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See what GolfWRX Members are saying about Mizuno’s new ST-180 driver

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Mizuno has recently released a new ST-180 driver that we spotted on Tour at the 2017 RSM Classic. The company’s “wave sole” technology makes an appearance for the first time in a Mizuno driver; the design is used to push weight low and forward to reduce spin rates, and the construction contracts and expands during impact to increase energy into the golf ball. The result is a lower-spinning driver, especially for those who hit down on the golf ball, and increased ball speeds across the face.

The ST-180 drivers have a new Forged SP700 Titanium face insert that allows the faces to be made thinner — saving weight from the face while increasing ball speeds — and they feature what the company calls a “Internal Waffle Crown” that saves weight to help shift CG (center of gravity) low and forward in the head.

There’s a slew of custom shafts available for no upcharge. The stock grip is Golf Pride’s M31 360, and the drivers are selling for $399.99, available in stores now.

Below is a collection of early feedback from GolfWRX members, and make sure to join the full discussion. See more photos of the ST-180 driver here.

Note: The posts below have been minimally edited for grammar and brevity.

GolfWRX Members comment on the new Mizuno ST-180 driver

TeeGolf: I’ve seen the ST180 driver [in person] and it looks like it sits perfectly square to me. And this is coming from someone who has been playing a Titleist driver set 1-degree open for the past 3 years. It doesn’t look closed at all. 

trhode: I’ve been playing the M2 all year. In comparison at address, the ST is very closed. I had 3 customers look at it yesterday too and they all had the same reaction: closed. That being said, I did play 18 on the simulator and hit some monster drives. The head, with the Raijin shaft, seems to be just a little lower spin than my TaylorMade M2. The blue finish doesn’t bother me either. 

akjell: Hit this yesterday at the Mizuno demo day yesterday at Eagle Ridge in Gilroy, CA. Far from a hook machine but definitely a bomber. The Mizuno’s reps put me in a Mitsubishi Tensei White 70X and I could hit this this driver on a string possibly a bit better than my M1. Of the Mizuno drivers of late, this has to be the best one.

odshot68: Ordering it today. Was fit and played a round with it. Optimal launch and spin. Tensei Blue 70x at 9.5 degrees. This is definitely not left bias; first Mizzy driver ever.

nmorton: Hit this today and it’s going in the bag. Just a classic head shape that suits my eye. Been messing around with a number of drivers over the past year and haven’t singled one out. Last long term driver I had was the 850. The ST checks all of the boxes for me…looks great down by the ball, sounds solid and performs as good as any other. What really sold me was how well slight mis-hits performed. I had the 12.5 dialed down so it definitely sat open a bit. Didn’t hit the fairway but it looks sharp as well. 

evoviiiyou: Had a chance to test the driver with a couple shafts last night. The head is definitely deeper than the JPX900 and the footprint seems bigger from he set up position, very confidence inspiring like the JPX900 but a little improved. Finish and graphics are very similar to the 900 which is very nice if you like the satin Mizuno blue and I do love it just like the satin black I recently had done to my JPX driver and 3 metal. 

regiwstruk: My current gamer is a Titleist 917D3, and this is definitely replacing that. I used a JPX 900 from November 2016 through June 2017 — biggest differences are the sound and that the distance is up there with at least one of the leaders in the market. Anxious to see how it does on the course! 

Paul065: It is high launch, low spin yes but I wouldn’t say it was targeted at the average golfer. It’s basically their version of Callaway Epic Sub Zero. Rory used the Sub Zero. 

Tommyj: I went down to Carls yesterday specifically to look at the ST180. I’ve read some comments that the face looks closed. When I picked it up it was in the 10.5D position and did look slightly closed but then looked perfectly square at 9.5D and also square at 10.5D which seemed sort of odd. The shape is not for me, I had a Cobra F6 and while the ST180 footprint isn’t that big its still substantial. I like blue on drivers and the ST180 has a real quality look to it with the matte finish, having said that I’m not sure I’d want to be looking at that shade of blue all the time. The sound was an absolute killer for me, it was completely unexpected because I always associate Mizuno with being traditional and understated… ST180 launch was lower than G400 in the neutral setting, about the same when I lofted the Ping down.  ST180 was noticeably lower than D2. Longest driver of the three was G400, followed by ST180 then D2. For me the ST180 had the widest dispersion with G400 being the most accurate (by a wide margin).

