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2021 Mizuno ST-X and ST-Z drivers, fairway woods: Moving Mizuno woods forward

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Since 2019 and the launch of the ST190 series, Mizuno has quickly changed the perception around its metal woods. With the new ST-X and ST-Z drivers, along with the new ST-Z fairway woods for 2021, it is once again proving Mizuno isn’t just an iron company anymore.

The ST-X and ST-Z drivers represent the next evolution for Mizuno and are a culmination of a focused team effort to prove that, when side by side with the industry leaders, Mizuno drivers can both compete and win the battle of ball speed, spin, and dispersion.

A global effort to produce better (The “how’d we get here?”)

As a global brand, Mizuno used to have a small issue with market segmentation when it came to its club releases, meaning that depending on where you were in the world, there were different metal wood sub-brands to cater to various consumers.

This worked OK for the individual markets, but overall, it wasn’t working worldwide for one simple reason—more designs meant Mizuno engineers had to stretch their biggest resource, time, thinner. It also didn’t create a lot of continuity in the products, which from a consumer-level, always made it feel like Mizuno’s approach was just “let’s give this a try!”and it really wasn’t working.

This brings us to the “New Mizuno.” Since the original ST190 series was released in 2019 (don’t forget development started long before the release date), Mizuno has had a fully dedicated team in place working on metal wood development and technology. This has allowed engineers to work tirelessly on creating drivers that win on both a technology front as well and where it matters most: in fittings and on the course where golfers care about performance.

The technology inside the 2021 Mizuno ST-Z and ST-X drivers

  • SAT2041 beta-titanium faces: This titanium material is not new to the world of aerospace engineering, but as golf clubs are concerned, it had mostly been found previously in high-end JDM (Japanese domestic Market) drivers because of cost but was first used last year in the ST200 series drivers. SAT2041 has higher strength and rebound properties allowing Mizuno engineers to improve the multi-thickness areas behind the face for higher ball speed, and save mass to reposition around the head.

  • New CorTech face design: Now, speaking to the faces, thanks in part to the material and Mizuno engineers’ ability to tweak and adjust based on continuous R&D, the faces of the ST-Z and ST-X drivers have been made thinner in certain areas to further optimize CT and COR, which contributes to more consistent ball speeds and additional discretionary mass.

  • Using discretionary mass differently: A few grams here or there mean a lot in the golf club design world, especially when it comes to drivers. Mizuno shaved mass around the head to boost MOI in both of the new drivers and create performance separation in how they will work best for the intended players. Both of the new drivers have a carbon crown and also feature carbon panels around the sole skirt to help precisely locate the center of gravity.

Meet the 2021 Mizuno drivers

Mizuno ST-Z driver

The ST-Z replaces the ST200 and has been designed to offer the highest MOI possible without sacrificing lower spin—this driver is all about stability. Mass saved around the head, thanks to the carbon panels, along with the better-optimized face has allowed the designers to position the CG as close as possible to the neutral axis, to raise MOI, and create a neutrally biased driver. 

Compared to the ST-X, the Z is longer heel to toe and slightly shallower to once again use any and all available options to maximize performance and playability.

Mizuno ST-X driver

Although the new STX driver shares a similar name to the previous ST200X designed to be an exclusively lighter weight draw-biased driver, the new STx is for any golfer seeking slightly more spin compared to the STz and also greater workability, thanks to a center of gravity positioned slightly more forward and closer to the shaft.

From the bottom, the easy way to separate the ST-X from the Z is the reduced amount of carbon on the sole and slightly more heel-biased back weight to aid the engineers in repositioning the CG.

The ST-X’s slightly deeper face and shorter heel-to-toe length help to make the driver ever so slightly more draw-biased than the ST-Z but also happens to make the driver more workable.

For those still in need of a premium lightweight option, the new ST-X has the ability to be built to a lighter and longer spec similar to the ST200X thanks to the adjustable weight in the sole, which goes from a stock 11-gram weight to just four grams when built to J-Spec. This brings the head weight to 194 grams vs. 201 grams in the standard ST-X configuration and 204 in the ST-Z. When matched with the M-Fusion shaft, you get a driver that competes against any other in the ultra-lightweight category.

2021 Mizuno STX and STZ drivers prices, specs, and availability

The ST-X and ST-Z stock shaft options are directly driven from popular profiles on tour and feature a familiar story of high, mid, and low launch. The drivers will also carry a fourth shaft option, which is a carryover from the previous ST200X.

