50 Words or Less
The Mizuno ST180 fairway wood is a very pleasant surprise. Easy to launch with good ball speed and low spin.
The conventional wisdom about Mizuno is that it’s an amazing iron company that has token offerings in the metal woods categories. Their recent hybrid, the CLK, however, was excellent. We tested the ST180 fairway wood to see if it can follow that trend of improvement or if it fits the old stereotype.
The first thing anyone will notice about the ST180 is the blue crown. Blue is Mizuno’s signature color, and it does make the club stand out, but colored crowns tend to be divisive. As someone with an affinity for blue, the color wouldn’t stop me from putting it in the bag, but, all else equal, I’d prefer the stealthy black look of the CLK hybrid.
Beyond the crown, the ST180 is a conventional modern fairway wood. The shape is round and almost perfectly symmetrical. Its face is fairly shallow, making it very inviting to hit from the turf. This club does sit closed with the hosel in the Standard/Neutral position.
Sound & Feel
Like the shape, the sound of the Mizuno ST180 is prototypical. When hit on center the sound is a high pitched “tink” with moderate volume. As you move away from the center of the face, the pitch dulls slightly. Feedback through the hands is similarly modest.
One of the most fundamental things that a fairway wood, especially a 3W, needs to be able to do is get the ball airborne. On this count, the Mizuno ST180 does a great job. Whether I was catching the ball perfectly, a little thin, or toward the heel or toe, I was seeing double digit launch angles and playable trajectories.
Coupled with that easy launch is low spin. I wouldn’t rank the ST180 as the lowest spin 3W, but that may actually benefit many golfers. For me, the extra spin led to a little extra carry distance at the expense of some roll. The added spin was not enough to cause any ballooning.
Finally, the ST180 has excellent forgiveness. The combination of the 1770 Maraging Steel Face and the Wave Technology in the sole keep ball speed high across the face.
While the aesthetics may be a turnoff for some, across all aspects of performance, the Mizuno ST180 fairway wood is excellent. It provides forgiveness both in terms of ball speed and launch while keeping the spin at reasonably low levels. If you’re looking for a fairway wood to provide consistent, reliable performance, this deserves serious consideration.