Connect with us

News

Highlights from the Wilson Golf Product Testing and Fitting Experience at Pinehurst

Published

on

All new from Wilson Golf this year are Staff blades and CB irons, Dynapower Forged irons, Staff Model ZM wedges, a new golf ball, the RB Utility iron that was released just a few weeks ago, and the company’s own club fitting technology called Wilson Fit AI.

Yeah, it’s been quite the first half of the year for Wilson Golf. Wilson is serious about establishing themselves as a major player in the golf industry. They’ve made new hires, bringing on Markus McCaine (by way of Cobra Puma) as the Head of Global Marketing. Willie Mack, Padraig Harrington, and Kevin Kisner (to name a few), are playing their products on Tour. As we mentioned earlier, they’ve released a ton of new products. But, with all of that being said, how do these new products really stack up?

That’s where we come in. Wilson Golf wanted to reach the hardcore golfer. The equipment junkie. The person who tries everything to find the right fit for optimal performance. They weren’t looking for someone who already had Wilson products in the bag, who would have attended this trip and predictably said great things about their newest line of products. They wanted to prove how Wilson Golf, the brand, and their new products, can truly compete with the major golf manufacturers. With four lucky GolfWRXers in tow, we headed to legendary Pinehurst to meet Wilson Golf’s team of product experts, to test (and get fit) for the full 2024 lineup of Wilson clubs — and play not-yet-open-to-the-public Pinehurst No. 10! The four WRXers — @TLUBulldogGolf, @TM golf guy, @Shilgy, @Olson12— enjoyed a once-in-a-lifetime experience in North Carolina thanks to Wilson.

Members on Wilson Fit AI

TM golf guy: “The AI experience was super cool. 3 swings and it fit me basically exactly into what I expected.”

Shilgy: “The new Ai fitting tool is legit. First answer a few questions and then there is a fitting iron that measures everything. It’s almost scary how easy, and accurate, it is. Started me with a shaft that was too light but based on contact it changed to 115g DG. About as expected. I was fit into the CB with the Dynapower forged as the 5 and 6 iron.”

First impressions on the Staff Model and Dynapower irons

Olson12: “After warming up, Ed had me hit a handful of shots. It took maybe five or six shots, and we decided it was enough. Of the six shots, I hit four pretty well, one perfectly, and one really bad one. The app spits out recommendations based on all the data it collected and gives you both a steel and graphite option. On the graphite side, it went straight to the Steelfiber 110s, so that was the first one we tried. Ed built up a 7-iron in the Wilson Staff CB with the Steelfiber 110s, and we were off to the races.”

“I currently play a Titleist T100/T100s combo set with Nippon Modus 120x shafts. I bought this used set from a local shop after bouncing around a few different sets. (Thank God for the 90-day playability policy.) We’ve all heard the standard saying, “you want 1k spin x the number of the club.” For me, I’ve never even come close to getting 7k with my 7-iron. I’ve always hovered around 5500 and just learned to play with the rollout. My first few shots with the Staff CB were 7400, 7600, and 7100 with the Wilson Model X ball. Nice high cut, landed soft, PERFECT. Didn’t need to hit any other combos.”

TM golf guy: “I am currently playing i230s, and am generally happy with the performance. I had a feeling I would wind up with the Dynapower Forged, but I went in with an open mind to see what was suggested. After getting my numbers, Ed put together a Dynapower Forged with the UST Recoil Dart 105 F4 (stiff). It didn’t take me more than a few swings to know this was the set for me. I’ll do a formal review with side by side with my i230s later after I get them back and get more time with them, but I think these are going to be gamers. I was able to move them either direction, and they felt better than the i230 based on my limited experience so far.”

TLUBulldogGolf: “The MBs flat out perform, if you want that classic look they should be on your shortlist to try, they nailed the shape and the sole design and turf interaction were just what I expect out of a blade. The options to combo with the CB and new utility should appeal to anyone after that classic look with performance.”

Shilgy: “First swings warming up on the range and I could feel the difference, in a good way, between a properly built set and more mass produced. The balance of this set is fantastic. I’ve always been partial to heavier shafts and heads but the T150 always felt too head heavy to me. The balance on this Wilson set is perfect.”

“Suffice it to say both the CB’s and Dynapower irons were quite good today. Hit it solid and you will get the same result every time….miss it a bit and you’ll still get a very playable result.”

