Expert Review: Mizuno ST-Z 230 Fairway Wood [with Video]Published on 11/15/2023 · 7 min readGolf Experts Kyle Emery and Miguel Bell Tested the Mizuno ST-Z 230 Fairway Wood.
Curated Golf Experts Kyle Emery and Miguel Bell got their hands on the Mizuno ST-Z 230 Fairway Wood to test this spring. Check out how it performed, but consider the fact that each and every golfer is different; if you have any questions about the ST-Z 230 Fairway Wood or need recommendations on which club would be best for you, reach out to a Golf Expert here on Curated.
Before we get started, it's worth noting that Curated Experts are not sponsored by any brands. All of these reviews are completely unbiased.
What does Mizuno claim about this club? [Miguel] Mizuno says that with their new CoreTech chamber, they're going to help you get that ball backspin a little bit lower, which should allow that ball to travel a little further in the air but also roll out a little bit more in distance. They're also telling you that with their carbon-fiber crown, they've allowed to move weight lower and towards the trailing edge to become more forgiving. So a club that provides less backspin and is more forgiving is going to give you an overall benefit of greater distance and greater accuracy.
What are the specs of the club you are testing? [Miguel] This is the Mizuno ST-Z 3 wood, and this particular loft is 15 degrees. This has a Mitsubishi Chemical Kai'Li 70 S, which stands for “stiff flex shaft.”
What is your overall impression of the club? [Kyle] I really enjoyed the overall look and appearance of the Mizuno ST-Z 230. It does have a more compact shape that's going to appeal to a better player.
[Miguel] My first impression of this club is that it looks really good. It looks very much like the drivers on the top. It has the carbon fiber that's visible on the crown, and it has a nice, piano black leading edge to help you frame against the ball. This is slightly different in terms of where the weighting is, but the CoreTech chamber is still there. As for performance, my first impressions of this club are that it's a solid performer. I do think it's a relatively high-launching club, so a lot of people will benefit from that. I didn't think it was the farthest. It's a good club. I wouldn't say it's the best fairway metal out there.
How is it for distance? [Miguel] I wasn't blown away with any distance.
How is it for forgiveness? [Kyle] It will be a little less forgiving than the ST-X model, so it certainly would be geared to a player who has a consistent contact with their fairways.
[Miguel] I didn't think it was the most forgiving. Their carbon-fiber crown allows them to move more weight to the perimeters of the club and to the rear, which is actually giving them the ability to make the most perimeter-weighted, most forgiving head that they can within these dimensions.
How is it for workability? [Kyle] This will give players the ability to shape shots in either direction.
[Miguel] This is a pretty workable fairway metal, and that's because its profile and footprint aren't that big, and there's nothing that's digging into the ground or causing you to stay in one position. Some older fairway metals have rails on the back, which are designed to help keep you straight. This doesn't, so I find this club to be pretty workable — allows you to move it to the right, allows you to move it to the left.
How is its launch? How is it for spin? [Kyle] It has a consistently mid- to high-launching flight, and it's going to produce a low spin.
[Miguel] As for launch, I've mentioned before that this club launch is very high, and part of that has to do with the fact that they have moved weight from the crown down to the sole, and that's on purpose. They want that ball to get high and airborne. The CoreTech chamber has a material in it, which is the blue stuff that's supposed to be flexible, allowing that face to flex. Inside that, they have an embedded steel bar to help bring weight forward to help reduce backspin. I found this to be a little bit backspinny, so there are other options out there. But again, part of getting a ball airborne and to launch high is that you got to get some backspin on it.
What do you find unique about its appearance? [Kyle] I really enjoyed the overall look and appearance of the ST-Z 230 Fairway wood. I did also really like the addition of the carbon-weave pattern that they put on top of the crown — gives the club a really nice aesthetic, especially when you've got the club at address behind the ball.
[Miguel] I find this club to be a very good-looking club at address — frames the ball nicely. Again, I like the contrast of that carbon-fiber crown with the piano black leading edge. That leading edge helps you frame the ball at address, and I feel like this is a pretty neutral-looking head at address. I don't find it to make me think that I'm aiming in a wrong direction.
What may make a player shy away from it? [Miguel] I don't think there's anything in this club that would make anybody want to shy away from it. It's a very good all-around performer.
How would you describe the sound of this club and feel at impact? [Kyle] The addition of the CoreTech chamber does a really nice job in adding the feel and sound that you get on impact. I found both to be really crisp, really clean feel- and sound-wise.
[Miguel] I think the sound of this club is a muted-impact sound. It's not pinging or tinny, and that's because of the carbon fiber here. It numbs that sound a little bit, so you're going to feel like you hit it solid, and it's going to sound like a solid, numb, muted crack as opposed to really high-pitched crack.
Does this club swing light or heavy to you? [Miguel] This club has a pretty standard-weight feeling. It's nothing that set me off thinking, “Oh, this is heavier. Oh, this is too light.” I felt very comfortable when swinging this club.
Is the club adjustable? [Kyle] The ST-Z 230 is fully adjustable from the hosel. You'd be able to increase or decrease the loft for a higher or lower trajectory. You can also adjust the lie angle to help out with any consistent misses that you’re seeing left or right.
Who would you recommend this club to? [Kyle] I would recommend the Mizuno ST-Z 230 Fairway wood to any player from a low to high handicap that would like a firm feel. It's going to fit a wide range of players that want to either hit a consistently straight ball or be able to shape shots in either direction.
[Miguel] I'm going to recommend this club to pretty much anyone and everyone. It's a very good-looking club at address. It's a good-looking club with the cover off, and it's a very good performer all around. This can fit into the hands of any golfer now. Are there bigger, more forgiving fairways? Maybe. Are there smaller, more workable fairways? Yes. However, I do think that this is going to be the most forgiving and the most broadly accessible fairway wood for all golfers.
Who should avoid this club, and what type of club would be a better option for that player? [Kyle] A player that's looking for a higher level of forgiveness, something that will consistently launch higher and offer you more offset to help out with the slice, would be better suited for the ST-X 220 Fairway wood.
[Miguel] I don't think anybody should avoid this club. I think it's workable. I think it's forgiving. I think it's long. It's high flying. If you want a lower-ball flight, maybe you stay away from this.
Golf clubs work differently for different types of golfers. If you are wondering whether the ST-Z 230 Fairway Wood is the right club for you, chat with Kyle, Miguel or any other Golf Experts here on Curated, and they’ll put together free, personalized club recommendations on the best fairway wood for your needs.