Mizuno ST-Z 230 Driver Review

Mizuno ST-Z 230 Driver sole

50 Words or Less

The Mizuno ST-Z 230 driver is a strong all-around performer.  Low spin with solid ball speed.  Stable and easy to hit.

Introduction

Mizuno’s marketing for the ST-Z 230 driver mirrors that of the ST-Z 230 fairway wood [review HERE].  There are no made up words or outlandish claims, just five simple words: “Straight, stable, and low spinning.”  Given how well the FW lived up to its promises, I was very excited get the driver onto the tee.

Mizuno ST-Z 230 Driver address

Looks

At address, the Mizuno ST-Z 230 driver has a classic shape.  It’s round, full, and almost perfectly symmetrical.  Per Mizuno, it’s meant to mimic the ST-Z driver [review HERE].  The face appears taller than average, which I like, and the club sits square in the neutral setting.  The one piece which is quite untraditional is the carbon fiber patch, but it’s set back significantly from the leading edge.

In the bag, I think the ST-Z 230 looks great.  The sole is a little busier than most others, but the clean black/white/blue color scheme keeps it appealing.  The blue CORTECH Chamber and bold “ST-Z” branding compete for your attention, leaving the carbon fiber on the sole as a little-noticed detail.

Above, you see the ST-Z 230 (left) next to Mizuno’s ST-X 230 driver.  The ST-X 230 is the draw biased model, but I don’t see that in the address look.  There is a very slight difference in face angle in the neutral position – the X is more closed – but both are very close to square.

Mizuno ST-Z 230 Driver face

Sound & Feel

When it comes to feedback, the Mizuno ST-Z 230 driver takes a page from the company’s forged irons.  Striking the ball off-center results in a sound and feel that is dull and uninspiring.  It’s a good reminder to make a better swing on the next tee.

In contrast, hitting a drive pure sounds and feels great.  Impact creates a low-pitched “pop” with light metallic overtones.  Your hands get a lively, springy sensation, like the ball is being launched from a trampoline.

Performance

The technological heart of the Mizuno ST-Z 230 driver is the CORTECH Chamber.  A 3 gram stainless steel weight is wrapped in elastomeric TPU and placed next to the face to provide multiple benefits: faster ball speed, spin reduction, and a more solid feel.

Mizuno ST-Z 230 Driver cortech chamber

In my launch monitor testing, the low spin is what stood out most to me.  It’s not knuckleball low spin, but it’s low and robust.  Whether I was hitting the ball flush, thin, or on the heel, the spin never spiked up to rob me of distance.

Additionally, the Mizuno ST-Z 230 driver produces solid ball speed across the face.  Mizuno claims that their Tour staff saw ball speed gains of 2-5 MPH, likely from improved performance on mishits.  For me, the ball speed was very consistent until I got to the edges of the club face.

In both indoor and outdoor testing, the ST-Z 230 driver reminded me of the ST-Z 230 fairway wood in how straight good strikes tended to be.  With few exceptions, when I hit the middle of the face, the ball ended up in the middle of the fairway.  It’s also stable on mishits.  You can strike the heel or toe without producing wild cuts or draws.

mitsubishi kaili blue shaft

Finally, Mizuno is offering a diverse array of stock shafts for this driver.  I tested with the Mitsubishi Kai’i Blue [review HERE] which has an active feel, mid launch, and mid spin.  If you want something more stout, there’s the HZRDUS Smoke Green [review HERE].  Options from Aldila and UST provide slightly higher launching options.  As always, a good fitting is they key to getting the most out of this club.

Just like the fairway wood, the Mizuno ST-Z 230 driver lives up its straightforward promises.  This is a strong all-around performer with good ball speed and fairly low spin.  Pair it with the right shaft, and you’ll have a reliable fairway finder in your bag.

Visit Mizuno HERE

Mizuno ST-Z 230 Driver Price & Specs

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Matt Saternus

Founder, Editor In Chief at PluggedInGolf.com
Matt is the Founder and Editor in Chief of Plugged In Golf. He's worked in nearly every job in the golf industry from club fitting to instruction to writing and speaking. Matt lives in the northwest suburbs of Chicago with his wife and two daughters.

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3 Comments

  1. I have one myself and agree with everything from my early spring range sessions. The straightness of it is what has got my attention and the fact you mention knuckleball, well, there’s been several off-center hits that look a bit like a knuckleball as it’s working to hold the line which it does very well (and would’ve been slices/hooks with my old driver). It’s not the longest of drivers (but still has plenty of distance), but what it lacks in distance is made up for in accuracy which is more important to me. I’d rather be playing shot #2 from the fairway a few yards further back rather than somewhere amongst the rough or trees. I’m still getting the occasional slice or hook with it, but on those cases I know it’s me that’s causing it, not the club.

  2. Bobby Baltimore

    I’m loving my STZ-230 driver – got fit with a VA Composites Raijin shaft and I see immediate improvement in both dispersion and distance. The ball flight and accuracy with this driver is impressive compared to other hyped OEMs I’ve gamed the last few seasons. I am quite happy I gave this driver a try and would hope more folks do the same.

  3. Jason Graham

    I had a driver fitting this past week and was fitting into the X. It felt GREAT

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