High Launch – Project X Riptide CB 50g and 60g

Mid Launch – Fujikura MotoreX F3 60g

Low Launch – ProjectX HZRDUS RDX Smoke Black 60g

High Launch and ultra-lightweight – M-Fusion

Mizuno will also continue to offer upcharge shafts options including:

  • Tensei CK Pro Orange and White 60 and 70g
  • Fujikura Ventus Blue and Black 60 and 70g
  • Graphite Design Tour AD Di6 & 7 along with XC6 & 7

STX and STZ drivers will be priced at – $399.99

The Mizuno STX and Z driver’s pre-sale starts today January 25th, with products on retail shelves starting February 18.

Mizuno ST-Z fairway woods

Technology and design

  • 3rd gen MAS1C high strength steel face: Last year, with the ST200, Mizuno completely overhauled the internal structure of its fairway woods, and the ST-Z is the next evolution. Similar to the driver, engineers have improved the CorTech multi-thickness pads behind the hitting area to raise ball speeds while also improving sound and feel

  • Carbon crown: When it works, it works, and the carbon steel crown of the ST-Z fairway woods reduces mass from higher in the head and gives the engineers the ability to better position it to deliver the performance variables they are searching for.

  • New shaping: After all the material and sciencey stuff were figured out, the last part of the new fairway woods to consider was the shape. It seems simple, but the shape not only has a huge impact on the club’s physical performance, but it plays a major factor in how golfers perceive it in the address position. The leading edge and the hosel transition have been adjusted to appeal to the target players and make it more efficient from the turf, which is where most players will use their fairway woods the most.

Specs, prices, and availability

The ST-Z fairway woods will be available in the lofts of 15 and 18 degrees, and with Mizuno’s Quick Switch adjustability, the fairway woods can go up and down two additional degrees.

The stock shaft configurations for the ST-Z will be the Fujikura MotoreX 7 in stiff flex and the ProjectX RipTide CB in regular.

The ST-Z fairway woods are priced at $299.99 with pre-sale and fitting tools available starting today January 25th with the product on retail shelves on February 18.

 

 

 

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Ryan Barath is part of the Digital Content Creation Team for GolfWRX. He hosts the "On Spec" Podcast on the GolfWRX Radio Network which focuses on discussing everything golf, including gear, technology, fitting, and course architecture. He is a club-fitter & master club builder with more than 17 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. He is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, and share his passion for club building, course architecture and wedge grinding.

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  1. Dave Bryce

    Jan 27, 2021 at 6:37 pm

    Mizuno has always been renowned for their great irons; however, the hybrids/ fairway woods and driver’s are now top notch as well!

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Equipment

GolfWRX Spotted: Callaway Epic Speed Triple Diamond fairway wood

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This week the PGA Tour is in New Orleans for the only team event of the PGA Tour season, the Zurich Classic.

Tour trucks are out in full force, and it looks like one Callaway Staffer, Xander Schauffele, will be putting a new prototype CallawayEpic Speed Triple Diamond fairway wood into play—or at least testing it.

Photo via Callaway’s Johnny Wunder

We were tipped about the prototype fairway wood thanks to it being Johnny Wunder’s Chef Ticket of the Week, and although we don’t have all the details on what this Triple Diamond head is all about, we can attempt to draw a few conclusions based on some physical observations.

  • The Xander Triple Diamond appears to be smaller from front to back, which naturally will push the center of gravity closer to the clubface—this helps with workability.
  • Although it is harder to decipher, the transition from the hosel to the skirt/sole of the club looks longer and doesn’t transition as fast as the retail model. This has me believing the face of the Triple Diamond is deeper, which also has me concluding the club is shorter from heel to toe.
  • Last but not least, the most obvious is that, unlike the standard Epic Speed, Xander’s (on the left) has two weight ports (like the retail Max model). This gives the tour truck builders the opportunity to quickly tweak the heads and dial in spin.

Whether it will go into play for Xander this week at the Zurich is still up in the air, but we will be keeping a close eye out to see if we spot any other players testing or putting one in play.

 

 

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Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (04/20/21): Scotty Cameron Circle T

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At GolfWRX, we love golf, plain and simple.

We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment of the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball. It even allows us to share another thing we all love – buy and selling equipment.

Currently, in our GolfWRX buy/sell/trade (BST) forum, there is a listing for a Scotty Cameron Circle T GoLo putter – in “gamer” shape and ready to rock.

To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: Scotty Cameron Circle T GoLo

This is the most impressive current listing from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules

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Best irons in golf of 2021: The shotmakers

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A new set of irons is the single biggest investment you can make into your set of golf clubs. At GolfWRX, to determine the 2021 best irons and their categories, we have compiled an expert panel of fitters to help you find out which of 2021 irons is best for your game.

