Mizuno ST-Z Driver Review

50 Words or Less

The Mizuno ST-Z driver has incredibly solid feel.  Strong performer across the board.

Introduction

Mizuno has one of the best reputations in golf when it comes to irons.  In the woods category, it’s been hit-and-miss.  The ST190 [review HERE] made waves for them, but I felt the ST200 [review HERE] missed the mark.  I tested the new ST-Z to see if it could get the company back on the right track.

Looks

The Mizuno ST-Z driver goes for a slightly busier look at address than its predecessor.  While both have a gloss black crown with visible carbon fiber, the ST-Z has a stark transition between the two where the ST200 had a gradual fade.  Also, the ST-Z has a TaylorMade-esque shape to the black section near the ball.  In terms of shape and size, the ST-Z is middle of the road.  The head is round, not overly stretched from front to back.

Flipping over the ST-Z, you’ll find a sole that’s almost entirely black.  There are two swaths of carbon fiber toward the heel and toe alongside Mizuno’s signature WAVE Technology.  A large running bird logo in the center of the sole is visually dominant.

Sound & Feel

Gearheads know Mizuno’s tagline is, “Nothing feels like a Mizuno,” and they push that even with their woods.  One of their three bullet points about the ST-Z driver is about how the club feels.  Per Mizuno, it has “more dense feedback” which is actually a pretty good description.  This is one of the most solid feeling drivers I’ve hit.  If you want that fast, explosive feeling, look elsewhere.  The ST-Z feels closer to a forged iron than most modern woods.

The sound of impact complements the feel – medium in pitch and fairly quiet.  Misses are easily differentiated from pure strikes in both feel and sound, but mishits aren’t harsh or unpleasant.

Performance

In testing the ST200, I found the issue to be a lack of high end ball speed.  Mizuno claims that the new ST-Z uses a 2nd generation Forged SAT2041 Beta Ti face for “potent ball speed,” and I found that it does create more speed than its predecessor.  Centered strikes with the ST-Z created the ideal 1.5 smash factor on Trackman.  Mishits were also quite solid with smash factory dipping below the mid 1.4s only on truly ugly strikes.

When it comes to launch and spin, the ST-Z is toward the middle of the bell curve compared to most current drivers.  If anything, the spin tends to be slightly low, so this might be a good fit for higher spin players.  The one thing that did stand out is that the launch angle can get very low with “thin” strikes.  Where many drivers will elevate a shot from low on the face, the ST-Z prefers to send out a knee-high screamer as a reminder to tee the ball higher.

The Mizuno ST-Z driver comes in just two lofts – 9.5 and 10.5 – but it is adjustable at the hosel.  Loft can be turned up or down 2.25 degrees.  Keep in mind that adjusting the loft that much will also change the face angle significantly.

Conclusion

The Mizuno ST-Z driver places the company back on the right track in terms of their drivers.  This is a forgiving club that can be a good fit for a wide range of players when paired with the right shaft.  Nothing about the performance stands head and shoulders above its competitors, but I can certainly imagine some players, particularly the Mizuno faithful, falling in love with the feel.

Mizuno ST-Z 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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4 Comments

  1. Thanks, Matt. This Driver has garnered a lot of praise this year on youtube and golf forums. Maybe it’s the price, too. I believe one gets a real deal $275 Motore shaft in a $400 retail driver. Not bad at all. I think this ST-Z is the more forgiving straight driver while the ST-X is the deeper face slightly draw-biased which also seems to draw a lot of praise. I have the opportunity to play the new ST-G220 next week. Looking forward to it. Mizuno is coming on strong in woods. Waiting for your fairway review – they are sweet.

  2. Keith Finley

    Cheers Matt! Just a general thanks for years of great work. I always look for the PIG review before buying used equipment…
    Keith 🇨🇦

  3. John Lyle Reedy

    The price is also significantly lower than some of the other brands.

  4. I tried this driver at a Demo back in March. I bought it that day. It’s the most accurate driver I’ve ever hit by a long shot. It’s as long as my former Mavrik and significantly more accurate.
    I completely agree about the dense feel of the driver. It’s the best feeling driver I’ve ever hit. The stock F3 Motore also was a perfect fit. I have a similar swing speed to Matt but tended to spray it prior to getting the STZ. Had I not gotten a free demo I’d never have picked up this driver. It’s been a total accuracy game changer and it’s as long as anything else. Great review.

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