First impressions on the Staff Model ZM wedges

Olson12: “I currently play 50, 54, 60 Vokey SM9 wedges but decided to give the 58/6* a whirl, and I’m glad I did. I mentioned to the staff earlier that I never use my 60 for anything longer than 50 yards. I’ve never felt comfortable with a full swing lob. Going to the 58* gives me more confidence on full shots but was still able to hit all the chips and bunker shots I normally hit with my 60*.”

Guys… These are fully forged wedges for $150. I just ordered my three Vokey wedges a few months ago for like $600. What the hell, man! If you are in the market for wedges, do yourself a favor and just give them a shot. Nice traditional shape and a super soft feel. Not too clicky but still gives audible feedback on mishits.”

TM golf guy: “The Staff ZM wedges were something I was really interested in as I loved the head shape, and the feel and performance didn’t disappoint. They have a really nice shape to them, and the sound and feel is also excellent. I’m a big fan of the 60° that I got. The grind really allows for a lot of versatility around the greens as well. My only regret here is that I didn’t get the Staff gap wedge instead of the Dynapower one.”

TLUBulldogGolf: “The wedges are really solid as well, I feel like I can flight them with ease and they spin like crazy.”

“I have the 60-06 and it’s similar to a Vokey T grind, maybe a touch less demanding. The 56-10 plays very similar to a Vokey S grind.”

First impressions on the utility irons

Olson12: “I’ve played Srixon & Ping Utilities for a while now. I recently gave up the Crossover and went back to a 3 hybrid because the offset was just not working for me. Since the club was just announced today, we had just the stock HZRDUS Black shaft in both the 3 and 4 iron. I hit the 3 and realized it’s been a really long time since I hit a long iron. It took a few swings, but I started to find my groove. Minimal offset, satin finish, and a good-looking topline. This thing is going to compete with the big boys. Hell, @TLUBulldogGolf was getting 150mph ball speed when hitting it off of a tee.”

TLUBulldogGolf: “The utility is the real deal, just seems to want to go straight. A little longer heel to toe than my T200, and it just feels easy.”

The utility surprised me, I knew it was good at my last range session but it seems to come off lower despite having more loft than my T200. I hit it over the green from 240 on a par 5 which shocked me. The stock HZRDUS 4G stays with me and seems to be a good match for my irons.”

TM golf guy: “This utility is stupid good. The first swing I made I hit rather toey, and it flew straight as an arrow. Off the tee it’s a more penetrating flight than my Srixon, but still has good height. Like @TLUBulldogGolf said, it really wants to go straight. Definitely a winner.”

GolfWRX Members on Wilson Golf:

TLUBulldog: “They want to get everything on the golf side right.”

“I came away super impressed with what Wilson is doing and the direction they are taking the brand.”

“I’m hoping this (and their overall strategy) can up their visibility because the new product is legit.

Olson12: “I’ve been really impressed with the quality of the Wilson product. What stands out the most is the people behind the scenes. This group of people is IMPRESSIVE. They love golf, they are competitive, and they want to compete with the best of the best. I’m thankful to be part of their story, and once we get the full set and get a chance to play them out in the wild, I’ll be able to give a more thorough breakdown.”

TM golf guy: “They are a group of super passionate people who absolutely love what they do, really have a lot of great ideas, and are a really cool group of people to talk to (they also know their way around a golf course!). They were incredibly open to feedback, and were also very candid about their thoughts on things as well. The people a company chooses to represent them says a lot about the company, and Wilson has picked an incredible group. I think Wilson has an extremely bright future ahead of them, and they’ve certainly made a fan out of me.”

Shilgy: “We all definitely need to add Wilson golf to our must play equipment. You’re definitely doing yourself a disservice if you don’t at least try them out and with the new AI fitting tool every fitter out there can be a Wilson expert fitter.”

Shilgy, Lindsey Lasater, TM golf guy, Markus McCaine

One final thought

If you’re in the market for a new ball, a hidden gem emerged during this trip. Our members were impressed with the new ball from Wilson. Coming from the Chrome Tour X and TP5, Olson12 stated that the feel of the X around the greens was “pretty damn good.” While TLUBulldogGolf shared, “I’m liking the Model X. Very natural transition as a V1X player.”

We’re looking forward to diving even deeper into the trip and what Wilson has to offer over the next few weeks. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to follow along in the forum.

