We all know that Mizuno makes fantastic irons, and have done for decades, but there is little doubt that their woods have taken a bit of back seat in recent times.
Not any more.
The ST190 range - officially unveiled earlier this month - builds upon the success of last year’s ST180 club to deliver the best woods the Japanese brand has created in the last decade.
The brilliant level of performance and speed that these new drivers deliver comes courtesy of Mizuno’s ultra-fast Forged SP700 Ti face that now boasts a lighter CORTECH structure to deliver consistently higher ball speeds.
• The new JPX919 irons from Mizuno... which one is right for you?
This fast face is then combined with the Amplified Wave soleplate, introduced in last year’s ST180 drivers, to convert each additional mph into extra yards and effectively reduce spin.
Both drivers are right up there with the fastest I’ve tested so far this year and the level of consistency in that speed across the face is equally as impressive.
That consistency in ball speed is in large part why these drivers are so forgiving and were able to deliver tight and accurate dispersions for me when testing with my SkyTrak.
• Mizuno introduces ultra-light Nexlite Boa 005 shoe
That level of forgiveness also became immediately apparent when out on the golf course. Some of my major miss-hits were barely punished, both in terms of distance and accuracy.
So long and straight, what more do you want from a driver?
Well, both options deliver so much more that that.
When it comes to the looks department these might just be the best looking drivers I have ever tested. Gone is the blue crown we have come accustomed to over the last few years and in its place we have a new black carbon crown that looks fantastic.
• WATCH - Join us as we go inside the Mizuno tour truck
Not only does it look the part, the ultralight 12g carbon composite crown means 7g of weight can be optimally redistributed to further boost ball speeds, reduce spin rates and increase the level of forgiveness.
Down behind the ball we have a relatively large footprint that looks so inviting to hit and will help to boost your confidence when looking down the fairway.
Not only are these two of the best looking drivers I have ever seen, they also offer similarly excellent sound and feel off the clubface.
• Feast your eyes on Mizuno's AW18 apparel range
Mizuno’s Harmonic Impact Technology is the result of a careful study of vibration and soundwaves, which identified the need for internal ribs to create a more solid, powerful impact sound and boy do they. Both feel excellent of the face with a solid thwack when you strike the ball giving you a powerful and pleasing feel.
When it came to choosing one I gravitated towards the ST190G. It is engineered for low spin and offers intuitive adjustability thanks to twin 7g weights on external tracks that can reduce spin by an additional 200rpm or achieve heavy fade or draw biases by placing the weights in one track.
The ST190 is going to be the slightly higher launching and more forgiving of the two. Its single, factory-fixed 6g backweight that adds 300gcm2 MOI for added stability on off-centre strikes.
Both of these drivers represent another step in the right direction for Mizuno. This is the second year in a row that they have introduced metalwoods that can comfortably sit alongside the industry’s big guns. They are well worth having a hit with them for yourself. You won’t be disappointed.
Price: ST190G - £449; ST190 - £399
Options: ST190G – 9˚ (RH only); ST190 – 9.5˚, 10.5˚ (LH available)
Shaft options: A range of shafts without upcharge will be available, with new options for 2019 including Atmos Blue 5S, Atmos Red 5R, Atmos Red 5R2, Atmos Red 6R and Atmos Black TS 6S.
Originally published on bunkered on Tue, 22 Jan 2019 14:00:00 +0000.
Read the latest issue of UK Club Golfer online