Gear: Mizuno ST-Z 220 and ST-X 220 drivers
Price: $449.99 with Mitsubishi Tensei AV Blue or Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black shaft and Lamkin ST Hybrid 360 grips
Specs: 460 titanium heads with carbon-fiber crowns, carbon-fiber sole pieces, stainless steel back weights, and adjustable hosels.
Available: February 3
In September, Mizuno released the ST-G 200 driver, one of the most technologically advanced drivers on the market. It features a carbon-fiber crown, three moveable weight tracks, a thin titanium face, and an adjustable hosel to allow players and fitters to fine-tune the center of gravity and find the ideal launch angle and spin rates.
Now the Japanese sporting goods giant is releasing two more drivers that may seem less sophisticated. However, the ST-Z 200 and ST-X 200 were designed to offer golfers more ball speed with extra forgiveness and stability.
The ST-Z 200 and ST-X 200 feature a titanium chassis and a forged SAT2041 Beta titanium face that is thinner and stronger than most faces in modern drivers. That should allow the face to flex more efficiently and provide a larger sweet spot.
Both the ST-Z 200 and ST-X 200 feature Wave Technology in the sole to increase ball speed. It is a series of ridges that look like an accordion in the bottom of the head, directly behind the leading edge, that allows the lower portion of the face to flex more efficiently on low-struck shots.
Both clubs were designed with large carbon-fiber crowns and pieces of carbon fiber in the heel and toe areas of the sole. Compared to the previous generation of ST-Z 200 and ST-X 200, the carbon-fiber pieces on the sole are 40 percent larger, saving more weight and letting designers increase the stainless-steel weight found in the back of each club from 11 grams to 20 grams.
Mizuno ST-Z 220 driver
The ST-Z 220, which appears to have a slightly open face in the address position, has its weight is in the center-back location. This pulls the center of gravity back to increase the moment of inertia while still allowing players to shape shots. In the ST-X 220, the 20-gram weight is positioned more toward the heel, giving the club a draw bias.
Mizuno ST-X 220 driver
At the same time, the ST-X has a deeper face, which many accomplished players prefer, and the head is shorter from front to back. For those reasons, while the ST-X does have a draw bias, Mizuno believes many good players may prefer it over previously released “draw drivers.”
Mizuno engineers added a series of ribs inside the heads that stiffened some areas while allowing others to be more flexible to fine-tune the sound produced by each club. The result is a sound that is more pleasing to the ear of most players.
Finally, the ST-Z 200 and ST-X 200 have an adjustable hosel that allows players and fitters to increase or decrease the club’s stated loft by as many as 2 degrees.