Put Some "Zip" In Your Game
Oct 13, 2007 (Updated Apr 22, 2009)
Review by Bill Brott
Rated a Very Helpful Review
I've been playing a lot of "Wilson Staff" products lately. No not "Wilson" (bargain basement stuff for beginners}, "Pro Staff" (Wilson's value line for hackers}but "Wilson Staff" (the gear that's as good as any of the top name brands, and often better than most.) "Wilson Staff" has many tour players using their products, such as Padraig Harrington. The stuff is well made, and usually works at least as well as advertised. I have taken a particular liking to their irons and golf balls. I've played the TX 4 (love it), and the 50/50 (like it), as well as some of their older technological experiments(the I Wound). I've written reviews on the balls, and here comes another one. Sadly, the following digression is necessary, as the name "Wilson Staff" is actually a resurrection of a once proud Golf company that fell onto hard times, and into making cheap cr@p!
Recommend this product?
Hopefully Wilson will shake off the rather wretched reputation that they established for themselves several years ago. Seeing as they were filling up the racks at Walmart w/cheap, poorly made clubs (Fireball), and low priced bargain basement distance rock-like golf balls (Ultra), it's taken a while for people to differentiate "Wilson Staff" golf equipment from the cheap trash that "Wilson" was pumping out ealier under both it's own name and the "Pro Staff" name. "Wilson Staff" equipment is tour quality, and after shooting two sleeves of this new ball--let me tell you why they as a company are so deserving of more recognition, as is this golf ball in particular.
0 Compression Core???!!!
Well-that's what the stats say, and after reading about the makeup of said core--I believe it. It is a solid "Polybutedeine" core --the same stuff in the Marshmallow-Like Nike Super Soft. That's a real good start. Next it is cut "w/less curatives" than others.- That may sound like marketing mumbo-jumbo to most of you, but it actually makes sense--and here's why. When balls boast of Tungsten, Bismuth, or other such heavy metals--they are actually talking about "Curatives" added to the Polybutedeine compound. You don't think they actually use metal wire wraps do you? That would make the balls very expensive, and quite unmanageable. "Curatives" are the powdered sugar, and the "Polybutedeine Core" is the jelly doughnut. A core unhardened by heavy metals is much softer, and much livelier.
Wow!-----Everyone's claiming one of these in the 3-Piece ball market. The term "Mantle" is most descriptive. Sort of like the bigger ball we live on. Ground Cover-Mantle-Core. Well if you're trying to sell golf balls such accurate, but boring terminology will never do. You must call it a Speed Mantle, or Fire Mantle 2000, or some such happy horse hockey. Fortunately for Wilson--their "Speed Mantle" actually works well in regulating the spin, and conducting transmissions of club head speed to the core. Wilson has been attempting this for some time with the old "True Series" and the "DNA" series. Their TX 4 hit a home run w/it, but that's because it had a split core (both inner and outer) in addition to the mantle and softer cover. This time they've hit the nail on the head in a 3 piece version. If you liked the TX4 and the PX3, but wanted some easier distance, and a softer impact--this very well could be your next ball.
Cover Me I'm Going In
That's the story alright, a solid Ionomer cover. These are darned expensive to produce, but the greenside spin tells me it's at least 85% Ionomer. There's got to be some Surlyn in their somewhere because solid Ionomer covers shred faster than Firestone Tires on a Ford Bronco. (Even though Surlyn is technically a brandname for a specific type of Ionomer) These balls, though susceptible to early hair growth, still seem fairly durable. They feel as soft as solid Ionomer, and in combo w/the softest core available, and that amazing computer designed, wind-tunnel tested 312 dimple count, these things are just astoundingly fun to hit. Allow me to elaborate.
You will feel it off the driver, and it is just firm enough to be informative. "How can it be firm at all? I thought the core was 0 compression?" -- Well yes, that part is true. That's the marketing gimmick. Sure--"The Core" is 0 compression,-- BUT-- golf balls work off of an "Overall" compression rating. The core is only one factor that determines "Overall Compression." The new Pinnacle Lady Clear, has a core compression of only 50--yet the ball's "OVERALL" compression rating is 80. Based on side by side swing tests @ Sycamore Creek, I'd have to guesstimate it's rate at 75. It's feel is dead center between the Volvik Prospect (a true 70 overall compression rated ball) and the Snake Eyes Tour 3 piece (which sports an Overall compression rating of 80.) Trust me--this ball is soft--a bit poofy at times, but never mushy. Distance wise she goes far. Right up there with the Pro V1, and only single digit yardage behind the Callaway HX 56, and the Bridgestone B330-S. The 312 Dimple pattern limits her from reaching her apex too fast, so it's one of those beautiful glide right up to the Apex, and glide right back down. Steady ascent, flat-line, steady descent. True trajectory at all times.
Long Irons/Hybrids/Fairway Metals
312 Dimple Count usually means true trajectory. (That's one reason Nike stole the pattern for their "Juice Ball.") Don't count on her getting up too quickly, unless you really hit down on it. Otherwise this ball has a trajectory more like a field gun than a howitzer. If you chunk your 3 wood, you're probably not going to like this ball. If you hate hitting balloon shots with your hybrids--you're going to love this ball. As stated earlier, the ascent and descent are both gradual. If you miss-hit your long irons, this ball's flight path won't help you much, but the softer feel will definitely remove some of the pain from the shockwave we all dread, and know as--"The Hogan Sting."
Yes she is a pin-seeker's delight. You can aim at them from out there, and she'll deliver. Not only will the 312 Dimple Pattern help her hold the line against a 2-club wind, but the spin from the mantle during flight (oops--I mean "speed mantle") and Ionomer cover while landing greenside will help her spin back. I actually saw her jam on the brakes after my buddy hit a 2-iron stinger from way out in BFE--onto a short and narrow green. I was achieving similar performance w/my mid irons. Point, aim. "POOF", and away she goes. She goes where you aim her at address, feels soft at impact, but flies true to her target. Never too high, and never too low--the proverbial "Goldilocks Trajectory".
Short Irons and Wedges
These babies help give your lasers some focus. They fly just high enough to do the job. If you do want a higher trajectory, just hit down a little more, and you've got an instant mortar shot. I popped several up high to land soft w/my lob wedge. In other words--312 dimple count provides a pretty generic sort of trajectory, but the ball is so well made and balanced, that you can work her up and down, as well as left to right.
The famous muted click is there, for a great audible cue. I'd like to say she provides just the right amount of cling off of the putter's face for a brilliant tactile cue--but that would be a lie. Occasionally after "clicking" off my putter-she just felt like "POOF". This was no where near the problem I started to experience w/the old Nike Super Softs, which "POOFED" off of every club. It just happened when I failed to keep my focus. Hey--it's tough for any ball w/this low of a compression rating to not feel poofy at times, but overall, she was almost The Goldilocks Ball. Not too soft, not too hard...but juuuuust right."
Thanks to my CL Abraham for providing this link for the links.
Amount Paid (US$): 29.99
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