I’ve been champing at the bit to get my hands on the Wilson Staff Model Blades since their release earlier this year. My opportunity to put them through their paces finally arose last week.
A modern adaptation of a timeless classic, the Wilson Staff Model Blade Irons are a real thing of beauty and a workhorse to boot. I took the 5 iron and PW to the course for some testing and couldn’t believe the results.
Wilson Staff Golf Snapshot
For the golfing purists and older generations, Wilson Staff is a well-known name in golf, but if you’re unfamiliar with their clubs, next time you’re on the course ask your playing partners (if they’re old enough) what clubs they remember from when they grew up. Chances are they’ll mention at least one or two Wilson clubs.
Wilson Staff golf clubs were used by countless legends like Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer, Payne Stewart, and arguably the most dominant female player of all-time, Mickey Wright. Dating back to Gene Sarazen’s 1922 U.S. Open championship, Wilson Staff irons have been used to win 62 majors.
The brand enjoyed continued popularity through the early 1990s; however, after the turn of the century the company’s luster had lost much of its shine and the brand fell into relative anonymity with players as companies like Titleist, Ping, TaylorMade and Callaway began to dominate the market.
Currently, the brand is enjoying some newfound exposure as the defending U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland and fellow PGA Tour player Brendan Steele play the Wilson Staff Model Blades. Kevin Streelman and multi-major winner Padraig Harrington are also on staff with Wilson, too.
When the Wilson rep first brought a sample iron into the office, I loved every bit of the looks. The diamond pattern design frames the scoring lines and the triple notches on the hosel of the Wilson Staff Model Blades give these irons an instantly recognizable and classic Wilson blade look.
The front may look like classic Wilson, but the back of the blade features some modern design elements. Weight is removed from the heel through milling, which gives these irons precise weighting from club to club and set to set.
Blade irons are designed for the best ball strikers in the world, and their construction remains relatively consistent. They are forged from a single piece of carbon steel and will not include technologies designed for added forgiveness.
When designing the Wilson Staff Model Blade Irons, Wilson collaborated with Steele and Woodland to ensure these irons met Tour-level performance standards.
The forged 8620 carbon steel head features milling on the face between scoring lines and on the back of the blade to produce consistent weighting across the entire set.
Wilson listened to their staff players and compared to previous blade model, the FG Tour 100, the Staff Model Blades have a bit more camber. This adjustment gives these irons a fraction of forgiveness without sacrificing any workability.
Camber is the curvature of the sole of a golf club from front to back. A more rounded curve will promote better turf interaction at impact and allow players to manipulate the effective bounce.
Typically, blades have been engineered with less camber to the sole. More camber on a sole is something that traditionally is found in game improvement irons.
Another unique feature of Wilson irons is the classic Fluid Feel Hosel. Adapted from the Wilson Dyna-Powered irons. Combined with a bore through shaft, Wilson removes weight from the hosel in order to create a larger clubhead and wider sole, increasing playability.
On The Course
Like the adage goes, look good, feel good, play good. After playing Mizuno blades for 8 years I was excited to get these on the course. Once I did, the results were fantastic!
I decided to hit the 5-iron off the tee on most par fours and consistently found myself in the fairway. What really shocked me was the length off the tee.
My normal 5-iron distance is around 205 yards, but off the tee, I was getting 225 yards from the Wilson. Some of this may have been due to using S300 shafts instead of an x-flex shaft, but I still think these are a touch longer than my current players irons overall.
Blades and muscle backs hands down have the best feel to them, but that feel comes at the cost of forgiveness. The solid steel head does little to help on fat shots and I saw a few balls fall woefully short on approaches I intentionally struck poorly.
Much like the feel, the sound is smooth. There is no click at impact, just a solid compression of the ball and a firm thud. I enjoyed the weighting of these irons. They felt well balanced making them a cinch to swing.
The pitching wedge has a more rounded wedge-like look to it and visually is a great transition from the longer irons into the wedges.
Once again, the feel was spot on. I could move the ball right and left, higher and lower without difficulty and the wedge produced plenty of spin to hold a tough green.
I love blades, they are the clubs that I personally feel the most comfortable and confident playing. Too often irons feel so bloated and fat that it makes it hard to get any real feedback from them, but not these.
The Wilson Staff Model Blade irons are a solid set that will cater to the older generations looking for a bit of nostalgia and better players looking for a high-performance players iron. These quality and craftsmanship of these irons put them squarely in the conversation with the likes of the Titleist MBs and Mizuno MPs as the top players irons on the market today.
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