Gear: Mizuno ST190, ST190 G drivers
Price: ST190: $400 with Fujikura ATMOS shaft; ST190G: $500
Specs: Titanium body with carbon fiber crown and forged titanium faces. Moveable tungsten weights (ST 190 G) and adjustable hosels.
Available: Feb. 15
The combination of a faster face and lower spin helps the newest Mizuno drivers deliver more distance.
The key to getting more distance off the tee is creating more speed, using it efficiently and producing the right launch conditions. With the release of the new ST190 and ST190G drivers, Mizuno is using several technologies to achieve precisely that.
The face of the ST190 drivers is made from SP700 titanium, a material that is 10 percent stronger than the titanium that is typically used to make driver faces. It has a finer grain structure and snaps back into shape faster after flexing during impact, which helps to create more ball speed.
Both clubs have also been designed with a large carbon fiber crown. It weighs just 12 grams and opting for carbon fiber instead of titanium saved 7 grams of weight, allowing Mizuno designers to redistribute it to other areas of the head.
In the sole, there is a large channel that runs behind and parallel to the leading edge, as well as several smaller ridges in the center of the sole. Mizuno calls it an Amplified Wave Sole, and it not only helps to improve the sound the clubs make at impact, but it also allows the face to flex more efficiently on low-struck shots and reduces spin.
The SG190 is available in 9 and 10.5-degree versions and has a large weight in the back of the sole to boost the moment of inertia (MOI) and make the head more stable on off-center hits. The adjustable hosel mechanism allows players and fitters to increase or decrease the club’s stated loft by up to 2 degrees. It creates slightly higher launch and a bit more spin than the SP 190 G, but could still be classified as a low-spin driver.
The ST190G is only available in a 9-degree version, but like the standard ST190, it has an adjustable hosel. A pair of tracks bracket the ridges in the sole and they house a pair of 7-gram tungsten weights. Moving the weights allows golfers and fitters to shift the center of gravity (CG). When both weights are in the heel it encourages a draw and putting both weights in the toe promotes a fade. The weights can be positioned independently so the degree of draw and fade bias can be adjusted. Splitting the weights and putting them all the way forward shifts the CG forward, reducing spin and lowering the initial launch angle. When they are in the back, players should see higher-launching, higher-spinning shots.