 

Your Reaction?
  • 70
  • LEGIT9
  • WOW3
  • LOL1
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK5

We share your golf passion. You can follow GolfWRX on Twitter @GolfWRX, Facebook and Instagram.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Pingback: GolfWRX members impressed by new Wilson Fit AI – GolfWRX

  2. Patrick Dawes

    Jul 8, 2024 at 8:21 pm

    I had a set of Wilson Deep Red Irons in high school still one of the best sets of irons I ever hit 25 years later Wilson if you need testers for new clubs i’ll sign up

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

News

CGOTY? It’s X at The Open at Royal Troon

Published

on

If golfers weren’t as humble as they are, they’d come up with trendy acronyms like G.O.A.T. and E.G.O.T #CGOTY would then stand for Champion Golf of the Year, the appellation that the Royal and Ancient confers upon its Open champion. As written, we are a humble lot, so there’s no need for such acronyms.

The Champion Golfer of the Year for 2024 is Xander Schauffele. He won his second major title of the year, having claimed the PGA Championship in May. The Open Championship is his third career win in a major, as Schauffele won the 2016 gold medal at the Brasil Olympic games.

Over on TwitterX, I’ve made the claim that Royal Troon identifies one-off major champions better than any other course in the Open Championship rotation. Of its ten previous winners, seven never claimed a second major title. I suggested that Thirston Lawrence, Billy Horschel, and Russell Henley were as likely to win the jug as the other pursuers. Lowry, Schauffele, Rose, and others already held major trophies aloft. For most of the day, it looked as if another first-timer would join the ranks.

Before we get to that news, let’s chip away at some of the sub-headings.

The Silver Medalist

Eponymy’s Calum Scott (of Scotland) will recall the third week of July, 2024, with a special fondness. The Texas Tech (same school as Ludvig Aberg) earned a silver medal as the low amateur (LAGOTY?) at Royal Troon. Scott finished on eight over par, tied for overall 43rd place.

Spain’s Luis Masaveu came fourth among the wageless, posting +18 on the week. Tied for 2nd among the paupers were Amateur champion Jacob Skov Olesen of Denmark, and Tommy Morrison of the USA. Morrison had the day’s low round among the quartet, posting a 73.

There were plenty of highly-ranked amateurs at Royal Troon when the week began. One by one, they fell away. A tip of the cap to the winner of the silver medal.

The Weather

Essentially, it was a non-factor on day four. There was wind, but there’s always wind. There was zero rain, and after the first two hours in the early morning, the warmth arrived.

The Postage Stamp

Here’s the rub: if you’re playing well and with confidence, it’s a non-issue. It’s a wonderful little hole and, at 100 yards, it gave enough pause to consider going for the stick. Where the hole was on Sunday, there was no sense. Flight the shot between Coffin bunker and the hole, and take your chance with the flat stick. On day four, only Billy Horschel among the top six made bogey. Rose and Lowry had birdie, and the others made par. For Horschel, the four was just enough to throw him off his game, and even his closing burst would not prove to be enough.

The Chasers

Hats off to Justin Rose and Billy Horschel. They posted five birdies over their combined closing three. Rose found birdie at 16 and 18, to keep the pressure on his partner. Horschel closed with even more fire, reclaiming three shots for a career-best, runner-up in a major.

At day’s start, either one might have taken the 67 (Rose) or 68 (Horschel) and said that shall be enough to win. Horschel etched the same number of birdies (six) onto his card as did the winner, but he had those three crucial bogeys, at three, eight, and ten, to delay his progress just enough. As for Rose, he hoped to add a silver jug to his silver medal from 1998, as well as become the first qualifier to claim the crown in some time. Rose posted five birdies against one bogey, and could not have played much better golf. Trouble was, he ran into all that is formidable in his playing companion.

And there were others with admirable Sunday performances. Ryan Fox had 67, to move inside the top 25. Thriston Lawrence took the lead at the turn, held steady with 68, and earned a solo 4th finish for his labor. With the exception of Scottie Scheffler (72) all inside the top ten posted scores under par. On this day, it took 65 to stand out from the crowd.

The Champion

That 65 mentioned above, well, it belonged to the CGOTY.

Who knows when the switch flips? Ever more, who knows how to do it? When Xander Schauffele claimed Olympic Gold in 2021, it was anticipated that another major title would follow soon after. 2022 and 2023 went by with no such result. At Valhalla in May, Schauffele found something and went from best to never win a major to won a major. Now he has two. Here’s how he got there.

Eerily similar was the tally: six under par. The only difference between May and July, was the bogey at the par-five tenth in Kentucky. Schauffele rebounded with three birdies coming home, including one at the last, to hold off Bryson DeChambeau by a single stroke. At Royal Troon, Schauffele was flawless. He posted six birdies against zero bogeys on day four. He drove the ball long and true, and putted for birdie on 16 of 18 holes. The California native was able to avoid the many sand pits that freckle the Royal Troon championship layout, ensuring that a pair of chip shots would be the only concerning moments.

