By Justin Pahl, Club Fitter
It’s ShowTime, as Mizuno likes to say! The new STZ and STX drivers are the culmination of their 3-year rapid-fire development project to create the most widely played drivers its global tour staff has ever seen. Which in turn produces an incredibly good driver for a wide range of golfers. Now, the company known for its high quality, high performance irons, can compete with any of the titans of the 2021 driver category.
Last year’s model, the ST200 lineup was exceptionally good. Fast ball speeds, good launch conditions, forgiving structure and solid feel were a few of the things that the ST200 line excelled at. The new STZ and STX models have improved each of those aspects to make these drivers faster, lower spinning, extremely stable and better feeling. They still are using the beta ti face that was immensely popular in the ST200 line up but made some significant improvements. First, it’s still a forged face but they now use a different blend of materials to increase their ball speeds and create a dense, satisfying feeling on contact. The thing I really like about this new blend of materials is they have made the face 17% stronger than last years as well as 8% more flexible. Meaning this driver is going to last longer than most of its competitors which is something not a lot of companies can say nowadays.
They have 2 drivers in this lineup, the STZ and the STX. The STZ is the more neutral head. The center of gravity is pulled as far away from the face as possible which makes it Mizuno’s most stable or in other words, the most forgiving driver they have ever created. After hitting it, I can wholeheartedly back up that statement. I will get to the numbers in a bit but the STZ is insanely fast all over the face which is a testament to said stability. The STX is a draw bias model with center of gravity shifted slightly more towards the heel, giving the golfer more control over the face angle at impact. In other words, the driver likes to release more than the STZ which leads to consistent draws.
Now to my favorite part, let’s look at the data that I collected while testing the STZ and STX drivers. I used the TaylorMade TP5 as my golf ball and the shaft I used in both drivers was the Tensei White 60TX @ 45”. I used the 10.5* heads both set at lower effectively making them play at 8.5*. My natural shot is a draw. These are the averages of the 10 shots I hit with each.
|Driver:||Ball Speed (MPH)||Launch Angle (Degrees)||Spin Rate (RPM)||Carry Distance (yards)||Curve (Ft)||Club Speed (MPH)|
As you see by the numbers, the STZ fits me better but that comes as no surprise. I am a natural drawer of the golf ball; I don’t need a driver that wants to release the face even more because I will miss way left. But both drivers performed beautifully for what they were designed to do. The STZ being the more forgiving driver wanted to go a little straighter for me and launch slightly higher. The STX being the draw biased driver did exactly what we would want, it allowed me to release the face even more which created more of a draw. Both drivers performed and looked great. I am extremely excited to have people try these out. With the STZ, offered at 10.5 and 9.5, and STX, offered at 10.5 and 12, all of which have an adjustable sleeve that allows you to change loft 2 degrees either way, there is no doubt that there is a Mizuno driver for you.