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  1. Official MyGolfSpy Wilson DUO Urethane Forum Member Review ​How does Wilson Staff's New 55-compression Urethane covered ball perform? Wilson Staff has a legitimate claim to being the leaders in the new "soft" ball revolution. The company introduced the Staff Titanium back in 1997, an 80 compression ball at a time when most premium balls were in the 90 to 110 range. The Elite 50, The DUO and last year's DUO Spin continued the trend. Other companies are jumping on the soft bandwagon, so right now the consumer has a wide range of choices when it comes to low compression balls. Earlier this month Wilson introduced its first Urethane covered low compression ball, the DUO Urethane. Three luck MyGolfSpyers are getting outfitted with 3 dozen of the new DUO's to try out, including a dozen with the official logo of Super Bowl 50 (Wilson, of course, is the official football of the NFL). They're primed and ready to share their thoughts not only here but on social media. Our test crew includes: Golfzilla2069 1st Impressions Review EthanSterlingPrice 1st Impressions Review sp0rtsfan86 1st Impressions Review We've had some discussion on this ball before, so let's keep it going here. Any questions you have for the boys, let 'em fly!! For more info on the Wilson DUO Urethane, click here.
  2. No other company in golf has embraced low compression "soft" balls the way Wilson has. With the 29 compression, 2-piece DUO and last year's 35 compression, 3-piece DUO Spin, it's safe to say no one, not even Tom Brady, has softer balls. Both balls feature Ionomer covers. New to the dance is the DUO Urethane, a 55 compression multi-layer ball Wilson says feels softer than other "tour level" balls while still providing the level of spin required by better players. Wilson's offering a trial 2-pack when you buy DUO Urethane online. They're telling you to play the 2-pack first and if you don't like them, send the unused dozen back for a refund. MSRP on the DUO Urethane is $37.99, and will be in stores January 8th, but you can order them now on Wilson's website.
  3. It's been a busy couple of days for Wilson Staff. We've already shown you new C200 irons, but this week also marks the debut for Wilson's new wedge series and a new ball in the DUO line that's sure to raise an eyebrow or two. Let's take a look at the new FG Tour PMP wedges... Okay, let's get all the "Pimp My Wedge" jokes out of our systems. Are we settled? Good. In this case, PMP stands for "Precision Milled Performance," which Wilson says will maximize spin on full and partial shots. Basically, you have big deep grooves for full shows and 11 laser etched smaller grooves, called Micro Spin Lines, for spin on partial shots. The big change for Wilson is the addition of a third sole grind. Their most recent wedges, the FG Tour TC line, offered 2 soles- the wider-soled Traditional Grind for medium to steeper swings, and the thinner-soled Tour Grind for shallower swings. The new line adds a Wide Sole grind to the mix. With all of the different soles, bounces and lofts (each can be bent +/1 3 degrees, which effectively changes bounce), the PMP line has 97 different possible combinations. They'll be available in either Tour Frosted or Gun Blue PVD, and can be customized with stampings and paint fill through Wilson's Custom Department. The PMP wedges are already in the bags of Troy Merritt, Ricky Barnes and Brendan Steele. Kevin Streelman and Padraig Harrington are expected to start gaming them soon. Wilson is offering the KBS HI-REV 2.0 shaft with the Lamkin Performance Plus 3Gen grip as stock. MSRP for the FG Tour PMP Gun Blue model is $119.99, the Tour Frosted model is $99.99. They'll be in stores January 15th, but can be ordered now on Wilson's website.
  4. The embargo finally lifted on the new Wilson C200 irons this morning. Check out the MGS Blog on the irons here. Used these for two outside rounds (The Santa Scramble shouldn't count, tho -- it was 35 degrees!), and for a couple of rounds on the simulator. For a GI iron, gotta say the feel is really, really good, and the FLX Face Technology seems to perform as the irons to deliver some distance compared to a few similar GI irons. Thoughts? Questions? Cheap shots?
  5. We officially can't post anything on these until Tuesday (embargoes, always embargoes) -- but heck, if Wilson is posting this video on YouTube, I don't see why we can't repost it here... We talked with Brendan a year ago December while at a Wilson Staff photo shoot. Click here for the 5 Questions Feature we did with this PGA Tour up-and-comer...
  6. Wilson Staff FG Tour PMP wedges launched Will Medlock November 26, 2015 There will be almost 100 loft and lie options available through custom fit. image: http://keyassets.timeincuk.net/inspirewp/live/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2015/11/pmp-630x473.gif The new FG Tour PMP wedges. Wilson Staff FG Tour PMP wedges Wilson Staff have introduced the latest addition to their line of wedges with the FG Tour PMP clubs. The PMPs (Precision Milled Performance) have laser etched Micro Spin lines for increased spin and control on partial shots, with a milled, flat face providing players with more consistency. The wedges also feature new maximum volume HM grooves for better spin on full shots. Doug Wright, Global Commercial Director of Wilson Golf, said: “To have input from Wilson Advisory Staff members like Kevin Streelman and Brendan Steele provides us with an insight to produce Tour quality wedges with custom fit options to suit the performance of every golfer.” image: https://keyassets.timeincuk.net/inspirewp/live/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2015/11/pmp2-630x473.gif The three sole designs – Tour Grind, Wide and Traditional – will give players a number of lie, loft and bounce variables, with 95 playability options through custom fitting. The wedges have a KBS Hi-Rev 2.0 shaft and feature an active tip section for a higher flight, with more spin for added stopping power and accuracy. image: https://keyassets.timeincuk.net/inspirewp/live/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2015/11/pmpwedge-630x473.gif A Lamkin Performance Plus 3Gen grip with imprinted dots will enable players to hit different shots comfortably. Wedges can be purchased in Gun Blue PVD and Tour Frosted finish and will be available from January 2016. The RRP will be £79. To find more information about your nearest custom fit centre, go to www.wilsonstaff.com. Read more at http://www.golf-monthly.co.uk/news/gear-news/wilson-staff-launch-new-fg-tour-pmp-wedges-84201#tlUFTf1raJMciTf4.99
  7. So I've had the opportunity to play these for the last few weeks of the season and at the risk of sounding all FanBoy I gotta say, Wilson has another solid iron on their hands. If you're in the market for a Titleist AP2/Callaway Apex Pro/TMag PSI Tour/Mizuno JPX Forged type of iron, I would highly suggest these be in the demo mix.... FG Tour F5 Irons Wilson says the FG Tour F5 irons are geared toward the better player that might want a little extra technology, forgiveness and distance along with a forged feel. That would place the F5's in the same neighborhood as your Titleist AP2/Mizuno JPX 850 Forged/Callaway Apex Pro's/TaylorMade PSi Tours. In the Wilson World of F-C-D club categorization (Feel – Crossover – Distance – more on that later), the FG Tour F5's straddle the Feel-Crossover line – sort of a Crossover crossover. “As it is forged and made from 8620 carbon steel and Ni-Cr plated and everything that goes along with it, better players are going to get that great sound, feel and feedback they expect. However, this iron has our Speed Sole distance technology in the long and mid irons.” – Michael Vrska, Wilson Golf Global Director of R&D Speed Sole™ technology is Wilson's way of maximizing an iron's CT, or Characteristic Time (“springiness” of the club face). Specifically, Speed Sole™ technology thins the transition between the sole and the face. In theory, maximizing CT increases ball speed which, in turn, makes the ball go farther. Wilson