Mizuno, famous for its world-renowned forged irons, has also been in the metal woods business for many years. From the Ti100 - golf's first mass titanium driver - to last year's JPX900, the Japanese manufacturer has long been helping golfers get more distance. This year they are doing that by taking speed to a new level with the next generation ST180 drivers and fairway woods.
Mizuno ST180 Driver
Wave sole technology has been a feature of Mizuno fairways since its introduction in the excellent JPX850 and we now see it for the first time in a driver with the ST180.
The ST180's Wave sole places every available gram of weight low and towards the face - dropping spin rates for even the fastest, descending angle of attack swingers.
As well as reducing spin the Amplified Wave sole contracts and expands at impact, increasing the energy imparted to the ball and therefore ball speed.
Speed also comes from a new Forged SP700 Ti multi-thickness face, while the distinctive blue driver head hides an Internal Waffle Crown, a weight saving device that frees up the discretionary weight the designers have moved low and forward in the sole.
Jeff Cook, Mizuno's PGA Tour Manager, says the ST180 has made a big impact:
This was the biggest shock we’ve had in testing. The spin rate and ball speed of this driver caught everybody out. The ST180 comes off so fast, with so little spin – it’s going to make a lot of good players question what they really need in a driver.
The ST180 driver is available in men’s 9.5˚ and 12.5˚ models and a ladies’ 12.5˚ model.
Mizuno ST180 Fairway Woods
The Mizuno ST180 fairways share much of the technology found in the ST180 driver with the Amplified Wave sole and Internal Waffle Crown combining to place freed up weight low and forward, bringing down spin rates and increasing ball speed.
The face of the fairway woods is constructed from a thinner, more responsive, high-energy 1770 Maraging steel, which increases ball speed and delivers a flatter, more efficient, controlled ball flight.
A larger head footprint generates a bigger-than-average profile that is highly forgiving both in looks and performance. It is this aspect of the ST180 fairway that most excites Jeff Cook:
If you like a wider, larger-looking profile, but don’t necessarily want a high-spinning flight, the ST180 is a really interesting option. Over the years a lot of our tour players have bucked the trend for smaller fairway woods and this plays nicely into their hands.
ST180 fairway woods will be available in 15˚ and 18˚ models for both men and ladies.
Both the ST180 driver and fairway woods feature a Quick Switch Adjustable Hosel that allows 4 degrees of loft adjustment and 3 degrees of lie adjustment so the clubs can be fine-tuned to the unique launch conditions and visual preferences of all golfers. A new expanded line of high-end shafts can also be fitted at no additional charge.