How does Mizuno’s new fairway wood perform? Find out in our Mizuno ST-Z 230 fairway wood review.
This fairway wood is really strong. Expect hot ball speeds and really powerful shots. Its deep head almost has a ‘mini driver’ feeling to it and is an excellent option off the tee or on a tight fairway.
Golfers will feel a bit intimidated at address with the head being so deep, but the face is enormous, pretty forgiving and easier to hit than it looks.
- Brilliant off a tee
- Really fast off the face
- Plenty of spin to keep the ball in the air
- 4 degrees of adjustability
- Not particularly confidence inspiring when the ball is on the ground
This fairway wood is a beast. You feel strong with it in your hands standing over the ball, which isn’t a feeling fairway woods give you very often.
The head is quite busy with a lot of design on the sole of the club and the carbon composite crown on show, but it’s a classic shape, and you really want to hit it hard when it’s in your hands.
When I think of strong fairway woods, my mind immediately goes to Henrik Stenson, who, for years, hit a low lofted 3-wood off the tee for increased accuracy without sacrificing too much distance. I am not even close to a similar human to Stenson, but this 3-wood makes me feel a little bit closer.
I tested this club on a pretty breezy day in North Leeds, so I’ve included the data with wind and with wind removed using FlightScope’s ‘environmental optimisation’ settings. The first notable data point is the ball speed; I don’t think I’ve ever seen 154mph from a fairway wood.
154mph feels to me like the speed I’d expect from a slightly miss-hit driver, so I was really impressed. What pleased me more was that although it has crazy ball speed, it doesn’t go too close to my driver distance, which certainly used to be an issue with strong 3-woods. This is because the Mizuno ST-Z 230 fairway wood is designed to create enough spin for it not to be crazy long. The spin also makes it more forgiving and playable.
Mizuno have included some really interesting tech in the ST-Z 230 fairway wood to make it fast and forgiving. Firstly the composite carbon crown is super lightweight, which drags the centre of gravity down, boosting the launch angle and making it easier to hit.
This fairway wood also features the high energy MAS1C steel face and Mizuno’s Cortech chamber, which combined create a really springy feeling at impact. Shots out of the centre do really provide a powerful solid sensation at impact, but not like the dull strikes other hot fairway woods feel like.
The 236-yard carry with the 3-wood is pretty good for me; in summer, on a firm fairway, I’d expect that to go around 250 yards total, which is ideal as my 2-iron will go around 220-230. The Mizuno ST-Z fairway wood has the quick switch hosel, which allows up to 4 degrees of adjustability, from 13 to 17 degrees.
This adjustability is great as it allows golfers to hone in their flight for their game. I wouldn’t personally knock it down as I already launch fairway woods pretty low, but I certainly would consider lofting up if I found it to be going too far or was going to use it more as a second shot club.
My only issue with this fairway wood is how deep the head is. During the test I hit shots from a good lie to record data, and then hit a number of shots from a tee and then from the semi-rough at the side of the range. Off the tee, it is excellent, probably as good as any fairway wood available.
The issues start when the ball is sat on the turf. From anything other than a perfect lie, I didn’t feel hugely confident that I would make clean contact with the ball or have loads of control over the flight. From the semi-rough, I basically couldn’t get the ball in the air, which for me, rules it out of going in my bag.
I carry four wedges and just one fairway wood, which means it needs to be a versatile tee shot and second shot club, so I need a club I’m confident with out of good and scruffy lies. If you carry two fairway woods and just want a 3-wood for tee shots, the Mizuno ST-Z 230 is perfect.
Mizuno ST-Z 230 fairway wood review: The Details
Available: February 2023
Right-handed lofts: 15° & 18°
Featured shafts: 23 Shafts available
More information: Mizuno Website
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