unveiled Speed Sole™ technology in early 2015 in the D200 super-game improvement iron. The F5 irons mark the debut of Speed Sole in a forged iron, in hopes of adding ball speed and distance within a category that still leans traditional. The F5 irons feature more-traditional lofts (albeit with shafts that are, on average, 1/2" longer shafts than others) are swimming in the same shark tank with clubs that have, comparatively speaking, jacked up lofts. In a world filled with longer, farther, deeper and faster is Wilson worried the more traditional lofts will hurt the F5 when compared to, say, the Titleist AP1/AP2, or the Cally Apex/Apex Pro? “We think MyGolfSpy said it best,” replies Vrska. “It's Technology vs. Specology.” “The Speed Sole Technology works. It's innovation we believe in. We've seen increases in ball speeds from 1.0 to 2.7 MPH faster versus other forged clubs. The irons perform due to real innovation, real technology and the right MOI and not because we changed the loft.” Michael Vrska – Wilson Golf The Speed Sole™ is made possible by something called the “Stabilizing Bar.” It's a heel-to-toe strip of mass in the forged head right behind the impact area, and its job is to provide support behind the thinned out face and sole, which is what allows Speed Sole™ to actually add speed. “It also allows for the area near the topline to be thinned as well,” says Vrska. “When coupled with the thin face, it allows us to move more mass around the perimeter for increased MOI and forgiveness.” The FG Tour F5 irons replace the 2-year-old FG Tour M3's (a 2 year product cycle? Mercy!). There are two visual changes; one obvious, and one that's a bit more subtle.First the obvious: the matte black of the M3 is gone, replaced with Wilson Tour Satin, and the F5's topline has been thinned a bit compared to its predecessor. In this case, thinneris relative. On the thickness scale it's closer to Rhonda Rousey than Kim Kardashian. The more subtle change? M3's Ping G-series-ish offset has been noticeably reduced. A side-by-side comparison with the Wilson FG Tour V4 cavity back irons shows fairly similar offsets. The color scheme on the head is rather tame by game-improvement iron standards. The F5 carries virtually the same matte chrome-black-yellow branding as the V4's but, as you can see, the graphics are much bigger and bolder Wilson has been making irons since the Wilson Administration (Woodrow, not Flip), and knows a thing or two about forging. The F5 irons join the Tour 100 blades and the V4 cavity backs in the forged 8620 carbon steel club. Like it's older brothers, the F5 has a soft, springy-feeling muted click when struck on the sweet spot.As for forgiveness, the added perimeter weighting works as you'd expect: off center strikes lose very little – if any – distance. There's plenty of feedback when you miss, but it's more gentle reprimand and less electro-shock aversion therapy. The F5 is finding its way into Wilson's Tour Staff bags, further proof that even Tour Pros could use a little forgiveness. Brendan Steele – who games the Tour 100 blades – has added the F5 3-iron to his bag. Ricky Barnes is gaming the F5 4- and 5-iron and may switch to the full set at some point this season. Wilson says anyone from a low single-digit player to an 18 handicap can game the F5's. In reality, the mid-teen handicapper who's what you'd call an “emerging” player could play the F5's. The can't-play-or-practice-as-much-as-I-like-and-don't-count-that-last shot 18 ‘capper may find more forgiveness elsewhere. The FG Tour F5 irons sets will include 4-iron thru Gap wedge, with an optional 3-iron also available. Stock shafts will be True Temper Dynamic Gold XP in steel or MRC Kuro Kage LB 85 in graphite, with Lamkin Crossline Black grips standard. Custom shafts will be available at an upcharge. List price is $899.99 steel/$999.99 graphite, and the irons will be available in January. So, what are your thoughts?
  8. Enter and win!!! This Halloween, 5 lucky winners will score a custom Wilson Staff FG Tour Wedge featuring a KBS Custom Series Black Pearl shaft with laser engraving! Enter with your email address or reshare our posts on Twitter and Instagram with ‪#‎WilsonKBS‬. Winners will be announced via Twitter and Facebook on November 2. CLICK HERE to enter... " data-width="500"> No matter how you slice it, that's a badass looking wedge!!!
  9. Rather than further hijack KCLeo's thread on the M1, let's start a new one on another new driver, the Wilson Staff FG Tour F5... While possibly rivaling Callaways Big Bertha Double Black Diamond 816 for the most syllables in a new driver release, Wilson's new driver fills a hole for them, a "player's" driver. I gamed the D200 this season and really liked it -- forgiving, easy to hit and plenty long. Received the F5 about 3 weeks ago for the blog's First Look piece (click here) and have played 5 rounds with it and I gotta report that this thing is the real deal! Some stats: - 460 CC head, traditional pear shape, fairly deep face - 9* & 10.5* heads, adjustable in .5 degree increments - 1* down thru 2* up - Real deal Fubuki Z 50 shaft (shaft coloring is altered slightly to match the head) - FastFit hosel is supposedly the lightest on the market, allows them to redistribute weight - Green Means GO adjustability - you can adjust the head without having to remove the head - 3 interchangeable sole weights - Reactive Face Technology - Maximize ball speed no matter where you hit it on the face - Serious baddass looking headcover - nice departure from the sock-puppets they offered for the D200 On the course, for me the thing launches somewhat high, but not as high as the D200. But I have been getting some pretty serious distance - even keeping up with my Hack To Jack partner, who can hit it a mile! Outdriving much younger bombers is better than Viagra! The sound is really unique -- I'm still struggling with the best way to describe it -- it's kind of a "KLOCK" sound -- sorta like the original Alpha. it's not a bad sound at all, but it's definitely distinctive, and not metalliic or "clinky" like many drivers. It's a low/forward CG driver, and a 7 gram sole weight comes factory installed. You also get a 3 gram and an 11 gram weight. Wilson says their testing shows most golfers will achieve maximum club head speed with the 7 gram weight, but some will swing faster with the lighter or the heavier options. On the LM I was swinging a fairly steady 102 with the 7 gram weight...haven't tried the others yet simply because I've been pretty happy with the stock results. I would, however, love to see if a fitting would put me into a different shaft. Again, it's hard to argue with the results thus far, but you never know. I did hit this thing side by side against an R15 on the LM a couple of weeks ago, with both drivers set to 9*. The results were interesting. Comparing best swings to best swings, the F5, while launching a bit higher, provided roughly 27% less spin than the R15 with 7 to 10 more yards worth of carry, plus some roll. Disclosure - I fiddled with the R15 weight settings to try to get the best performance I could out of it, but I have no idea whether it was optimized. Wilson has changed their F-C-D fitting program a little. F is Feel, while D is Distance. C used to stand for "Control," in the future it will stand for "Crossover," which is probably more descriptive. The player's clubs - the FG 100 blades and V4 irons are in the F category, while the D200 SGI irons are in the D category. The D200 driver is a GI driver, but Wilson is putting the F5 in the Feel and Crossover category. A 15 handicap who hits the driver well can play the F5. The matching F5 hybrid and fairway woods should be coming in the next week or so...can't wait to give those things a try. The fairways come in three options (13.5*, 15* and 17*) and all are adjustable 1* down and 2* up in .5* increments. The hybrids also come in 3 options (17*, 20* and 23*), and are have two levels of adjustability. You can go 1* up or down in 1* increments, but you can also adjust the lie angle between either Standard or 2* upright. Questions?
