Martin Hopley

The Mizuno ST180 driver turned up at Golfalot HQ a bit like Paddington Bear with a note attached saying 'it's low spin and goes further'.

Mizuno ST180 Driver

There wasn't much more information than that, even on the accompanying press release, which is usually covered in three word technologies and in depth technical information.

The release just talked about what you can see, which is the Wave Technology on the sole, so just the two word tech then...

Mizuno ST180 Driver

This type of sole has been around since the JPX900 fairway, but this is the first time that Mizuno has put it on a driver and the design concentrates more weight lower down than a flat sole.

Mizuno ST180 Driver

The Amplified Wave Sole, as it is also known, is supposed to contract and expand at impact to increase ball speed, even if it looks a bit solid for that.

The 460cc head is made from titanium and apparently there is a 'Waffle Crown' on the inside to save weight there that can be moved to the sole. The face uses Forged SP700 Ti titanium that allows the variable thickness in the face to be more precisely manufactured to make it as fast as possible.

Mizuno ST180 Driver

The other visual tech is the large sole weight that shows you that the aim is to get the CG low to launch it higher so that low spin can give you all the distance benefits.

Mizuno ST180 Driver

So does it all work? Well, at address the back of the ST180 looks pulled back to make it deeper front to back than the Mizuno JPX900 driver it is replacing.

Mizuno ST180 Driver

The blue is the same shade as before and looks good, as not only is it on brand, but Mizuno seem to be one of the few people who can make blue work on golf clubs.

The sound at impact is a little on the hollow side and reasonably loud, but more muted and better than the JPX900, which could be because there are no open weight tracks on the ST180.

Mizuno ST180 Driver

Performance wise on GC2 with Pro V1x balls at the standard loft setting of 9.5°, the lower spinning nature of the ST180 was revealed with a 300 rpm drop on the JPX900.

Mizuno ST180 Driver

The ST180 comes with Mitsubishi Tensei shaft that seems ubiquitous this year, but which was not ideal for me in this head, so these numbers were gained by swapping in the Fujikura Speeder that came with the JPX900 in both heads, as I know that is a shaft that does work for me and provides a fairer comparison.

Mizuno ST180 Driver

The launch angle of 8.5° and peak height seemed lower than normal and whilst I did not need to see more spin, I thought I would use the Quick Switch hosel to go through all the lofts to see how that affected things.

Mizuno ST180 Driver

Going down to 8.5° was ruled out pretty quick as the launch was so low even the moles were ducking for cover. Then I went up to 10.5° and this monster emerged where the launch went up, but the spin went down significantly and the ball went 10 yards longer than the JPX900.

Mizuno ST180 Driver

The clue could be in the Side Spin numbers where the change from left to right spin, which in turn also lowers the Back Spin could be due to the face closing because I am increasing the loft.

My own personal feeling is that the lie of the club at 10.5° suits my swing better than the other lofts. The lie changes in adjustable hosels as you vary the loft and in the ST180 it goes from 60° to 62°. Mizuno has not said the exact lie at 10.5°, but GC2 had this loft as the lowest lie during the swing, so there must be something in this as the 11.5° loft gave back all the distance gain.

Having such a large difference in results for one setting over another is not something I see very often so I did the tests again just to make sure and even tried the JPX900 at 10.5° too, even though I knew I already had it at is optimum setting from the review I did previously. And lo and behold, having the ST180 driver at 10.5° with the Speeder shaft was clearly the winner and right up there with the longest drivers I have tested.

Mizuno ST180 Driver

It is still a relatively low flight so making sure you hit up on it or maybe using a higher spinning ball might give even better results. There is no doubt that the ST180 driver is low spin, so you just need to get the rest of the launch conditions right.

There is also a 12.5° head, so maybe delofting that could be another option, especially if you draw the ball or don't like the closed look of the 9.5° head at 10.5°.

Mizuno has been making a few decent drivers lately and the ST180 is really knocking on the door of the big boys, but is the market ready to open it?

Some may pause for thought at the level of financial investment in a club with a blue head from a manufacturer that is not widely regarded as a leading driver brand, but that is something Mizuno has always faced.

Mizuno ST180 Driver

The distance is a pleasant surprise, but that was with a non-stock shaft and only in one setting of the four lofts which seems a bit freaky, but I will take it. Therefore custom fitting is a must before you buy to check you can get a set up that will challenge the leaders in the market like mine did.

The Mizuno ST180 is a lower spinning driver than most so it will probably require the golfer to be a high speed or high spin player in order to cope with it, so it's appeal might be limited.

However get the shaft and loft right and the Mizuno ST180 is definitely worth having thoughts about.

Golfalot Rating: 4 stars
More from Mizuno



Mizuno ST180 Driver - Product Details

UK LaunchFebruary 2018
UK Launch RRP£399
USA Launch01 November 2017
USA Launch RRP$400
European LaunchFebruary 2018
European Launch RRP€459
Handicap Range
GolferMens, Women
Hand AvailabilityRight
Right Handed Lofts9.5°, 12.5°
Colour OptionsBlue
Head Volume460 cc
Club Length45 inches
Swing WeightD4
Shaft NameMitsubishi Tensei Blue (Stiff), Mitsubishi Tensei Orange (Regular)
Shaft TypesGraphite
Shaft FlexRegular, Stiff
Shaft Weight50g
GripGolf Pride Tour Velvet
Manufacturer's WebsiteMizuno Website

User Reviews

August 2018

I decided to upgrade my MP 600 with this new driver from Mizuno and just like before, it was absolute total satisfaction. Without even trying first in the driving range, I decided to use it immediately in one of my tough favorite golf course and I can't believe the distance it produced. Most of the drives I made were straight and longer than the old MP 600. Can't wait to play more golf with it.

July 2018

Went for a fitting today against the Rogue an G 400 Max. The ST180 was by far the better driver at 20 to 30 yards more in distance at my 108mph swing speed. Can’t wait to take it on the course. Love the Blue color. My new slogan is Blue by you.

Steve Smith
April 2018

I bought this driver online for £299 which is £100 less than the RRP and £50 less than most outlets. It came with the Tensei orange regular shaft. I may regret this purchase. The shaft is very stiff for a regular and the flight at 9.5 standard is difficult. Very long and penetrating into the wind when you get it right, but so easy to hit a big slice if you come up too soon. I am not a high spin player (95mph with the driver) but with my JPX825 9.5 with the Orochi stiff I can get it out between 260 and 270. This is not a forgiving driver with the Tensei shaft and it just seems like hard work with that shaft. However I will persevere and try it at 10.5 or 11.5 or maybe change the shaft. From my experience today it is virtually impossible to hit a draw at my swing speed.

April 2018

Went for custom fitting last night, tried TM M4, Ping G400, Cobra F8 and Titleist 917. I have a swing speed of c100-105mph and high spin causing the odd slice. The ST180 was a convincing winner, averaging 8 yards more than the M4 in second place, and with much less dispersion. Looking forward to getting on the course this weekend to try it out.

February 2018

I did a fitting this morning with Rogue, M3, M4, GT180 and ST180 and the shots with the ST180 for me is straightest and longest. Is now in my bag and I'm so excited for play this weekend .

January 2018

I had the same result with the lofts, switched to 9.5 and wow, distance and dispersion went up drastically, with that being said, my Epic is now sold and the ST-180 is in my bag, best feeling driver out there as well. The feel is unlike anything else I’ve ever hit, just tested the Rogue and the M4 and still can’t even come close to the numbers I’m producing with the ST-180. Rogue came closest with about 6 yds less carry than the ST180. Glad I bought it and went with my gut.

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