Mizuno ST-Z 220 and ST-X 220 drivers Review

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  • At a glance

  • TG Rating 5 out of 5
  • Owner Rating Not yet rated
  • RRP £399.00

What we say...

Mizuno’s ST-Z 220 and ST-X 220 drivers bring ‘the next generation of stability’ with two models designed for exceptional consistency.

In 2021 Mizuno revealed the ST-Z and ST-X drivers, the result of a three-year project to put the brand back at the top of the golf driver speed, distance and forgiveness tree.

It was a project that proved hugely successful, with both drivers performing superbly on test. 12 months on, the Japanese brand has taken the ST series to the next level with the ST-Z 220 and ST-X 220, designed to produce the most efficient drives and highest ball speeds more often.

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The Mizuno ST-Z 220 and ST-X 220 drivers.

Both drivers offer exceptional stability and consistency from off-centre strikes thanks to a 40% larger carbon-sole area and thinning of the titanium, along with a doubling of the stabilising back weight to 20g.

“Any twisting or deflecting at impact due to an off-centre hit is an energy loss and varies launch conditions,” David Llewellyn, Mizuno’s Director of R&D, said.

“By working with the prior ST driver platform and familiar materials, we were able to find several adaptations to impact the internal weighting. Creating far more stable tendencies in both the ST-Z and ST-X.”

Finding greater consistency and distance from off-centre strikes delivers improved performance.

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The Mizuno ST-X 220 driver, fairway wood and hybrid.

“By early 2021, with the vast majority of tour players we tested, the ST Series drivers were able to improve on their current driver for ball speed, looks and feel,” Chris Voshall, Mizuno’s Director of Product, said.

“The occasional barrier to getting a driver in play was the distance drop off from off-centre strikes. Our engineers isolated and tackled that last dimension with the new ST-Z and ST-X.

“We’re now seeing the results – ball speed drop-offs are negligible, and we’ve massively tightened the overall ranges of launch and spin.”

Alongside the drivers, Mizuno have revealed the ST-X 220 fairway wood and hybrid, both designed to boost confidence in amateur golfers.

Let’s take a closer look at 2022 ST drivers.

WATCH: Best 2022 Driver video

Mizuno ST-Z 220 Driver

RRP £399 | Available Late March 2022
Lofts 9.5º, 10.5º | Left Hand? Yes (9.5º only) | Adjustable? Yes (+/- 2º)
Stock Shaft 23 options for custom-fit only | Stock Grip 27 options for custom-fit only

With a balanced toe/heel carbon construction and central back weight, Mizuno’s ST-Z driver is designed to encourage a low spinning, efficient, straight ball flight.

The modern, ground-hugging 460cc profile is both confidence-inspiring and appealing to elite players. A heavier, 20g back weight creates a deeper centre of gravity for more efficient performance, more often.

The Mizuno ST-Z 220 driver.

“The ST-Z is the most played of all our drivers. It’s a modern driver for players who have grown up hitting long straight bombs rather than shaping the ball. The addition of a 20g back weight also makes it an exceptionally forgiving option,” Voshall said.

The ST-Z driver features Mizuno’s Z-Axis design with weight evenly distributed across toe and heel, encouraging a low spinning stable straight flight. A highly resilient forged SAT2041 Beta Ti face and multi-thickness CORTECH design help to increase ball speeds.

The Mizuno ST-Z 220 driver.

Mizuno’s ‘Harmonic Impact Research’ ensures sound has played a key part in the design and the ST-Z 220 delivers vibration patterns elite players associate with a ‘solid’ feel.

The optimised Wave Sole further aids ball speeds, particularly from low on the clubface while four degrees of loft adjustability allows for fine-tuning of launch and trajectory.

RELATED: TaylorMade Stealth drivers reviewed and tested

The Mizuno ST-Z 220 Driver

Verdict: Mizuno ST-Z 220 driver

Mizuno drivers have been fast, long and powerful for a few years now, but it’s worth remembering all that performance comes from their stock shaft length which tends to be 3/4” shorter (which improves confidence) than lots of the competition. Whilst previous ST drivers have focused on optimising ball speed and spin, it’s great to hear Mizuno talk about the new ST 220 family being the final piece of the jigsaw, and going after ultimate forgiveness on off centre strikes. Particularly as Mizuno drivers offering less forgiveness has been something we’ve touched on at TG several times before.

Like its predecessors the ST-Z is a cracking looking driver, our test pro was a fan of how unlike a lot of modern drivers there’s a flatter look at address, so he had the impression of the driver sitting more squarely on its sole rather than the heel. Sat beside the Taylormade Stealth driver the Z has a very different head shape, it’s bigger and wider with a real stretched footprint, yet the driver manages to sound fantastic at impact.   

The ST-Z was our 3rd longest forgiving driver of 2022 (tied with the Ping G425 Max and Titleist TSi2), its ball speed, backspin, shot height and drop-offs were all really solid right across the board, and don’t forget the Z will set you back less, in terms of cash, than most competitors models.