  10. While meeting with our area Wilson Staff rep this past weekend, he gave me a couple two ball packs of the new Duo Urethane. For those of you out there that enjoyed hitting the Duo or the Duo Spin this season, you are going to LOVE this ball. And if you tried those two balls and wanted just a little bit more out of the ball, you might want to give this a try when it comes out. I will say, when the rep. was giving me the run down on the ball I was a little skeptical. The first thing he said was that this was the ball he's going to play next year...I can't help to think to myself "great...that's his sales pitch to try and get this ball in our bags". I probably shouldn't think that, but I can't help it, that's just how I think around reps. I like that it has a urethane cover, but again I was skeptical because the FG Tour ball that I have tried in the past had one of the least durable covers ever. The compression is 55 which brings it in as one of the softest urethane cover balls on the market. That low of a compression makes me think I'm going to lose distance off the tee, like what happened when playing the regular Duo. But all of this aside, I was excited to get out and test it. And my goodness was I surprised by the testing. A little background on my game right now...I am coming off of ACL reconstruction from earlier this summer and I'm just now getting comfortable with my swing again. I've been playing for about a month now but I'm still a little nervous throwing my weight onto my front side, so sometimes I hit this stupid block/cut/banana slice. Anyway, my warm up bucket was a lot of that. By the end I finally got it semi under control. As you probably could have guessed, on the first tee I get up and just put an atrocious swing on the ball. I was pleasantly surprised by the feel off the face considering where the ball made contact. I was even more surprised that the ball still ended up on the right side of the fairway. Short but straight-ish. So for the next four holes I only played the Duo-U. I wanted to get used to the feel of the ball and in a little more of a groove before I started side by side testing. With no surprise on those holes I was a little shorter off the tee from where I usually am. But I didn't notice a whole lot of change in distance with my irons. The two biggest area's I was very pleased with was the "straightness" off the tee and how well the ball played around the green. I could chip around the green as if I had a high end tour ball. I was completely shocked by that. My first few chips, I left well short of the hole because it responded so well. And to be honest with you, I'm not one to put a lot of spin on the ball green side. Full swing shots I do okay, but green side, not a lot. This is on the 15th tee...the ball on the right is the one I had been playing, the other is a new one. Once I got in a little groove I decided to start playing two balls side by side. My usual gamer is the Taylormade Tour Preferred X so I threw one down and started the testing. HOLY CRAP was there a huge difference in feel. I guess I just never really paid attention to how different balls feel off the face, but this was substantial. Also the side spin on the TP X was noticeably different. Now understand that my swing varies from swing to swing, but I tried to slow it down a hair just to make sure I could be as "consistent" as possible. As far as off the tee, the TP X was hands down further than the Duo-U. Like 10-15 yards further most of the time. But, the Duo-U was so much straighter than the TP X I would be okay with that. If you don't have a problem keeping it straight off the tee and have a high swing speed, the choice would be the TP X. But if you're like me and need a little help keeping it straight and don't mind sacrificing a little distance, the Duo-U might be looking into. As far as iron shots, I really didn't notice that much of a difference with distance, workability, or spin. Same goes for green side chips and pitches. I really played the Duo-U just like I would my TP X or any other tour ball I've used. Now as for my durability, again I was very pleased with the results. I used the same Duo-U for 16 holes until it parted ways with me into someones backyard. There were no huge gashes out of the cover that I have previously had with Wilson Staff balls. Now to wrap things up...overall I was very happy with the way that the Duo-U performed. It was straight off the tee and performed well around the green. And after only 3 or 4 holes of side by side testing, I ended up just playing out the round with the Duo-U. I loved the soft feel off the face and how straight it flies off the tee. If you don't like that soft feel, it's not the ball for you. I'll continue playing these balls out until i lose them all, also I was selected to test the Snell golf ball, so I'm excited to test them side by side along with the TP X. Unfortunately they won't be for sale until the end of January when the rest of their new stuff comes out. I do believe they are going to price it around the price of the ChromeSoft and try and tap into that market space. I also found a little bit of a soft spot in the fairway...
  11. A couple of buddies are down in Myrtle Beach for the World Am -- they bumped into the Wilson rep at the PGA Superstore down there -- and took only a hasty picture of these babies... The blade is the FG 100, which has been out a while, but the other two are the newbies. The cavity back is the replacement for the MG Tour M3 iron, while the other iron appears to be the highly touted C-200, the replacement for the C-100 iron. My buddy, being a novice, didn't think to take any more pictures. I'll speak to him about it when he gets home... Thoughts?
  12. As you all know, we have 15 MGS'ers out there testing Wilson Staff's 2015 lineup of golf balls. The testers are: Wilson DUO: Joezilla, Woz, BogeyInTheWoods, severtheties, tider Wilson DUO Spin: snuffyword, Fozcycle, TxSTCatman, SlicerB, TacoTollefson67 Wilson FG Tour: Sp0rtsfan86, MotoGolfer250, casey_0507, JudgeSmails, PBH3 Balls Being Tested: Wilson DUO: Redesigned for 2015. 29 compression (lowest on the market, according to Wilson), 2-piece ball for greater distance and soft feel around the green. $19.99/dozen Wilson DUO Spin: New for 2015. A 3-piece ball with a 35 compression, Wilson touts it as the world;s lowest compression multi-layer ball. $26.99/dozen Wilson FG Tour: Also redesigned for 2015, it's a 4-piece, urethane tour ball with a 70 compression. $44.00/dozen MyGolfSpy sent each tester a pre-test questionnaire to get a general idea their thoughts on the Wilson brand, what balls they play now and what they look for in a golf ball. We received some interesting feedback. Experience with Wilson Staff Balls Most of our testers had never played Wilson Staff balls prior to this test. Four testers had tried Wilson balls before, either the original DUO or the 50Elite. One tester went all the way back to the 80's with the Wilson Blue Ridge. Favored Ball Brands When asked what balls they normally play (several testers play several different brands), here's what we found: Titleist (ProV's/NXT/DT Solo) 9 Bridgestone (E5, E6, E7, 330) 6 TaylorMade (Project a, Lethal) 3 Nike (Mojo, PD Long, Speed Soft, Vapor 1) 4 Srixon (Q-Star, other) 2 Callaway (Hex Chrome) 1 TopFlite Gamer 1 MaxFli 1 3UP 1 MG Golf 1 Where Do You Get Info on Balls? We also asked our testers where they get their information on golf balls (multiple responses from several responders): MyGolfSpy/Other websites: 9 Golf magazines, HotList: 5 Other players: 3 Golf retail outlets: 3 Manufacturer's websites: 3 TV ads, GolfChannel: 2 What Do You Look For In a Golf Ball? Tons of answers here, but there were some dominant themes. Nearly everyone greed on two things: consistency and feel. Testers want consistency in distance and control, especially from 125 yards and in. Nearly every tester mentioned predictable action on the green (i.e. spin). Feel is harder to define, but virtually all of the testers place a value on feel, especially when putting. And when it comes to feel, we have to share what may be the quote of the review process so far, from TxSTCatman: “I like a ball that has some feel to it. Nothing too hard that reminds me of having dental work under a local, and nothing so soft that I'd rather use it in a cup of hot chocolate” Yup, MGS reviewers have what it takes!!! Several reviewers also mentioned durability is important, valueing a ball that could last a few rounds without unacceptable scarring. Thoughts on the Wilson Staff Brand I'm a marketing geek, so this is where things get interesting. We asked our testers what comes to mind when they think of Wilson Staff: “Tennis! I never thought of Wilson golf balls, other than as bulk discount” “Cheap, for hackers.” “Better than cheap brands. Decent quality for the price” Outdated Wal-Mart quality” “Once a top brand but now obscure” “2nd tier brand” Yikes! Other testers, however, had very different opinions: “Older brand, solid equipment without the glitz and glam of the big OEM's” “A little dated, but certainly on the comeback” "Really like the brand...the golf equipment is on the rebound" “Great history, rebuilding the brand and making great strides in recent years” “Very underrated, high quality” “Underrated, making great clubs and really nice golf balls” “Improving quality in all of their equipment” After this introduction, we'll have the reviewers chime in with their experiences. Please ask any questions of our reviewers that you want. They're ready and eager to share their experiences with you and let you know what they think of the 2015 Wilson Staff ball lineup.
