remaining and new. Hold…
Just as Mizuno learned about Chromoly with their irons (see 921 Forged review), and taking it from a cast to a forged material, so to have they learned about the powers of SAT (Super Alloy Titanium) 2041 (20% Vanadium, 4% Aluminium, 1% Tin) as they moved through 190, 200 and now ST-Z.
The key to the face? Yes it’s strong so can be made fast. Yes it’s light too. But due to its elasticity, it doesn’t break down over time and lose its structure and spring, unlike other more commonly used Titaniums. The face delivers premium performance for longer. Durability is not a dirty word.
The driver is clean of design, especially on the sole. No fancy bits and pieces, just a back weight without a name that helps deliver high MOI, and the Wave at the front to add extra oomph.
The carbon crown and sole areas are very disco and leave you in no doubt what the material is. This element will be entirely personal as to having it as a like or dislike.
Solid was how Kippa described it when he first hit it. Surprisingly solid, and therein lies the Mizuno challenge. How many models need to keep “surprising” before golfers buy in?
The sound could be described as powerful too, and whilst distinctive from the 3 wood (due to size and materials) there is a common theme between the two in terms of acoustics.
We tested the 9.5o with the Motore X F3 Shaft and found the combination to be outstanding. It was easy to launch and work the ball, yet at no stage did the ball either balloon or fall out of the sky.
When required it was easy to work the ball high and low, left and right. Not to get stuck on a point but it was done with surprising ease.
Growing small. Getting more from a smaller package seems like the ultimate engineering goal, and Ping deliver this in spades with the G425 iron. Ping fanatics will love these, and if you’ve never considered Ping irons, now’s the time.