The reputation of Mizuno's woods has been steadily improving over the last few years and their ST-X 230 Driver was actually crowned as Georgina's Best Driver of 2023 in her recent test.
I think Mizuno have been consistently making some of the best looking drivers and fairways over the last few years ever since they switched from the blue to the black crown colour, starting with the ST190, and the latest ST 230 range continues on a similar theme.
Mizuno have recently released the low-spinning ST-G Titanium Fairway, aimed at better players and faster swingers, but today we are focusing on the ST-Z 230 which the brand describe as 'straight, stable and high launching'. So far, so good...
Who Is It Aimed At?
This is the fairway wood which will suit most golfers as it combines great looks and feel with decent forgiveness levels and an easy launch too.
Mizuno probably aren't the first brand that comes into people's heads when it comes to fairway woods, but if you use their irons then it's definitely worth you looking at the other clubs in their lineup.
The ST-Z 230 is a mid-low spinning, high launching adjustable fairway wood, and the main new piece of technology in the range is the Cortech Chamber.
This chamber sees a stainless steel weight surrounded by an elastomeric TPU - essentially this takes stress off the clubface and creates more energy return, whilst moving weight closer to the clubface to reduce spin, and produce a more solid feel at impact.
The head features a carbon composite crown which offers a low centre of gravity and stability, whilst an additional 8g weight at the back of the head balances with a heavier front section, for more consistent launch.
A high energy MAS1C steel face has a new multi-thickness design which works alongside the Cortech Chamber to boost ball speeds.
Finally the Quick Switch hosel offers 4 degrees of adjustability to fine-tune the look and ball flight of the fairway.
Mizuno ST-Z 230 Fairway Wood Review
This might just be the best looking fairway wood of the year. I love the combination of the black with the vibrant blue flashes, and the carbon crown looks really modern and cool too.
Since Mizuno decided to switch from blue to black in their woods I think the looks have improved massively and, although as a general rule I prefer matte crowns to glossy ones, this fairway still looks fantastic in my opinion.
Mizuno have always been pretty good at headcovers too, they're smart and eye-catching without being too garish, and this continues in the ST-230 range.
At address, the mid-sized head really suits my eye as it sits nice and square, and gives you enough confidence without leaning towards the oversized side.
The iconic Mizuno runbird logo helps with alignment on the crown, and the club just looks so inviting to hit. As someone who has had a bit of a love-hate relationship with fairway woods over the years, this is definitely a good thing.
The fairway feels both firm and fast off the face, which I really enjoyed when testing. So often these days we hear about a 'soft feel' being desirable with golf clubs, but when it comes to a fairway wood I quite like having a bit more reassurance at impact because it's a hard club to hit and I like knowing that I've struck it well.
As soon as I started swinging and hitting this club it felt powerful and fast, it was really easy to swing and there was a real solid sound and feel to the strike too which was great.
I tested this club with a Hzrdus Smoke Green RDX shaft which, at 75g, is probably about as stiff and heavy as I'd want to use at my swing speed, but I still found it pretty easy to swing and feel the clubhead all the way through which is a big plus, whilst the ball also still launched pretty easily too.
I've hit a lot of golf shots with this club over the last couple of weeks and I've really enjoyed the performance. When I first put it down by the ball, I was a little worried that I might struggle with forgiveness but I've been really surprised by just how easy it was to hit.
The ball flight is strong and workable, and the performance seemed really consistent even when slightly mis-hitting certain shots. I have a tendency to hit bad shots from the toe and I found that nearly every time I did this, the ball managed to find it's way back on line without the distance being affected.
This continued when I tested the fairway on the GC Hawk at Hukd Bury, as I produced some really strong numbers in terms of ball speed and carry distance, getting up over 220 yards carry which is what I like to see from a fairway.
The consistency in both spin rates and launch angle were great, and the front-to-back dispersion was only around 10 yards from the shortest and longest hits which is really impressive too, especially as these shots were all hit off the deck where you're more likely to have mis-strikes.
So much of my fairway play is about confidence - when I'm feeling good, I can hit some good shots - and this club definitely gave me confidence.
Mizuno ST-Z 230 Fairway Wood Verdict
There's nothing to dislike when it comes to the ST-Z 230 Fairway in my opinion, and it seems to perform really well in every aspect whilst also looking fantastic too.
As I mentioned earlier, it looks and feels like the kind of fairway that a tour player would use, but performs like a fairway that anybody could use as it is forgiving, high launching and produced some good numbers too.
An RRP of £299 is about the going rate for a fairway wood these days, although it is cheaper than a Callaway Paradym or a Ping G430 Max, and I don't think you'll see any difference in performance between the models which is a big tick in the box for Mizuno.
Would I Use It?
I have been debating whether it is time to retire my trusty TaylorMade M2 Fairway which has served me very well over the last five years or so, and I am very tempted to make the switch and start the new year with the ST-Z 230 in the bag. I think a bit more testing is required but I was very impressed.
Mizuno ST-Z 230 Fairway Wood Pros & Cons
If you enjoyed this, you may also like:
Mizuno ST-Z 230 Driver Review
Takomo 301 CB Irons Review