A departure from the classic shape of the 8802, Wilson Staff introduced the original Vizor putter in 2010 (and subsequently, the Vizor Blade). Featuring an alignment system designed to promote consistency addressing the ball, the Vizor line was recently expanded with four new offerings in the hopes that consumers could “Make it Personal” by finding a shape that best fits their needs.
Key Technology and Information from Wilson Staff
The second generation I-Lock Technology engineered for the Wilson Staff Vizor Level 2 putters improves alignment by ensuring the golfer’s eyes are positioned directly over the line of the putt and guiding a more consistent putting stroke.
The Vizor Level 2 M1 is a blade style option with the shaft attached closer to the heel and with a plumber hosel.
SECOND GENERATION VIZOR
An improved frosted silver head finish coupled with refined edges and detailing provide a modern, appealing look.
I-Lock Technology provides a visual reminder when the eyes are over the target line for a more consistent setup, alignment and stroke. It is easy to understand and transfer from the practice green to the course.
The new urethane insert is softer for improved feel and roll off the face, and is tuned to accommodate the hardness of a golf ball.
Made from proprietary X-Tack synthetic material for soft feel in all weather conditions, the new Wilson Staff putter grip is available in three sizes: midsize paddle (standard), oversize paddle and smaller pistol (both custom).
- Four options available
- M1 – Plumbers neck blade style
- M2 and M3 – Double bend mallets
- M4 – Center shaft mallet
- 34” or 35”
- MSRP $149.99
The M1 is unique in the Vizor line in that it’s the only model that isn’t a true mallet to begin with. With its take on the classic Anser style, the M1 will invoke slightly different feelings than the full mallets for most people. While a mallet is often expected to have a bolder shape, a blade style putter is more likely to be appreciated for its simplicity. For that reason, many will look at the M1 with varying levels of appreciation.
As noted, the M1’s general shape is that of an Anser style blade with a plumbers neck, but the obvious difference is the large I-Lock attachment, which actually extends outward from the rear of the flange. This will present quite the different look at address for those familiar with the shape, though the remaining basic attributes of the style are all there. The I-Lock is really the centerpiece of the entire line, and while it does stand out much more on the M1, it appears to blend in much easier with the mallet versions.
The sole is probably the most attractive part of the putter, with a glossy mirrored finish that works nicely against the ‘frosted silver’ finish that covers the bulk of the head. Looking at the face, a dark red, grooved insert is surrounded by attractive milling work. This insert is one that Wilson is quite proud of and is constructed of urethane for a pleasant sound at impact. Testing showed that the insert was enjoyable to use in terms of feel, with a hearty lower-toned click imparted at impact. Those familiar with a variety of different inserts will likely classify it right in the middle between squishy and clicky.
Though there is certainly added bulk due to the I-Lock attachment, the putter feels neither bulky nor heavy in the hands. In fact, it was very similar to other off-the-rack putters in that regard.
The bright red grip proved to be a pleasant surprise in that it was nicely shaped (in midsize) and soft in the hands. In an age where aftermarket grips are becoming more common, many will find the stock grip suitable for their needs, especially with three different size options available.
The Vizor Level 2 M1 was tested with the standard midsize grip at 34” in length both on the golf course and on the practice green.
As stated earlier, the I-Lock attachment is the technological centerpiece of the Vizor series. Though first appearances may lead some to write it off as a gimmick, testing showed that it could be a viable aid for certain types of players if they take the time to ensure they purchase the proper length.
As seen in the picture above, setting up improperly with the M1 will reveal a slight hint of white that contrasts with the thick black line on the I-Lock attachment. There are a number of situations that could cause this, including improper face alignment, eye position anywhere other than over the putter, and improper lie angle at address.
The concept behind the I-Lock does rely on the method one uses for addressing the ball with a putter. Some people choose to keep their eyes inside the target line, which makes the I-Lock somewhat obsolete for them. Those who choose to stay over the target line should find it quite useful though – with the caveat that they must be using a putter that is both the correct length and lie angle for them. For the reviewer, who typically plays a 35” putter, a lowering of the hands was necessary before the 34” M1 showed a solid black line, essentially toeing the putter up. That of course wouldn’t have been an issue with the proper length, but it is important to note should one be considering a purchase. The correct length is quite important.
In addition to the alignment checks noted above, the I-Lock also functions as an aid with aim, as the large black line gives the eyes a clear path to follow when setting up to the target, which was appreciated quite a bit in testing.
In regards to success while using the M1, after a setup tweak to ensure the I-Lock was properly aligned, putts that were on target and the correct speed were easy to come by. In reality, the results seen were quite surprising due to some preconceived notions of the technology’s usefulness and the bold shape of the putter. The urethane insert didn’t appear to produce any substantial benefit with roll compared to others on the market, but it also didn’t lag behind in any way and had a unique and enjoyable sound/feel. In all, with the right length, setup style, and preferred head shape, it is possible that one could find success with any one of the four putters in this line.
Wilson Staff’s 2014 expansion of the Vizor line shows that they not only believe in the technology they’ve introduced, but that they also want to reach more consumers. With a variety of shapes and shaft placements, many should be able to find something that works with their stroke, though the most traditional eyes may struggle to find something that fits them in a visual sense. Those accustomed to mallets and using a setup that positions the eyes on the target line have an option for something that may introduce some consistency in how they address the ball. For more information on the Vizor Level 2 line, head to Wilson Staff’s website, www.wilson.com.