• For 2022, Mizuno has launched ST-X 220 fairway woods and hybrids
  • Increased launch and slight draw bias is the emphasis
  • Retail price is $229 (fairway) $224 (hybrid). Availability begins February 3rd

Mizuno makes historically and quantifiably kick-ass irons. Use any metric you’d like but that’s the case and pretty much everyone gets that.

However, the primary opportunity cost for that success has been an admittedly lackluster line of metalwoods. At least until several generations ago.

One could argue that the 2019 ST 190 driver served as a line of demarcation. At that point, Mizuno acknowledged that the primary barrier to entry is top-end ball speed. Meaning that while a driver might have plenty of wonderful features, nothing can overcome a lack of top-tier ball speed.  In the driver world, speed is currency and Mizuno didn’t have enough disposable income.

Since that point, Mizuno’s renewed focus on fairway woods and hybrids has allowed the brand to take a stance that its entire metalwood line-up is no longer an industry afterthought.

On the contrary: ST-X 220 fairway woods and hybrids are the third generation of a more serious and intentional approach that aims to provide Mizuno loyalists with performance comparable to the industry leaders.

Mizuno ST-X  220 Fairway Woods

Mizuno is bringing a single fairway wood to market in 2022: the ST-X 220. You’re likely wondering, “Why not two models, like the drivers?”

Great question.

It’s a temporary glitch. Call it an unfortunate interruption to the planned release cycle. Blame it on COVID, supply-chain issues or, as Milli Vanilli would suggest, the rain. Whatever.

With that, a quick word on the non-existent ST-Z 220. Or rather the space such a club might occupy. Mizuno did release a “Z” model fairway in 2021, the STZ. However, that particular club is out of stock and will not be replenished this year. So that leaves us with the ST-X 220 for now—and an obvious gap in the lineup which Mizuno will likely address next year.

Mizuno ST-X 220 Tech Story

As discussed in the ST 220 driver article, the “X” model is Mizuno’s more forgiving, slightly draw-biased model. That approach holds true in fairway woods and hybrids and likely will remain for the foreseeable future.

Before we dive into the technical details, I’d like to offer you an analogy that might help explain why manufacturers select specific materials for different club designs. First, understand that limiting factors always play a role. Some of these are levied by ruling bodies (size, COR/CT, length, etc.). Others are more functional. Such as weight. Let’s say a typical fairway wood weighs roughly 210 grams. Think of each gram as a $1 bill. And you get $210 to allocate however you see fit. That said, you must spend all $210. It does you no good to save $10 for a rainy day.

Mizuno ST-X 220 3-Wood

Typically, when we discuss “multi-material” construction, it’s in reference to a single model. In this case, it’s the primary difference between the Mizuno ST-X 22- 3-wood and the 5- and 7-woods. The ST-X 220 3-wood leverages an SAT2041 beta titanium face and Ti811 titanium body construction. Conversely, the 5-wood and 7-wood use an MAS1C maraging steel face.

Titanium is lighter and stronger than steel. In the ST-X 220 3-wood, the lighter titanium construction allows Mizuno to place the CG lower/deeper in the head. Compared to the ST-200X, Mizuno states that the CG is close to 3 mm deeper and fractionally lower.

As with the ST-X 220 driver, the mass properties give the ST-X 220 3-wood a slight draw bias without any overt visual cues at address—specifically, a closed/shut face or upright lie angle. It might shock you to know how many Mizuno staff players want some inherent draw characteristics without looking draw-biased.

Mizuno ST-X 220 Face Tech

Think of face technology more as a system and less as individual components. In that sense, Mizuno’s WAVE technology (the ribbed structure adjacent to the face) works in concert with the face material to optimize ball speed, trajectory and spin.

Brands often talk about working towards a set of ideal launch characteristics at multiple impact locations. With fairway woods, we’re ultimately talking about center-face and below center-face contact. According to Mizuno’s testing, the ST-X 220 achieves very competitive COR values on both sweet-spot and low-center face shots. Internal tests are tricky in that every company benchmarks against existing equipment from competitors. So you get a lot of information suggesting that a new product is better than another manufacturer’s current product. Unfortunately, this doesn’t tell consumers much about how it might compare to a competitor’s yet-to-be released product because, well, that’s just not how it works. And round and round we go.

In terms of feel, the primary challenge for Mizuno with the ST-X 220 fairway woods isn’t as simple as ensuring that the clubs feel good. It’s to secure a consistent sound going from the all-titanium 3-wood to the MAS1C maraging steel 5- and 7-wood. Mizuno states that through mass properties and overall design, it maintains similar peak frequencies (which ultimately creates feel) regardless of material.

Mizuno ST-X 220 Spec Notes

The ST-X 220 has a glued/fixed hosel. The primary reason is that an adjustable hosel weighs eight to 10 grams and Mizuno felt it could better use that weight to generate a slightly lower/rear CG location. Additionally, Mizuno bumped up the stock loft to 16 degrees and the length to 43.25 inches.

Mizuno ST-X 220 Hybrids

As with the fairway woods, Mizuno is releasing a single hybrid, the ST-X 220. Compared to the existing CLK hybrid, the ST-X 220 has a bit more draw bias and a higher trajectory. Putting on my Carnac the Magnificent hat for a moment, Mizuno could replace the CLK hybrid next year with a “Z” model alongside an updated ST-Z fairway wood. TBD on all of that.

As with a good bit of concurrent releases, the bulk of what you want to know is mostly rinse and repeat from the fairway wood section. If you’re looking for a hybrid with the same playing characteristics as the ST-X 220 fairway, then the ST-X 220 hybrid is the logical choice.

Materials and Details

The Mizuno ST-X 220 hybrid has an ultra-thin waffle crown and 1.8-mm thick MAS1C maraging steel face. First, I can’t help but think of waffle cones every time I mention the waffle crown. More importantly, it’s clear Mizuno really likes this face material which it also uses on the ST-X 220 5- and 7-woods and its updated Mizuno Pro Fli-Hi.

Compared to the ST200X hybrid, the ST-X 220 features a deeper CG location and lower sweet-spot height. The re-engineered WAVE sole and MAS1C steel face also produce improved low-face and center-face COR values. The net result is a slightly draw-biased hybrid that should launch a bit higher than the ST200X.

Specs, Pricing and Availability

The ST-X fairway woods are available in 16-,18.5- and 21.5-degree lofts (right hand only).

Stock shafts are Mitsubishi Diamana Red 50, Tensei AV Raw Blue 60, Aldila Ascent Red 50/60, Aldila Ascent UL 40 and UST HeLIUM NanoCore.

The ST-X hybrids are available in 20-,23- and 26-degree lofts (right hand only).

Stock shafts are Aldila Ascent UL Hybrid 50 and UST HeLIUM NanoCore Hy 50.

Retail price for the Mizuno ST-X 220 fairway woods is $299 and ST-X 220 hybrids is $224. Retail availability begins Feb. 3. Available for pre-order now.

For more information on the Mizuno ST-X 220 fairway woods and ST-X 220 hybrids, visit the Mizuno Golf website.