Do you wish you could hit a draw more often? Well, Mizuno say that their new ST-X 220 Hybrid is here to help you do just that, along with a high ball flight that is designed for golfers with moderate swing speeds to get more from their game.
The hybrid forms part of the brand's new ST Series of metals which launched earlier this year and were designed with the aim of offering consistency and stability.
Earlier this year I switched to the TaylorMade Stealth Rescue as I was a big fan of the looks and really enjoyed using it too. Could the ST-X220 threaten it's place in my bag heading into 2023?
Mizuno's X-Axis design features an ultra-light 'waffle' crown, with deep internal weighting, to encourage a high ball flight with added draw bias.
A 1.8mm MAS1C face is Mizuno's thinnest hybrid face ever, which produces their fastest ball speeds from centre strikes compared to the previous ST-X and CLK models.
The brand has conducted Harmonic Impact Research to build sound into the design, by isolating the vibration pattern that elite player are said to prefer in order to improve feel and acoustics.
An Optimised Wave Sole is a hybrid-specific design that helps create higher ball speeds from strikes that are lower on the face, which should make it easier when hitting straight from the turf as well as off a tee.
Mizuno ST-X 220 Review
Looks and Feel
Mizuno's woods have consistently looked fantastic over the last few years in my opinion and this is no different. It's smart, sleek and simple.
A few years ago they experimented with a blue crown which seemed to divide opinion amongst golfers and, whilst I didn't mind it, I think the return to black is a safer and probably more popular move.
I probably prefer a matte finish on woods as I don't like too much reflection when looking down on the ball, but this still did look great. It's right up there among the best looking hybrids on the market.
Mizuno's running bird logo on the crown made it easy enough to line the ball up, whilst the sole features a pretty uncluttered design with just a hint of blue.
It is billed as a draw-bias hybrid and at address, there is a small hint of offset although I wouldn't suggest it's anything to worry about if you're somebody who doesn't usually like offset clubs.
Off the face, the ball feels solid with a real ting sound to it which reminded me of a Ping wood, although I wouldn't say it feels particularly hot. The head feels stable and nicely weighted and I think this made me feel confident in the strike without really feeling like I was going to swing particularly fast.
I tested the 20 degree 4-hybrid using Trackman 4 and the results were pretty good.
An average carry distance of just under 190 yards (including a couple of poorer strikes) was about where I'd expect this hybrid to sit, generating ball speeds in the mid 120s.
Whilst I wasn't trying to swing particularly fast during testing, I did feel like the ST-X had a slightly lower top-end than the likes of the Callaway Rogue ST and TaylorMade Stealth hybrids that I had tested earlier in the year - those two clubs just felt a little hotter off the face and probably had more potential to go longer if necessary.
I was impressed with the consistency of the club on my good shots, with similar spin rates and peak heights produced on a few good shots that I hit well.
The spin rate was perhaps a touch low at times, although I don't tend to generate loads and a couple of slightly toed strikes probably contributed to that too.
The left-to-right grouping was good, with just a couple of shots leaking a little short right which is my typical miss. I'm not sure I saw much evidence of the draw-bias to be honest, but still the numbers were pretty good.
I took the ST-X 220 out on to the golf course to play a few holes, hitting it from the tee, fairway and rough to see how it performed.
Overall I was really impressed with just how easy this hybrid was to use. As I mentioned during the data section it's definitely not the hottest hybrid in the world but it felt reliable.
It was quite a cold, breezy day during testing and the ball did struggle to reach the green on a couple of occasions where I'd usually expect it to, particularly on shots into wind.
This was a little surprising considering the low spin rates I saw on Trackman which you'd think would help it, but the fact it was launching and flying quite high probably mean that it was more affected by the conditions.
On the course I also noticed that the sound was pretty loud, with a high-pitched ting that gives you plenty of positive reinforcement when you hit it.
The Optimised Wave Sole is designed to make this hybrid easier to hit from the turf and I found the ST-X both easy to strike and pretty workable too.
I was testing on a wet day and hit a couple of shots from the rough but it still seemed to glide through the grass easily. I definitely felt confident that I was going to be able to strike it well and felt that there was plenty of forgiveness there too.
Mizuno ST-X 220 Hybrid Verdict
All in all, the ST-X 220 looks great, feels very stable and performs pretty consistently.
It's not particularly long or hot in terms of flight or feeling off the face, but it felt very reliable and I quickly grew to trust it after only a few swings out on the golf course.
This is a really important aspect with hybrids for me as they are often there on tough approach shots or when you just need to hit the fairway. Besides, they are designed to fit within a slot in your bag rather than go as far as possible, so I want to know that the performance is going to be consistent.
An RRP of £249 puts it in the same ballpark as the likes of TaylorMade and Callaway for hybrids and, whilst Mizuno woods often come in a little cheaper than the other big brands, I think it's certainly worthy of a similar price tag.
I feel like we've been saying this for quite some time at Golfalot but Mizuno are constantly overlooked in the metals department and this hybrid is no different.
Would I Use It?
I really enjoyed using this hybrid but I'd perhaps want something that launches a little lower as I have a tendency to hit my woods and hybrids quite high. But I really liked the consistency and stability and loved the look too.
Who is it aimed at?
Whilst Mizuno say that this is aimed at moderate swing speed golfers who want a draw-biased hybrid, I think the appeal could be a little broader than that as the draw-bias wasn't really too evident for me on the golf course and the looks will certainly appeal to single figure golfers too.
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