  13. As promised, here are some pictures and details from Tuesday's big fitting event for Hack To Jack's Team Wilson Staff. First, some background: Hack to Jack is a Minneapolis-based Golf Reality Show (YouTube channel here), now in its 2nd season. I've been a contestant both years. It's a hell of a lot of fun and since starting the program my handicap has dropped from 12.5 (April of 2014) to its current 7.5! This season OEM's and other golf companies (including retailers 2nd Swing & GolfSmith) are sponsoring 2-person teams. Sponsors include Callaway, Bridgestone, ScottGolf, TaylorMade (Hack to Jack received $25,000 from TMag's HackGolf.org initiative - yes, they DID give away some money!). Wilson Staff is sponsoring two 2-person teams, and we have a custom club fitting experience Tuesday when Wilson Tour Fitter Nick Geyer drove Wilson's Tour Van up to pay us a visit... First we met Nick at the fitting/demo tent,and then he brought us to the Tour Van. We expected to see a "working" van where clubs are built. We did see that, but we also saw a nice surprise from Wilson: They sure went all out for their team! We also had the chance to poke around the van - this was the traveling Demo Day van. Nick brings it to demo days around the country, does custom fittings (he's REALLY good) and can build the clubs right away. The fittings themselves were done over the course of about 3 hours or so. I had already been fit for my clubs, so teammates Josh Wurzberger, Brin Paulson and Stephanie Lang had their turn. Josh and Stephanie were fit for the FG Tour M3 irons. Josh is a 12 handicapper who hits the ball a loooong way - while Stephanie has been playing golf most of her life but is just now getting back into golf after a back injury. She's about a 26 'capper now but will have that down into the teens before too long. Stephanie was fit into graphite shafts in her irons, as well as 3, 4 and 5 D200 hybrids. All were also fit into the D200 driver and fairway woods, as well as the FG Tour TC wedges - which Nick was able to custom-stamp and paint fill for them! (pix to come). We were also set up with putters. I wanted an 8802 in the worst way, but since I crouch when I putt and need a 32-33 inch putter, the 8802 just wasn't an option. Oh, and they also customized some Duo, Duo Spin and FG Tour balls for us, as well! It was great fun watching Josh, Brin and Stephanie go through a thorough club fitting. Nick was great to work with, explained everything and let the player lead the process. He encouraged them to try all the clubs and all the combinations to see what worked best. He did not have a Trackman with him, instead relying on his eyes and ears. Could a different driver/shaft combo have worked better? Possibly, but Nick watched ball flight, launch angle and listened for the impact sound to do most of the work, which he would have done with or without Trackman. I made some Periscope videos of the sessions - some of you watched them live. If you have the Periscope app, you can go to my account and watch them - pretty fascinating stuff to watch. Brin is also about a 12 and was fit into the FG Tour V4 irons (same as me).
  14. There are people in this world that if you pay attention to them, you're guaranteed to learn something. If they're pedantic and professorial, listening to them is hard work. But when that person is the type you'd want to yack with over a beer or two, and who just happens to have a deep understanding of - and excitement over - what he's talking about? Well, then it's just plain fun, and 5 Questions can quickly turn into 6 Questions. This week MyGolfSpy's 5 Questions talks with Michael Vrksa, Global Director of Research and Development for Wilson Golf. Michael shares with us the goals for Wilson Staff, his take on changing brand perceptions and the Gold Medal winning D200 and FG Tour V4 line of clubs. If you pay attention, you'll learn what the "Right Light," and "Club MOI" really mean, and whether it's something you should look at for your own game. MyGolfSpy 5Q's: Hard numbers, in terms of market share, for Wilson Golf - what's your goal? How can you change the perceptions of Wilson Golf, and is there anything in Wilson's 2015 lineup that will help change that perception? Michael Vrksa: The goal is to, realistically, be the number 3 or number 4 iron out there. I think that's realistic. It's not going to happen next year. It'd be great if it does, but it's unrealistic to happen in one year. But that's where we want to be. We've been there in Europe. Some of the management issues that happened in the past, before Tim (Clarke, Wilson Golf GM) was on board and before others were on board – there were some bad decisions made in the US, period. In Europe we're still number 4 in irons share, because some of those same decisions weren't made over there. And the product is the same. It's not like we design different product and sell it in the UK – it's the exact same product. We're competing against the exact same TaylorMade irons, the exact same Mizuno irons, the exact same Callaway irons, and we're number 4 in market share over there. So it is a little bit of that perception. It's not a performance issue - I'm a firm believer in that. It's not a look, sound and feel issue. So if we can be number 4 market share in Europe with the same exact competitors and the same exact everything, why can't we be number 4 here? It's just changing that perception and it's going to take a little bit of time. We've had stores who do independent testing say our new D200 irons are the best irons they've ever tested for that category (game improvement-distance). The D200 driver is the 2nd best driver they've ever tested, period. That will come out eventually, they will publish that information – and that's independent. For the driver, we didn't even know they were testing it. They actually took the samples we had given them – they were just salesmen samples that were rattling around the back of the salesman's Buick Enclave or whatever they're driving around. So the D200 lineup, we are very excited about. Our V4 irons and Utility irons are really, really good, and our tour players have said that. Getting Brendan Steele and another player who's been playing them who we're trying to sign – he's been playing them for a month now, and we haven't paid him a penny, and he's playing our irons. He could play any irons he wants, but he chose ours. That's not because I told him to do it, I've never met the guy (As it turns out, that guy was Troy Merritt, who joined Wilson Staff in January - ed). But he did that because he looked at a bunch of irons and loved ours, and he knows Kevin Streelman and tried Kevin's and “wow, how good is this?” MGS 5Q's: You mentioned the new Wilson V4 Utility Irons, what's with the weight port and what makes them different from the Callaway, the TaylorMade or the Titleist? MV: Well, I mean the weight port is specifically for adjustability, that being a tour product. I think why it's different is that it's a Carpenter Custom 455 face, and we're thinner than anybody else. We've gotten really good data on our ball speeds, and we've take all the left bias out of that golf club. It is a true, straight club, truly for better players. That doesn't mean other people can't play it, but that's a little bit of a niche product, and we're okay with that. We did not design that product for every golfer on Earth. That's why we have the F, C, D (Feel, Control, Distance) product categories and why, when we design products, everything we do from design to marketing, focuses on “who is this product for? How does it make that player better? Who are we competing against in that field?” And we try to clearly differentiate, and I think the FG Tour Utility iron is a great example of that. We didn't design them to go sell 100,000 of them. If we do, great. That's unrealistic, but we designed that club specifically for some better players who wanted to have a little help in their long irons and want to be able to work the ball with their long irons and not worry about missing it left. It's a great product for that group. But it's not for everybody and we're okay with that. Is our utility iron vastly different from everybody else's? I think that's unrealistic, but I think it's every bit as good, if not better than everybody else's for a good majority of the players. But that doesn't mean everybody's going to hit ours better than the competition's – that' unrealistic. But we're getting great feedback form people who don't play Wilson and then tried ours and said “Wow, I gotta give this a chance and here's why.” The ball speeds and some of the things we've done with the face and the weighting I think make it a little unique, again not completely and totally different, but a little unique and gives a performance benefit. MGS 5Q's: What's the “Right Light?” MV: That's something we really believe in not just for the D players (Distance), but all players. It really all started when we were doing a bunch of research on tour players bags and specifically what head weights and shaft weights tour players had gone to. We found just how light a lot of the driver shafts on tour had become, and how much lighter the fairway wood weights have got, and how lighter the hybrid weights have got, and then talking to some of the shaft guys – shaft manufacturers - and we learned some of the things they were doing with tour players. And then we talk about wedges – well nothing's changed on wedges in 100 years, but the drivers haven't gotten 50, 60, 80, 100 grams lighter in some cases, when you went from steel to some of the lighter weight graphite of today. Obviously the heads have gotten a little bit lighter over the years as the clubs have gotten longer, so it's just this combination of stuff. We looked at what the tour players are doing, just because it performed better. We were looking over the 10-15 years to today – we just got some interesting data on how much lighter drivers have gotten and how much lighter fairway woods have gotten, and