Everything you need to know about the innovative Mizuno ST-Max 230 driver
Mizuno have stepped up in the ‘Max’ driver stakes with their latest offering – and first impressions are positive.
The ST-Max 230 driver is a “low-profile, wide-footprint driver” which translates to an enticing blend of forgiveness and distance.
It seems very much in line with what you would expect from a Max driver with a formula of a larger profile (for forgiveness or MOI), lightweight crown (for ease of launch with a CG adjustment), and a tuned, tech-infused face (distance, call it AI, machine-learning or just tech-driven design).
While it joins the ST230 family the size and shape of the clubhead will immediately make it stand out from the pack here. The shape is shallower and longer from heel to toe and its 460cc head is stretched further than any previous Mizuno driver which will distinguish it from its relatives.
Mizuno expands the face-flexing Cortech chamber of the ST-Max 230 to take advantage of the single-piece sole that is now a full 40% bigger. The chamber is longer and positioned closer to the face to increase ball speed over a larger surface area.
Engineers also added a 54-gram back weight, 20 grams more than the ST-X, to the design for increased stability thanks to weight reductions elsewhere on the club.
Mizuno’s beta-rich Ti-LFS face, another crucial component, has a tensile strength that is 9% higher than what the firm used in the ST-Z and ST-X drivers. Mizuno engineers happily adopted a multi-thickness face onto it since it makes for a better canvas and improves ball speed over the entire face.
Lastly, engineers have increased the stock shaft length to 45.75 inches to help players swing the club more quickly because of the MOI of the ST-Max 230.
The club is available for pre-order and is expected to land with retailers on 8 February 2024.
The recommended retail price of $500 makes for an awkward proposition for anyone not terribly familiar with Mizuno who may want to dip into the Max market with this club.
While it is fully $100 cheaper than the clubs that it is really going head-to-head with, its total cost might be a little bit higher than players are willing to go for a club made by Mizuno.
Without significant customisation we don’t expect to see the Mizuno ST-Max 230 driver in the hands of any professionals.
However, this is still a very good club in prospect and is likely to prove quite popular if a little bit niche.
Mizuno are among the more innovative golf brands and have an incredible research and development team that have come up with some amazing products in the past.
We await full robot testing to present a full set of data on this club.
If you are a Mizuno diehard and want to get yourself a ‘Max’ driver you probably don’t need to hesitate here.
There are no obvious design flaws although given the lofty goals set out for this club it will do well to rival the market leaders.
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