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Wilson Staff F5 Irons - Your Thoughts?


GolfSpy Barbajo
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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-Staff-FG-Tour-irons-7.jpg

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-FG-Tour-F5-17.jpg

Wilson unveiled Speed Soleâ„¢ 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.

Wilson-vs-other.png

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 Soleâ„¢ is made possible by something called the â€œStabilizing 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 Soleâ„¢ to actually add speed.

Wilson-FG-tour-F5-irons-1.jpg

“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.

Wilson-FG-Tour-F5-irons-15.jpg

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-FG-Tour-irons-13.jpg

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-FG-Tour-F5-irons-12.jpg

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?

 
 

What's in the bag:
 
Driver:  Sub 70 639D - 9.5; :cleveland-small: Launcher HB Turbo; :mizuno-small: ST 190 
FW Wood: :tour-edge: Tour Edge EXS 220 - 15*; :mizuno-small: ST 180 14*
Hybrids:  PXG 0311 22
Utility Irons: :wilson_staff_small: Staff Model Utilities 18, 21, 24*;  Lynx VT Stinger - 16*
Irons::wilson_staff_small: D7 Forged; :benhogan-small:PTx Pro, :macgregor-small: VIP 1025 V-Foil MB/CB; :wilson_staff_small: Progressives (circa 1993)

Wedges:  :cleveland-small: CBX -2, :benhogan-small:Riviera 52-56-60; :wilson_staff_small: Staff Model
Putter:   :edel-golf-1:  Willamette,  :bettinardi-small: BB8,  :benhogan-small:Baby Ben

Ball: :bridgestone-small: Tour B X (2020); :srixon-small: Z-STAR XV

Stat Tracker/GPS Watch: :ShotScope:


 
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So, does the speed sole and +1/2" length make the F5 distance competitive with 4* less loft that AP1 and Apex?  To some people that will be the deciding factor rather than overall performance.  I didn't see where Wilson says that it can compete in the same shark tank with clubs with jacked lofts.

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So, does the speed sole and +1/2" length make the F5 distance competitive with 4* less loft that AP1 and Apex?  To some people that will be the deciding factor rather than overall performance.  I didn't see where Wilson says that it can compete in the same shark tank with clubs with jacked lofts.

 

 

I think their goal is compete more with the AP2 and Apex Pro --- lofts are pretty close.

 

What's in the bag:
 
Driver:  Sub 70 639D - 9.5; :cleveland-small: Launcher HB Turbo; :mizuno-small: ST 190 
FW Wood: :tour-edge: Tour Edge EXS 220 - 15*; :mizuno-small: ST 180 14*
Hybrids:  PXG 0311 22
Utility Irons: :wilson_staff_small: Staff Model Utilities 18, 21, 24*;  Lynx VT Stinger - 16*
Irons::wilson_staff_small: D7 Forged; :benhogan-small:PTx Pro, :macgregor-small: VIP 1025 V-Foil MB/CB; :wilson_staff_small: Progressives (circa 1993)

Wedges:  :cleveland-small: CBX -2, :benhogan-small:Riviera 52-56-60; :wilson_staff_small: Staff Model
Putter:   :edel-golf-1:  Willamette,  :bettinardi-small: BB8,  :benhogan-small:Baby Ben

Ball: :bridgestone-small: Tour B X (2020); :srixon-small: Z-STAR XV

Stat Tracker/GPS Watch: :ShotScope:


 
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The M3s were super fun to play and I think that these look like they could take that trend further in the right direction. The only thing that looks like a limitation could be the shaft offerings.

 

While the list price of the irons is nicely low for forged, not fitting the stock offerings could push you into a higher than market price. Here's an example. One of my weekly playgroup guys just picked up a set of Mizuno MP-25's. Stock shafts were not an option as he is a beast. The Mizuno Shaft Optimizer put him into KBS C-Taper Lites (X).

 

I am not sure how much WS will charge for such an upgrade, but with MIzuno's new no-upcharge program, the upgraded shafts and NDMC grips cost the standard stock price of $999.

 

That would be my only hesitation as a buyer, how much of an up charge a custom fit would generate. Oh, and what color to paintfill the numbers :D

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The M3s were super fun to play and I think that these look like they could take that trend further in the right direction. The only thing that looks like a limitation could be the shaft offerings.

 

While the list price of the irons is nicely low for forged, not fitting the stock offerings could push you into a higher than market price. Here's an example. One of my weekly playgroup guys just picked up a set of Mizuno MP-25's. Stock shafts were not an option as he is a beast. The Mizuno Shaft Optimizer put him into KBS C-Taper Lites (X).

 

I am not sure how much WS will charge for such an upgrade, but with MIzuno's new no-upcharge program, the upgraded shafts and NDMC grips cost the standard stock price of $999.

 

That would be my only hesitation as a buyer, how much of an up charge a custom fit would generate. Oh, and what color to paintfill the numbers :D

 

I wonder if more OEM's will follow Mizuno's lead?  I guess TM is offering a whole crap-ton of no charge shaft options for the M1 - my buddy at the local Golfsmith says within 2 or 3 years that's how they'll be selling all their drivers, FW's and hybrids -- heads and shafts separately.  

 

As for the F5's - I have standard C-Tapers in stiff in mine. They fit me into the C-Tapers for the V4 irons and love that combination. Still getting the feel for C tapers in the F5 irons....