then hybrids just a little bit lighter, and irons pretty much the same but maybe little and wedges not at all and we started to think how that would benefit the average golfer? And what does that mean? We did a lot of testing with different weights and lengths and really feel that there is a sweet spot – and I hate that term, but it resonates with people since they understand what that means – we really feel like there's a sweet spot from a weighting perspective that allows players to swing the club faster. If I give you a Wilson club or a company X or company Y, your swing won't change - you won't suddenly get on your left side better and all of a sudden start swinging like Rory or Padraig or Kevin Streelman. So how are we getting these 1, 2, 3 mile an hour increases in club head speed? There has to be something to do with the weighting of it. So the "right light" for us is a way for us to make clubs as light as possible, but still have the power, the sound, the feel, the launch and spin to maximize distance. We are the lightest adjustable driver on the market right now. We're not the lightest driver. We have some of the lightest fairways, but not the lightest – and that's one of the things that's critical – it's not a race to the bottom. We can make every club lighter tomorrow, but we've found that you can make golf clubs too light, to the point where you can swing it marginally faster but because you can't get the mass right inside the head, you lose performance. So it really is this – I hate this term but I don't know what else to call it right now – this "sweet spot" of getting it as light as possible, to let players swing it faster, but still have enough mass so it sounds great, it feels great and you can control the mass properties of the head, so it still has a big enough Moment Of Inertia, it still has the right center of gravity location to get the launch and spin you're going after, and we believe in that. We touted it on our D100 line, and the D100 line by any measure was a huge success. D200 - we're up over double-digits in percentage in pre-books in D200's. So people saw D100 and what it did and the sell through it had, and looking at what we've done with in D200 driver – adding adjustability – and to the Speed Sole technology on the D200 irons, which is really incredible with CT's in the 230's on irons, which is really something we're excited about. And yet they're the most forgiving irons we've ever done. So it's just this great combination of lightweight, but not being as light as possible – we really feel that there's a weight that lets players swing it faster, and we're going to continue to push that. MGS 5Q's: You've talked about something called “Club MOI?” Does club MOI = Light Club? MV: Well, yes and no. We have gone out of our way to not talk about club MOI a lot, because it confuses people and we understand that. We dabble in it a little bit, we put it on our website, we talk to some key people – if it's something like this when it's one-on-one or I'm doing a product demonstration to 30 or 40 people where you can stand up there and explain it, then it's a great time to do it. We believe in high MOI golf heads – that's resistance to twisting on off-center hits. We are always trying to maximize head MOI from a performance standpoint, but from a club MOI standpoint, we're actually trying to minimize that. The reason is very simple –when you talk about a club head, the higher the MOI to slower it turns. When you're talking about club MOI, the lower it is, the faster it can turn, the faster you can get it through the impact zone. One of the other nice things that we found is not only do people swing it faster; it's easier to release, if you will. We certainly haven't eliminated the slice – I'm not going say that – but it's amazing how many golfers swing their traditionally weighted driver or hybrid or fairway wood, and then we give them a D100 or a D200 with the Right Light technology, and their misses are not anywhere near as far right as they used to be, just because this is the first time they could actually release the club and it's not drafting through. So the main benefit is the ability to swing it faster – Club MOI is that same thing – we measure the MOI of the whole club. You grab it near the butt end, about where the center of a player's hands would be and we can see what the weight of that whole thing is, and weight is part of it. But it's also where that weight is placed. I could have one driver and take it to an extreme with a 30 gram shaft and a head weight, and another one with 120 gram shaft but a super lightweight head – and even thought the total weights might be the same, the club MOI's could be drastically different. It is trying to get the club MOI as low as possible, again within reason. There has to be club head feel, people have to know where the club head is at in their backswing so they can still control it. Club MOI is something we believe in, but it's really kind of behind the curtain in innovation and R&D rather than something we're going to go out screaming to the who world about, just because it's confusing unless you've got 5 minutes. MGS 5Q's: Low forward/low backward CG – is that in Wilson's future? MV: Yeah, we've actually done a number of prototypes, we've had a prototype on tour that's much more low and forward since January or February of last year. That's something we've been messing around with for a while. And it's not just about that. It's one of those things where if we feel we can make the best product with that then we'll do it. Right now with our D200 and the M3, we've gone a little different way. I just think people need to get fit – it's most important to see what's right for them. Do I think that every player on Earth needs the weight jammed up to the face? That, I think, is a little unrealistic. When we talk about what we do at Wilson Staff with F, C and D, we want to know what kind of player are you? How do you fit? Do you need more MOI, or do you need less MOI? Do you need the weight forward, do you need it in the back? Understanding that and getting fit within that is so critical. I think there's lots of places you can put the MOI in the head and can make a good performing product, it's just how does it all fit together with what you're trying to do overall for that particular golfer. MGS 5Q's Bonus Question: Is there a “must have” club in Wilson's future, something like the RBZ or original Big Bertha that is a game changer? Is that the holy grail of R&D and is there one in Wilson's future? MV: Well, I'd sure like to think there's one in Wilson's future because if there isn't they're going to find somebody who's gonna do that! Obviously we're trying that, but I think one of the things that people need to understand is there aren't too many products that really are going to fit a Zero handicap and a 20 handicap that's going to have the right launch and spin for both of those players. I know there have been products that a wide majority of players have purchased and have sold very well. I just wonder a year out how thrilled all of those players are with those same purchases. I think some of the iron technology we're working on, plus some that are even further off are very cool and revolutionary and certainly could be that “must have” product. But we're going to stay focused on our F-C-D categories and what would make me even more happy is if we had a driver in our F category that killed it for that 0 to 8 or 10 handicap player, and we had another driver that killed it for that 15 to 30 handicap group. That would make me way happier than selling a driver to a 36 handicap and then selling the same driver to a Plus-1 guy who walked in next. I know in that way each of those players would have a better fit for them and they're going to enjoy the game longer term than just walking in and seeing what their buddy was playing and therefore they want to buy it. Obviously that's what everybody wants but I'm not sure that's what's best for everybody.
  15. Saw this little gem posted on the Twitter this morning.... Nicely done for the defending Traveller's Champ! Took me a minute to realize the numbers represent his scores on Sunday's back 9, with seven birdies in a row...
  16. Testers Wanted -- Apply NOW!! Say what you will about Golf Digest's Hot List, but when products made by an OEM that doesn't advertise heavily in GD are recognized, you might want to take a closer look. All 3 members of Wilson Staff's Low Compression golf ball family are Gold Medal winners in this month's Hot List – the updated DUO, the brand new DUO Spin and, for the 2nd year in a row, the FG Tour. Wilson says each ball is the softest in its category, and it's that low compression that sets each ball apart. So, are these balls really Gold Medal worthy? We want you to tell us! We have 5 dozen of each ball and we're looking for 15 MyGolfSpy Forum members to give these balls a whack and see what all the fuss is about. The newly redesigned Wilson DUO is a 2-piece distance balls and at 29 compression, it's the softest ball out there. Wilson says the DUO is for “distance” players looking for less spin off the driver and soft feel around the green. The brand new DUO Spin is, according to Wilson, the softest multi-layer ball in golf. It's a 3-piece ball with a 35 compression and is for the “control” player seeking forgiveness off the tee and more control around the greens. And the FG Tour is a 4-layer ball with a Urethane cover and Wilson says that with a 70 compression, it's the game's softest 4-piece tour ball. HOW TO APPLY ** You must be a member of the MyGolfSpy Forum (if you are not a member you can register here) We are looking for 15 of you guys to help us put these balls through the wringer and fine out if softer really is better. To apply, please tell us your handicap, your driver swing speed and, since it's MyGolfSpy and history matters, your favorite Wilson Staff golfer of all time (click here for background). Good luck and get ready to get SOFT!