With his second major of the year, Schauffele enters the conversation for golfer of the year. Scheffler has six wins on the year, including a major. If Xander can medal in Paris, and win once or twice on the PGA Tour, he just might add that recognition to today’s laurel.

Your Reaction?
  • 1
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK1

Continue Reading

News

5 Things We Learned: Day 3 at The Open Championship

Published

on

It’s like being a parent. You know what will happen, but you still need to let the circumstances play out. Once the idea of rain coming into the picture for Saturday afternoon was established, posit after posit came out. Get out early and post a number was the most popular and logical one. No matter how well the leaders start, the coming home will be merciless was a less-common one, but no less accurate.

Shane Lowry made birdie at the 4th hole to reach eight-under par. At that point, he had a three-shot advantage over his playing companion. He would get no farther. A tugged tee ball at eight led to a double bogey, and five more bogeys came his way. The most gutting came at number 18, a hole that he had played in six shots through two rounds. You might think that 77 on day three of a major championship would be a death knell, but Lowry is just three shots behind the leader. He’ll have a legitimate shot on Sunday, as will 13 other golfers.

Fourteen golfers are within five shots of Billy Horschel, the third-round leader. He’s at four-under par, despite weathering the worst of the weather. At least one of those fourteen will post a 65 on Sunday. It may not be enough. The 2024 major tournament season will end on Sunday, and should feature high drama. With that in mind, let’s sumarize Saturday in, oh, five things that we learned. How does that sound?

1. No one went away

As I alluded in the intro, no one in contention at the start of the day has gone adrift. Seven-under par had the lead after 36 holes, and four-deep (also alluded) is the new standard. I’ve been conservative in suggesting that five shots out is the most to be overcome. Circumstances dictate that someone six or seven back, with the correct mergin of fate and execution, could hoist the Claret Jug come Sunday evening, even if he has to play from the opposite side of the ball.

2. Billy Ho says Yo!

Why not Billy Ho? Why not, indeed! Horschel is a fit, focused, and talented golfer. He grabbed four shots from par on the outward nine, turning in 32. He shed grit and gravel coming home, finding a way to manage the inward side in 37 shots. Horschel has never held the solo lead in a professional major championship on the eve of decision day, so he’ll sleep differently tonight. Ultimately, how he and Micah Fugitt (his caddy) come to termsn with the reckoning, will decide his fate in the tournament.

3. Can Sugar Shane Lowry rebound?

2019 was a different set of circumstances for the 36-hole leader. He held a large lead through 54 holes, and he managed to claim a six-shot win over Tommy Fleetwood. Tonight, there might be some doubts. More likely, there will be frustration, followed by gratitude. Frustration at the shots that got away, most importantly the tee shot at Postage Stamp. That’s where the sweater began to unravel, as a visit to Coffin bunker led to his inglorious double bogey. Gratitude should follow, that he is but three in arrears, with a spot in the fifth-last game, paired with the affable Adam Scott. Look for Lowry to figure in the outcome.

4. This guy is due for a run

Justin Thomas has lit the front nine better than any other golfer this week. Wait, scratch that. He made five birdies heading away on both Thursday and Saturday. Friday was a different story, where he played the opening half as you or I would. What makes the difference? Who could possibly know. Will Justin Thomas make a run on Sunday afternoon? No, but Jason Day will. The Malbon Man will turn in six-under par 30. His problem is that he is eight shots back of Horschel, and has zero chance on Sunday. What his score will paint, however, is a picture of what might be, and that will serve to inspire those behind him.

5. How do you pick just one?

You don’t. Sam Burns and Thriston Lawrence posted 65 on day three, to move to three-under par. Russell Henley wasn’t far behind on the day, posting 66 to also reach 210 after 54 holes. Justin Rose and Daniel Brown had 73s but, like Lowry, they are still in the running. Xander Schauffele, the first-time major champion at the 2024 PGA Championship, is at three-deep as well. Oh, and the Masters champion, he of the fancy footwork, is but two off the lead. This is as deep and talented a group of challengers as we’ve seen in more than a minute. I won’t pick a winner today (I made my choice yesterday) but I do promise you that you will see more than one person’s share of fun shots like this one.

Your Reaction?
  • 3
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP1
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

News

5 Things we Learned: Day 2 at The Open Championship

Published

on

36 holes are in the rearview mirror at Royal Troon, and the course that James Braid rebuilt in 1923 shows little interest in easing up on the field. A benign day one was followed by a windy second half to day two. Day three promises wind and rain, so by day four, we shall have no idea who will be around to battle for the Claret Jug. That’s what makes the Open Championship so enjoyable; it’s a well-written novel whose denouement is unpredictable until it reveals itself.

