The Mizuno ST190 woods first appeared at the British Masters in October – going straight into play after clearing the USGA conforming list. Bucking the trend of recent Mizuno metal woods the ST190 has been played by both contracted and non-contracted players on tour since. Keith Mitchell was Mizuno’s first PGA Tour player to put the ST190 into play (still in play as of December 2018).
Now with its early success on tour, the Mizuno ST190 appears set to propel Mizuno into the metal wood spotlight. In addition to being seen in play on tour so soon after its introduction, the ST190 driver was played to win November’s PGA Play-Offs at Antalya in Turkey and worked its way into the bag of Luke Donald. Donald’s driver choices have long been a barometer for the legitimacy of Mizuno’s launches – the JPX850 being Mizuno’s last to enjoy Donald’s prolonged use.
ST190 and ST190G drivers
The ST190 drivers offer Mizuno’s lowest spin rates and incorporate every known factor in the quest to enhance ball speed and driving distance. Mizuno’s ultra-fast Forged SP700 Ti face now boasts a lighter CORTECH structure to deliver consistently higher ball speeds, with a large carbon composite crown plus the Amplified Wave soleplate, introduced in last year’s ST180 drivers, helping to convert each additional mph into extra yards.
The Forged SP700 Ti face is over 10% stronger than 6-4 Titanium with a fine grain structure that allows a more complex geometry in the CORTECH face, where re-engineered ribs and a Quick Switch internal structure promise even higher performance. The ultralight 12g carbon composite crown means 7g of weight can be optimally redistributed to further boost ball speeds and reduce spin rates. The Amplified Wave Sole features a heavily amplified first wave configuration which expands the ST190’s COR area for improved balls speeds across the clubface, with reduced off-centre performance drop-off. 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. The whole package combines to squeeze every last ounce of ball speed from the entire clubface in both the ST190 and ST190G drivers.
The ST190 is designed for mid to low spin with maximum stability, and features a single, factory-fixed 6g backweight that adds 300gcm2 MOI for added stability on off-centre strikes. The ST190G is engineered for low spin and offers intuitive FAST TRACK adjustability thanks to twin 7g weights on external tracks that can reduce spin by an additional 200rpm, allowing players to achieve heavy fade or draw biases by placing the weights in one track.
In early tour testing, two PGA Tour players with different angles of attack achieved significantly lower spin and marked gains in ball speed and distance, with a more level angle of attack favouring the ST190G model and a more downward angle of attack reaping most benefit from the ST190 model. “The ST190 marks a total change in how Mizuno approaches wood design,” says lead designer Kei Tsjui. “We now start the development process with our tour players. The tour-tested moulds then become our production moulds. In the case of the ST190, this produced a high-speed driver with extreme low spin for the tour, but with the capability of increasing spin for lower swing speed players.”
First PGA Tour player to put the ST190 into play Keith Mitchell was as surprised as anyone that he made the switch. “Driving was my best category last year – I walked into testing to do ‘Cookie’ (Mizuno, PGA Tour Manager Jeff Cook) a favour, give him some numbers and leave. It turned out to be the easiest change I’ve ever made – on the one club I never thought I would switch. The ST190 was faster, straighter and more forgiving than what I was playing. I’ve used it ever since and haven’t considered taking it out.”
- The ST190 driver will be available in men’s 9.5˚ and 10.5˚ models, both adjustable by 2˚ either way, in left and right hand.
- The ST190G driver will be available in men’s 9˚, adjustable by 2˚ either way, in right hand only.
- 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.RRPs: ST190G Driver: £449 / €499 / SEK 4,999
ST190 Driver: £399 / €449 / SEK 4,499
ST190 Fairway Woods
The powerful ST190 fairway woods are also speed-engineered and feature a carbon composite crown and amplified Wave soleplate, this time allied to a deeper, high-energy HT1770 Maraging steel face. This deeper clubface flexes more like a driver, helping to maximise ball speed, while the ultra-lightweight carbon composite crown allows 4g of weight to be moved low within the clubhead, combining with the deeper clubface to deliver an efficient, low-spin ball flight.
The Amplified Wave Soleplate’s larger first wave creates a balance between stability and sweet spot height to provide effective off-centre forgiveness without excess backspin. Similar Harmonic Impact Technology to that found in the drivers generates a powerful, solid impact sound, fine-tuned through the study of vibration and soundwaves.
The ST190 fairway woods will be available in fixed-hosel 3- and 5-woods along with an adjustable Tour S 3-wood model that offers a stronger ball flight and in which lofts can be adjusted from 13˚ to 17˚. Again, early tour testing with a PGA Tour player has highlighted an effective relationship between ball speed and spin rates, with gains in the former accompanying reductions in the latter.
“The ST190’s deeper face is not just useful from the tee – it also gives the clubface a larger frame that functions more like a driver for higher ball speed,” says Kei Tsjui. “Normally that is compromised by a higher sweet spot and additional backspin, but by using our carbon composite crown and Wave Soleplate, we were able to combine high ball speeds with an efficient ball flight.”
- The ST190 fairway woods will be available in a men’s 15˚ 3-wood (right and left hand), a men’s 18˚ 5-wood (right hand only) and a men’s adjustable 3-wood TS (13˚ to 17˚, right hand only)
- A range of shafts without upcharge will be available, with new options for 2019 including Atmos Blue 6R, Atmos Red 6S, Atmos Red 6R and Atmos Black TS 7S.
ST190 TS adjustable Fairway Wood: £315 / €359 / SEK 3,499
ST190 Fairway Wood: £279 / €319 / SEK 2,999
Rob Brooks @golfnation_