  17. Up until a couple of weeks ago, most people only knew PGA Touring Pro Troy Merritt as the guy who stoved in the face of his utility iron break during a tournament. Well, Troy changed all that with a tournament record tying 61 on Friday at the RCB Heritage Classic at Hilton Head a couple of weeks ago. Troy stayed in contention over the weekend, but ultimately lost out to a gutsy performance by Jim Furyk. Troy is a rarity on Tour, having grown up in “northern climes.” His gutsy performance at the RBC has moved him up in the FedEx Cup race to 73rd place as of this morning, and Troy is currently the 158th ranked player in the world. Along with his 3rd place finish in the RBC, Troy also has a 6th place finish to his credit at the Valspar Championship, as well as a 2nd place finish in last year's FedEx St. Jude's Classic. We're very psyched to have Troy join MyGolfSpy this morning in this week's edition of “5 Questions.” MyGolfSpy 5 Questions: First off, congrats on a great performance at the RBC, and for that clutch eagle on 16! When you look at the tournament, with a season-best 3rd place finish, do you feel disappointment at not ‘sealing the deal,” or do you think you're getting closer to that first tour victory? What do you learn from coming close? Troy Merritt: I don't feel much disappointment about not winning the RBC Heritage event because if you told me I would have had the lead going into the weekend and shot 69-69 on Saturday and Sunday, I would be very happy! I learned that to win down the road I need to lead by 10 going into Sunday! (hahaha) However, it is good to know I can handle the spotlight with the lead on Saturday and Sunday and I am looking forward to the next time I get in contention. MGS 5Q's: How does it feel to one-up the newly crowned Master's Champ? He shoots a 62 and you go out and tie a tournament record 61! Did you know you were going that low during the round? What was it like ‘in the moment?' Does the game slow down for your during a round like that? TM: I really don't think I ‘one-upped' Jordan, and I am pretty sure he still has me one-upped at this point with the Green Jacket! I do believe everything slowed down on Friday during my 61 and I was very focused on each shot at hand and I was very comfortable. MGS 5Q's: You were raised in Iowa have Minnesota roots, graduating from Spring Lake Park High School and playing 2 years at Winona State University. We love our golf up here, but it seems like there are only two seasons – winter and bad ice fishing. How did you hone your game growing up? TM: I was born in Iowa, but actually raised in Idaho before moving to Minnesota in 9th grade. Playing golf in Minnesota is a lot different than playing golf in the warm climates and I learned to play in all types of different weather. I was always playing in cold weather and I had my fair share of rounds in the snow. There were certainly limited playing opportunities in Minnesota and not many junior tournaments around. I played basketball and golf in high school and was later able to walk on the golf team at Winona State. MGS 5Q's: You joined Wilson Staff early this year – how did you get hooked up with Wilson? What do you look for when selecting equipment? Lots of folks think it's just about the endorsement money, but what goes into choosing an OEM to partner with? TM: I was very fortunate to have a few equipment companies talk to my agent about a new staff deal for me for the 2015 season, but after a few conversations with my agent and some testing with different equipment...it was very clear that Wilson Golf was the perfect home for me. I am extremely impressed with the Wilson Staff clubs I have in my bag and it is a great feeling to know that I have such a fantastic company supporting my career and me. As for the endorsement money, my agent and I had a deal that we wouldn't even talk about the financial consideration from different equipment companies and that we should focus on getting the best possible clubs in my bag without knowing the money involved. It didn't take me long to realize that Wilson Golf had the best product and I am thrilled I had the opportunity to partner with Wilson Staff and their leader, Tim Clarke. MGS 5Q's: Putting is a strength of your game – you currently rank 4th on tour in Strokes Gained Putting. What goes into success on the green? What other parts of your game need to develop to crack the top 50 in the world? TM: I feel like putting is a strength of mine because I stay confident and patient and I make sure I don't line up until I am completely ready. I don't have any real putting drills and I really just try and keep it simple. For me to crack inside the Top 50 in the world, it will be very important that I maintain tempo in my golf swing throughout an entire tournament. I was able to control my tempo in Hilton Head and I had a very strong finish. Thanks for joining us, Troy. Best of luck in the coming months!
  18. I've been wanting to post for a while now but i wanted to wait until I had my irons. Well here it is.... Driver: Wilson Staff FG Tour M3 8.5, Fujikura Rombax Z 7Z08 75X 3 Wood: Wilson Staff FG Tour M3 14.0, Aldila RIP Phenom 65S Irons: Wilson Staff FG Tour 100 3-PW KBS Tour V Stiff Wedges: Wilson Staff FG Tour TC 50, 54, 58 Putter: Scotty Cameron Select Golo 5 (Super Stroke 3.0) Bag: Wilson Staff Nexus Carry Bag So far I have loved every club that has a Wilson Staff logo on it. The Driver is deep off the sweet spot but definitely not the most forgiving with spin rates on mishits. I wish the new D200 wasn't so game improvement, but i might have to try it just to add forgiveness to by game. I haven't found a 3 wood that I like more than the M3. Usually the first thing I do after getting a new club is swap shafts, cut down, bend ect., but since i usually shank shots all over the course with 3 woods and this one I cut down on my shank numbers, I have left everything stock. I'm flirting with the idea of tipping it but nervous about throwing off the good ju-ju. The Tour 100's are probably above my skill level but I didn't know how long they would be around so I had to jump at the chance to get them. The wedges are good. Definitely a more firm feel than Vokey's and Cleveland's that I have previously used. I said I would never put a super stroke on my putter...and then one day it just happened...jury is still out. If you're looking for a great carry bag, get the nexus. I couldn't help but share this diamond in the rough I picked up the other day...the best part is I only paid $25 for it!
  19. Here's a quick little vignette, exclusively for MyGolfSpy readers, from Padraig Harrington. The Honda Classic champ tells us how he stays in the moment when disaster strikes, like his double-bogey with a 1-stroke lead on 17 at the Honda...
