50 Words or Less
The Mizuno ST-Z 230 hybrid is a solid do-anything hybrid. Good distance potential. A strong counterpart to the JPX Fli-Hi.
This past fall, Mizuno released the JPX923 Fli-Hi [review HERE], one of the best pure iron replacement hybrids. New for 2023 is the ST-Z 230 hybrid, a hybrid designed for players seeking more distance to attack longer holes or replace their fairway woods. Has Mizuno gone back-to-back with successful hybrid designs? I tested one to find out.
If you’re sick of players hybrids with tall, boxy toes, the Mizuno ST-Z 230 hybrid may be just what you’re looking for. Mizuno states that the footprint is larger than its predecessor, the CLK, but it’s still slightly smaller than average. It has a hint of a pear shape, which will appeal to the eye of the traditionalist. Finally, the alignment aid is centered, unlike many hybrids which favor the heel.
Mizuno nailed the in the bag look with this club. Blue is their color, and they used it to clearly identify the club as a Mizuno and draw attention to their key technology, CORTECH. In addition to the large patch of blue near the face, there’s a sizable silver running bird logo and “ST-Z” branding near the toe. There’s a lot going on, but it’s well balanced.
Sound & Feel
Quality strikes with the Mizuno ST-Z 230 hybrid generate a low pitched, metallic “snap.” The volume is below average, making this club more appealing to the traditionalists. Off-center strikes produce a sound that’s heavier, more laborious, which gives the player good feedback.
The feel of impact on center is quick and solid. Shots off the heel and toe create a feeling that matches the sound – duller and slower. Overall, the feedback from this club isn’t stinging, but it is exceedingly clear.
Like it’s bigger brothers, the Mizuno ST-Z 230 fairway wood [review HERE] and driver, the ST-Z 230 hybrid comes with a direct tagline: “Straight, stable, and high launching.” The club does a good job living up to that billing.
In my launch monitor testing, I had a nice honeymoon period with this club. My first series of shots lived on the center of the face and allowed the Mizuno ST-Z 230 hybrid to show off its full potential. Ball speed on center is excellent, producing smash factors in the high 1.4s. Paired with fairly high launch and mid spin, this club has a lot of distance potential.
Like the fairway wood, the tech behind this club is headlined by the CORTECH Chamber. This is a stainless steel weight wrapped in elastomeric TPU designed to solidify feel and reduce spin. It also takes stress off of the multi-thickness “High Energy” MAS1C Steel Face.
The forgiveness in this club tilts it toward slightly better players. It takes a pretty bad miss to get the smash factor below 1.4, but it does dip to the low 1.4s pretty easily. Similarly, the spin will jump up noticeably on thin and heel strikes. I would not discourage a mid-handicap player from putting this in the bag, but higher handicap players can find more consistency in larger hybrids.
Finally, the Mizuno ST-Z 230 hybrid does have an adjustable hosel. There are four degrees of loft adjustability which will also modify the face angle. This is a great feature for players looking to hit a particular yardage, trajectory window, or shot shape.
Between the JPX923 Fli Hi and the ST-Z 230 hybrid, Mizuno has a pair of hybrids that can cover all your needs. If you want a pure iron replacement, the Fli Hi is the way to go, but the ST-Z 230 is longer and more versatile. For players that want their hybrids to do a lot – including reaching those long par 5s – the MIzuno ST-Z 230 hybrid is worth a look.