Wilson Staff Model ZM Wedges

The mad rush of golf’s release season has passed, with many new and impressive products unveiled. While they may have caught many by surprise, Wilson was busy reminding the world they still produce one spectacular-looking iron with the Staff Model Blade and Staff Model CB. They also showed that they could deliver an iron that looks like Belle and plays like Beast with the Dynapower Forged irons. It was only a matter of time before we saw the perfect complementary pieces for these three iron sets, as today, Wilson pulls back the curtain on their new Staff Model ZM wedges.

Wilson Staff Model ZM Wedges

“The meticulous level of detail our team invested in perfecting the grooves of this wedge lineup really paid off,” claims Bob Thurman, Global General Manager of Golf and Vice President of Research & Development at Wilson. “From Tour player testing to amateur player testing, the feedback is resoundingly favorable that these are the highest-spinning – and most consistent-spinning – wedges Wilson has ever produced.”

To achieve the accolades mentioned by Bob Thurman, Wilson introduced a new wedge face design that could help golfers succeed in any playing conditions. The ZM wedges feature a newly milled face and high-spin groove construction treated with a garnet face blast. These elements combine to allow the ZM wedges to produce high-spinning shots in dry conditions and retain as much spin and launch as possible in wet conditions. We’ve seen other manufacturers start to target performance in adverse conditions, and it’s fun to see them enter that arena. 

The grooves of the Wilson Staff Model ZM Wedges

Besides spin, being able to manipulate one’s trajectory helps lead to increased control. Therefore, Staff ZM wedges are designed with a progressive center of gravity (CG). Wedges with lower lofts have a lower CG, as golfers usually take a full swing with these clubs, and this helps get the ball to launch as it would with a set PW or GW. As the loft increases, so does the CG, meaning the 60° has the highest center of gravity of the group. With consistent spin and a fine-tuned progressive CG, these wedges are a reliable and predictable addition to any golfer’s bag.

Let’s get into the loft and bounce combinations. Starting with the lofts, the ZM Wedges will be available in eight lofts ranging from 46° to 60°. Note that 46° and 48° are available only through custom order. Breaking apart from what is becoming a big part of the wedge market, this release only offers multiple bounce options on the 56°, 58°, and 60° models. For a full breakdown of configurations, check out the chart below. 

Specs – Wilson Staff Model ZM Wedges

The Wilson Staff Model ZM family consists of two distinct lines: The classic Model ZM and the Staff Model ZM HT, also known as high toe. This wedge style has gained popularity among golfers who prefer to hit flop shots or those who want the convenience of having full-face grooves while playing important short-game shots. There are three loft options available for the HT models: 56°, 60°, and a custom-only 64°. Each option has 10° of bounce and has a wider sole than the traditional ZM wedge. 

Wilson Staff Model ZM Wedges out on the course

I was lucky enough to have some time with a 56-degree ZM and 60-degree ZM HT wedge. Although I didn’t get the chance to give these clubs a full run on the course, I was able to test them at a short game area and also hit them indoors. Being indoors allowed me to capture some data on a SkyTrak+ launch monitor.

Wilson Staff Model ZM Wedges looking at the face and high toe of the full face grooves

Before delving into the data discussion, I would like to discuss the shaping of these wedges. Both look great in the bag, and when setting up behind the ball, I can appreciate the straighter leading edge both models employ. Neither wedge appears to be oversized, and both have a soft feel at impact, thanks to their forged 8620 Carbon Steel construction. Looks and feel? Check and check.

Wilson Staff Model ZM Wedges at setup

During indoor testing, I took near-full swings with both of the Wilson Staff Model ZM Wedges, which I don’t normally do with a 60° wedge these days. With the new face tech and a familiar True Temper Dynamic Gold Spinner shaft, the expectation is that these wedges could easily make the ball dance on the green. In general, I like to hit my wedges a bit lower, and both launched and hit my peak height windows. In regard to stopping power, I think there would be plenty of that, with average spin rates hitting and exceeding 9,000 RPMs with a descent angle of over 50°. Depending on the golf ball, there is some big potential here, as during some sessions, I saw spin creep over that 10,000 rpm mark. 

Wilson discusses how their new ZM Groove pattern and garnet face blasting will help maintain more spin in all weather conditions. I wanted to test this, so I used the 56° ZM wedge while trying to hit a simple 45-yard pitch shot. For the wet ball, I gave the face of the wedge a quick spray of water and did the same to the golf ball. Take a look at the numbers below, and sure enough, the spin on the wet ball is within 1,000 RPM of the dry ball data while keeping the launch angle within 2°.

I know many will look at the lack of bounce and grind options, but I walked away from the short game area impressed with how the soles interacted with the current soft turf conditions in the northeast. During these days, the ZM HT and its wider sole were certainly fun to use to hit a variety of shots from the rough, fairway, and bunker. It was nice to feel the club resist digging, and the feeling of using the bounce effectively provided a very noticeable sensation. As for the traditional ZM wedge, the 10° bounce was plenty versatile during my experience. Yes, there isn’t a full catalog of grind options, but I’d be willing to bet more golfers actually find the excessive number of options somewhat confusing. Based on what I’ve seen outdoors and with the data above, I look forward to spending more time with the ZM wedges. 

Wilson’s new Staff Model ZM and ZM HT wedges are available for preorder starting today, 3/19/24, at $149.99 and will be available in retail stores on April 2. More information is available at www.wilson.com

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Dean DeCrescenzo
Dean DeCrescenzo is a THP staff writer that currently resides in upstate New York. He has been a member of The Hackers Paradise for over 7 years and been involved with a number of THP events.
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