  20. Found this on Facebook today - interesting video on Padraig Harrington's journey...
  21. RE-EDIT: Steele wins again at the Safeway!!! That's two in a row... EDIT: This is an update from a post from March of 2015 - an interview with Wilson Staff Tour Pro Brendan Steele. I got to meet Brendan at a Wilson Photo Shoot in December of 2014 - he had just joined Wilson from Titleist and enjoyed very solid, but winless, 2015 and 2016 seasons. In last year's Safeway, Brendan held the 54-hole lead heading into the final day but a final round 76 denied him his 2nd Tour victory. Brendan took a different path this weekend, charing from behind with a final round 65, finishing birdie-birdie-birdie. Steele's WITB for the Safeway: TaylorMade M2 driver, and FW woods (15 & 21*) Wilson Staff FG Tour 100 blades (4-pw) Wilson Staff FG Tour PMP Wedge (50* bent to 52*) Vokey SM5 wedges (58 & 60*) Scotty Cameron Futura X Tour Proto Putter Here's our Q&A with Brendan - I found him to be, like other Wilson Staffers, a really good guy. Enjoy.... PGA Pro Brendan Steele heads into today's suspended final round of The Honda Classic tied for 4th with Phil Mickelson, just three strokes off the lead. Brendan is enjoying a solid season 2015 season, making 8 out of 8 cuts, with 1 top 5 finish and 3 top 25's. He's currently 25th in Fedex Cup points (that should change after today) and is ranked 105th in the world. Brendan's lone tour win came in his rookie season of 2011, holing a clutch 5-foot putt on the 72nd hole of the Valero Texas Open to edge out Charlie Hoffman and Kevin Chappell. Brendan joined Wilson Staff this past off-season, and I had a chance to talk with him a few months ago during a Wilson Staff photo-shoot. Here's what he had to say… MGS 5Q's: You have kind of a unique swing. If you were to say your swing is modeled after anyone's, who would it be? Brendan Steele: (Laughs) Good question! I don't know that it's really modeled after anybody, and it's probably just an insult to everybody if I tell them that I copied them! You know, I have a very unique swing. I do a lot of things that are unconventional and that you wouldn't really teach. I have a very strong grip, I kinda get the club behind me and with a lot of club rotation. I guess it's my swing, my way – the way I've always done it and I've just tried to build on it throughout the years. So I've always kinda done it the same way, but I've picked things up as I went along. It may not be the prettiest thing, but it's somewhat effective. I'd like to be more on plane and shorter and more under control, but it's all part of my timing mechanism. With the strong grip I've got to get the club in a certain place and it's got to be a little bit longer to find the “slot” of your backswing, if you will. And then that gets me in a position where I can get it on plane as I get back into the ball. So everything's a kind of a cause and affect, and it all starts with my setup and my grip. MGS 5Q's: What are your goals for the season, and what are your favorite early season tournaments? Steele: Definitely to make the Tour Championship. That really sets you up for the following season. If I could pick up a win before Augusta that would be great, because you always want to play Augusta. But those are definitely the two things that I'm after. Your favorite tournaments are the ones where you always play well in. I usually play well at Phoenix – I've had three good results there the last three years, I think a 4th, 5th and 6th the last three years, so that's one that I always look forward to (Brendan tied for 26th this year). Torrey Pines, I grew up playing Junior World there and different things, so that's one of my favorites (tied for 45th). Humana is a home tournament for me – I grew up in the mountains right there, I get a lot of support out there so I like to play well there (and he did, finishing tied for 2nd). And Riviera is also one that I've had a little bit of success at and I really love the track (tied for 14th). MGS 5Q's: What made you come to Wilson after your contract with Titleist ended? What specifically about the equipment made you go to Wilson? Steele: You know, when my contract was up this last year I really wanted to base my bag around the best clubs that I could possibly find. I did extensive testing and Wilson came out ahead and it was a really easy decision for me. The irons are the best irons that I've ever played, the weighting on them, the way that they go through the turf, how straight they fly and how far they fly was superior to anything that I'd ever tried before. I'm bagging the FG Tour 100's, and with a blade you wouldn't think that there was that much more that you could do. I mean, everybody makes a pretty good blade, right? Well there's a big difference. There's a big difference in the weighting, and how the ball comes off and how straight they go. Most people don't want to play blades because they don't think they can hit them straight. Well these are the straightest blades I've ever hit, by far. You have to work to make them move, which is great. When I want it to hook, I can make it hook. But if I don't want it to hook, it doesn't really hook. You can make it do what you want and you've really go a forgiving blade that will also go a long way, so it's kinda the best of all worlds. MGS 5Q's: Forgiving blade sounds like an oxymoron. How can a blade be forgiving? I think it just has to do with the weighting that they put in the head, and where the center of gravity is. The distribution of the weighting is the only explanation that I have for it. I'm not smart enough to figure that stuff out, but the way it goes through the turf and the way it launches off, it's just a totally different kind of feel and different flight. MGS 5Q's: Have you ever been in “the zone” when you're playing? What does it feel like? Can you feel it coming? What's that experience like? Steele: Well I know I was in the zone watching Kevin (Streelman) finish at Traveler's last year. I posted, I think, 13 under and was thinking ‘maybe this has a chance if some guys make some mistakes coming in.' And then Kevin went and birdied seven holes in a row, so I'd say that qualifies as being “in the zone.” There are times when you feel like the only thing you can do is focus on the shot that you have. You're not thinking anything negative, you're not concerned with anything else that's going on. You can just feel everything that's happening around the shot. And there are other times – most of the time – when you hear everything, you see everything. You see all the trouble you can get into, you're concerned with things that have no bearing on what is actually going on, whether it's mechanics or the fact that you just made a bogie or whatever. That is the complete opposite of being in the zone. It's just this feeling where it's total commitment and inclusion in the shot. And a quiet mind. The game seems very simple when you're in the zone, and it doesn't come around very often. But when it does it's a lot of fun and you always want it to come back and come back more often. But there's no way to know when it's going to come, or why, but if you knew that, then you'd be in pretty good shape!
  22. Big news from Wilson Staff!! Do you guys remember last year's neXus Stand Bag Design contest? That contest was won by none other than our own GolfSpy MBP!! Well, Wilson announced yesterday the new "Mann Bag," as we're calling it, is finally ready for sale. This was posted on Wilson Social Media yesterday... Nice bow tie! Anyway, Dan's design was one of over 3,200 entries in Wilson's design competition. The three finalists were chosen by a committee of Wilson Staff staff, and the "Mann Bag" beat out two others in a week-long social media competition - edging out two other designs that were, quite frankly, nowhere near as cool as Dan's! "I really wanted a yellow bag," ways Dan, "and no one had a nice one. This was my chance to get exactly what I want. And I really wanted a Wilson bag since I saw a badass Ionix bag in a store. "The color scheme really pops, but it's not offensive and should work for a broader range of golfers." Those of us lucky enough to know Dan know he's a stylin' dude. And since he's been showing off his neXus, he's getting even more attention, "It's a head turner, that's for sure," says Dan. "Everyone wants to know where I got and where they can get one!" The Wilson Staff neXus won the 2014 MyGolfSpy Stand Bag Most Wanted competition (click here), and finished a very strong 2nd in the 2015 competition (click here). The Mann Bag is now available on Wilson's website (click here). And here are some shots of Dan's own version -- enjoy!
  23. When you watch golf on TV, do you ever find yourself wondering what kind of person the guy swinging the club is? I was fortunate enough to meet a trio of touring pros at a Wilson Staff photo shoot a couple of months ago and am happy to report that they were three of the nicest gentlemen I've had the pleasure of meeting in any arena, never mind professional athletics. Today's 5 Questions Profile is with one of those gentlemen, a guy who spun one of the greatest finishing back-nine's to win a tournament in golf history, Kevin Streelman... MGS 5 Q's: While we were in Arizona, you were showing some of the drills you're working on – are you working towards a more Hogan-esque swing? What made Hogan's swing so timeless? What can a touring pro learn from his swing? How about your average 54-year-old 8 handicap (hypothetically speaking, of course)? KS: I have been a student of Ben Hogan's swing for quite some time now. My current coach Wayne Defrancesco has a tremendous understanding of the idiosyncricies of Hogans pivot movement and I work tediously on a daily basis to improve my own action. Hogan made great use of his space and creation of hip depth and rotation in a very athletic sequence. He spoke about the feeling of throwing a sidearm pitch or skipping a rock across a pond. When you get down to it, that simple feeling is the basis of Ben Hogan's swing. Practicing throwing a range ball in front of you down the range, feeling your hips deepen and open while your right elbow lags in front of your right hip. Practice this slowly and feel the athletic movement and sequencing that the best ball strikers all possess. MGS 5 Q's: You are the author of one of the greatest finishing stretches in golf history – 7 birdies on the last 7 holes to win in Hartford last summer. That may be the very definition of “being in the zone.” Could you feel yourself slipping into the zone? Were you aware of what you were doing? What did it feel like? Do you think you can train your brain for that kind of performance? KS: That back nine at TPC Hartford is an afternoon I will never forget! I made a really nice 10 foot birdie putt on 9 that had a double break to it. I read it perfectly and saw the ball go in with perfect speed. After poor approach shots on 10 and 11, I made two additional 8 foot putts just to save par. Then, starting at 12, the hole appeared to get bigger. I truly felt like I couldn't miss. I made a 12 footer, then 6, then 20, then 14, 40, 4, and 12 to finish. 