Lamkin Grips

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Over the last decade many equipment companies have been coming out with putters that look more like spaceships than they do a piece of golf equipment all to pack technology into the latest flatsticks. Few designs hold up to the test of time to be called legendary or iconic, but when they do, they truly can be something special. One design that has held its place in fame and can absolutely be called an icon is the Wilson 8802. Made famous by the likes of Arnold Palmer and Ben Crenshaw, the style continues to be redone and is used by such greats as Phil Mickelson. The 8802 is an extremely simple design that is absolutely elegant with its clean lines and distinguished look. There is no heel-toe weighting to speak of, and you will not hear companies speak of buzz words like MOI when describing this piece of equipment.

Click Each Picture to Enlarge

From the Company
Inspired by timeless Wilson putters and updated with precision milling, the all-new Wilson Staff 88 putter series delivers several upgrades in a pure blend of classic design sure to appeal to every generation of golfer.

Incredible Milling

Dual-Milled Face
The first pass milling operation ensures a flat face for consistency. Secondary master grooves are then added to promote forward spin and reduce skid after impact. The arched shape of these secondary grooves imparts a slight side spin on heel and toe impacts, helping to bring the ball back on line.

VDP Alignment Technology
Visual Plane Differential- or VDP Technology- uses multi-surface markings to help players consistently get their eyes into the correct position directly above the putting target line.

Improved Feel
A low durometer, soft polymer VRAD grip by Golf Pride wraps a stepless barrel shaft for improved feel and feedback

Other Models
Five unique shapes milled from soft stainless steel offer options to satisfy the eye of the most demanding golfer

8881 – Traditional heel/toe weighted, plumber hosel (also available in LH)
8882 – Timeless 8802 shape, heel shaft, offset gooseneck hose
8883 – Toe weighted semi-mallet, heel shaft, offset gooseneck hosel
8884 – Heel/toe weighted, semi-mallet hybrid, heel shaft, plumber hosel
8885 – Heel/toe weighted, mallet, heel shaft, plumber hosel

Looks & First Impressions
After seeing this first at the PGA Merchandise Show in January, THP was eager to get its hands on it. The putter has a dark gunmetal type of finish that screams “classy”. Whether or not the dual milled face works as intended will be better left for testing, but based on looks alone, it is awe inspiring. The simple single thin white line for alignment was a nice touch and adds to the classic appeal. The grip was also extremely nice looking while at the same time being soft and tacky. When picking the putter up for the first time, we could not help but notice what felt like a counter weighting located in the grip section of the club. We contacted Wilson Staff customer service, but they were not able to give any info on the weighting of this putter, including headweight, rather saying it was proprietary information which is more common these days with club companies. One complaint we had about this putter is that the headcover, while looks great, is just not good at staying on the equipment. Time after time during our rounds, just riding in the cart was making the cover fall off. Despite any small drawbacks, THP was excited about this review based on the looks and first impressions. The quality that went into this design and the overall aesthetics are just that good.

Customer Service
A new section to our reviews on equipment, apparel, and accessories is that of customer service. In today’s modern shopping experience, it is easy to press “buy” and have something arrive a week later. But what happens if you have issues with your purchase? What happens if you need help? For that, we have added this section to our reviews when looking at new lines from companies. When researching for information on this putter, the Wilson Staff website is well designed, easy to navigate, and very helpful. It was missing some technical specs on this putter, so we contacted customer service just as any other customer would do. While they were not able to get us the information we were looking for, as mentioned above, what we did find is someone that was extremely friendly, courteous, and willing to help in as many ways as they could. There is something to be said in today’s age of online transactions and quick sales for good customer support and the Wilson Staff company earned major bonus points to this reviewer with their way of going about things despite not having the information. This could have very easily been a quick “we cannot give that out, thanks for contacting” and instead we got a string of emails after our initial contact with follow up information and offering to help in any way possible.

Incredible Milling From Another Angle

Testing
As eager as I was to get my hands on this putter since the PGA Show, when it showed up at our offices for testing, I was still just as eager. The look alone just makes you pray for good weather and in all honesty, most on the THP site, know that this is my favorite shape of all putters.

First thing we tested for was glare at setup, because in the summer sun, especially in FL, it can make or break a putter pretty quickly. We were thrilled to see that there were no glare issues at all, something we were a little nervous about going in.

