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The Mizuno ST180 driver is solid. Really good forgiveness in terms of ball speed. Not as low spin as it claims to be.
It’s hard to generate a lot of excitement around a driver these days. With every club toeing the USGA limit for COR and adjustability having been done to death, what’s the next big selling point? Mizuno’s ST180 driver, unlike the company’s irons, lacks hype, but is it a sneaky good performer? We tested it to find out.
Like the ST180 fairway wood, the ST180 driver sports a standout blue crown. As with any colored crown, it’s going to be divisive with some players liking the flash and others wanting something more traditional.
At address, the ST180 driver has a tall face and sits a little closed in the Neutral/9.5 degrees setting. To my eye, the alignment aid appears to be shifted slightly toward the heel, but it’s very marginal.
Sound & Feel
I was surprised by the sharp sound that is produced at impact with the ST180. It’s not very loud, even indoors. It’s not that high pitched, but the tone has a shrill edge to it.
Feedback on mishits is limited. There’s a minimal change in sound when you leave the center of the face and only slightly more feedback through your hands.
It’s winter in Chicago, which means the swing can get rusty in a hurry. That’s especially true for the driver swing. When I took the ST180 to the launch monitor, I expected to need a long session to get some respectable results. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw ball speeds consistently over 150 MPH, even when I was putting the ball on the outer edges of the club face.
That forgiveness and stability led to respectable accuracy, too. I found the ST180 to be slightly draw biased, so my best swings weren’t as straight as they are with other drivers. However, my misses all stayed within a reasonable range. I felt like if I took this driver to the course, I could aim down the middle/right of every fairway and never lose a ball.
The one thing that I found in my testing that contradicts Mizuno’s marketing is that this driver is not that low spin. As I mentioned in my review of the ST180 fairway wood, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Low spin is sexy, but it’s not always the way to get optimal distance. I found this driver to be in the mid range of current drivers in terms of spin, which could make it an excellent choice for any golfer who doesn’t have a massively negative angle of attack.
While there may not be anything about the ST180 that’s going to create a ton of buzz, that doesn’t stop it from being an all around solid driver. For the “regular” golfer who needs forgiveness, a little help with a slice, and mid-low spin, Mizuno has built a winner. If you can get past the blue crown, give this a try.
Buy a Mizuno ST180 Driver HERE
Mizuno ST180 Driver Price & Specs
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