While it might be bordering on sacrilege to even suggest it, the new Mizuno ST190 driver looks set to steal the limelight from Mizuno's revered iron range for quite some time.
Replacing last year's ST180 driver, the visually stunning Mizuno ST190 extracts every last drop of ball speed while maximising forgiveness, and has been engineered to sound just as good as it looks.
The Mizuno ST190 driver performs brilliantly for both fast and slow swing speeds and with two models to choose from, it's a quick and easy way to improve your driving performance.
OFF TO A FAST START
Both the Mizuno ST190 and its sliding weight sibling - the ST190G driver - have been early bolters judging by the speed with which they have appeared in the bags of Tour players.
The drivers immediately became a permanent fixture in the bags of Luke Donald, Marcus Fraser and Keith Mitchell after Mizuno gave them an early preview last October.
Given that the pros have been keen early adopters, the new drivers are almost guaranteed to also be a big hit* with the golfing masses, exhibiting characteristics that are uniquely Mizuno. *driver pun not intended
Mizuno ST190 drivers epitomise the high-speed/low-spin combo, courtesy of an updated design that will help you load up off the tee like a pensioner at an all-you-can-eat buffet.
Carried over from the ST180 driver is the Amplified Wave soleplate, the distance-generating ripple that has been further refined in the ST190.
A significantly larger initial wave on the Amplified Wave sole has expanded the coefficient of restitution (COR) area on the drivers’ face, which has the desired effect of boosting forgiveness and ball speeds from off-centre strikes.
And coupled with a new version of Mizuno's forged SP700 titanium face, which is 10 per cent stronger than regular 6-4 titanium, the ST190 driver becomes the complete distance-enhancing package.
The new face features a lighter CORTECH design and retooled internal 'ribs' which reduce energy loss at impact.
And speaking of ribs, they have also been introduced inside the ST190's club head to enhance the driver's feel and impact acoustics.
An in-depth study of how sound reflects through the ST190's head was undertaken by Mizuno and ribs were strategically positioned to reduce vibration and harmonise the soundwaves for a powerful resonance at impact.
A new carbon fibre crown that weighs only 12g also has a big impact on the Mizuno ST190's improved performance.
It is 7g lighter than the previous crown used on the previous ST180 driver and the weight savings have been repositioned lower in the club head to reduce spin rates and boost ball speeds.
And a revamp of the internal structure housing the Quick Switch hosel has improved stability while optimising the centre of gravity (CG).
WEIGHT A SECOND
While the ST190 and ST190G drivers share the same distance-creating technology in the face, sole and club head, they diverge in the weighting department.
The standard Mizuno ST190 driver has a single 6g sole weight positioned further back in the club head than the ST180.
The sole weight’s new location increases the moment of inertia (MOI) to make the club head more stable when strikes are off-centre, leading to straighter and longer drives when things aren’t quite spot-on.
The adjustable ST190G has dual 7g weights that slide along tracks - the draw track is near the heel and fade track is opposite the toe - to provide shaping and launch options.
Positioning both weights forward in their respective tracks will reduce spin by 200rpm, making the ST190G the low-spinning option for power hitters.
Shifting both weights rearward encourages a higher launch and more spin while pushing the draw weight forward and the fade weight back will produce a fade bias, with the opposite configuration creating a draw.
The two weights can also be placed on the same track for even more pronounced ball flight bias.
SHAFTS AND LOFTS
Both ST190 drivers can be fitted with a choice of Atmos shafts: Blue 5S, Red 5R, Red 5R2, Red 6R and Black TS 6S.
The standard Mizuno ST190 driver comes in lofts of 9.5 degrees and 10.5 degrees, while the ST190G is only available in 9 degrees.
Both drivers feature the Mizuno Quick Switch hosel, which enables loft adjustments of up to two degrees stronger or weaker.
ST190 FAIRWAY WOODS
Boasting the same technology as the ST190 drivers, the ST190 fairway woods are designed to produce a low-spin ball flight that works beautifully off the tee or from the fairway.
A deeper face and larger frame gives Mizuno ST190 fairway woods similar attributes to the drivers and while the fairway woods are fitted with a steel face rather than titanium, it is still able to flex and rebound to maximise ball speeds off the club face.
Mizuno ST190 fairway woods feature the same harmonic technology as the drivers to create a powerful impact sound, as well as an Amplified Wave sole and a carbon fibre crown that is 4g lighter.
The new crown and sole enabled Mizuno engineers to lower the ST190 fairway woods’ sweet spot and produce high ball speeds and low spin rates for a very effective ball flight.
Mizuno ST190 fairway woods are available in a fixed hosel 3 and 5 wood (15 and 18 degrees, respectively) and a Tour S 3 wood that is adjustable from 13-17 degrees.