Chalk this one up to very interesting timing. Today, Wilson Golf is launching a new golf ball and subscription service. Following in the footsteps of the irons and utility that have been previously launched and feature the same name, the Staff Model golf ball is designed for the lower handicapped golfer looking for the best control of their game.
Before getting into the Baller Box (yes that is real), let’s go over the new Staff Model ball which offers some intriguing technology. The 4-piece golf ball features a cast urethane cover and 362 dimple pattern design. I always enjoy the dimple count in the technology details from companies for some strange reason, despite being able to say without a shadow of a doubt that golfers don’t care. If there are #DimplePeepers out there, let us know in the comments below. Wilson is touting maximum distance with tour level spin, as expected, but the details show a very promising golf ball.
The 4 piece golf ball breaks down as cover, two mantle layers, and a core. Starting on the outside and working our way in, the cover is new for Wilson. The balancing act that manufacturers go through with the golf ball cover is constant battle between increasing spin and losing durability. While the materials remain largely the same here, the Staff Model is thinner on the outside than their previous tour offering to increase the spin around the green. Moving to the inside of the golf ball, we start with an outer mantle that is a firm/hard ionomer material much like you would find on the cover of range balls. The inner mantle is a HPF, which is another name for ionomer, but in this case, a softer version according to Wilson. They don’t want to abandon the soft feel they have had in place for years.
The core is where this gets really interesting. Mentioned above, Wilson doesn’t want to sacrifice the feel that their avid customers love, but the company did go firmer with the core. In design principles, this is in part where the speed comes from. Some like to call it the engine, I prefer the term gas pedal. Firmer can lead to more speed, while also a bit more spin (player dependent), so it is a careful balance. It is important to note that speed does not automatically equal distance. Distance is primarily a combination of ball speed, launch angle, and spin, which is why we continue to support fitting.
“Featuring a thinner cover and harder core, the Staff Model ball provides higher spin rates on iron shots and holds the maximum allowable initial velocity based upon USGA conformance for a more impressive velocity than traditional urethane covered balls.” said Frank Simonutti, Global Director of Golf Ball Innovation.
You don’t often get velocity twice in the same sentence, so you know they are excited, and they should be. The Staff Model lineup has been extremely well received so far on the THP Forum and their premium golf ball lineup has always been an underrated product by the masses.
A subscription golf ball service is being rolled out at the same time as the Staff Model golf ball. In fact they will be sold exclusively as part of this new program that Wilson calls The Baller Box. You choose how many dozen each month. You choose 3, 6 or 12 months. You choose your customization. You can try it for a single month at a cost of $49.99, but the subscription model only exists of course, with discounts based on longevity. Sign up for 3 months and your Baller Box is $44.99 per dozen, 6 months, drops that to $42.99 and 12 months takes it down another two bucks to $40.99.
Choosing multiple dozen per shipment does not reduce the cost of the Baller Box and despite the catchy name, the box only contains the personalized golf balls you order.
The Staff Model ball is rather intriguing based on construction and Wilson’s pedigree in the space, but the subscription service exclusivity is a tiny bit puzzling. The Baller Box, is a dozen Wilson Staff Model golf balls, and ordering a dozen golf balls means you are ordering a Baller Box. Baller Box and Staff Model in this instance are identical, yet called two different things, but are necessary to complete the order. Still with me? This is where it gets weird, but we believe like anything new, this gets reworked and hammered into a positive in time. Let’s take a look at the subscription math, as we like to call it.
Signing up for 6 months and 2 dozen golf balls per month, means your total cost will be $515.88. Not bad, right? Signup for 12 months at 1 dozen per month and your cost is $491.88. See the issue? Both subscriptions give the golfer exactly 12 dozen Wilson Staff Model golf balls. Nothing more, nothing less. Yet a golfer with a 6 month season is punished in this instance for ordering more golf balls per month, as they are paying an extra $24 for the same number of balls. Crazier still? The golfer that wants 12 dozen now will pay $599.98, more than $100 more for the same 12 dozen if they break them down to one dozen per month.
The Wilson Staff Model ball is an intriguing advancement in design from the company and we look forward to our community of golfers putting them in play and offering feedback. Being a brand new program, I am willing to give them a pass on the
math is hard costs part, as we expect them to grow and tweak the program relatively quickly. For more information, check out their website at www.wilson.com/BallerBox
This story ran yesterday and then we received notice from Wilson that they are going to suspend the Baller Box program and just offer the Staff Model in one month trial and the more you buy, the more you save.
Price Breakdown for Staff Model 1 DZ Trial Baller Box:
- Buy 1 for $49.99
- Buy 2 for $47.49 each and save 6%
- Buy 3 for $44.99 each and save 11%