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2019 Official Forum Member Review-Wilson D7 Challenge

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This review coincided with the National D7 Challenge that Wilson Staff ran through the first 3 months of the season.   To be eligible for the testing, forum members had to go to a Wilson Demo Day or local golf store and demo the D7 iron and see how much distance they gained. 

As a result the selected members received a full set of D7 irons.  This testing is also a milestone for MGS of sorts as it marks the first official club test for our women members.  So we're excited to have a couple of them chiming in on what we are sure will be some very helpful and insightful reviews. 

D7 Iron Pic.jpg

The Testers are as follows:

@Steve2100                                     Stage 1                 Stage 2

@Tarheelvolvo                                  Stage 1                 Stage 2

@JohnSmalls                                   Stage 1                  Stage 2

@GeekingGolf                                  Stage 1                   Stage 2

Our Two Female Reviewers

@GolfDorkette                                Stage 1                    Stage 2

@artful_golfer                                 Stage 1                    Stage 2

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Posted (edited)

Hey Guys, since I’m fairly new to the MGS forums I wanted to give a proper introduction. I’m John-Scott (JS), 36yrs old, and live in Richmond, VA. I’m also a fairly big guy – 6’4” 240lbs, so can put a lot of power behind a ball when I connect. I started playing golf with my father at our club at about age 6, but didn’t take it seriously until about 13 and got down to 6hdcp in HS. I continued to play sporadically through college and post schooling until kiddos joined the fun and consumed all my time – as many of you can relate. Now that they are a bit older (3 & 6 currently) I have more time to get back on the course. I played in a yearly tournament and in April of this year I shot a 91, which considering that I hadn’t played in over a year, spurred me into action! Since then I have participated in a few more tournaments (everybody needs a high handicapper on their team, right??) and aim to play at least once a month.

I’m about a 15hdcp currently and my iron play has always been the strongest part of my game. However, the clubs I currently hit are knock-off CB’s from 1998 and the though occurred that technology may have changed a bit in the intervening years. As I mentioned before, I can put a lot of power behind the ball with my fairly fast swing speed and size. Right now I hit my 8i about 150yds, but would often push the ball right, or put a fade on it. I heard about the Wilson D7 Challenge on MGS and went to a demo day nearby to get fitted and try out a few clubs. Boy have things changed with irons!!


To summarize the demo day, I went from hitting a 7i ~ 160yds with my current irons to hitting a 7i ~190yds with the new technology 🤯

First Impressions

The fateful day finally arrived and these new irons look beautiful!


I almost feel bad for them having to go into my old, beat up bag, but should be interesting to see how they sack up to my old DCI clones, and R11 Clones.


Close-up Comparison of the D7's vs the DCI Clones


After reading all of the marketing material, I thought the Power Holes would be very gimmicky, the overall head design too thick and unpleasant at address, and the RE•AKT Technology would not help straighten out my contant right push/fade that has developed with my swing.


Are all of these advancements enough to straighten out my gain, give me the promised yardage improvements, and - this is a major sticking point for me - not all be the same distance? Since I don't have trouble getting the ball up in the air, are the 4-6i going to be the same distance? With the ever creeping lofts of irons, do I even need a Fairway Wood? 


This, and more, will be answered as I give these clubs a proper workout!


Edited by Tarheelvolvo
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Why So Late?

What’s up fellow spies? Well I know my Stage 1 is late, but I have a very good excuse. My name is Joe and I am in the Navy out of Jacksonville Florida. We left port to go out for Naval exercises and then got extended by 5 days and of course there was this huge hurricane Dorian coming up from the Bahamas so we couldn’t pull back in. We had to go up to Virginia for a few days then around the storm back to Mayport. The video below is what we went through trying to make it home. Needless to say my wife and 6 kids evacuated to Pensacola Florida while I was away. Sorry its sideways. Sorry couldn't figure out how to embed here...just follow the link and enjoy the show.


So as you can see I have had a rough few weeks. I have been playing golf since age 15. I only got serious about the game a couple of years ago when I was playing every week and got fitted into some Ping I200 irons. I love the game. It’s the ultimate challenge each day trying to stay focused and play the correct shot. To me it is a huge test of patience and perseverance and those two qualities don’t come easy to me. It’s amazing to me that every round can be so different, one aspect of my game can work perfectly while the others fall apart.

My Game

I have a 10 handicap right now and it has been trending upward for the past year. I am not sure what happened but being on a Navy ship hasn’t given me much time to play and practice and my game is suffering. I have played with Cobra Forged Tec One Length irons for about a year and even though my accuracy has greatly improved with these in the bag my distance has decreased way too much. I am getting older and my swing speed has started to decrease.  Last year I won the Cobra Connect Challenge and got fitted into the One Length irons. Right now my 150 yard club is my 7 iron and I have about 10 yards between each club which makes club selection easier but when you hit your 4 and 5 iron both 170 well golf can be frustrating.  My current ball flight is a tiny draw which I like and I can hit the ball high or low with no issues. I always aim for the middle of the green unless I have the perfect wedge distance in so I am looking for a combination of distance and forgiveness in my irons.