In 2021, OEMs have continued to push the engineering envelope of iron design by utilizing new technology and manufacturing methods to create clubs that offer forgiveness, along with faster, more consistent club faces and launch windows. Not only that, but we are also seeing more segmentation of models from equipment manufacturers to help you determine your best set and/or set combination thanks to fitting.

These fitting options are important because irons are the key to better scoring and by building the perfect set, you create a cohesive group of clubs in your bag to help you reduce dispersion and hit it closer to your target.

That being said, ultimately the best way to find your personal iron set is to work with a professional fitter using a launch monitor. The difficult part is a lot of people don’t have easy access to fitters, launch monitors, and club builders—so at GolfWRX, we have done a lot of the work for you.

We are in the era of not just maximizing distance but also minimizing the penalty of common misses for each player—this applies to irons just as much as it does with any other club in the bag. This is why, now more than ever, custom fitting is essential to help you see results on every swing you make.

Join the discussion about best irons 2021 in the forums!

The methodology is simple: We want to give you the tools and information to go out and find what works best for you by offering recommendations for your individual iron set wants and needs with insight and feedback from the people who work every single day to help golfers get peak performance out of their equipment.

Best irons of 2021: How we did it

Before starting the process of building our best iron survey, we reached out to our trusted fitters to discuss how they sort through the endless number of iron options available to golfers. The consensus was clear—the best fitters in the world see all the options available in the marketplace, analyze their performance traits, and pull from that internal database of knowledge and experience like a supercomputer when they are working with a golfer.

It’s essentially a huge decision tree derived from experience and boiled down to a starting point of options—and it has nothing to do with a handicap!

Modern iron sets are designed into player categories that overlap the outdated “what’s your handicap?” model, and at GolfWRX, we believe it is important to go beyond handicap and ask specific questions about the most crucial performance elements fitters are looking at to help golfers find the best set of irons for them. From overall performance to shotmaking, to helping players achieve better trajectories and speed, we strived to ask the right questions.

These are the best iron categories we have developed to help you the reader determine what rankings are most important for your swing and game.

Best irons of 2021: The categories

Best irons of 2021: Meet the fitters

Nick Sherburne: Founder, Club Champion
Clare Cornelius: Fitter,
 Cool Clubs
Eric Johnson: Fitter, True Spec Golf
Shaun Fagan: Fitter, True Spec Golf
Kirk Oguri: PGA Professional/ Club Specialist, Pete’s Golf
Sue O’Connor: Fitter, Cool Clubs 
Scott Felix: Owner, Felix Club Works
Mark Knapp: Club Fitter, Carls Golfland
Ryan Johnson: Club Fitter, Carls Golfland
Eric Hensler: Manager & Fitter, 
Miles of Golf
Brad Coffield: Fitter Carls Golfland
Nick Waterworth: Fitter, Haggin Oaks Golf Super Shop
Adam White: Co-Founder & Director of Club Fitting, Measured Golf
Scott Anderson: VP of Sales, Fitter, True Spec Golf
Matthew Sim: Director of Operations, Modern Golf
Ian Fraser: CEO & Founder, Tour Experience Golf
Mike Martysiewicz: Director of Club Fitting & Building, Tour Experience Golf
Shawn Zawodni: Fitter, Miles of Golf
Ben Giunta: Owner, The Tour Van

best-irons-in-golf-2021-the-shotmakers

2021 best irons: The shotmakers

Each one of these irons was designed with a single purpose: to provide the ultimate shotmaking weapon. You don’t have to be a tour player to appreciate the pleasure of hitting a well-struck shot with a club engineered to offer superior feedback. This category is all about control—and that doesn’t mean it “has to be a blade.”

TaylorMade P7MC

best irons 2021 taylormade p7mc

Their story: To build the TaylorMade P7MC irons, the manufacturing process incorporates a 2,000-ton pressure forging to ensure the feel and sound is dialed in. This iron is all business, and anyone comparing this to the smaller P7MB (blade) will notice its slightly longer heel-to-toe length, and just a touch more offset which makes it a great candidate for gapping.

It offers a crisp feel at impact and the workability of a blade iron, but in a platform that still offers forgiveness on shots hit outside of the middle. Looks, feel, and workability—it’s all here.

From the fitters

  • This iron is compact, clean, and offers a superb feel. The P7MC allows better players to have the confidence to hit the shots they want, while still having enough forgiveness hidden in the design to help with forgiveness.
  • It’s bare-bones clean and delivers exactly what you want and expect from a small forged cavity. I should also mention that it feels soooo good.

For more photos/info, read our launch piece and check out this forum thread.