Discussion: Read more comments about the ST-180 driver here

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. JJVas

    Nov 17, 2017 at 11:50 am

    Have been playing the JPX 900 since early fall. Absolutely love it, but even at 7.5* and a 757-X Evo II, the trajectory is pretty high. I’m guessing it’s just because it’s small and shallow. My overall driving really improved over the M1 440, but if this one is flatter, I’ll give it a look.

  2. St

    Nov 16, 2017 at 6:49 pm

    It’s shut. Even when opened to 7.5, it’s shut, when compared to say, an M1 9.5 opened to 7.5, the ST-180 is definitely shut and makes you set up

    • Odo

      Nov 17, 2017 at 11:09 am

      That’s so good to know. I don’t want a shut face set up because it makes me slice.

  3. Glen

    Nov 16, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    I play Mizuno baseball equipment and now I will be 100% Miz with this fantastic driver.

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Equipment

2 GolfWRXers put 4 Miura iron models to TrackMan test

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Equipment expert Brian Knudson and WRXer Jackson Elliott had a chance to put four Miura iron models to the test.

See their thoughts on the Miura club testing below, as well as their TrackMan data. For all heads, Knudson uused the Project X 6.0, and Jackson used the Ping AWT 2.0. Knudson is an 8.8 handicap, and Jackson is a 16.

MC-501

 

BN: I love the look of blades, but know they don’t fit my skill level. These looked great with a small footprint, topline, and squared off toe. The back “muscle” has a great look that grabs your attention. The feel of the 501 is Miura soft and very solid. Responsiveness is phenomenal, you can really tell where on the face you made contact. For some reason this was the iron I had the tightest dispersion with, we couldn’t figure out what made that happen!

JE: I thought the 501s looked pretty good, they seemed a little boxier than I’m used to, but the top-down view was by no means a turn-off. The ball exploded off the head when I managed to find center face, but I hit more bad shots than good. Definitely a far cry in terms of forgiveness compared to my game improvement irons, but the extra distance I gained almost makes me think the decreased accuracy is worth it.

IC-601

BN: This is the iron that I was not sure of its identity. It is overall a small profile but has a good amount off offset. Ball speed was great and it might have been the longest of the bunch. I was surprised that the feel was so soft as most hollow designs have a bit of clickiness to them. These were the longest for me by a slight margin and were one of the higher launching heads.

JE: The top ridge of the head looked a little too thick and boxy to me. It was a little distracting at first, but I got used to it after a few swings. I thought the club performed very well. The carry was longer than I was expecting, and I was able to put it near the middle fairway more times than not. In terms of performance, I think this would be the most likely to find its way into my bag.

CB 1008

BN: I have hit these irons previously and they are a great feeling iron. I was very impressed with how soft these irons are, maybe even softer than the MC-501. These irons are great looking as well with the sharper toe and slightly larger footprint than the MC-501. These didn’t blow me away with wild distance or ballspeed numbers, but that isn’t what they were intended for. They are just a really good players iron. The only negative thing I could say would be that they mute a little too much and you have a harder time deciphering where you made contact on the face.

JE: I thought both the 1008 and 2008 looked great, and I’d willingly put either set in my bag right now. I had a very hard time feeling any major differences between the two, but both clubs felt good in my hands. The 2008s seemed to be a bit more forgiving when it came to mishits, and the trackman numbers tended to corroborate that. My carry numbers for both clubs were nearly identical, but a few yards longer than I expected them to be.

CB 2008

BN: These are the big brother to the CB-1008 and they have a slightly more rounded shape. I actually like a slightly more rounded toe, so these fit my eye well. Upon the first impact you can tell these have way more power than the 1008, ball feels like it flies off the face. Forgiveness is far better allowing much better numbers on off center hits. Feel is a slight bit lacking, but for a club of its design really good.

