Mizuno bucks the carbon fiber trend, sticks with metal with ST200 drivers and metalwoods
Equipment

Mizuno bucks the carbon fiber trend, sticks with metal with ST200 drivers and metalwoods



Not everyone has given up on titanium, you know.

While carbon fiber has become a popular substitute material for titanium alloy -- and for good, valid reasons -- in the crown and sole of drivers and fairway woods, Mizuno says they're still getting the toothpaste out of the titanium tube with the ST200 line of drivers.

The company is using what it is calling a stronger titanium alloy in upgrading from the ST180 and ST190 drivers from the last two years. The face insert in the new ST200 line has what's called forged SAT 2041, which the company says is stronger and more flexible than the 6-4 titanium the company (and others) used in the previous drivers.

Without getting too into the weeds, SAT 2041 has a structure that's more durable and recovers faster without being so heavy, allowing Mizuno to hike ball speeds and improve energy transfer at impact with a more complex face insert featuring various ranges of thickness.

However, while titanium is still evolving, the company is using carbon fiber in the crown of the ST200 lineup. The crown has internal ribs designed to strengthen the crown to better accommodate face flex, while the weight savings move the center of gravity lower and more back in two of the three models, while improving the MOI in all three. The wave pattern on the sole also is more compact than the prior model, improving the CG location.

There three drivers in the series are the ST200, the ST200G and ST200X.

The ST200 is the flagship of the line, and it has an adjustable hosel and a weight section in the back-center of the sole to increase the MOI rating north of 5,000 for improved stability while keeping the center of gravity low for ideal launch conditions for most players. It's available in 9.5- and 10.5-degree heads.

The ST200X is a lightweight model with higher available lofts and draw bias thanks to weight in the heel. It uses a 48-gram shaft and weighs 267 grams total, saving 50 grams over the other two models. These lightweight drivers became popular in Japan and are starting to catch on with some older golfers here, too. It's available only in 10.5 degrees.

The ST200G is the driver in the series that produces the least spin and is most compact. It has a weight track that allows a player to dial in spin within a 300 rpm range depending on where weight is placed. The company says the ST200G spin profile is still lower than the ST190G model, even with the ST200G sporting the weight all the way back on the track and having a higher MOI profile than its predecessor. It's available only in a 9-degree head.

All three drivers have a loft sleeve which can change the loft by 2 degrees up or down, giving a 4-degree range.

The Mizuno ST200 drivers are available Jan. 21 for preorder and Feb. 4 at retail for $400 for the ST200 and ST200X and for $500 in the ST200G.

ST200 fairway woods

The ST200 fairway woods come in two models: the ST200 and the ST200 TS.

The TS model is more compact but is adjustable, while the ST200 isn't adjustable and has a larger footprint for higher MOI and increased forgiveness. Both use maraging MAS1C steel, a new alloy for Mizuno that's been used in race car engines, that is significantly thinner than the ST190s.

The carbon composite crown is new, featuring internal ribs for strengthening the structure. The wave structure was also made tighter, like in the driver. The weight savings were, of course, used to push mass lower and farther back to drop CG compared to its predecessor.

The ST200 is available in 15- and 18-degree heads, while the TS version comes in at 15 degrees and can be adjusted up or down 2 degrees.

The Mizuno ST200 fairway woods are available Jan. 21 for preorder and Feb. 4 at retail for $300 for the ST200 TS and for $250 in the ST200.

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Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for over a decade, working for NBC Sports, Golf Channel, Yahoo Sports and SB Nation. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He used to be a good golfer.

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