Srixon ZX7

best irons 2021 srixon zx7

Their story: The Srixon ZX7 provides a compact squared-off blade profile with a thin topline to frame the ball and inspire confidence for those who prefer workability over maximum forgiveness. The “tour cavity” construction places mass where it’s needed for feel and acoustics while removing it from other places around the cavity to increase stability in the small forged cavity back.

The other piece of technology, which Srixon is using to maximize performance, is tungsten in the toe of the mid and long irons to condense more mass towards the toe for extra stability without having to extend the blade length. Using tungsten isn’t new, but when the goal is to minimize size while maximizing stability, it’s a complete necessity at this point, and Srixon does a great job utilizing it in the irons.

From the fitters

  • You can call your shot and hit it with the ZX7, and even when you miss a bit we still see nice results. The camber built into the (VT) sole allows for great turf interaction and the ball comes off fast.
  • Even though the Srixon “7” iron has always done well, the ZX7 feels like a big next step in feel and performance.
  • Amazing players iron that offers more ball speed and forgiveness than a lot of other irons in this category. Thanks to the center of gravity and slightly stronger lofts, it’s a top choice for elite players who want distance and need to control spin.
  • This iron has replaced all other better player forged cavity back irons for looks and performance. I dare you to find a better performing forged cavity of its size.

For more photos/info, read our launch piece and check out this forum thread.

Titleist T100

best irons 2021 titleist t100

Their story: Built from the ground up with direct input from Titleist’s PGA Tour staff, the mission statement from the design team for the T100 was to simply create “the best performing tour iron ever.” With a shape that is distinctly Titleist but completely redefined as far as offset, top line, sole width, camber, and blade length, the T100 gives players looking for a tour performance iron more playability than ever before.

The irons are co-forged with large amounts of tungsten (66 grams on average in the 3- 7-irons) in the heel and toe, and it looks a lot more like a single-piece forged player’s cavity back than a multi-piece forgiveness monster—but looks can be deceiving. It has the thinnest face Titleist has ever built into a true forged players club, which allows designers to push more mass around the head and create greater ball speed.

From the fitters

  • The T100 is a classic, clean-looking iron that packs a punch. From the address position, you would have no idea this iron has so much forgiveness packed into it.
  • This iron typically launches a little higher than some others in this category, which is great for lower ball flight players who are in need of more spin, and on the other side of things, there is the T100S model that delivers with less spin and a lower flight.

For more photos/info, read our launch piece and check out this forum thread.

Callaway Apex MB

best irons 2021 callaway apex mb

Their story: The Callaway Apex MB is forged from 1025 carbon steel with a classic shape that is similar to other blade irons from Callaway’s past, but this time with a slightly narrower sole and less offset. Another improvement is the 20V grooves ensure optimal spin control in and out of the rough.

The centrally located weight screw in the back of the head allows Callaway builders to maintain the precise center of gravity locations when adding or removing weight from the irons—it’s not a new idea, but it’s one that is key to allowing the irons to be dialed into spec for each golfer.

From the fitters

  • In my opinion, the Apex MB is the best-looking blade on the market. It’s also very easy to work the ball in any direction you want.
  • The central weight screw for adjusting swing weight has been great this year for quality control and to fine-tune during fittings. Although not everyone is sensitive to swing weight, this feature allows us, and secondly the builders, to get things just right.

For more photos/info, read our launch piece and check out this forum thread.

Mizuno JPX921 Tour

Their story:  The 921 Tour is about subtle refinements to deliver familiar performance with improved feel and looks. The iron is designed with the feel, flow, and performance of the MP series but with greater clubhead stability and a different player in mind. The MP could still be considered the “traditionalist” iron, whereas the JPX Tour caters to a more aggressive player needing a little bit extra help on occasion but still wanting a smaller-looking iron.

Mizuno’s Stability Frame design allows the 921 Tour to offer greater forgiveness (higher MOI) than the MP-20 MMC without the multi-material construction. The iron achieved flow from top to bottom by narrowing the soles in the shorter irons and ever-so-slightly increasing the width in the longer clubs—not something noticeable from address but a feature that helps with ball flight control and shotmaking.

From the fitters

  • The 921 Tour provides Mizuno MP looks and feel with a lot of extra stability. The satin chrome look has also been a massive hit with golfers who like a stealthy look over a shiny chrome.
  • First, it was the 900, and then the 919. Now with the 921 Tour, Mizuno has combined the best of both previous irons to create a stable yet workable tour-level iron.

For more photos/info, read our launch piece and check out this forum thread.

Join the discussion about best irons 2021 in the forums!

 

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