JE: (See previous response)

Dispersion plots, trajectories

Knudson’s dispersion

Knudson’s trajectory

Elliot’s dispersion

Eliot’s trajectory

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Forum Thread of the Day: “Best 3-wood of the newest releases?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from Kaexo, who asks fellow GolfWRX members for their opinion on what they feel is the best 3 wood of the recent releases. Described as the “hardest spot in the bag to settle on” by one of our members, an array of different 3 woods get a mention in Kaexo’s thread.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • Phil6380: “Cobra F8 is the best I’ve hit. Something about those rails when hitting it out of the turf. I have no fear of hitting down when needed. It’s also my most consistent club off the tee BY FAR! I give up a little distance, but when I need to hit a tight fairway, or I’m not hitting my best, that’s the club I’m grabbing.”
  • calfan36: “King LTD is great if you have some speed/launch. Very low spin, very forgiving, and an amazing feel. Also, I love that I can play it shorter and easily add weight via the space port.”
  • aussieb: “The two best fairways of recent releases are the G400 and Epic SZ for different reasons. G400 for forgiveness and great launch conditions from just about any lie, plus it sounds extremely solid.  Might still make my bag if I can find the right shaft combo, the Epic SZ is better for me than the Rogue for adjustability, ball speeds and head shape.  I found it worked off the short grass better than anything, and if I miss the fairway, it’s more likely to be the hybrid or a layup.”
  • ChipNRun: “Reality check: for many golfers, the best 3W is a 4W – slightly shorter shaft for better control, and extra loft to enhance launch.”

Entire Thread: “Best 3 wood of the newest releases?”

 

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Equipment

Bargain Challenge 2: Putting together a $500 set of clubs for a mid-handicapper

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Last week, I posted about what clubs you can get with $500. I built a set that I would use myself to show that even golfers with particular specs can find what they want for a decent price. Overall the feedback on the post was good, but I did want to follow up since one of the commenters put me up to a challenge. See below.

Well alright James, challenge accepted.

Challenge: A set of mid-handicap clubs with stiff shafts for less than $500.

Driver

Since I was going to be building a set of a mid-handicapper, my goal was to find a driver that got solid distance, but was also forgiving. I found this R9 460 in 10.5 degrees for $65. While the paint has seen better days, this should perform exactly how we want it to. Plus it is adjustable.

Wood

The 3-wood search stumped me for a bit. I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to go with. I knew I didn’t want a strong three wood and I knew I needed something with forgiveness. After some searching I found a Ping K15 16 degree with a stiff shaft. While the loft is higher, I have found that many higher handicap amateurs can find good use out of a higher lofted 3-wood. On top of that, the K15 is an incredibly easy to hit and forgiving head.

Hybrid

I knew what most mid-handicappers would have a hard time hitting a 2 or 3-iron, so my mind immediately went to a 3-iron hybrid. After some searching, I stumbled on this Ping Rapture V2 with a stiff shaft. Historically, the Raptures have been really easy to hit which makes this a great addition to the bag.

Irons

I had the hardest time in this entire process finding irons. There were just too many to choose from. You had great player irons like the Ping S57 and you also had the super game improvement Adams irons. To find something slightly more in the middle, but still easy to hit, I went with the 2012 TaylorMade CBs. A great year for TaylorMade irons and easy to hit with the irons only going down to the 4. This is where someone can have some fun with their choices if they want.

Wedges

Wedge shopping was still hard this time around. Since the PW in the iron set was strong, I knew I needed a stronger gap wedge. I found a Callaway X-Jaws 50-degree for $24. Really, the entire point of the 50 is to have another iron and bridge the gap to the sand wedge. Speaking of the sand wedge, I went with the 56-degree Ping Gorge SS wedge. It has good grooves and will get the job done around the greens. For the lob wedge, I went with the Cleveland RTX 2.0 60 degree: A really solid wedge with good groves to give you the zip you need around the greens.

Putter

And finally, I went with another great blade putter for $55. Honestly, there were a lot of different options in the range from mallets to blades, so don’t be afraid to search around.

Total

In summary, anyone and any skill level and swing speed can find something in the used market. In fact, it was even easier to find clubs in stiff than X-stiff because most X-stiff clubs are custom and are in less demand making, them more rare and expensive than stiff clubs. Take a look, you never know what you may find.

Related: Bargain Challenge: Putting together a set of clubs for $500

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