Best Driver for Mid Handicapper | Mizuno ST190 Driver Review

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Every golfer has a personal preference for the type of clubs they like to use for a perfect game. A number of factors determine how you select the ideal golf club, including your playing style, skill level, and potential. If you’re relatively new to the game, you might have heard about handicaps, which are used to determine a player’s potential and golfing ability.

The majority of players often end up in the mid handicap category of golf at some point in their career. This gives golf equipment manufacturers an idea about the features and specifications in demand by many players. Mizuno has started focusing on its driver category and has developed what we believe is the best driver for mid handicapper so read on to discover if this Mizuno ST 190 driver review convinces you to update your golf bag.
best driver for mid handicapper

Mizuno ST190 Driver Overview

As Mizuno has recently started working on their drivers, their ShowTime category released the ST190 series in 2019, which caters to a range of golfers. The series includes two models: the ST190 And the ST190G.

ST190

The ST190 was designed specifically to provide a low to mid-spin while ensuring maximum stability. It features a single fixed back wait that increases the MOI by 300gcm3, which provides additional stability on off-center hits. The model comes with a forged SP 700 ti face, which allows for more complex geometry that makes it very difficult to make a bad shot. The face is explicitly designed to maximize ball speeds across the contact surface, similar to other drivers.

The carbon composite crown frees up about 7 grams of weight which is reposition in other locations such as the back to increase the MOI of the club. A continuation of the amplified WAVE technology in the bottom from previous modes, such as the ST180, is present to ensure the balls do not encounter any energy drop-off regardless of the hit location. This prevents a loss of energy when you inevitably hit the ball from a different part of the face. The club has some excellent features that make it a big seller in the mass market for golfers, and the ST190 has a higher spin than the ST180, which makes it better for the average golfer.

ST190G

The ST190G is the adjustable driver in the series, and it looks very similar to its fixed weight counterpart. The model is specifically designed for low spin and offers an easy system for adjusting weights compared to the previous ST180 model. The driver features a fixed weight at the back and has adjustable heel and toe weighting. There are cracks on either side of the driver’s base with two straight sliding bars that provide quick and efficient weight adjustment.

best driver for mid handicapper

The model comes with two 7-gram weights that can be adjusted on either track, and the weights can be placed at different positions on the tracks to adjust spin. If you put the weights in a more forward direction, the driver will provide a lower spin, but the driver has a higher spin and more forgiveness if the weights are placed further back. The positioning of the weights can be adjusted to provide the right center of gravity for your game, and you can even change the weight on one track if you want a more fair bias or draw bias.

Amplified wave technology keeps the ball’s speed high across the face even when the ball is hit away from the center of gravity or the sweet spot. The carbon crown frees up a lot of weight that is incorporated in the adjustable weights, and this allows you to manipulate spin by about 200 to 300 revs. The ST190G, therefore, has extensive options which can make this an ideal driver for many golfers.

Both the ST190 and the ST190G are be called the dark side of distance because of the change in color from the previous blue version to solid black. The models are designed to squeeze every ounce of speed from the entire clubface, making them both exciting options to have in your golf bag.

Features

Looks

The major change from the previous ST180 model is that these drivers are not entirely cobalt blue anymore. The ST190 is the first full black driver from Mizuno that features a dark and sleek look. Even the bottom is elegant and’s symmetrical, which makes an all-around beautiful piece of equipment. The carbon back also has a shiny black finish which looks fabulous even if you’re a fan of a matte topped finish.

The driver is very striking as the design, shape, text, and detailing give the club a premium feel which is everything you’d want from a driver with these specifications. The black topline transition into the carbon crown is smooth and visually satisfying, while the silver accents add an extra flair to the model.

The Mizuno blue might be a part of the brand’s identity, but the consumers greatly appreciated the shift to black. Mizuno might now have to focus on establishing a new identity based primarily on their black drivers and performance.

The Feel and Sound

Apart from being aesthetically pleasing, the driver also has a great feel because of the weight adjustment, which makes it a solid club that feels good when you make your shot. The sound is more profound than the previous models because of the carbon crown. The powerful sound is produced with a great combination of the titanium face and carbon ground, making it extremely pleasing to the ears.

WAVE Technology

The ST190 series includes the Amplified WAVE technology in the form of a soleplate embedded in the club similar to the previous ST180 drivers. The technology expands the driver’s COR area, allowing for improved ball speeds across the clubface, reducing any performance drops due to off-center hits. The WAVE technology creates a trampoline effect that allows energy to increase through the face, launching balls at higher speeds.

CORTECH Face

Mizuno’s 2019 drivers feature an ultra-fast forged SP700 titanium face with a lighter CORTECH structure to deliver higher ball speeds consistently. The current material is 10% stronger than the 6-4 titanium. It has a fine grain structure that provides a more complex geometric design in the CORTECH face, including re-engineered internal ribs and a Quick Switch structure that offers high performance.

Carbon Composite Crown

The model features a large carbon composite crown which is super lightweight and weighs only 12 grams. The new crown weighs significantly less than previous models, allowing 7 grams of weight to be optimally redistributed to adjust the center of gravity and boost ball speeds while adjusting spin rates. 

