Mizuno ST-Z Review

Learn more about our team of experts & our testing process here.

If you've been around golf long enough you'll probably have heard the phrase "Nothing feels like a Mizuno". When it comes to making irons Mizuno is one of the best brands around. Yet when you think of drivers, Mizuno probably isn't the first name that springs to mind. If you've seen a Mizuno driver before, you'll know how great they look but how do they perform? In this article, I'll be reviewing the Mizuno ST-Z driver to give you the low down.

Quick Jump -

The 2021 release sees Mizuno offering two great driver options; the ST-Z and the ST-X. These are two fantastic drivers, with the ST-Z a neutral flight-biased low spinning machine and the ST-X a draw-biased forgiving beast that will help anyone fight their dreaded slice.

Recommend reading: best drivers for a slice

Mizuno ST-Z background

To say that Mizuno has lacked a presence in the driver market over recent years would be an understatement. I don’t even need to look up their driver sales figures because I’ve seen living proof.

Unfortunately for me, this proof was in the form of an argument between myself and a guy I was paired with. He had a set of Mizuno irons that he loved and said it’s a shame Mizuno doesn’t make drivers.

When I respectfully corrected him… he decided to ARGUE with me.

This was because he never sees Mizuno drivers when he watches the PGA tour and never sees any in the pro shop. After I named 3 recent models I started to win him over, but I’m still not fully convinced he actually believed me.

If my story shows one thing, it’s that Mizuno drivers aren’t heavily marketed enough. They’ve been one of my favorite looking (and performing) drivers on the market in recent years, but don’t get the recognition they deserve.

Yes, Mizuno make excellent drivers that offer great performance and forgiveness. Their drivers keep up with the latest releases from other manufacturers however, they don’t seem to be as well marketed which is why many people might tend to shy away from purchasing one.

2021 Mizuno Driver Review

Mizuno’s drivers for 2021 consist of the ST-Z as well as the ST-X. If you’re a Mizuno fan you may have been expecting a G which is absent from this year’s release. The letters X and Z refer to weight distribution within the clubhead; we’ll look at the differences between the two later.

Essentially Mizuno has built on the previously released ST-200, taking all the strong points and looking to further improve the efficiency and technology. So, stepping into the review, let’s take a look at Mizuno’s latest and possibly greatest drivers:

Let’s start off in alphabetical order. The Mizuno ST-X is a driver that looks absolutely fantastic when you first lay eyes on it. You’ll notice the glimmering carbon on top of the crown at the address. The sole of the club is simplistic yet beautiful.

This model gets its name because the weight has been pushed along the X-axis closer to the heel in order to create a draw-biased clubhead. The weight in the heel means that the toe will be encouraged to lead when you deliver the clubface. This will lead to more of a closed clubface than an open one and if you’ve got a nasty slice the key to prevention is keeping that clubface closed.

This makes the Mizuno ST-X a great option for golfers that have trouble slicing or “power fading” as I like to call it. If you want to take control of your ball flight and turn your slice into a draw this could be the right tool to help with the job.

Draw bias is a popular option amongst industry-leading driver manufacturers, so it’s nice to see Mizuno offering an option.

They have created a driver that has plenty of draw bias but still maintains a high level of forgiveness.

This driver isn’t built to Japanese specification (J spec) as they have done previously. With that said, you still have the option of purchasing a J spec driver. I feel this is another strong move from Mizuno. The Japanese spec model is longer by 0.75 inches and lighter by 10 grams when compared to the standard version.

This means players get the option of a lighter driver to generate some extra clubhead speed, but there’s still a standard option for those who don’t need it.

The driver is available in 10.5 degrees as well as 12 degrees of loft, offering versatility for people who want a little more launch.

Ultimately the ST-X is an awesome club that’s forgiving, biased towards a draw, and offers personalization suited to a variety of golfers.

Now let’s take a look at the ST-Z drivers which are what I’d recommend for the “better” players. I’m not saying good players can’t see benefits in using the ST-X however, the market trend with drivers targeted at better players seems to be focused on producing lower spin numbers to optimize distance.

The ST-Z driver does exactly that; it’s Mizuno’s high MOI, low to mid spinning driver. Often better players prefer lower spin numbers as it means they can get better rollouts and optimal distance.

The great thing about the ST-Z is it helps you achieve low spin, but also provides an excellent amount of forgiveness.

Again, another reason that the ST-Z driver is suited towards lower handicap players is the flight bias. Unlike the ST-X which has a draw bias, the ST-Z doesn’t favor a draw or a fade and offers a neutral bias.

As a rule of thumb, better players tend to prefer workability when it comes to shot shaping.

The Mizuno ST-Z accommodates this with a flight bias that allows you to work the ball left or right more easily.

There is one noticeable difference between the ST-Z and ST-X when it comes to looks; you get dual sole plates instead of just the one. With that said, it looks equally as slick as the ST-X. It offers a traditional, classy look that I personally think looks amazing.

So to summarize, the ST-Z would be suited to you if you’re looking for a driver that’s got a neutral flight bias, offers low spin numbers, and a respectable amount of forgiveness for off-centered hits.

