Equipment Report
  • Mizuno ST180 woods geared for wide range of playing abilities

  • The ST180 driver ($400) features Mizuno's wave technology in the sole for the first time (Mizuno Golf).The ST180 driver ($400) features Mizuno's wave technology in the sole for the first time (Mizuno Golf).

Equipment manufacturers have been trying to come up with a one-size-fits-all metalwoods for years, but the specific needs of high-handicappers and better players has made it necessary to create multiple offerings to meet various skill levels and preferences.

For Mizuno, the needs of the high-handicapper have taken precedence during the metalwood creation process — meaning forgiveness and playability were positioned ahead of low spin and workability, which are considered better player attributes. 

But Mizuno is flipping the script with its new ST180 woods. Instead of using discretionary weight to bump up forgiveness or increase adjustability, the company managed to help both skill levels by positioning the weight low and back in the head. 

The low weight position reduces spin and lowers launch conditions while the deep position improves forgiveness by increasing the club's moment of inertia. To achieve the new center of gravity (CG) position, Mizuno engineers utilized a new SP-700 titanium alloy in the face to improve face deflection. The titanium has a more accurate variable face thickness that yields consistently higher ball speeds.

The ST180 driver ($400) features Mizuno's wave technology in the sole for the first time. The wave design was first introduced on the company's fairway woods and hybrids and positions more mass low in the head — further lowering the club's CG — via a rib-like pattern. Weight was also removed from the crown and placed low in the head to improve launch and forgiveness with the help of a new multi-thickness waffle crown design.

From an adjustability standpoint, the driver offers a four-degree adjustable hosel and comes in two versions: standard (7.5-11.5 degrees) and high lanch (10.5-14.5 degrees). A total of 12 shafts will be offered with no upcharge.

The ST180 fairway woods ($250) come with the same wave pattern on the sole and waffle crown design that pushes the CG position lower in the head. Face deflection was enhanced with a 1770 maraging steel face insert that boosts balls speeds. Golfers will notice a more controlled launch and an increase in carry distance with the new fairway woods.

The fairway woods have a four-degree adjustable hosel and come in two lofts: a 3-wood (13-17 degrees) and 5-wood (16-20 degrees).