Harmonic Impact Technology

This technology was developed after careful study of sound waves and vibration. The driver incorporates the results of this extensive research by including internal ribs to create a more robust and solid sound on impact.   

Specifications

Head

Loft Range

LH

Lie Range

Swing Weight

Length

9.5 and 10.5

7.5-11.5

Y

58.5-61.5

D3

45”

  • The ST190 driver is adjustable by 2˚ either way for both orientations.
  • The ST190G driver is available in 9˚, and the loft is adjustable by 2˚ in both directions for right-hand orientation only.

Why Choose a Mizuno?

Mizuno is a Japanese company that has been in the sports industry for more than a century and in the golf industry for decades. The company focuses on creating the best product for their consumers, and they have a long history of product excellence. They have achieved remarkable growth by focusing on production, product quality, retaining their customers, and establishing long-lasting relationships based on trust.

best driver for mid handicapper

Mizuno pays careful attention to the manufacturing process and is specifically interested in popularizing and developing sports equipment. They’ve launched products produced using the latest scientific technology to continue the legacy of developing high-quality products passed down through the years. Expansion into the global market has further helped Mizuno establish itself as a pioneer in producing high-quality products in a challenging industry.

Sophisticated and quality product manufacturing techniques and persistent attention to detail have allowed Mizuno to popularize sports such as golf in Asia, leading to their expansion into America and Europe. The company uses revolutionary product development technology and skilled artisans’ talents, providing a unique balance of science and human skills to provide superior products. The passion for creating innovative products has been the force behind Mizuno’s success and longevity.

Mizuno has historically been more closely associated with irons because of their casting methods, materials, and detail-oriented products, but they’ve recently started working on their line of drivers to expand their business as a holistic provider of superior golf equipment. Their drivers are carefully designed with experts in the industry and extensive testing, which allows them to compete with some of the best drivers in the market.

Do I Have A Mid Handicap?

The United States Golf Association (USGA) determines player handicaps so the matches can be set up equitably and fairly between two golfers of similar capabilities. The USGA Handicap Index is a complex and sophisticated system that factors in the difficulty of thousands of golf courses along with player scores. The system determines a player’s handicap rating to provide a simple number that can be used for professional tournaments or your daily games.

The scores range from 0 to 36.4 for men and 40.4 for women, and having a lower score means you are the better player. If you’re playing a player with a higher handicap, you need to give them extra strokes determined by the difference between your handicaps. The handicap score is not determined by averaging a player’s scores from several games. The rating is based on your potential and considers the average of your best scores. The USGA uses the best 10 out of 20 scores to assign you a handicap score. 

There is no official classification of a mid-handicapper, but it typically involves players with handicap scores between 9 and 18 on the USGA Handicap Index. The players’ actual scores are generally in the mid-80 to the mid-90 range. About 45% of players in the United States have mid handicaps according to USGS statistics. The average handicap of amateur male golfers is 14.2, making this a large category of the golfing population.

Mid-handicappers hit their fair share of good and bad shots, so golf equipment manufacturers provide equipment design for different skill levels, focusing on handicap ratings as well. The clubs designed specifically to cater to mid handicappers are also called game improvement or super game improvement clubs. These clubs are designed with a larger sweet spot or central hitting zone, increasing the range covered by mishits and improving accuracy.

There are also further classifications of the mid-handicap category, such as:

Lower Mid-Handicap

These players have a mid-handicap range between 9 to 12, and they usually shoot in the lower 80s, but they can even enter the 70s range.

Mid Mid-Handicap

Players in this range have a mid-handicap between 13 and 16, and they typically score in the mid to high 80s range.  Often referred to as bogey golfers.

Higher Mid-Handicap

These players usually playoff between 16 and 18, and these higher mid handicappers typically have a score that averages in the high 80s to mid-90s.

Mid-handicappers usually become more confident in their striking ability as they lower their handicaps. Once they improve their technique, these players want to increase their distance and spin along with accuracy on their shots. While these players constantly focus on improvement, there is bound to be the occasional mishit, so they also look for drivers with higher forgiveness and optimal performance.

If you’re a mid-handicapper looking to play their perfect game, you’re going to require proper equipment that can be easily tweaked to provide the superior performance you desire. The best club to start with is the driver, which helps you keep your ball on the fairway while delivering an excellent launch and carrying distance. The correct driver basically sets up your entire game.

Final Thoughts

ST190 has more forgiveness and provides more accuracy compared to previous models. The club allows you to hit more consistently, which is beneficial for mid handicappers who require a degree of forgiveness even if this is not the fastest driver in the market.

The driver also helps you with your delivery by offering aerodynamic benefits that provide a more accurate delivery even if the distance covered is not optimal. This model is great for golfers who launch their balls too high and have a high spin. The sheer size of the classic head and the low spin also give mid handicappers an extra boost of confidence. If you’re looking for a low spin driver with a lower launch, the ST 190 might be the best driver for you.

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