Mizuno ST190/ST190G Drivers: Can Mizuno bring their iron excellence to the driver game?
Mizuno is known to most people for making some of the best golf irons for both low handicap and more recently, accessible game improvement irons with a lot of ball speed and distance – the JPX line. Mizuno continued their push into the distance market with the ST190 golf driver . They’ve always done a good job of blending classic and modern concepts in with their new designs, often inspired by the auto industry. This is certainly true of the sleek, confidence inspiring touches that you get with the ST190, and the ST190G.
Never mind that the club names make you feel like you are shopping for computer monitors instead of drivers.
This year, the driver market is super saturated with high tech, long hitting drivers. Can Mizuno keep up? Read on to find out!
The idea behind both drivers is to get the ball coming off the face nice and hot for that moderate, boring trajectory you see so many of the pros rocking. The Ben Hogan, bullet ball effect, is, in this case facilitated by a number of technological factors all working in cooperating for a common goal.
Both feature a titanium forged CORTECH face that is actually a carryover feature from previous driver models.
However, the rest of the design tech has been repurposed a little bit here to further boost ball speeds.
Both drivers feature a composite crown (carbon and titanium) design that is able to facilitate a high launch with low spin. This is an optimal combination for players who are trying to maximize distance and minimize mishits (every player).
The idea is to max out all of the statistical points that matter to players looking for a new driver, with a keen emphasis on the big two: speed and distance.
As an added note, it’s also worth mentioning that the drivers look a little bit like a shark. Not with the teeth and the man eating capabilities, but through small design touches. The top of the club has a textured, almost scaled look to it, while the ridges on the bottom bear the appearance of gills, almost.
Won’t help you hit the ball any further, of course, but it does kind of look cool.
Mizuno has always been very good at producing clubs that are much more forgiving than you would expect them to be. This was an especially prominent feature in their line of player’s irons, the MP series.
We are also seeing that with the 190/190G. In the case of these drivers, the extra forgiveness is being facilitated by an expanded emphasis on CORAREA technology (meaning the face is more flexible).
The idea here is to produce the optimal ball speed even on mishits. And the tech is very successful. Both drivers manage to handle damage control quite well.
Amplified Wave Sole
The amplified wave sole technology (as Mizuno describes it) is actually the design touch we mentioned earlier as giving the club a shark like appearance.
The wave ridges are for more than just looking cool though. This factor has actually been introduced with several purposes in mind.
For one thing, the wave sole contributes to the sound profile of the club. That solid sound you get at impact with either of these drivers is, in part, produced because of the way that sound vibrates through the waves.
The waves also contribute to the face flexibility that we mentioned earlier. Poorly struck shots will ultimately perform a little bit better thanks to these ridges. This will be especially true for players that tend to error by striking low on the face of the club.
It’s always nice when a design touch is both cosmetically appealing and practical.
Mizuno was clearly trying to create a club that has a presence here. And they were quite successful, all things considered. The feel of the face is remarkably solid, and doesn’t suffer from the tin like effect you can sometimes get from other titanium drivers. This may be because the grade of titanium used in these clubs is substantially harder than other options on the market.
The sound profile is similarly robust. Nice, and loud at the point of contact without sounding like your stepping on a can.
The ST190 G distinguishes itself from the ST 190 by featuring a slightly more robust range of adjustability options.
Via a sliding weight on the heel of this club, players can adjust to change the center of gravity of the club, and thus manipulate the flight pattern.
The ST190G is only available with a 9 degree loft, making it inaccessible for slower swing speeds.
The ST190 differs from the G model in that it limits the adjustability factor considerably. You can adjust the loft via the hosel but otherwise, this club keeps things simple.
As a result of the loft adjustability, players do have the potential to enjoy a slightly higher flight profile with this club.
Mizuno ST190 VS ST190 G
There isn’t a lot that makes these clubs different. As you have seen above, they have many common features.
The ST190 is going to be for players with a moderate handicap, while the ST190G is going to be better suited for low handicap players.
The low launch profile on the ST190G should cinch that decision. Unless you have a remarkably fast swing speed, you may have trouble getting the ball high in the air with the G model.
The ST190 is also a low launch driver, but the loft adjustability features do help get the ball in the air a little bit more.
Ultimately though, neither club will be well-suited for high handicap players.
- Loft: 9.5°.10.5°
- Length: 45″
- Lie: 58°
- Head Size: 460cc
- Loft: 9°
- Length: 45″
- Lie: 58°
- Head Size: 460cc
Verdict on these clubs? Mizuno did something very good for themselves here. The ST190 line takes all of the things that Mizuno does best, look, feel, precision, and wraps these factors into a driver that is long. Very long.
Will this accomplishment finally have them getting mentioned in the same breath as other club manufacturers that focus on the long ball? Maybe, maybe not. Time will need to tell on that one. However, one thing is clear: Callaway, TaylorMade, and Ping may have a little bit of unexpected competition in the driver market this year.