At last year’s British Masters, we got a first look at Mizuno’s new ST190 metalwoods, which went straight into play after clearing the USGA conforming list.
It's fair to say they've created a fair bit of buzz, with pros on both sides of The Pond opting to put them into play. They included Luke Donald, who decided to game the ST190 driver.
Donald’s driver choices have long been a barometer for the legitimacy of Mizuno’s launches – the JPX850 being the last Mizuno driver to enjoy a prolonged spell in Donald's bag.
Let's take a closer look at why they've proven so popular, so fast...
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, meanwhile, 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.
“The ST190 marks a total change in how Mizuno approaches wood design,” said 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.”
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 is designed to generate 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,” added 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.”
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.
ST190 fairway woods
Price: ST190 £279, ST190 TS £315
Options: 15˚ 3-wood (RH & LH), 18˚ 5-wood (RH only) and an adjustable 3-wood TS (13˚ to 17˚, RH only)
Shaft options: 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.