Wilson D7 Challenge

I have to admit I have never played with game improvement or super game improvement irons. I have always gravitated toward the players irons because of the look. I took the D7 challenge and I got some amazing distance and accuracy gains from the Wilson D7 irons. My D7 7 iron increased 14 yards and 5 iron increased a whopping 24 yards! I shared my experience on the forum and didn’t think much of it at the time. I surely didn’t expect to get selected to test these irons. I am grateful to say the least. It seems like the moderators really pick the perfect testers because I have been considering SGI irons and my game was suffering. I am sure there are alot of spies out there that have always played players irons and have considered making the switch so I hope to help them with this decision. 

The Tech

So let’s talk about the technology in these irons! There is RE•AKT Technology that is supposed to improve power translating to greater ball speed. The long irons have power holes, in fact three rows of them and a thinner face to maximize distance. As you move down the bag the weighting is optimized and the power holes are decreased leading to precise distance control. I think so far I believe that their claims are justified. I have shortened my swing a lot in the past year and have seen better accuracy but less distance. Well my initial testing has confirmed Wilson’s claim as I still have the same accuracy but my distance has increased unbelievably. If these irons continue to do what the are doing then I will have to rethink my bag entirely. Maybe a hybrid or two will get knocked out of my bag and I may need to add another wedge.


Here is the 4 iron with the 3 rows of power holes...it definitely has some heft looking down.







Here is the 7 iron with the 2 rows of power holes which is supposed to decrease the power some but allow for good distance and more control.




And finally the Gap Wedge with the one row. The reflections might look odd but I assure you these irons are flawless!!!



Overall I love the look of these irons. They look premium to me and I like the color scheme. The thick line actually doesn't bother me at all and to me the 4 iron looks like most of the driving irons I see on the market today. I think Wilson did a great job with these irons and the value here is astonishing. 

How I Will Test

My testing will include TopGolf range testing for accurate distance numbers, and I will also look at spin rates and launch angles to insure that I will have the proper descent angles and spin rates to hold the greens. I will do a lot of on course testing because this is where I want to see if they hold up. Do I get a flyer on some shots leading to overshooting greens or do they remain consistent across the face of the club and build confidence in the yardages?  So will these irons pass the test? Will these super game improvement irons convert an old players iron golfer into the game improvement category?



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Hi.  I.m Louise.  I was very pleased to have been chosen to test the Wilson D7s.  Especially since they included two women golfers in the testing.

I didn't pick up golf until I was 43, but managed to win my first club championship 2 1/2 years later at Dallas CC.  I have since won 12 more spread over 4 different clubs.  2 in Dallas and 2 in Calif.  I am currently a 9 hdcp but have been as low as a 5.  

I am having a foot issue so I haven't been able to play a full round with the D7s yet, but I have hit them on the range a couple of times and am very pleased with the results.  When I initially did the challenge with my Cleveland men's length Apex 7 iron, I was amazed that the women's clubs actually went farther and had better numbers than my club.  And I have always played with men's clubs, although I' did try women's Pings a few years ago and did not like them.  The D7s practically hit themselves.  They feel really well  balanced and look great at address.  

Hopefully my Achilles heel bone spur will be under control enough to really put them to the test and see where the numbers go.  I am very very optimistic that these are gamers.  And they sure are pretty!!

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As a certified Wilson/Staff homer, I am SO looking forward to this thread!!!

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Congrats ladies! And, honestly, very much looking forward to hearing about your impressions with these - not sure if/when I'll be researching upgrades for my wife's starting-to-age equipment (she doesn't think she needs new clubs, and I may never get her to change her pink driver!), but these would be one candidate.

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Stage one is up!  See if you guys can find the two abnormalities in my post. 



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On 8/21/2019 at 8:25 AM, JohnSmalls said:

Wilson D7 Irons, Stage One:  JohnSmalls (8/21/2019)

Hi, I am John!  I live and play most of my golf in upstate South Carolina at Spring Lake Country Club which is just south of Charlotte, NC. 

I grew up doing a variety of things from going on camping trips to playing just about everything that could be considered a game.  My grandma enjoyed golf and her husband was an avid golfer along with being one of the first members at the club in my hometown. 


Sadly he passed away before I was born, but there was always golf equipment laying around my grandma’s house.  Her brother, Joe was also an avid golfer and he gave me my first golf clubs when I was a very young boy.  Ironically it was a junior Wilson set with a driver, fairway wood, 5, 7, 9, PW and a putter.  I liked golf never enjoyed playing, because it wasn’t the cool sport and my first sports love was baseball.  Nevertheless I played here and there through the grade school/high school years and kept up about once a year while in college.  It wasn’t until 3 years ago that I played my first truly enjoyable round with one of my best friends that I began to fall in love with this crazy game. 