During testing, the weighting was throwing each of the 9 golfers off when they were first picking it up. Most expected it to be incredibly light weight and each one that picked it up, took a few minutes to figure out the weighting with each stroke. But by the end of day 1, each player had it figured out pretty well. One thing that each person was enjoying was the dual milled face. Did it add more forward roll and in turn have players make more putts? No, not really, but it did minimize the trouble that mis-hits had on the ball. Most of the golfers believed that it was due to the arch shaped milling on the face, and since that is what the company says as well, who are we to argue it. This was especially noticeable on longer putts outside of the 20 foot mark.

After 3 full days of putter testing with some other golfers, I was eager to put this one in the bag and take it out for a few rounds and the Wilson Staff 8882 delivered! What I found on the course mirrored the thoughts of the testers throughout my trials. Longer putts were missed with more accuracy with this putter than many we have tested. Now that sounds kind of funny when you think about it, but in reality most amateurs are looking for 2 putts and this putter delivered. Is it because of the grooves? I have no reason to doubt it at this point. In my putting when I miss, it is usually a little off the heel and my miss on 18-25 foot putts ends up offline by a decent margin. Did I notice side spin? No, but the ball was not showing the same inaccuracies that I am used to seeing throughout my game. After many rounds putting the Wilson Staff 8882 in play, it is safe to say that in the opinion of this reviewer, they have a winner on their hands.

Classic Elegance From the Top

Comic Relief
During testing a younger golfer came over and said “That is a very cool Napa Style putter”. That is the ultimate definition of comic relief if you ask me since the Napa is just another in the line of “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” when it comes to the 8802.

Overall
When a company is resurrecting an icon, you never really know what to expect, similar to the sequel of a really good movie, but I believe Wilson Staff has something outstanding on their hands. One other thing that stuck out to us about this great reinvention is that of the price. The Wilson Staff 8882 is selling right now for around $100 and for that kind of money, fits right into our “best buy” category for putters that for so long has been dominated by a few other lines. For more information on the new Wilson Staff series of putters or to check out anything else in their line, go to their website at www.wilsonstaff.com.

Till Next Time

Josh B.

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Category: Equipment, Headlines & News, Putters

About the Author ()

Josh is the Publisher of The Hackers Paradise and co-founder of THP Media with his wife Morgan Babbitt. Together they share a passion for golf, and they travel the country along with their two dogs in the THP Tour Van bringing their love and knowledge of the game to golfers everywhere.

Comments (23)

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  1. Yoccos1981 says:

    I’ve been looking at this putter and the BRZ line… This was a great review! Answered all the questions I was going to ask 🙂 I’ve had a chance to test this putter line a couple of times (8881) and I felt the same way about the accuracy.

  2. clam fist says:

    A classic reborn!

  3. dustklose says:

    I have hit this putter at a local austads golf. I sunk 14 of 20 putts. The guy told me it was destiny lol

  4. thanks1974 says:

    outstanding review JB! I really like the ‘Customer Service’ section of the review.

  5. Snap Hook says:

    Hahaha. That comic relief part about the young kid calling it a Napa style is hilarious. I ran into the same thing at my local golf store. I like to rummage through the bargain bin for old putters and a clerk asked me what style i was looking for. Wilson 8802 just drew a blank expression, but as soon as I said Napa his eye’s lit up and he directed me to a barrel……….with an original Wilson 8802 sitting in it.

  6. Jake says:

    Did you like the Ghost putter or Nike Method Putter.

  7. Administrator says:

    Jake,
    This is a review of the Wilson Staff putter. Perhaps you will find that info in our forum from the admins as well as hundreds of forum members.

  8. Stanley Jones says:

    The sight line is NOT on the sweet spot. This is a BIG problem.

  9. Admin says:

    Stanley,
    We just did not see that problem. It worked quite well for us.

  10. Jon says:

    Does it really matter if the Napa is an 8802 imitator? Having been a golfer for 35 years whose first putter (and love) was an 8802, I can tell you the Napa is clearly a superior better crafted putter than the 8802 and all its Wilson incarnations like this one.

  11. Bob V says:

    Having played both a Napa and the Wilson 8802 I would say hands down the 8802 was and still is a superior performing blade putter. Fancy machining and a nosebleed price do not equate to better performance. The Napa Cameron looks nice, but from a pure performance standpoint it could not hold a candle to the 8802 IMO. The Napa did not stay in my bag for long. I’ll be giving this new 8882 a try soon.

