50 Words or Less
The Mizuno ST-Z 230 fairway wood has a great address look that will appeal to a wide variety of players. Fast, forgiving, and straight. Meaningful adjustability.
Anyone who follows golf equipment carefully knows that every OEM has a personality. There are brands that love hype and over-the-top promises. Mizuno isn’t one of them. The new Mizuno ST-Z 230 fairway wood comes without a glitzy ad campaign, just a simple five word claim: “straight, stable, and high launching.” If you can deliver that, why say anything more?
Check out the Mizuno ST-Z 230 driver HERE
The Mizuno ST-Z 230 fairway wood has a full, round shape that seems to exaggerate its size. From toe-to-heel or front-to-back, this club looks compact and player-ish, but the overall impression is that it’s midsized. A medium height face has score lines that are only painted at the edges to better frame the ball at address. The most distinctive element is the swath of carbon fiber on the crown. From pictures, you might think this is distracting, but it’s actually further from the ball than on many other woods, so it’s entirely out of view when you’re about to swing.
In the bag, I think this club is nearly perfect. Mizuno has had some aesthetic missteps in the past, but the ST-Z 230 FW gets it just right. The angular patch of bright blue tells everyone this is a Mizuno without saying, “I’m a Mizuno.” A silver running bird and “ST-Z 230” branding give the sole balance without taking the spotlight off the CORTECH Chamber.
Sound & Feel
Even as they’ve made more clubs for higher handicap players, Mizuno has maintained their reputation as a players brand. That shines through in the feedback from the ST-Z 230 fairway wood. On center, this club produces a mid-low pitched “pop” without any metallic notes. Leave the center of the face, and the sound quickly turns to a dull “thud.” Similarly, the feel on center is powerful and explosive. When you miss the sweet spot, your hands will feel the strike location and a very dull impact.
If you live and breathe golf equipment, the function of many tech features can be obvious. Mizuno’s CORTECH Chamber is an outlier in that regard, so let’s start with what it’s designed to do. It’s a stainless steel weight encased in TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) that has four functions. First, it supports the club face. Second, per Mizuno, it’s an “additional energy source”. It also positions more weight closer to the face to reduce spin and improve the feel of impact.
The result of the CORTECH Chamber, in conjunction with the carbon fiber crown and MAS1C steel face, is a club that launches easily with mid-low spin and excellent forgiveness. For me, one of the standout features of the Mizuno ST-Z 230 fairway wood is the resilience of the ball speed. On center, it’s excellent, but that’s true of most clubs. I was impressed with how it retained speed on mishits, a feature I tested extensively.
Prefer hybrids to fairway woods? Check out the Mizuno ST-Z 230 hybrid HERE
Even more than the ball speed, the ST-Z 230 FW impressed me with its dispersion. Direct from my notes: “every halfway decent swing was laser straight.” After a little testing, I barely had to look at my iPad to check the ball flight. If I made a good swing, the ball was going to be within a couple yards of the center line.
Finally, Mizuno has given the ST-Z 230 an adjustable hosel. There are only two lofts sold – 15 and 18 degrees – but each one covers a four degree range. The 15 degree model that I tested can be turned as strong as 13 degrees or as weak as 17. That leaves a lot of room for each player to choose the ball flight and directional bias that fits their needs.
If you’re looking for a fairway wood to carry some of the load on tee shots and bomb it toward long par 5s, the Mizuno ST-Z 230 fairway wood is a worthy choice. When you put a good swing on it, you can find your ball blindfolded. That tight dispersion paired with strong distance is a combination that doesn’t need much hype.