Mizuno's drivers just keep getting better and the superb ST200 range is evidence of the strides that the company is making in this department. They offer great value too, coming in at under £400
Classic looks, brilliant performance that competes with the very best on the market, providing excellent value for money
Not the easiest drivers to align at address.
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GM's Neil Tappin tests out the Mizuno ST200 drivers and, in the case of the ST200G model, is this the most underrated driver of 2020?
Mizuno ST200 Drivers Review
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Mizuno ST200 Drivers Review
Is the new Mizuno ST200G driver the most underrated driver of 2020? We've had the chance to put all the Mizuno ST200 drivers through their paces and we think that it could well be.
It didn't feature in our Best Drivers of 2020 video due to us not being able to get hold of it at the time, but it is certainly in the mix amongst all the other big brands.
We tested the ST200 models at Foresight Sports HQ in Guildford, Surrey, using Titleist Pro V1x golf balls on the GCQuad launch monitor.
What we found was seriously impressive performance that matches the best performers of 2020 including the new TaylorMade SIM, which we tested it up against.
The ST200 comes in three different versions - the standard, the G and the X.
The standard ST200 features no adjustability but should be more forgiving thanks to a fixed rear weight and is slightly higher-spinning than the G model.
The G features two adjustable weights on the sole to set the launch and spin profile of the driver as well as fine tuning the shot shape for a subtle or strong fade or draw.
The X model has more heel-bias weighting to promote a draw and also comes with a lighter shaft and grip to help increase clubhead speed. It has even found its way into the bag of staff player Chris Kirk.
As well as testing the ST200G up against the standard ST200G and the TaylorMade SIM, we also tested it up against the GT180 from two years ago. It's also worth noting that we used the same shaft in all three of the Mizuno drivers.
Mizuno has carried on with that same classic profile behind the ball at address with the carbon fibre on the crown visible, bolstering the shelf appeal.
As you can see from the numbers below, we gained 15 yards on the older model with the new ST200G - great performance and evidence that Mizuno is really onto something with its drivers.
The ST200G is more than competing with the TaylorMade SIM, it actually was more effective at converting club speed to ball speed, although variance in strike is a factor here. The spin is right where I want it and the high flight helps maximise carry distance. Not only that, but I felt completely in control of where the ball was going.
The feel of the face is also very pleasing - incredibly solid and stable, with a fairly loud but not overpowering sound.
Another thing worth mentioning is the price. The G version comes at a RRP of £399, whilst the other two models are at £349.
These are competitive price points when you think about some of the other drivers on the market and make for some very good value.
In his current role, Neil is responsible for testing drivers and golf balls. Having been a part of the Golf Monthly team for over 15 years and playing off a handicap of 3, he has the experience to compare performance between models, brands and generations. For 2022 he thinks the main trend in drivers is: "In a word, consistency. Whilst all the brands are talking about ball speed (and the new drivers are certainly long), my biggest finding has been how much more consistent the ball flights are. Mishits don't seem to be causing the same level of drop-off or increase in the spin numbers. This means that more shots seem to be flying the way you want them to!" As far as golf balls are concerned the biggest development is in the, "three piece, non-Tour, urethane-covered section. For regular golfers, these models offer superb performance at both ends of the bag without denting your wallet quite as much as the premium Tour-played options."
Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he is now the brand's Digital Editor and covers everything from Tour player interviews to gear reviews. In his time at Golf Monthly, he has covered equipment launches that date back well over a decade. He clearly remembers the launch of the Callaway and Nike square drivers as well as the white TaylorMade driver families, such as the RocketBallz! If you take a look at the Golf Monthly YouTube channel, you'll see his equipment videos dating back over a decade! He has also conducted 'What's In The Bag' interviews with many of the game's best players like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Over the years, Neil has tested a vast array of products in each category and at drastically different price-points.
Neil is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus Fairway Wood: Titleist TSR2 Hybrid: Titleist TS3 Irons (4-9): Mizuno JPX 919 Forged Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 46˚, 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X
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