We reckon it’s no coincidence Mizuno now feel comfortable enough in releasing such a good driver, with just their ‘Running Bird’ logo as an identifier of the maker, with no brand name on the club at all, Mizuno drivers really have come of age.

How does the Mizuno ST-Z 220 driver compare to other forgiving drivers in data (shots hit by TG test pro Neil Wain)

Mizuno ST-Z 220 driver data chart

Mizuno ST-X 220 Driver

RRP £399 | Available Late March 2022
Lofts 10.5º, 12º | Left Hand? No | Adjustable? Yes (+/- 2º)
Stock Shaft 23 options for custom-fit only | Stock Grip 27 options for custom-fit only

A confidence-inspiring, draw-biased driver with heel focused weight location, the ST-X 220 will appeal to players seeking a higher, right to left ball flight.

With higher spin rates than its ST-Z counterpart, the ST-X will suit those with moderate swing speeds, needing help producing a more extended ball flight.

A new 20-gram heel biased back weight is designed to create a deeper centre of gravity for more efficient, longer drives. The ST-X is also available as a J-Spec option with ultra-lightweight HeLIUM NanoCore shaft for seniors and those with slower swing speeds.

The Mizuno ST-X 220 driver.

“For a lot of golfers, the modern low spinning driver design preferred by tour players is a serious distance killer,” Voshall said. “The ST-X’s extra spin, slight draw bias and a higher flight will add driving distance for a surprising number of players.”

The ST-X delivers exceptional stability from off-centre strikes via an expansion of the carbon sole area by 40% and thinning out the Titanium portion, alongside a near doubling of the stabilizing heel/back weight.

The Mizuno ST-X 220 driver.

Featuring Mizuno’s X-Axis design, weight is focused deep in the heel, encouraging a higher draw bias flight. With a rounded 460cc profile, the driver offers a higher launch and mid spin performance. A highly resilient forged SAT2041 Beta Ti face and multi-thickness CORTECH design produce increased ball speeds.

As with the ST-Z, the ‘ST-X 220 delivers vibration patterns elite players associate with a ‘solid’ feel following feedback from Mizuno’s ‘Harmonic Impact Research’.

An optimised Wave Sole boosts ball speeds, particularly from low on the clubface (where most amateurs hit the ball), while four degrees of loft adjustability allows you to tune the club to your needs.

Verdict: Mizuno ST-X 220 driver

The new ST-X looks absolutely nothing like most club golfers perception of a draw driver, as it’s the absolute business sat at address. The big wide head has a lovely square face, it looks really friendly and just begs to be hit. We reckon the model is so well disguised as a draw model (there’s no mention of the model being draw biased on the head) lots of club golfers, unless they were told, would never know they’ve even got a draw bias driver in their hands. That’s how far draw drivers have come over the last few years.  

TG Equipment Editor, Simon Daddow really enjoyed hitting the model. He commented on how much he liked the sound and feel and the confidence the head shape gave, so much so he wants to try the driver on the golf course, with a view to using it in his own bag in 2022. And that’s despite the data not highlighting the model as one of his top performing models.

The Mizuno ST-X 220 driver

Don’t make the mistake of writing this model off as just a performer for slower swing speeds, that would be real shame and massive over-sight. Yes at slightly above average speeds you will give up a little ball speed (we had our test pro hit the model alongside the slightly lower spinning ST-Z, and he gave up just 0.1mph and 4 yards of carry distance, which is nothing) but the more natural right to left shot shape (for right handers) tendency is just what lots of club golfers ultimately desire.

Mizuno drivers have come a very long way in just a few years. If you haven’t tried one for yourself in ages, and you’re not particularly swayed by the major driver brands, we’d seriously recommend giving the ST-X 220 a try. This time around you really won’t be disappointed.

How does the Mizuno ST-X 220 compare to other draw drivers in data (shots hit by TG Equipment Editor Simon Daddow). The highlighted red Ping G400 SFT driver was Simon’s current gamer when the test was completed.

The Mizuno ST-X 220 driver

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rob Jerram is Today's Golfer's Digital Editor.


Rob Jerram is the Digital Editor of todaysgolfer.co.uk
He has been a journalist for more than 20 years, starting his career with Johnston Press where he covered local and regional news and sport in a variety of editorial roles across ten years.
Rob joined Bauer Media in 2010 and worked as the Senior Production Editor of Today’s Golfer and Golf World magazines for ten years before moving into the Digital Editor’s role in July 2020.
He has been playing golf for almost three decades and has been a member at Greetham Valley Golf Club in Rutland for eight years, playing off 12.

      

Product Information

Mizuno ST-X 220 Driver

RRP £399
Available Late March 2022
Lofts 10.5º, 12º
Left Hand? No
Adjustable? Yes (+/- 2º)
Stock Shaft 23 options for custom-fit only
Stock Grip 27 options for custom-fit only

Mizuno ST-Z 220 Driver

RRP £399
Available Late March 2022
Lofts 9.5º, 10.5º
Left Hand? Yes (9.5º only)
Adjustable? Yes (+/- 2º)
Stock Shaft 23 options for custom-fit only
Stock Grip 27 options for custom-fit only

Visit the Mizuno website here

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