Mizuno ST190 Drivers Review - Neil Tappin tests out Mizuno's latest drivers, the ST190 and the ST190G.
Mizuno ST190 Drivers Review
Countless drivers are being released at the moment but a brand that you shouldn’t forget about is Mizuno. For years now they have been making quality products to fill every spot in the bag and yet in the driver department they have struggled to make an impact both on tour and in your bags.
Its latest drivers, the ST190 and ST190G, are attempts to rectify that. Shifting away from the blue design of the previous GT180 model, Mizuno has gone for a more classic and traditional look in their new models.
Built with carbon composite crowns, the design offers a distinctive modern look to a driver that still has managed to maintain its simple and traditional shape. Additionally, the limited weight of the crown (12 grams) allows the engineers to place more weight where they want to elsewhere in the head.
The ST190G also sees a completely new design in terms of adjustability. Overall it has been simplified from the GT180, and yet their are still countless options available to you depending on what you are looking for from your driver. Whether you need help drawing or fading the ball, or you need to increase or decrease your spin, the ST190G with its movable weights can help with that.
The ST190 on the other hand can only be adjusted by the hosel. It has been designed with a forged titanium face to create more ball speed with forgiveness too. The Amplified Wave sole remains but the first wave is slightly wider which should help with ball speed especially on shots struck slightly low on the face.
How We Tested
I took both of these drivers, as well as the previous generation GT180, to Foresight Sports and tested them on the GCQuad launch monitor using Titleist Pro V1x golf balls. All the drivers were also set up in a comparable way in terms of shaft and loft, although it should be acknowledged that the ST190G model I was testing came in 9 degrees, whereas the other two clubs were 9.5 degrees.
I produced some fantastic numbers with the previous generation GT180 model, including 164mph ball speed and an average carry of 289 yards. However, both of the new models created slight improvements in most meaningful statistics.
For example in the ST190 I produced 165mph ball speed along with three more yards of overall carry at 292 yards. Interestingly this was despite the fact the ball was flying lower and launching lower which suggests a truly penetrating ball flight.
Finally, after tinkering with the weights on the ST190G to create my ideal levels of spin off the face, I reduced my spin by just over 200 rpm compared to the GT180. It also had a much lower peak height and yet I was still able to produce 290 yards of carry on average.
I then decided to shift the ST190G’s loft up to 10 degrees and this saw me create more ball speed, more spin and an overall carry distance of 292 yards.
The final aspect of the test was to hit some shots outside at West Hill Golf Club to see how the clubs feel and sound.
The ST190G had a slighter higher pitched sound off the face which pushed me towards preferring the regular ST190 which was superb.
No doubt both clubs are quality products but in relation to which is best for you, it is entirely dependent on what you are looking for in a driver. If you require a degree of adjustability to help you hit certain shots, the ST190G with its movable weights will be the one for you.
Whereas I will go for the ST190 because of the marginally better performance I got from it and from a personal perspective I preferred the feel of it too.
The ST190 and ST190G are comfortably the best drivers Mizuno has ever created. The look manages to be subtle yet cutting edge and the spin has reduced enough for faster clubhead speeds to maximise carry distance. The ST190 is an excellent off-the-shelf offering while the ST190G requires an extra investment in time (and money) to dial in the launch characteristics, a process we'd definitely recommend to get the most out of it. As always, it's a case of trying both and seeing which works best for you.