Royal Troon has a way of humbling the game’s great players. The threesome of Ludvig Aberg, Tom Kim, and Bryson DeChambeau posted +29 combined and all three players missed the cut. No other, high-profile trio struggled as much, althought a few of them dispatched two-thirds of their roster to the great beyond. I’ve combed the odds, read the tea leaves, and spoken with Melisandre, and can predict that Billy Horschel will hoist the Claret Jug on Sunday. With that certainty out of the way, let’s move along to five things that I culled from holes 19 to 36 of the 152nd Open Championship.

1. Down the road again

Down the road again
I just can’t believe I’m down the road again
The life I love is making cuts with my friends
So I’m so sad to be down the road again

Willie Nelson’s joy to be on the road again, is the golfer’s angst at missing a cut, especially in a major. This paragraph is never fun to write, as the dreams and hopes of half the competitors have been shredded and smashed. The cut line moved from +5 to +6 late in the day, thanks to the uptick of the Ayrshire zephyrs. A dozen players benefitted from the misfortunes of others, none quite like Max Homa above. Farewell to Tiger, Roars, Luddy, Captain Keegan, Fairway Jesus, Vik, Tony, and many more. We’ll carry on, but it won’t be the same. Let’s try to remember the good times.

2. Daniel Brown will shower in ice water tomorrow

Brown’s playing partners for the past 48 hours were the intimidating Denwit David Boriboonsub and Matthew Dodd-Berry. Nothing scares a golfer like a hyphen, after all. Neither of Brown’s mates survived to the weekend. Brown, on the other hand, will tee off in the final game of day three, with none other than 2019 champion golfer of the year Shane Lowry as his accomplice.

It cannot be easy to play at a high level, when those in your group have the struggles. On Friday, Brown bent, but he did not break. He stood plus-two on the day when he drained a putt for birdie at the 10th, He followed that with another at the 16th. to get back to six under, but made a four at the short 17th to immediately return the collected shot.

Saturday will be a cauldron unlike any he has faced before. It’s part and parcel of elevating to a new tier of competitor, and you can bet that the tranquil Brown will be all-in on the venture.

3. Shane Lowry owns 18

I’m not intimating that he doesn’t feel a certain affection for the other 17 holes of the club’s championship course. When you close a round with birdie, each of the first two days, the home hole lifts you up. Lowry has played the 447-yard closer to perfection over the opening rounds. Six brief strokes were the only ones necessary. If the Irish champion can keep up that pattern, no matter what happens the rest of the way round, he’ll be off to the practice range in the proper state of mind.

4. 3 under was the day’s best

Five golfers posted 68 on Friday. After 65 won the card race on Thursday, no one approached that number on day two. Four of those scorecards moved into the top ten and contention, while the fifth made the cut on the number.

It wasn’t a great day for scoring at Royal Troon, and Saturday afternoon promises to be even more selfish. The final five groups, if the weather moves in, will contend with conditions not known by the earlier games. If someone around two or three over par can produce a 65 early Saturday, he’ll find himself in the final three pairings for round four.

As for Justin Rose, Billy Horschel, Jason Day, and Patrick Cantlay, their hard work and day-two grit saw them to the day’s medal. Their reward is a much later tee time on Saturday, but a chance to position for Sunday’s shootout.

5. The amateurs

Fling your hats for the four non-professionals who made the cut this week. Leading the quartet’s way is Scotland’s eponymous representative, Callum Scott. After opening with 71, he posted 75 on day two to lead in the chase for the silver medal. On his heels at +5 is Denmark’s Jacob Skov Olesen, the reigning Amateur champion. Sneaking in on the cut line are Spain’s Luis Masaveu and Tommy Morrison from the USA.

If you’re after storylines, Olesen posted 18 pars in round two. Morrison finished birdie-par-par to reach the weekend. Scott made but one birdie on Friday, but it came at the 16th hole, when the cut line looked to be lower than it ended. As for Masaveu, if you want to watch raw human emotion, follow him when you can. As his tee ball to the Postage Stamp disappeared into the rightside pit of sand, the Iberian covered his face with his hands for a good ten to fifteen seconds. It was as if his dog had run away and his romantic interest had bid farewell in the same instant.

Here’s to a battle equal to the US Open at Pinehurst, when Neal Shipley held off Luke Clanton by two to capture the low amateur medal.

 

Your Reaction?
  • 4
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK1

Continue Reading

WITB

Facebook

Trending