  12. David R says:

    Tested it yesterday and will put it in the bag this summer….Simple/Wonderful/Deft touch…

  13. I could not dissagree strongly enough with Jon’s post(12/18/10) declaring the Cameron Napa putter “superior to the ‘8802 and all its Wilson incarnations like this one.” I will grant that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder in accepting his opinion, though anyone looking @ a Napa owes it to themselves to at least TRY the 8882(or even better, the 8802 if you can get your hands on one, an authentic one, not the knock-offs littering the net). I too got my 8802 @ the age of 16(I’m 50yo), & used it for 27 years, ironically switching to a Scotty Laguna mid-slant in ’03. The switch was made due to my stroke inadequacies, not because the Laguna was a superior putter. I worked through these issues & returned to the 8802 in ’06 though I made the switch to the 8882 this past season. The dual milling definately helps, especially on longer lag putts. Bob V(02/04/11) says it better than I can. So try the 8882, buy it & spend the $200 you’ve saved over the Scotty on your wife/girl. BTW, great review! Fairways and Greens Forever………

  14. roland-4D5B4E41@fireden.netmckinley-4D5B4E41@fireden.net*I am often to blogging and i really appreciate your content. The article has really peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your site and keep checking for new information.

  15. Ron Karns says:

    Excellent job!!! I used the Red-X for awhile, but had to go back to my 8802. It just feels better. The only thing that could pry my old 8802 out of my hands was my new 8882! 29 putts, and eight 1 putt greens…Wilson made a classic even better.

  16. larrymcj says:

    @Stanley Jones: you couldn’t be more wrong…it “is” the sweet spot. Call Wilson if you need confirmation.

  17. Phil Mickelson says:

    This is basically the same putter I won the Masters with. The PM protype. Great putter.

  18. michael pasquill says:

    I picked up this putter last summer after I saw it a my local golf course. Was using a cameron del mar California version. I will tell you that this putter is much better than the cameron. I have played various blade putters from the old wilson gene sarazen signature that my late father gave me as a child to the wilson geo low, to the odssey 880. I love this putter the feel the weight and how it is balanced tell me that I made the right choice.
    I love the grooves/ milling on the putter to how it feels when the ball comes off the head. My misses are like you said on the heel of the putter but i have not putted with a better putter in along time.

  19. Nick says:

    I have been gaming a Scotty Newport for two years and have liked the quality and playability. However I was intrigued to try a new blade putter and tested the new 8882. For only $99 I bought it and took both the Scotty and the 8882 out to the course. For me, I actually felt better and putted better with the new 8882. Putting is such a personal thing, that although it is helpful to read reviews, there is no right or wrong on which putter is good for you. The best advise I can give, is to demo as many models as you can and find the right flat stick for you. One other very important thing to keep in mind is both the grip size and weight of the grip you use. The heavier the grip, the lighter the head of the putter will feel when you swing it. The grip weight makes a HUGE difference in the feel of any putter. For and apple to apples comparison, the size and weight of the grips of the putters you are demoing should be as close as possible. Cheers.

  20. Spikers says:

    I love the 8882blk! I left my SeeMore mFGP at home one time and had to borrow my uncle’s 8882 and made putts like never before. Lag putting has never been this easy for me and the short ones you feel like you can ram it home…what break?! They Odyssey Tour Design i 9 finishes a close second for me, but this 8882 is #1 in my book.

    My only grip is the horrible headcover it comes with, but finding an Odyssey #8 headcover takes care of that.

  21. David says:

    I have used several styles of putters, but this one stays in the bag. The weighting feels just right. It does not have an insert, but i think inserts make urethane-cover balls feel too soft. Mishits don’t wander too much and the simple design greatly helps alignment. As with forged blades, sometimes you just can’t improve on a time-tested design, so many new clubs sure look like old clubs.

  22. Paul Dougherty says:

    Curious as to what the offset is? I’m guessing 1/4″. My first putter was an Arnold Palmer remake made by First Flight. Guessing it was early 1970’s club. It was a gift from Chip Miler an assistant pro @ Garden City Golf Club. After giving me the putter he warned me that if not careful it could be removed from my bag. A few months later such did happen.

  23. Karan says:

    So are you still gaming the putter?

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