10 one putts in a row, 7 birdies in a row, and a 28 to win my second PGA Tour event. It was a bit surreal. I didn't realize I had made them all in a row until after I signed my card. I was trying to go as low as possible as quickly as possible because I knew the leaders were not coming back to me. It almost seemed as everything slowed down a bit. There was not much thinking, simply trusting and reacting. It's hard to describe but the hole starts to appear larger, and the game becomes easy. I truly think it's 100% trust in your work, preparation, and abilities. There is no fear, worry, or concern. I felt free to both succeed and fail, and that's when greatness can occur! MGS 5 Q's: You've recently resigned with Wilson Staff – what does that relationship mean to you? Why do you choose to stay with Wilson? KS: Wilson Golf is the greatest organization I have ever been involved with. It truly is more of a family relationship than a business one. Being from the Chicagoland area had a tremendous impact on my decision to sign with Wilson Golf. We share many of the same core values and I feel as if I'm a valuable member on the design side of their equipment. The new FG Tour V4 irons and wedges are by far the best clubs I have ever hit. I don't think it's an accident that I have had my 2 best years on Tour since I have signed with Wilson Golf. I plan to represent the brand proudly for many years to come. MGS 5Q's: What are your goals for 2015? What would a successful season look like to Kevin Streelman? Which major would mean the most to you to win? KS: I have never been an individual to set out specific goals for an upcoming year. I strive diligently to improve on a daily basis. I want to improve as a husband, as a dad, as a son, a brother, in my faith, in my short game, my putting, and in my swing. Not particularly in that order. I love waking up and having the opportunity to get better. I almost enjoy the process of improving and the work associated with it more than the competition. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love competing but the process of making myself better has gotten me from a broke, mini-tour golfer to a top 50 player in the world. The Masters would be the one Major I would love to win over the others. Trust me, any of them would be nice, but putting on that green jacket would be the ultimate in professional golf. MGS 5 Q's: Your dream foursome – past, present or future – who are your three playing partners and why? What are the stakes? KS: Ben Hogan- He's the man, and I'd love to watch him swing in person Jack Nicklaus- He's also the man, and I'd love to watch him compete in person Michael Jordan- Growing up in Chicago, He's the man. Plus he can finance the wagers. 100 nassau, auto 2 downs (Personal note: On the day of the photo shoot, Kevin put in a loooong day, staying well into the early evening hitting shots on the course and then doing some voice overs for Wilson's TV commercials. When he was finally finished I asked for a few minutes to do this 5 Questions segments. He very politely asked if we could do it over the phone or via email because he wanted to get home in time for his baby daughter's bedtime. Any Dad who travels a lot knows this time is precious. We agreed I'd email him the questions and he'd get back to me. Quite honestly, I didn't expect to hear back, figuring this request wouldn't be anywhere near the top of a PGA Touring Pro's to-do list. Perfectly understandable because after all, we had just met that day, and I was "the press." Sonuvagun if he didn't email me back with some very thoughtful and insightful answers. I know who I'm rooting for Master's weekend! Classy guy.)
  24. Posted this Saturday in another thread, but wanted to give it its own thread. This was my first PGA show - and I hope it won't be my last! Here's a quick rundown on the product experience highlights... 1. Talking with Jesse Ortiz -- the man is a legend in golf club design and is one of the nicest gentlemen I've met in a long time. That he spent about 20 minutes talking with a nobody like me was very flattering. He has some strong opinions about the state of golf equipment and how equipment is sold and marketed -- and he's funny as hell. Best of many gems he shared - he sees the equipment industry morphing into something similar to the beer industry - there's growing room for the micro-brews or regional brews, as well at the Buds, Coors and Millers. He sees the golf industry moving in the same direction. Oh, and the new Bobby Jones putters look awesome! 2. Hitting the Hogans -- hit a crap-ton of irons during demo day and the show, and the Hogan irons were certainly the "buzz" of the show. Their booth was an homage to the Hogan tradition, and the business cards they were handing out were badass -- with the iconic Hogan 1-iron from the US Open on the back. The irons? Nothing short of outstanding in my opinion. Not sure how the loft-idea is going to work out, but I like the fact that they're going to work through pros and fitters -- so you CAN try them through those channels. And the products will all be custom ordered - so the pro won't have to stock much of anything. They'll build them to spec every time. These are going to be interesting to keep an eye on. 3. Irons in general - it's a great time to be an iron buyer. Of all the irons I had the chance to try, my faves were - in no particular order - Hogan, Wilson FG 100 Blade, Wilson FG Tour V4, Srixon 545 and 745, all of the Bridgestones and Epon from Japan. If you're "into" forged feeling irons, these are as clean, crisp and smooth as they come. Would game any of them in a heartbeat. 4. Vega --- Vega irons were also up there, and I gotta say, I really liked their driver. You don't hear much about Vega, but they have some pretty nice equipment. It's not inexpensive, but it's very, very good. 5. Big Max push carts --- got the full demo on their entire line. Big Max is the number one line of "trolleys" in Europe, and you can see why. Versatile, easy to set up and take down, easy to store with lots - and I mean LOTS - of really cool and well thought out features. Keep an eye on them - you'll be seeing more of them in the coming months. Best push cart that I saw.... 6. DST Training Clubs -- these suckers have bent shafts. It's a training aid designed to force you to keep your hands in front of the club face at impact, so you're leveraging all your power and hitting down on the ball. It's a weird feel at first, but it's one of those training aids that will find a permanent home in my bag, seeing as how I'm a chronic flipper. 7. Royal Albatross Shoes -- Winner of the MGS Most Wanted Shoe challenge - these things are gorgeous, comfortable and gorgeous. Not to mention comfortable. Pricey, but good footwear may be the most underrated item in the game. 8. ECCO - speaking of footwear, these guys are playing chess while most of the rest of the industry (Royal Albatross excluded) is playing checkers. The new lines - especially the spikeless street shoes - are nothing short of spectacular. 9. Biion -- another shoe company. We've had reviews by GolfSpy MPB here, and quite frankly, I didn't get his enthusiasm. I do now. You really have to see them in person to get the full color pop, and they are "slip-on" comfy. I see them in my future, too. 10. MLA Putters -- from Switzerland - the aiming mechanism is really unique and effective. If you have an issue with squaring up the putter face, one of these will help you with your alignment. Again, it looks a little weird, but sometime weird gets it done. 11. Zepp -- had never tried one before, but boy are they helpful little devices. Was worried I'd be distracted by having the little sensor device on my glove hand, but once it was on I never noticed it once. And I absolutely loved the feedback and swing information it gave you. Can see this as being a huge tool for instructors and for swing-junkies. The hands don't lie. 12. Kentwool Socks - have your say, Furu! Actually, I've been a fan of Kentwool for a long time, and at this very moment wearing a pair of their compression socks on the plane. Bought these over a month ago and always wear them when flying - they are the cat's behind! Got to meet the owner of Kentwool at the show and - like Jesse Ortiz - was very friendly, frank and giving of his time to a no one like me. We had a great chat and he made me an even bigger fan of his company. 13. Golf Knickers.com -- Another product that looks way better in person than in pictures. I see an MGS Golf Knicker Invitational in our future -- great colors and styles. You want to stand out on a course? These will do it, but when you dress like that you better bring your A-game! 14. Lambda Golf Shoes -- all leather from Portugal. Great designs - awesome looking shoe. Didn't get to try them on, so can't speak to their comfort, but Golly Moses they're purdy. 15. Renegar Wedges -- liked the new forged design with the notched sole. Hope we see more of these - good looking and produced by another industry maverick. Pay attention to them. 16. iZulu Golf - from South Africa. A custom fitting system to be sold through golf pros. Irons with interchangeable faces (for fitting purposes), driver with low CG pods (not unlike NIke's, but not similar, either), and some of the nicest hybrids I hit at the show. Their mallet putter looked like a Transformer - you can move the weight back for fast greens and up for slow greens. They're a ways away from becoming a presence here - if they ever will be, but their stuff is pretty solid. 17. New Stich headcovers -- no words other than "Bad-Ass-Looking!" Really cool new designs.
  25. This came today in the inbox...Wilson's 2015 online catalog... Thoughts? CLICK HERE
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