by Justin Pahl, Club Fitter
Mizuno has always been known for their irons. More specifically the way their irons feel. Their irons are played by many tour pros who are “free agents”. These “free agents” don’t have any club contracts so they are free to play what they want. With this said, it’s very flattering to a club manufacturer when a tour pro chooses their product purely because they like the feel and performance and not just because they are getting paid. Mizuno has always put out “Tour Ready” irons year in and year out. This brings me to Mizuno’s new driver line this year, the ST200 series.
The ST200, ST200G and the ST200X are the new 2020 Mizuno driver line. The look, sound and feel of each of these drivers is a testament to Mizuno’s patented saying “Nothing feels like a Mizuno’”. The only question remaining is do these new drivers perform to that “Tour Ready” standard that their irons have. I can confidently confirm that yes, without a doubt, these drivers perform to that standard. Later in this review I’ll show you the data to confirm this statement.
The 3 different head styles allow for the ST200 line to cover a wide range of playing abilities as well as desired ball flights. The ST200 is a super stable mid/low spin head that gives low spin forgiveness. With a Beta rich forged Ti face (17% stronger compared to their last driver line the ST190), an 11.6g backweight (stabilizes the head) and the ability to adjust the loft a total of 4 degrees, gives us a great “Tour Ready” product that’s easy to hit and pretty to look at. The ST200G boasts the same Beta rich forged Ti face, which is extremely fast yet provides a very soft/lively feeling. What the ST200G offers compared to the standard ST200 is 2 adjustable weight tracks that help optimize spin from mid to ultra low. Finally, the ST200X is a high launching draw bias driver. With a fixed heel weight, upright lie angle (compared to the other two models) and the Beta rich forged Ti face the ST200X is perfect for a player who is looking for a high draw ball flight with fast ball speeds. With a Carbon composite crown the CG (Center of Gravity) of the ST200, ST200G and ST200X is moved low within the clubhead which gives high launch and low spin.
The test that I conducted was to see if Mizuno has improved upon their already solid driver, the ST190 series. I’m looking for an increase in ball speed and the proper launch conditions. I was only able to test the ST200 and ST200G. I haven’t been able to get my hands on a ST200X yet, that test is yet to come. The shaft I used was the Atmos Black Tour Spec 6X. I used the 9* ST00G turned down to 7* and the 9.5* ST200 turned down to 7.5*. I tend to be a higher spin player, so having the lofts so low helps optimize my launch conditions and gives these drivers the best chance to perform for me. I hit 6 shots with each driver. Here is the data:
|Driver||Club Head Speed||Ball Speed||Launch Angle||Spin Rate||Carry|
|ST190||116.2 mph||168.9 mph||13.1*||2625 rpm||289.5 yds|
|ST200||117.7 mph||170.0 mph||12.6*||2503 rpm||292.5 yds|
|ST190G||116.5 mph||165.8 mph||11.8*||2147 rpm||281.7 yds|
|ST200G||117.6 mph||169.5 mph||11.5*||2540 rpm||288.1 yds|
As you can see, none of these drivers created bad launch conditions. The big takeaway is that the ST200 line is faster in both club head speed and ball speed compared to the ST190 line. This is really encouraging that Mizuno was able to improve on one of their best drivers by improving aerodynamics as well as creating a more explosive face. This really pays homage to their “Tour Ready” mindset. The ST200 performed beautifully, it gave me a higher ball flight while keeping the spin down. The ST200G did exactly what it was designed to do which is give a little more penetrating ball flight compared to the ST200 while keeping the spin under control. You can see this because the ST200G launched a degree lower (11.5) compared to the ST200 (12.6) while maintaining an almost identical spin rate.
In conclusion, this new Mizuno driver is a serious contender if you are in the market for a new big stick this year. Keep your eye out as well when you are watching the pros on TV, you may see the best in the world game the new ST200 driver line from Mizuno.