New clubs come out each and every year and some often wonder “Is there a difference between this year and last year?” or “What new technology am I looking at in these new clubs?”. Wilson Staff has made it quite easy to recognize that the minute you take a look at the new D-FY iron and hybrid set, that you will see something that is far different than what is currently in your bag.
While at the 2010 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, FL earlier this year, THP got a preview of these new irons for our readers and we could not wait to get our hands on them. Here is a THP exclusive video shot at the show in January with Wilson Staff as they talk about the Wilson Staff D-FY Hybrid & Iron set.
Innovation abounds in the all new D-FY transition set, starting with seamlessly fused FYbrid long-club technology, powerful hollow-core mid-range clubs and accurate perimter-weighted scoring irons. But the real breakthrough is a Half-and-Half shaft that delivers the speed and soft feel of graphite with the precision and consistency of steel. It’s the best of both worlds for the low-to-mid swing speed player.
1. Half-and-Half Shaft – A proprietary co-curing process fuses a graphite section with a steel section into a single high performance shaft that out performs its steel and graphite counterparts in distinct areas. For the low-to-mid swing speed player, this patent-pending half and half shaft adds clubhead speeds and overall distance without sacrificing the pinpoint accuracy expected from steel.
2. Integrated Set Design – This fully-integrated 8-piece set delivers seamless performance with built-in distance gapping. The 19.5 FY and 4-hybrid bring long-range accuracy and flexibility. Hollow 5-iron and 6-iron utilize an easy-to-hit ultra wide sole design. Tradiitonal cavity back designs in the 7-iron through PW provide maximum forgiveness and distance control.
We will get to the crazy looking shaft in a minute, but before we do that, let’s talk about the club head itself. Both the sole and topline are thicker in appearance than what many will be used to and that is to provide maximum forgiveness in the areas that many amateur golfers need the assistance. The cavity is modern looking with deep cuts that reveal a hollow chamber on the 6 and 7 iron and traditional cavity on the shorter irons. On the base of the cavity near the sole you will see the classic Wilson Staff crest and the interior shows off the same deep red and black that we have come to expect from the stylish irons that the company puts out.
But who are we kidding! When you pick up the Wilson Staff D-FY irons, you are really only going to look at one thing and that is the shaft. Known as the Half & Half shaft it is definitely different looking. The butt half (graphite) finished in a deep red with the label 76 grams and the lower half done in rifle like steel. I would be lying if I did not say it is really good looking, and slightly odd looking all at the same time. The curiosity was killing us so we rounded up some players and went out to the range.
THP gathered 7 golfers of all different skill levels and had them hit balls with their own irons which were a mix of graphite shafted sets and steel shafted sets, and then we had them each hit a bucket of balls with the new Wilson Staff D-FY set featuring the Half & Half shafts. What we saw was something THP has not seen before in any of our hundreds of reviews we have ever done. After hitting the first few balls, every single tester was looking at us, then down at the shaft, and then shaking their head. We asked players what they were feeling and not a single golfer could give us an answer. The unanimous thoughts were “confusion”, but they plowed through and continued to hit the entire bucket of balls and those looks of confusion quickly became smiles as they became more comfortable with the feel of this new shaft technology.
By the end of the bucket, THP learned three things from the testers and their feedback.
1. Golfers that are used to steel shafts and have a pretty fast swing speed, did not care for the technology much and struggled gaining control with their shots.
2. Golfers that play graphite shafts or light steel shafts really liked the way these felt and performed. They found they were getting increased distance as well as a very tight shot dispersion.
3. The hybrids were liked by everybody. Not a single player had issues with them including those with a little higher swing speeds. Each golfer was hitting them from the tee, the short grass, and even the rough and enjoying the feel and performance immensely.
I was able to play this unique set of clubs on the course for 6 rounds of golf and countless range sessions and what I found was very much similar to that of the testers we gathered up for our initial feedback on the driving range. I am going to break this up into two different sections here, one for the hybrids and the other for the irons. While they are one continuous set, I think both play incredibly different and at the same time offer a seamless transition in gaps.
The Wilson Staff D-FY set comes with the 19.5 degree FYbrid, as well as the 24 degree 4 hybrid. Note that as many companies are going stronger lofted to showcase “maximum distance” Wilson Staff went more traditional to make sure that the golfers using this set have less yardage gaps as they move towards the shorter irons. Last year THP got a chance to see the Wilson Staff line up close in our 2009 Hybrid Shoot Out and watched as it got a top 2 finish out of close to 20 hybrids involved. I was eager to give these a try and they did not disappoint at all. Being that most of the hybrids we try are graphite shafted, the transition to the Half & Half shafts in these clubs was extremely easy. The added “rails” on the sole of the hybrid assist in cutting through the deeper stuff and the club has an extremely “hot” face. When looking at hybrids, we look for Feel, Sound, Looks, Distance, Forgiveness, and Overall Performance. The 2 that came with the Wilson Staff D-Fy offered all of that and really made the long iron game far more enjoyable. We had one minor complaint with the hybrids though and that is the headcover. The zippered headcover lacks appearance and functionality to make us use it at all.
Like many of the testers, it took me a while to get used to the feel of the Half & Half technology in the shafts, but once I did, I enjoyed my time testing these. They definitely feel and perform more like graphite than they do steel, and if you are used to graphite shafted irons, the transition will take very little time. If you are not, the shafts can play some trickery with your shot dispersion and distances of what you are used to using. The club heads themselves are ultra forgiving and offer an extremely high ball flight that seemed to carry for days. The 6 and 7 iron for some reason felt as though they were the odd men out of the group as they feel different at impact based on cavity design and weighting, but once I got used to the combined feel of the set, I was really enjoying them. Distances are all gapped extremely well and as mentioned, these are extremely forgiving.
The technology seems to work rather well in our testing of the Wilson Staff D-FY hybrid/iron set and while the set will not be for everybody, we definitely recommend those that play graphite shafts normally to take a look and try them out. When first picking them up, the feel is so different that it took some getting used to. It was not bad, nor good, just different. But after getting used to the feel of the “split” shafts and the ball flight and distances that they provide, myself and the rest of the testers felt quite comfortable with the set. If you are in the market for a new set of irons and are looking for maximum forgiveness in a package that is unique and different, we strongly urge you to take these for a test drive. The street price THP is seeing for these irons is around $799. For more information on this set or any other Wilson Staff products, check out their website at www.wilsonstaff.com.
Till Next Time