50 Words or Less
The Mizuno ST-Z driver has incredibly solid feel. Strong performer across the board.
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.
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.
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.
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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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.
Cheers Matt! Just a general thanks for years of great work. I always look for the PIG review before buying used equipment…
I 2nd that.
The price is also significantly lower than some of the other brands.
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.
Was the ball speed lower because the shaft is only 45″? It’s 3/4 shorter than callaway and TM. This is the most accurate driver I tested with the most consistent spin.
I’m not sure where you’re getting lower ball speed from. I talked about the ball speed being very good in the Performance section.
Oh yeah, sorry — I read this and confused the branding. “In testing the ST200, I found the issue to be a lack of high end ball speed.” I wish they would move onto something other than “ST_”
It’s interesting. I’ve been following the reviews of this driver and ball speed seems to be in line with other major brands that offer longer shafts. I’m curious how they’re able to keep up at 45″
I don’t think 1/2″ or 3/4″ makes that much of a difference for most players. I think getting fit is important. I think everyone has an optimal length (or range of lengths). But the idea that all drivers at 45.75″ are going to be markedly faster/longer than all drivers at 45″ in the short window of a review doesn’t hold water for me.
I am looking forward to Going to the golf course to try out the my new ST-Z Driver and ES21.
2 questions relating the shaft options:
1) Which shaft was in the club you tested? and
2) Between the Fujikura Motore X F3 and the Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black, which would you recommend for a 10 to 12 handicapper? ie. which would be a more forgiving stiff shaft option?
I’m sorry, I don’t recall which shaft I tested with.
My best advice is to get fitted or at least try both. They’re built for different types of swings, not different handicaps.
Would be interested in any comparisons or comments to the ST 220 G model. Also will you be formally reviewing that model?
We don’t have any definite plans at the moment. If you’d like to see more Mizuno reviews on Plugged In Golf, the best thing you can do is to let them know on social media that you value our reviews.
I’m a big fan of Mizuno golf clubs. I have a few of their drivers in my bag and I have never been disappointed. The ST-Z driver is no exception. It’s a great club for those who like to