ST-Z or ST-X? Handicap recommendation

It can be difficult for golfers (especially beginners) to understand which equipment best suits their game. This is often the case with new drivers as many manufacturers release a range made up of two or (more commonly) three different models. This section of the review will discuss some of the considerations you should make if you’re looking to buy the ST-Z or ST-X and want to know which driver best suits your game.

High handicaps 

If you’re a high handicap golfer who struggles to make a good connection with your drives, your decision is a fairly simple one. You’ll want something that’s designed to offer the best possible forgiveness. In this case, the ST-X is the most forgiving driver in the range. However, the caveat that you need to be aware of is the draw flight bias. Plenty of high handicappers struggle with a slice, so a draw bias would be really beneficial to help combat this. 

However, if you’re a high handicapper who doesn’t slice the ball and your big miss is a hook, then a draw-biased driver wouldn’t be best suited to you. For high handicappers that strike the ball reasonably or miss with a big draw, the ST-Z would be recommended as it still offers forgiveness and the neutral flight bias will mean your miss doesn’t get exaggerated.

Mid to low handicappers

The common problem with labeling clubs as a high or low handicap is that handicaps don’t consider how well you strike the ball. However, mid to low handicap golfers tend to strike the ball better than high handicap players and have different requirements from their clubs. If you’re more of an intermediate player and ball-striking isn’t a problem for you and you’re concerned with maximizing distance and efficiency, I’d recommend the ST-Z as this is designed to be a low to mid spinning driver and it has a neutral bias that will help you shape the ball.

Mizuno ST-Z features & technology

So, now you know the differences between the Mizuno ST-X and ST-Z, but what about the technology used by Mizuno during construction? In this section, I’ll be exploring some of the technology used by Mizuno when they made the ST-Z drivers and ST-X drivers.

The clubface is formed using a high strength Beta Ti (SAT2041) which is great for longevity as it’s able to withstand micro fracturing for extended durations.

This technology is complemented by an all-new multi-thickness Cortech face structure, which helps improve ball speeds for strikes that are low on the clubface.

Mizuno has captured feedback from the majority of their tour players who expressed a preference for an increase in dense strike feedback. The engineers at Mizuno spent an entire year to help cater to this and were able to produce a more robust yet quietened noise at impact.

During construction, Mizuno made use of a balanced carbon composite on the sole of the club which allows the driver to achieve excellent spin efficiency as well as tailored flight biasing. It’s this technology that allows the consumer to choose whether they’d prefer a neutral or draw-biased ball flight.

The Mizuno drivers come with customizable loft settings that allow golfers to tweak their static loft by up to 4 degrees. There are also additional upright and flat settings.

Being able to tweak the loft of the driver complements the range’s customizability, allowing you to make optimizations to your performance long after your purchase and as your swing changes.

Shafts & Performance

Here’s a quick overview of some of the shafts that are available with the Mizuno ST-Z and ST-X drivers:

  • Fujikura Motore F3 – mid ball flight
  • Project X EvenFlow Riptide CB – high ball flight
  • Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black RDX – low ball flight

Pricing

When it comes to golf clubs, you’ll often find that the manufacturers who market their product the best typically charge the most for it. I won’t say any names, but there are definitely companies out there known for their marketing efforts over their quality of clubs.

The benefit you have in choosing a Mizuno driver is that they’re a company that is better known for their irons than their drivers. So, when it comes to pricing you reap the benefits.When you compare the price to some of the top drivers on the market, you can save yourself a substantial amount.

What I love about Mizuno’s low price point is that you’re buying a product from a company with a well-known reputation, and that reputation was earned from making great quality golf clubs.

By investing in a Mizuno driver you’re getting a club from a company that’s known for making excellent golf clubs. The fact that their drivers aren’t as well marketed as other manufacturers actually works out to be a benefit to you.

Ultimately, you’re getting a driver with the latest technology from Mizuno (one of the biggest brands in golf) for a very reasonable price tag. What’s not to love?

Performance

You already know that the Mizuno ST-Z comes from a great brand and utilizes excellent technology. So at this point, you’re probably wondering how the drivers perform when compared to the latest drivers from other manufacturers.

It was notable that on average I got a little extra distance from the Mizuno ST-X when compared to the ST-Z. This wasn’t significant at an extra 3 yards which I’d probably put down to the extra forgiveness associated with the ST-X.

Both Mizuno drivers held their own when compared to drivers from other manufacturers and both sound great and feel excellent to hit.

Recommended Reading: Kirkland Wedges Review

Mizuno ST-Z and ST-X Conclusion

If you’re a player who only follows the “crowd” I would urge you to try something slightly different this time around.

With the Mizuno drivers for 2021, you’re getting a club that costs less than the other drivers, performs just as well, and is in my opinion one of the best-looking drivers on the market to date.

They say that nothing feels like a Mizuno, and there’s no doubt that this is a great feeling driver. Although it’s by no means cheap, in my opinion, the Mizuno ST Z Driver is probably the best feeling driver you can get your hands on that you don’t have to pay top dollar for.

Your Guru Author

Brandon!

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