Gear: Mizuno ST-G 220 driver
Price: $499 at (Carl’s Golf Land)
Specs: Titanium face and chassis with carbon fiber crown, adjustable hosel and three moveable weight areas.
For several years, Mizuno has been known as a company that makes outstanding irons, especially for accomplished golfers, but in recent years the Japanese equipment maker has put a lot of resources into improving its drivers. The ST-Z and ST-X drivers that were released in early 2021 offered advanced features. They used several high-tech materials like special titanium alloys and carbon fiber to help golfers get more distance and enhance feel. Now the company is releasing its most adjustable driver ever, the ST-G 220, to help golfers and fitters fine-tune performance.
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Like the ST-Z and ST-X, the ST-G 220 has a large carbon fiber crown on the top to create discretionary weight and lower the center of gravity (CG) location. The hitting area is made from SAT2041 Beta titanium, a special alloy that Mizuno claims has a higher strain recovery rate. That means it should snap back into shape faster than other titanium alloys, so the face should efficiently return energy to the ball. It also resists fatigue better, which means over the driver’s lifespan, the characteristic time (the springiness of the face) will not creep over the USGA and R&A’s legal limit and make the club non-conforming.
To protect ballspeed on low-struck shots, Mizuno gave the ST-G 220 an Optimized Wave Sole like the sole found in the ST-Z and ST-X. The accordion-style waves behind the leading edge compress and allow the lower portion of the hitting area to bend more easily.
The most significant difference that golfers will see with the ST-G 220 is the addition of three weight tracks in the sole. There is one in the heel, one in the toe and a track in the center-back area. The driver comes standard with two 11-gram weights that can be positioned in any of the three tracks. Players and fitters can even put both weights in a single track, and this versatility opens up several customizing options.
Putting both weights in the back of the head boosts the moment of inertia (MOI), enhances stability, increases spin and encourages a higher launch angle. Putting a weight forward in both the heel and toe areas gives the ST-G 220 a neutral bias but significantly reduces spin and lowers the launch angle.
Golfers and fitters can quickly and easily create a draw or fade bias by utilizing different weight-position combinations.
The adjustable hosel mechanism can increase or decrease the club’s stated loft by 2 degrees, so a 9-degree ST-G 220 can play with as little as 7 degrees of loft or as much as 11 degrees.