- Mizuno announces the ST-Z 230 fairway wood and hybrid.
- Both feature a speed-enhancing CORETECH chamber.
- Retail price is $299 (fairway) and $249 (hybrid).
- Availability begins Feb. 23.
To the degree that the Mizuno ST driver franchise finds success in 2023, it should also prove beneficial for the ST-Z 230 fairway wood and hybrid. And like its JPX line of game-improvement irons, Mizuno is providing plenty of evidence that it’s much more than an iron brand for better players.
Maybe that’s not the rosy, unicorns and rainbows lede you were expecting. But it’s the nature of the arduous task ahead for the brand that, fair or not, has a penchant for reminding golfers that “Nothing Feels Like A Mizuno.”
To its credit, over the last four years, Mizuno has put a substantial amount of resources behind its metalwood development and believes the 2023 line is a culmination of those efforts.
Mizuno ST-Z Fairway
The ST-Z 230 fairway features a carbon composite crown, expanded Z-axis weighting and the same CORETECH Chamber technology as in the ST-230 series drivers. In addition, Mizuno is sticking with the thin MAS1C face, albeit with a slightly altered topology.
The CORETECH Chamber technology gets most of the attention. And it should. It’s the linchpin feature that directly impacts ball speed, CG location and sound/feel.
And it’s blue, which makes it tough not to notice. Also, Mizuno maintains the CORETECH Chamber throughout the entire ST-230 line of drivers, fairway woods and hybrids.
Essentially, the chamber is a sole slot filled with a piece of steel wrapped in an elastomeric polymer. Functionally, the fancy TPU allows the sole to flex more while reducing stress on the face. Because of this, Mizuno created a variable thickness face that measures 2.2 millimeters in the center and 1.7 around the perimeter. In between, are several 1.6mm-thick (or thin, perhaps) pockets. The net benefit is a bit more ball speed, particularly on low-center impacts. It also helps pull the CG lower and dampening unwanted vibrations that negatively impact the sound.
As mentioned in the ST-230 driver article, the CORETECH Chamber exhibits a unique behavior. Because the chamber compresses and releases faster than the face flexes and rebounds, the steel accelerates as it rebounds against the face. It’s the sort of technological innovation that could vault Mizuno ahead of several challenger brands and place it on equal footing with industry stalwarts.
“Z” Stands For …
As stated, this is the ST-Z 230 model. The “Z” references weight distribution on the plane running from the face to the rear of the club. Because of that, it would be easy to determine that “Z” is Mizuno’s designation for high-MOI drivers and fairway woods. That would be incorrect. Yes, the ST-Z 230 has an eight-gram backweight and six-gram composite crown but it’s not a “forgiveness at all costs” design. If anything, it’s intentionally balanced to provide enough stability without compromising ball speed.
You might be wondering if Mizuno is reducing its fairway wood family from two to one. Sort of, but not really. How’s that for clarity? As of today, the ST-Z 230 is the only new fairway wood in Mizuno’s lineup. However, it’s not unreasonable to think Mizuno might add another draw-enhanced version in the relatively near future.
Are you wondering, “Where’s the X”? It’s like my mom used to say when I asked to go back for a second helping of dinner: Patience, child.
Mizuno ST-Z 230 Hybrid
The ST-Z 230 hybrid carries over the CORETECH Chamber, 1.9mm-thick MAS1C steel face and Quick Switch Hosel. As you might expect, it’s the hybrid version of the ST-Z 230 fairway wood so let’s not overcomplicate things. Beyond that, instead of a carbon composite crown, Mizuno uses an ultra-thin waffle crown. Looking at the crown from the inside out, some regions are thinner than others, creating a waffle-like pattern. Frankly, I think more manufacturers should look to breakfast foods when naming proprietary technologies. Waffle crowns, internal bacon ribs and maybe a moveable donut weight. Seems reasonable, right?
This also marks the end of the Mizuno CLK hybrid. Well, at least it’s the end of the CLK name. This leaves Mizuno with three long-iron replacement options: the JPX hybrid (non-adjustable), MP Fli-Hi (driving iron) and the flagship ST-Z 230.
Stock shaft offerings for the Mizuno ST-Z 230 fairway wood and hybrid:
- UST-Mamiya LINQ Red (High launch)
- Mitsubishi Kai’Li Blue (Mid launch)
- Project X HZRDUS RDX Smoke Green (Low launch)
Pricing and Availability
Retail price is $299 (fairway) and $249 (hybrid).
Retail availability begins Feb. 23. For more information, visit Mizunogolf.com.