MIZUNO ST180 - DISTANCE, FORGIVENESS & CONSISTENCY
Just because a brand doesn’t have any big names on the pro tour using their product it doesn’t mean this product isn’t great, and this is exactly the case with the Mizuno ST 180 driver. It may not be the most workable club, and this is often a major consideration for the better player, however, when it comes to distance, forgiveness and consistency the ST 180 ranks right up there with the likes of the highly popular PING G400 and Callaway Rogue.
Plenty of technology and design features have gone into the making of the ST 180 along with the use of high quality materials that ensure this driver performs incredibly well. The extensive range of premium stock shafts ensures it can be fitted to suit any golfer regardless of skill level. For most it might take a few shots to get used to the blue crown, but in all honesty it is less distracting than a lot of the two-tone crown designs of late.
If it’s a higher launch and lower spin you are looking for the ST 180 is a driver you need to test before making any final purchase decisions. It has ample adjustability to ensure you find the precise settings necessary to give you your desired outcome, which will include more distance, especially on mishits.
Enough cannot be said about the materials used in the construction of the ST 180 driver. The face is made from high quality forged SP700 Titanium, which is lighter and stronger than any other face material and helps to increase ballspeed across a much larger area of the face, effectively making the sweetspot much bigger.
The rest of the body is also made from a high strength titanium with various other materials used to strategically position weight in the best areas so as to provide a high launch and very low spin, the two characteristics necessary for longer carry. The variety of premium stock shafts is truly impressive and ensures that the ST 180 can be correctly fitted to suit any golfer.
As mentioned before the ST 180 is not the most workable driver on the market, but it was not the intention of Mizuno to make it workable. The CG in this driver is very low and deep and this also helps to increase the MOI of the clubhead to ensure a consistently straight ballflight with reduced dispersion on mishits.
Adjusting the setting on the hosel sleeve makes quite a difference too. With up to four degrees of loft and three degrees of lie angle adjustability the ST 180 offers plenty of variation in launch and trajectory, as well as adding a certain hint of draw bias when the lie angle is most upright.
Apart from the high quality face material the ST 180 also uses other design features to improve the performance. The crown features a Waffle design internally that reduces the weight without compromising the strength. This weight is placed on the sole, which also features a unique pattern. Mizuno refers to this as the Amplified Wave Sole and this design is supposed to concentrate more weight lower than a flat sole. It is also designed to contract and expand at impact to produce faster ballspeeds, but this would not be visible to the naked eye.
At address it is noticeable how long the clubhead is from face to the back making it one of the larger footprints of any driver currently on the market. What is great is how the black finish of the face extends over the front edge of the crown and this makes it easier to line the clubhead up square to target behind the ball. The blue crown isn’t terrible and is one of the better colours for a crown to be, but it would be great if Mizuno released a version with either a black or grey finish.
Considering the high quality materials used in the clubhead construction and the variety of premium aftermarket stock shafts on offer with the ST 180 the price of this club is extremely affordable.
It is definitely one of the easier to hit drivers on the market for mid to high handicappers and will offer the low spin characteristics desired by the better player making it a good choice for any golfer provided you have the club correctly custom fitted.