by: Luke Nesbitt, Club Fitter
Building off the momentum of the highly successful ST220 metals line, Mizuno has introduced their new ST230 Drivers and Fairway metals for 2023. The ST230 series features the same great technology we saw in the 220 line, including their forged beta titanium face and quick switch hosel. The new models also introduce the new CORTECH Chamber which encases a 3-gram stainless steel weight with elastomeric TPU. In simple terms, the chamber removes stress from the clubface and creates an additional source of energy, helping produce faster ball speeds.
They have released three new models within the 230 series. This includes the new and improved ST-Z and ST-X models from the 220 line, as well as a brand new design known as the ST-X Platinum. The Platinum model features a lighter weight head designed for the golfer with a slightly slower swing speed who might need some help achieving a higher launch angle.
Upon first look, I am a big fan of the new drivers aesthetics. I played the ST-Z 220 driver so the look is familiar and the ST-Z 230 fits my eye perfectly. The X and Platinum are solid but appear to sit a little closed which makes sense as these drivers are meant to help a golfer who struggles with a right miss.
Mizuno is a company known for the satisfying feeling one gets when hitting their irons, and that reputation only continues with the 230 metals offering solid feel on both center of the face strikes and off-center misses.
Testing was conducted using a Trackman 4 Launch monitor in the outdoor setting. Specifications for the clubs used in testing are as follows:
Driver shaft: Hzrdus Smoke Green 65g 6.5 (x stiff) @ 44.5” length
Driver loft: 9.5 @ the -1° loft setting (230 platinum was 10.5° @ -2°)
Fairway shaft: Kaili Blue 70x
Fairway loft: 15°
Golf Ball: Titleist Pro v1x
|Club Model||Club Speed|
|Spin Rate (RPM)||Carry Distance (yards)||Spin Axis|
|ST-X 230 Platinum||111||162||14.6||2823||271.5||-9.3|
Fairway Metals Testing
|Model||Club Speed (mph)||Ball Speed (mph)||Spin Rate (rpm)||Carry Distance (yards)||Spin Axis|
The results show that the 230 metal line is a definite improvement from its predecessor. As advertised, the 230’s are longer, faster and straighter. Keeping all variables the same, I gained 2 mph of ball speed and upwards of 8 yards of carry on my current driver with the new ST-Z, as well as hitting the same exact ball flight of a slight draw. The fairway metal fell right in line as well, averaging close to 2 mph faster and 6 more yards of carry.
The key benefit in testing all the driver’s side by side is the spin axis result. Spin axis is used as a measurement of how the ball is curving through the air. Negative values indicate a draw, positive values meaning fade. The closer to zero you are, the straighter the ball flight. The results show that as I move from the more neutral ST-Z to the ST-X and Platinum, the ball has a tendency to curve more to the left, which means they are working exactly as designed. Another point to notice was the launch angle of the Platinum versus that of the normal ST-X. It launched an average of 1.1 degree higher and on some shots almost 2-3 degrees higher, all at the same loft.
Overall, I was thoroughly impressed with the performance of Mizuno’s newest line of driver and fairway metals. As a company primarily known for high quality irons, each new metal wood model shows marked improvement on its predecessor. Keep these clubs in mind during your next fitting session and give them a shot, I’m sure you won’t regret it.