Mizuno’s highly anticipated GT180 series completes its wood line up for 2018 – in an assertive move into the wood market. Having made all the iron headlines throughout 2017, Mizuno is now pushing deeper into metal woods – a category in which it has a track record of introducing many of the industry’s most influential innovations. Mass production of Titanium (Ti100), the impact of low spin (T-ZOID), lightweight graphite crowns (MP-001) and sliding weight adjustability (MP-600) have all been embraced by other manufacturers.
The new ST180 Series announced in late 2017 is on point for today’s generation of high ball speed players now prevalent on tour. Approaching the science of driving head-on, the ST180 has a simple weight forward, low-spin profile, engineered to reduce spin rates. The new GT180 is a more sophisticated design with an expanded capacity to manipulate weight throughout the head – ideal for fitting studios and players looking to squeeze the last few yards from their swings.
The GT180 and ST180 both take advantage of a high ball speed, exotic Forged SP700 Ti face and improved shaft offerings – including the Mitsubishi Tensei CK, KURO KAGE Silver Dual-Core TiNi and BASSARA E-SERIES 42. Every shaft in the line is an authentic version available on the custom component market. No shaft within the offering is an exclusive ‘made for’ stripped-down version of the original.
Mizuno engineers are also keen to point out that the brand’s approach to ‘bulge and roll’ is also current, if rarely discussed. R&D Director David Llewellyn puts it simply: “We’ve been compensating for golfers’ regular mishit patterns for years by giving the toe and heel sides of the face a bit more bulge than the centre of the face. This counteracts the greater amount of gear effect that occurs further from the face’s centre, thus giving the ball the appropriate amount of side spin to curve back to the centre. It’s a big topic of conversation now – but not something we’ve advertised. Just one of those design increments that happens over time.”
On the subject of how golfers should choose between GT180 and ST180, Llewellyn points to personality over ability. “Most players like to keep things as uncomplicated as possible – to stand there and give the ball a rip. The ST180 is for them. Then you have players who enjoy the process of dialing in a driver and getting it optimised to the yard – that’s the GT180. Everything else is very similar – playability, ball speed. Chose a model based on your attitude to the game – it’s not about ability.”
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