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Highly adjustable. Very straight. Good looks.
Over the last few years, Wilson Staff has done a great job creating irons that better players want to put in their bags. The woods have been a different story. That’s going to change in 2014 with the release of the FG Tour M3 series featuring a driver, fairway wood, and hybrid aimed at skilled golfers. PluggedInGolf will be reviewing the entire series over the coming weeks, and we start things off with a look at the FG Tour M3 driver.
The FG Tour M3 driver definitely looks the part of a better players driver. At address, the head is compact with a deep face. The crown is a sharp looking matte grey with a small alignment aid. Flip it over and you’ll find an equally understated sole. The branding is minimal and the black, white, and gold color scheme looks great.
Sound & Feel
The sound of the FG Tour M3 driver is not quite what you’d expect from a driver aimed at better players, primarily because of the volume. The M3 is one of the louder drivers that I’ve tested this year. To be clear, no one is going to give you funny looks at the range for hitting this, it’s simply louder than most of this year’s offerings.
The quality of the sound should appeal to most golfers. It’s a mix of a solid “thud” with a slight metallic “crack” on centered hits. When you get off the center of the face, the sound becomes a little bit quieter and a bit duller.
As you would expect from a club like this, the level of responsiveness is very high. You will have no problem knowing exactly where on the face the ball was struck.
Wilson Staff’s Multi-Fit System
Each of the clubs in Wilson Staff’s new FG Tour M3 line, the driver, fairway wood, and hybrid, feature the Multi-Fit System. The Multi-Fit System offers players the ability to adjust loft, face angle, and the head weight.
Wilson recommends fitting for weight first, looking for the highest ball speed and the player’s preferred feel. The different weights are 3, 7, and 11 grams. While switching weights doesn’t change the feel of the club completely, it is a noticeable difference (approx. 2 swing weights per change). Players with a strong preference for a certain swing weight or feel should appreciate this bit of adjustability.
After the head weight has been selected, Wilson recommends dialing in the loft for the ideal launch/spin combination, as well as the preferred ball flight. The driver has the most adjustability, offering lofts from 8.5° to 11.5°. The fairway woods span 3° also, and the hybrids have a 2° range..
One area where I give Wilson huge credit: they’re the only OEM I’ve seen that clearly acknowledges that changing loft changes face angle (and vice versa) and makes the changes known to the consumer. In the adjustment manual, there is a table for each club showing the face angle at each loft.
Finally, another big thumbs up to Wilson for including the weight and wrench kit with each club rather than making it available with the driver only or forcing consumers to buy it separately.
When I read that the FG Tour M3 is a driver built for better players, I had two expectations: it would be demanding about hitting the center of the face and it would be highly workable (translation: easy to hit into the trees). I was right on one count, but could not have been more wrong on the other.
In terms of ball speed, the FG Tour M3 does live up to its “players driver” moniker. Ball speed off the center of the face is very good, but as I started to wander around the face, the ball speed dipped noticeably.
When it comes to accuracy, however, the FG Tour M3 is as forgiving as your favorite grandparent. Good swings and bad swings all seemed to find the center of the fairway. Pure strikes and heel shots ended up in the short grass. This was not what I expected, but I never complain about hitting fairways.
It’s time to start taking Wilson Staff seriously not only for their irons, but for their woods as well. The FG Tour M3 driver is a solid choice for good drivers of the ball. It offers above average accuracy and adjustability that goes well beyond adding or subtracting a degree of loft.
Price and Specs
Wilson Staff FG Tour M3 driver retails for $350.
It is adjustable from 8.5°-11.5° and features the Aldila RIP Phenom 50 or Aldila RIP Phenom NL 60 as the stock shaft.