As we move into 2011, golfers everywhere are looking for their next driver to help them take their game to the next level. A brand often times flying under the radar when it comes to the big stick, has a new model out called the DXi and THP has been spending some quality time with it to assist golfers with narrowing down their choices for the new year. Last year THP spent some time with the Wilson Staff Smooth driver and came away fairly impressed. Could they improve on their technology and move forward with the DXi into that upper tier of drivers for 2011?
From the Company
The new Wilson Staff DXi driver uses trajectory control to reduce spin and deliver soaring distance for both low and higher handicap players. The key is two high density tungsten rubber inserts that move the CG location further back as loft increases. Better players will prefer low loft options for the lower-spinning penetrating ball flight. Higher handicappers will opt for higher lofts for higher ball flights. Both options deliver one result: maximum distance.
1. Trajectory Control
– High Density tungsten rubber inserts and an internal weight pad move mass in the head to fine tune the CG location for each loft of driver.
– 8 and 9 Degree drivers feature weight concentrated low in the head to maximize vertical gear effect which lowers spin.
– 10.5 degree and HL drivers feature weight being kept low, but moving progressively back in the head to maximize dynamic loft which produces a higher ball flight.
2. 5-ZONE Face Thickness
– Our proprietary variable face thickness increase the high CT area of the club head in the heel and tow, expanding the sweet spot.
Looks & First Impressions
The first thing you will notice when you take the DXi out of the box is the fairly traditional looks of the crown of the driver. The all black finish with a small alignment aid give off some extra confidence at setup and the overall package adds to, based on appearance only, the look of a very technology driven driver. Turning the club over and looking at the sole, Wilson staff has addd some of their classic red into the mix as well as some designs that may hold the key to the advancements we are seeing in this new driver. As mentioned above, depending on the loft that you are working with, Wilson Staff has moved the weight around to assist with the proper ball flight and spin characteristics and this is something that was music to our ears. In testing two different lofts, we see a large difference in the characteristics both in ball flight and spin. Something you will normally see, but not to this extreme (and something we like quite a bit). The face is your typical satin silver finish and bares the classic Wilson Staff logo on the sweet spot. Overall, the looks of the club had a lasting impression that made us very much want to take this one out to the range immediately.
THP was able to test this on the range numerous times on the launch monitor as well as on the course for over a dozen rounds of golf. What we are finding is a driver that with some fitting will be an absolute gem for golfers everywhere. The key to this is fitting and finding the right loft for you to maximize your launch characteristics. We asked 15 golfers to join us at the local driving range for some testing and set out two different lofts for them to work with. Both had the same shaft (Aldila Voodoo) and the only difference was one had the loft of 10.5 and the other the loft of 9.0 degrees. 12 of the 15 golfers chose the lower loft and when we set them up on the launch monitor, more than half of them had their numbers just a little off in terms of distance and spin. Once we got the proper driver (in terms of loft) in their hands, the launch characteristics were near perfect and we had 15 very happy golfers in front of us. Fortunately for us golfers, Wilson Staff takes fitting rather seriously and has a wonderful little section on their website for you to test out and see what clubs work best for your swing. As we always do, we strongly urge you to try out multiple lofts and options when making your decision, we know that our testers did and it made the difference in ball flight and spin which in turn led to more distance.
Once armed with the proper loft and technology, we were off to the course for some much needed 18 hole rounds with the new Wilson Staff DXi. On the course the club performed admirably. Comparing it to last years offering from Wilson Staff to this reviewer is night and day. Solid distance, wonderful ball flight, and a great sound (relates to feel) that really give you that extra confidence as you stand on the tee box. In my opinion, sound and feel are very much related, especially as it relates to drivers. We are happy to report that Wilson Staff seems to once again have achieved what all of our testers felt was a great sounding and feeling club at impact and the tone is not “harsh” sounding like others on the market today.
What did we see on the course? A club head that seems very well married to that of the Aldila Voodoo shaft. If you have liked that shaft in other clubs, you will once again feel fortunate that it is in the DXi as the two seem to work well together. Comparing it to the Smooth, we were experiencing 3.9 yards of distance increase on average based on launch monitor testing and while that does not seem like all that much, in todays age of technology, getting distance increases from year to year is an added bonus. Add to that a club that is quite forgiving from both the heel and the toe and it appears Wilson Staff has a real winner on their hands.
There were a couple of things that our testers would have preferred to see change in terms of the driver, but neither had to do with its performance. First off is the headcover, which offers a zippered back and does become quite a pain to put on and off after each use. The second is the stock grip just did not hold up well to the FL humidity. These are two very minor things that cost virtually nothing for the consumer to fix in the grand scheme of things and certainly do not take away from the performance characteristics we were seeing with the new bomber from Wilson Staff.
It appears as though the DXi is a great option for golfers to test out and compare to their current driver. What we are seeing is after figuring out the best loft and technology for each golfer, a very competitive driver that offers top of the line performance without sacrificing anything in terms of forgiveness. Coming in with a price of $299, the driver is currently hitting stores now and is available for purchase. For more information on the Wilson Staff DXi or any other Wilson Staff products, check out their website at www.wilson.com.