I was very pessimistic about my game and distance so I played game improvement/super game improvement irons for my first two+ years(Cobra Fly-Z and Nike Vapor Speed), but as my ball striking improved over the past year I wanted to try something new so I put my current dream forged players irons in the bag  the Nike Vapor Pro Combos.  With this past year of lessons and practice I feel like I have unlocked a better understanding of my swing, all of this has come with the Pro Combos in the bag which I have come to love.

I currently shoot in the low to mid 90s and that is finally trending down after what is looking like a year of growing pains due to a substantial swing change.   Irons were the better part of my game before the swing change and look like they are coming alive again.  I have a slower back swing leading into a moderately aggressive downswing that averages between 84-86 7 iron swing speed, and tops out a touch over 89mph.

My instructor tracks data using Flightscope hitting to an outdoor range with Srixon range balls.  Consistently well struck 7-irons with my Pro Combos are in the 153-157 carry range with around 8000 spin.  My typical miss comes off the toe side of center and usually ends up with a 10% loss on carry distance ranging in the high 130s to low 140s.  Really bad ball striking days end up with an awful tempo leading to my latest attempt at a ditch digging contest and some nasty pull hooks.  With all of this I have a relatively good idea what to expect from my irons depending on how I am hitting the ball and this has led to a much more consistent and finally improving game. 

“Wilson’s new D7 irons with RE-AKT technology brings distance when you need it and precision when you want it.  Long irons feature three rows of Power Holes and a thinner, more responsive face for maximum distance. Fewer Power Holes combine with optimal weighting and extreme feel in the shorter irons for the most precise distance control.  With straighter lines, a cleaner top line and improved weighting, D7 combines the look of a player's iron with the benefits of Super Game Improvement Technology.  D7 helps golfers play their best.”-- If that sounds like marketing material…it is.  That is quoted straight from Wilson's website.


Wilson intrigues me.  I thought of them as a big box low quality company when I first started playing.  But slowly through MGS testing, I am convinced they really do produce high quality clubs and especially irons.  Wilson is one of the old school players in the game and their history speaks for itself with 62 major wins coming with Wilson Staff irons.ArnoldPalmer.jpg.4d32cd757c5d904c39a0393656d71b82.jpg




I was fit by Ken at Victory Custom Golf in Lake Wylie, SC.  We spoke about the shafts available, and tested a number of KBS shafts (Wilson Staff preferred), DG 105, and a few Aerotech Steelfiber options.  As I saw at the D7 demo day, I do not like KBS shafts.  I really wanted to, but I don’t get along with them.  Steelfibers weren’t much better for me.  But the DG 105 was the goldilocks choice of the day.  So Ken fit me for 4-PW,GW,  -0.25” and 1* flat for the D7s and in Dynamic Gold AMT R300 (closest to the DG 105).  I chose the stock Lamkin Crossline but in black. 
The shaft length is exactly the same as my Nikes except for the PW (Wilson is shorter).  Honestly, I am concerned about the loft comparisons to my current irons, and the low spin design of the D7 head.  See below:

Personally, I am excited to have Wilson’s back in my bag; it feels like I have come full circle with equipment.  Wilson shipped them with the heads individually wrapped in plastic and bubble wrap, even though the box was a little beaten up, the clubs look great!  I had Ken check the specs to what was ordered and every club ended up .5* to 1* flatter than the spec sheet, so we think it was a difference in machines.







What I am looking for?:

-Similar carry distance and ball flight on mishits (no 10% loss)
-Ability to hit the ball low with long irons from the trees
-Iron shots to hold the green with 5,6,7 irons
-Cut down wedges/short irons to maintain enough spin to hold greens
-Increased GIR and scrambling percentages


Will the D7s and RE-AKT be enough to kick my favorite Nikes from my bag?



Hey John. Was that video done in front of a mirror?  Something looks odd (backwards) and I cannot put my finger on it 🤣.  I wanted to add these into my recent, rather long winded, iron testing but could not find any.  I really like the look of them and that Wilson is back in the game.  Golf just isn't golf without them being part of the tapestry.  Have fun and throw a few HR's in the evaluation - certainly that has to be a consideration going into the 2020 HRC and unseating Mr. @sirchunksalot 🤗

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John and Steve, loved those Stage 1's!   Nice job.   

Steve, thanks for your service, I imagine that had to be a very interesting career in Chicago.  I love the city, just haven't been there too often.  I'll actually be a couple hours north of you next week, too bad I don't have an extra day, to come down and get a round in with you!

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17 hours ago, JohnSmalls said:

Stage one is up!  See if you guys can find the two abnormalities in my post. 

Great start @JohnSmalls!!!

I combed through it a few times.

The two potential “abnormalities” I found:

1 - Your HCP is actually trending downward after switching to the Nike Vapor Pro Combos - decidedly not a “game improvement” setup.

2 - The lengths don’t match your fitting specs and the lofts are anywhere from 3 to 5 degrees weaker than standard.

How’d I do?

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