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What's in the bag:
 
Driver:  Sub 70 639D - 9.5; :cleveland-small: Launcher HB Turbo; :mizuno-small: ST 190 
FW Wood: :tour-edge: Tour Edge EXS 220 - 15*; :mizuno-small: ST 180 14*
Hybrids:  PXG 0311 22
Utility Irons: :wilson_staff_small: Staff Model Utilities 18, 21, 24*;  Lynx VT Stinger - 16*
Irons::wilson_staff_small: D7 Forged; :benhogan-small:PTx Pro, :macgregor-small: VIP 1025 V-Foil MB/CB; :wilson_staff_small: Progressives (circa 1993)

Wedges:  :cleveland-small: CBX -2, :benhogan-small:Riviera 52-56-60; :wilson_staff_small: Staff Model
Putter:   :edel-golf-1:  Willamette,  :bettinardi-small: BB8,  :benhogan-small:Baby Ben

Ball: :bridgestone-small: Tour B X (2020); :srixon-small: Z-STAR XV

Stat Tracker/GPS Watch: :ShotScope:


 
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I wonder if more OEM's will follow Mizuno's lead?  I guess TM is offering a whole crap-ton of no charge shaft options for the M1 - my buddy at the local Golfsmith says within 2 or 3 years that's how they'll be selling all their drivers, FW's and hybrids -- heads and shafts separately.  

 

As for the F5's - I have standard C-Tapers in stiff in mine. They fit me into the C-Tapers for the V4 irons and love that combination. Still getting the feel for C tapers in the F5 irons....

Callaway is offering a whole bunch of shafts at no uncharge too for the Apex irons this year too.

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Volvo Intorqueo

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Nothing special going on with the F5 irons. They don't look good and they don't look bad. Just a little bit boring, and that's the problem. Not sure what Wilson is trying to do? Convince people that "heritage" or something is enough to make them dump the other brands?

 

By the way - C200 with stitches on the top line is just plain awful. Terrible design choice.

 

2016 will be yet another anonymous year for Wilson Staff. 

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Callaway is offering a whole bunch of shafts at no uncharge too for the Apex irons this year too.

 

I'm guessing more will follow suit --

 

What's in the bag:
 
Driver:  Sub 70 639D - 9.5; :cleveland-small: Launcher HB Turbo; :mizuno-small: ST 190 
FW Wood: :tour-edge: Tour Edge EXS 220 - 15*; :mizuno-small: ST 180 14*
Hybrids:  PXG 0311 22
Utility Irons: :wilson_staff_small: Staff Model Utilities 18, 21, 24*;  Lynx VT Stinger - 16*
Irons::wilson_staff_small: D7 Forged; :benhogan-small:PTx Pro, :macgregor-small: VIP 1025 V-Foil MB/CB; :wilson_staff_small: Progressives (circa 1993)

Wedges:  :cleveland-small: CBX -2, :benhogan-small:Riviera 52-56-60; :wilson_staff_small: Staff Model
Putter:   :edel-golf-1:  Willamette,  :bettinardi-small: BB8,  :benhogan-small:Baby Ben

Ball: :bridgestone-small: Tour B X (2020); :srixon-small: Z-STAR XV

Stat Tracker/GPS Watch: :ShotScope:


 
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And yes - I've hit the clubs.

 

Furu!!!  Miss you man!  Welcome back!!!!  How is MGS's Favorite Norwegian Golf Journo?

 

What's in the bag:
 
Driver:  Sub 70 639D - 9.5; :cleveland-small: Launcher HB Turbo; :mizuno-small: ST 190 
FW Wood: :tour-edge: Tour Edge EXS 220 - 15*; :mizuno-small: ST 180 14*
Hybrids:  PXG 0311 22
Utility Irons: :wilson_staff_small: Staff Model Utilities 18, 21, 24*;  Lynx VT Stinger - 16*
Irons::wilson_staff_small: D7 Forged; :benhogan-small:PTx Pro, :macgregor-small: VIP 1025 V-Foil MB/CB; :wilson_staff_small: Progressives (circa 1993)

Wedges:  :cleveland-small: CBX -2, :benhogan-small:Riviera 52-56-60; :wilson_staff_small: Staff Model
Putter:   :edel-golf-1:  Willamette,  :bettinardi-small: BB8,  :benhogan-small:Baby Ben

Ball: :bridgestone-small: Tour B X (2020); :srixon-small: Z-STAR XV

Stat Tracker/GPS Watch: :ShotScope:


 
Follow @golfspybarbajo

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Nothing special going on with the F5 irons. They don't look good and they don't look bad. Just a little bit boring, and that's the problem. Not sure what Wilson is trying to do? Convince people that "heritage" or something is enough to make them dump the other brands?

 

By the way - C200 with stitches on the top line is just plain awful. Terrible design choice.

 

2016 will be yet another anonymous year for Wilson Staff. 

Just a question...What do you mean by "just a bit boring"? Do you mean tech wise? Looks?

 

I will agree with you that the c200's look just plain awful...I didn't get to hit them a whole lot but if the tech is there and it does improve ball speed and decrease shot dispersion I think it could be good for them. I will be interested to see how testing goes with those. IMO if a major OEM released something like the c200's and threw a whole bunch of marketing money behind it, and catch phrases about how innovative it is, people would be all about it. But because they are a "smaller" brand, people think it's gimmicky. I'm not trying to say that's what you are saying, I just feel like that is more of a general statement.

Driver:  :ping-small: G30 9*

 

Irons:  :callaway-small:  X-Forged 3-PW

 

Wedges:  :cleveland-small: RTX 2.0 52*

                :ping-small:  Glide 58*

 

Putter:   :taylormade-small: Itsy-Bitsy Spider

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