Mizuno ST180 Fairway Wood Review

50 Words or Less

The Mizuno ST180 fairway wood is a very pleasant surprise.  Easy to launch with good ball speed and low spin.

Introduction

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.

Looks

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.

Performance

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.

Conclusion

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.

Buy a Mizuno ST180 Fairway Wood HERE

Mizuno ST180 Fairway Wood Price & Specs

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Matt Saternus

Co-Founder, Editor In Chief at PluggedInGolf.com
Matt is a golf instructor, club fitter, and writer living in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Matt's work has been published in Mulligan Magazine, Chicagoland Golf, South Florida Golf, and other golf media outlets. He's also been a featured speaker in the Online Golf Summit and is a member of Ultimate Golf Advantage's Faculty of Experts.

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6 Comments

  1. If those launch monitor stats are accurate then you should bag that 3 wood immediately. It seems so optimal that it’s a little hard to believe. You’re basically getting a perfect 1.49 smash factor and getting 254 yards of carry from a 101 mph swing speed. When you reviewed the Callaway Steelhead you were only carrying it 235 and it had lower spin with a similar launch angle. Pretty incredible if the Mizuno actually does have 6mph faster ballspeed!

  2. Matt – I’ve read your FW reviews with interest. Three reviews you’ve done are particularly of interest to me as I’m in the market for a new FW. Would be great to hear your thoughts comparing ST180, EX10 Beta, and Epic. Assuming you have the EX10 Beta still in your bag, what will stop you from replacing it with the ST180? Which one would you consider to be relatively most forgiving? I have some thoughts based on the numbers but they may be based on only a couple of shots, plus your thoughts would be much more insightful.

    Thanks,
    Amit

    • Matt Saternus

      Amit,

      I’ll be keeping the EX10 in the bag because the shaft in it fits me well and, for as much as I use a FW (not a lot), I don’t want to adjust to something new without a real compelling reason.

      Without head to head comparison, I can’t say definitively which is the most forgiving. I’d lean toward the ST180 but that may be recency bias.

      Best,

      Matt

  3. I swing the driver at 100mph and I wish those were my driver numbers. Were you seeing consistent smash factor numbers that high? Incredible

    • Matt Saternus

      John,

      I did this testing on Trakman instead of my usual Foresight. My experience is that both machines produce similar ball speed but Trackman has lower CS, higher SF and Foresight does the opposite. In any case, yes, smash was consistently in the high 1.4s.

      -Matt

  4. Pingback: Mizuno ST180 Driver Review - Plugged In Golf

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