Breakdown of the Wilson Golf Brand

By Nick Heidelberger

Gary Woodland Wilson golf brand

Wilson has been a player in the golf equipment business since 1914, but the company’s competitiveness in the space has wavered throughout the years.

To this day, Wilson produces golf clubs and balls for every category of player, aiming to compete with the powerhouses of the industry like Callaway, Titleist, TaylorMade, and PING, a category Wilson fell into not throughout much of the 1900s.

Wilson Staff

Wilson branded its golf equipment branch as Wilson Staff. Wilson Staff equipment includes balls, bags, gloves, hats, accessories, and every club in the bag. Wilson Staff drivers, woods, hybrids, driving irons, iron sets, wedges, and putters are available in models that fit every category of golfer, from tour professional and top amateurs to those in the game-improvement category.

Wilson Golf Clubs

Wilson golf clubs are still among some of the best in the industry and are used by 2021 European Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington, 2019 U.S. Open Champion Gary Woodland, 1999 Open Championship winner Paul Lawrie, Brendan Steele, Kevin Streelman, and Kevin Tway. Here’s a breakdown of Wilson Staff clubs and the players each are intended for.

Wilson D9 and Launch Pad Drivers

The current line of Wilson drivers includes the D9 and Launch Pad drivers, each with models for both men and women.

Wilson targeted maximum distance and forgiveness with the D9 driver. Using artificial intelligence, Wilson created a larger sweet spot that extends from the center of the clubface towards the heel and toe. Increased ball speed on strikes in those areas results in increased distance on more drives.

While the D9 driver aims to maximize distance, the Launch Pad is a draw-biased driver intended to address a different issue many golfers face: the slice. The Launch Pad driver is slightly offset, which assists with getting the clubface closer to square at impact. That results in shots that start on, or closer to, the intended line with reduced slice spin. The super-game-improvement Launch Pad driver features 13 grams of weight in the heel, which also helps eradicate that pesky slice. Finally, Wilson gave the Launch Pad a more upright lie angle to combat the slice.

Checking in at 272 grams, the Launch Pad driver is one of the lightest drivers available. The lightweight design translates to effortless clubbed speed and greater distance.

Players who battle a slice, desire more club-head speed, or both, should gravitate to the Launch Pad driver, which is specifically designed to address those issues. Golfers with a confident driver swing who are looking to maximize distance and swing hard without fear of missing the center of the clubface are best fit for the D9 driver.

Wilson Irons

From the super-game-improvement Launch Pad irons to the Staff Model Blades, Wilson’s irons run the gamut of iron categories, truly offering something for everybody.

Both the Staff Model Blades and Staff Model CB (cavity back) irons are designed by Wilson to suit the needs of Wilson’s Tour Staff players. The forged Staff Blades are a precision milled work of art, built to offer the control that separates top players from their competition.

The Staff Model CB irons offer control and an added emphasis on workability and forgiveness, still doing so in a visually appealing package. The CB irons include 20 grams of weight in the toe of the long and mid-irons to lower the center of gravity and proved added stability in the head. Both iron sets are appropriate for better, low-handicap players.

For those in search of a game-improvement iron, Wilson offers the D9 and Launch Pad irons. The D9 irons, like the D9 driver, include an enlarged sweet spot to provide greater ball speed on shots struck across the face. Typical of a game-improvement iron, the D9 also offers a low center of gravity — the lowest ever in a Wilson iron — for easy launch and steeper descent.

The Launch Pad irons, which fall into the super-game-improvement category, feature an enlarged sole, designed for smooth turf interaction. The sole is designed to glide through the turf with ease, as opposed to digging into it. This should help eliminate fat shots and transfer more energy into the ball, providing more distance. Established players may be turned off by the wide sole, but those in need of the performance benefits will appreciate the extra help.

Other Wilson Golf Clubs

While the Wilson Staff lineup competes with the other major Original Equipment Manufacturers, Wilson removes the “Staff” badge on complete sets for men, women, teens, and kids that range from under $200 to $700.

Wilson Golf Balls

As with Wilson clubs, Wilson offers a variety of golf balls that cover every level of player.

The tour-caliber Staff Model and Staff Model R balls are both 4-piece balls providing benefits for top-level players. The Staff Model boasts high spin with irons and a soft feel, giving players the freedom to shape shots any way they can imagine. The Staff Model R, meanwhile, includes an unpainted cover. Wilson claims that leaving the ball unpainted results in a perfectly even surface, promoting the straightest possible flight.

For those who don’t need a premium, shapable ball, Wilson offers the two-piece Duo Soft+ and Duo Optix models. The Optix line comes in five bright colors, while the Soft+ is designed to feel great and fly straight. In Wilson’s testing performed in April of 2019, the Duo Soft+ had the lowest compression of all soft golf balls on the market.

For those on the value golf ball market, Wilson offers the Zip, 50 Elite, and Tour Velocity models, which each check in at $15 per dozen or less.

Bottom Line

It’s undeniable that Wilson golf clubs don’t have the presence on the professional tours that they did throughout most of the 1900s, but Wilson Staff still produces top-of-the-line golf equipment and has an offering for every type of player, from beginners to the world’s best.

Image: Alex Goodlett/Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

About the Author

Nick Heidelberger is the Editor of GolfLink. He has a degree in journalism from the University of Idaho and has been an avid golfer for more than 10 years. In the years prior to joining GolfLink, he worked for the New England Section of the PGA of America.