Following Up A Hit
Wilson Staff has always been a great iron company – the FG Tour and FG Tour V2 irons are beloved by better players, and their C and D irons are great – but recently they had been lacking in the other categories. When the D100 line launched in 2013, Wilson Staff let the industry know that they were a serious player in woods, too.
Wilson Staff has seen tremendous success with the D100 line, and they’ve been hard at work crafting a worthy replacement. Recently I was able to get a sneak peak of the D200 woods and irons, and today I’m able to share with you some in-hand pics and details.
Committed to “The Right Light”
Since the launch of the D100 line, Wilson Staff has been promoting the idea of “The Right Light.” The idea behind this is that over time, clubs have gotten lighter and lighter for good reason: players will swing them faster, and often better. Faster swings = higher ball speeds = More distance. That’s good math. Though some players will resist the notion that lighter is better, Wilson Staff points to loads of player testing that shows that less weight is better for the vast majority of players. That’s why they’re sticking with The Right Light in D200.
The most obvious upgrade from the D100 to the D200 came in the driver with the addition of adjustability. Wilson Staff’s D200 driver features 6 settings – Standard Loft, -1°, +1°, plus a Draw setting for each of those three lofts. Michael Vrska, Wilson Staff’s head of R&D, was really enthusiastic in discussing these Draw settings, saying that they had seen significant ball flight improvements in their testing.
Though adjustability (and its requisite components) usually add weight to a club, the D200 driver is actually 1 gram lighter than D100. This super-light club shaves weight everywhere possible, from a light head to a 44 gram UST Elements Chrome shaft to the 25 gram grip. The end result is a light club that still has plenty of swing weight and feel for the club head.
The Fairway Woods and Hybrids
The major story in the D200 fairway woods and hybrids is the face material. Wilson Staff went high-end here using 455 Carpenter Steel which produces higher CT and ball speeds than other types of steel. They also stretched the corners of the face to make a “bigger trampoline,” but retained the shape of the sole so turf interaction would not be compromised. Both clubs retain their focus on being really easy to hit and high launching.
Both the fairway woods and hybrids follow the same light weight model as the driver. The fairway woods will pack a 49 gram UST Elements Chrome shaft and the 25 gram grip. The hybrid uses a 54 gram UST Elements Chrome shaft.
At a glance, the D200 iron looks almost identical to the D100, but don’t let appearance fool you, there’s a critical difference. In most game improvement irons, weight is loaded into the sole to make the club easy to launch. The problem is that a thick sole keeps the bottom of the face from flexing and producing ball speed. Wilson Staff has solved this problem with what they call Speed Sole Technology. As you can see in the drawing above, Wilson has removed the material behind the bottom of the face to create driver-like CT and deliver higher performance on shots hit low on the face. This also gave Wilson’s engineers more weight to move to the heel and toe of the club, resulting in higher MOI and more forgiveness.
Just like the woods, the D200 irons feature the Right Light concept with either 85 gram steel or 59 gram graphite shafts.
The entire Wilson Staff D200 line up will arrive on shelves January 15, 2015.