The Mizuno GT180 fairway wood is the second model in their 2018 range to complement the ST180 fairway.
Actually there are two GT180 models and I will cover them both here, but the main difference compared to the ST180 is the presence of an adjustable 17g sliding weight in the sole of the club.
This in itself is not new as the previous Mizuno JPX900 fairway had a slightly smaller 15g weight going back and forth along a central track, so the GT180 is really a re-configuration of that.
GT stands for 'Gravity Tech' and there are three positions marked 1, 2 and 3 but you can actually position the weight anywhere you like along the track to get the right launch characteristics.
The channel goes over what Mizuno claim is their Amplified Wave Sole, but really it is just a single channel with fewer waves than the ST180 sole.
The GT180 comes with a choice of shafts and the Kuro Kage Silver Dual-Core TiNi 70 as standard and this connects to the Quick Switch adjustable hosel to vary the loft by +/- 2° from the only head loft of 15°.
The lovely blue crown conceals a Waffle Crown design to lighten it and drop the weight lower and at address the GT180 sits very nicely.
At 150cc in a 3-wood, it has a 9cc smaller profile that the ST180 and looks about the same size as the JPX900.
The face uses a thinner 1770 Maraging Steel to try and maximise the ball speed further and the full width white grooves help with alignment at address too.
All well and good, so I took the GT180 on GC2 with Titleist Pro V1x balls and for me it was a higher spinning fairway than the ST180.
Moving the weight across the three positions gave better results in the middle and back positions for me. The front position I just could not get going, probably as the club was not squaring up and that could be because of the weight position.
Mizuno say that the GT180 is the option for players who want to fine tune their flight and I suppose it can do that as the changes in spin of 500rpm and peak height of a couple of yards show.
Even de-lofting the club by 1° with the back weight to try and take off the spin did not change things much, so for my 100 mph swing, it was hard to see this challenging the ST180 for distance and playability.
On the positive side the smaller GT180 head did sound a bit more solid than the hollow pitch of the ST180 so that could be a deciding factor if the numbers are similar for you. However if you need to drop the spin further then the other GT180 model could be an option.
Mizuno GT180 TS Fairway Wood Review
The TS or 'Tour Style' version of the GT180 is a smaller headed 138cc 3-wood with a 14° loft and the same sliding weight track.
As you might imagine this would be for higher spin or swing speed players who can launch the ball high already.
On GC2 I was getting better numbers than with the standard model as the spin was down under 4000 in all the settings and with a good launch I was getting an extra 4 yards of carry with the weight further back. Even off the tee it was producing the same consistent results.
However this still put it behind the ST180 and the JPX900, so even though the TS is the best of the GT180 models, it is going to be hard to put it ahead of the other two when they perform better with more forgiveness from larger heads.
Mizuno GT180 Fairway Summary
The JPX900 fairway might have a slightly smaller head than the ST180, but it includes the adjustable sole weights and it went. By splitting out the functionality, Mizuno seems to have created a longer non-adjustable weight fairway in the ST180, but maybe at the cost of the performance of the GT180 which has gone to a smaller head, possibly in order to stand out and accommodate the mass of the adjustable weight infrastructure.
Unfortunately, even though it sounds better than the ST180, I just could not get the standard GT180 working as well with any shaft, loft or weight position. Maybe it’s me and someone with a different club delivery would do better, but in all probability this is an elite player's fairway. The TS version with its lower spin performed better, but the head size is even smaller so the forgiveness will be less, so either way for most golfers it probably points to the ST180.
It's all a bit of a shame really, as technically the GT180 is a lovely looking and well put together club from a quality brand that has been doing some good things with woods lately. And it is not cheap either. At over £315/$300, it is £35/$50 more than the ST180 and right at the top of the market.
Mizuno say the choice between the GT and ST models is 'not about ability' but should be 'based on your attitude to the game'. So with regard to the GT180, my attitude would be for results and value for money and therefore I would head for the ST180.