Wilson Staff Model ZM Wedge Review

50 Words or Less

The Wilson Staff Model ZM wedges provide consistent, tour level performance along with very satisfying sound and feel.  Wonderful aesthetics.

Introduction

Few things garner our immediate and full attention like seeing “Staff Model” clubs from Wilson Staff.  Matt Saternus and I have been mesmerized by Staff Model irons for years at the PGA Show, clamoring for elbow space to get closer looks.  There’s just something pure and simple about them.  Wilson relies heavily on input from their Advisory Staff, and the new Staff Model ZM wedges are no exception.  Knowing that major champion Padraig Harrington along with Kevin Kisner, Brendan Steel, and Kevin Streelman were behind the new wedge designs is a positive in my book.

Looks

In addition to the standard Wilson Staff Model ZM wedge is a distinctively different HT version.  The HT is easily distinguished by its namesake high toe shaping and its full-face grooves.  In the address position, I needed a minute or two to get comfortable with the look of the HT.  I’d seen photos of the similar TaylorMade Hi-Toe [full review HERE] and Callaway JAWS Full Toe [full review HERE] models, but having one in hand, getting ready to execute a shot, is another thing.  That said, it’s really just a small mental hurdle that I’m confident readers can overcome like I did.

In the bag, the two Staff Model ZM wedges look similar, with a lot of eye appeal.  Three finishes would normally be a negative for me, but Wilson designers used them masterfully.  The polished strip that bisects the backside gives a premium touch, while the milling arcs across the mid-section harken to the business side grooves.  And I love the empty Wilson shields that appear like stamps of approval from the 100 plus year old company. 

Sound & Feel

Let me start with feel – it was wonderful, just as you’d want from a forged carbon steel head.  Impact location was easily discerned but never harsh.  Regardless of the type of shot I attempted, the Wilson Staff Model ZM wedges felt stable through the hitting zone, encouraging me to trust the execution.

On the sound front, my ears enjoyed a mid-volume “pick.”  I selected pick instead of click or tick because the sound had a softness with urethane cover balls.  Sound was fairly consistent around the normal face contact area but was appropriately clanky at the edges.

Performance

As I learned researching the new Staff Model ZM wedges, that softness in sound was likely the result of a new groove design and face finishing.  The combination is meant to “ensure a faster, deeper, and longer ball interaction.”  Wilson doesn’t offer any details on the grooves, but does reveal that the face is blasted with garnet particles in lieu of industry standard aluminum.  This was an area of emphasis from the Advisory Staff who were seeking more consistency in wet conditions.

The Staff Model ZM wedges also feature higher and variable centers of gravity (CoG) for improved trajectory control.  As loft increases, CoG is elevated.  This is something we’ve also seen – and enjoyed – in Edison wedges [see our 2.0 review HERE].

My testing was conducted with a 56°, 10° bounce standard Staff Model ZM and 60°, 10° bounce HT version.  With both wedges, stopping power was excellent.  I also found the wedges to be very distance consistent.  Hitting half or three quarter chip or pitch shots, the landing zones were nice tight circles.  I hadn’t engaged a true lob wedge in a long while and thoroughly enjoyed the HT.  We’re in the transitional Bermuda rough growing stage in the South Carolina Lowcountry and the wide soled HT allowed me to pull off some magical shots that boosted my short game confidence.  Both ZM wedges were proficient at escaping bunkers with good spin.

Conclusion

This was my first hands-on encounter with a Wilson Staff wedge and the overall experience was great.  The Wilson Staff Model ZM wedges had wonderful feel and excellent performance.  Not surprising when you learn they are the “highest-spinning – and most consistent-spinning – wedges Wilson has ever produced.”  If you’re in the market for new tour level wedges, the Wilson Staff Model ZM are certainly worth a look.

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Wilson Staff Model ZM Wedge Price & Specs

Matt Meeker

2 Comments

  1. Matt, nice review. I’m looking at wedges and these sound like the ones I’m looking at first.

  2. $150 is very competitive for premium wedges.

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