(Written By: GolfSpy Matt) It’s no secret that the MGS crew is a big fan of Wilson’s recent irons. In fact, the FG Tour V2 is one of the highest rated irons in the history of the Ultimate Review (and they are the iron I currently game). But Wilson golf balls? Seriously? Can they be any good? I’m here to tell you that you SERIOUSLY need to take Wilson golf balls…SERIOUSLY.
For this review, we looked at three different Wilson golf balls: the Wilson Duo, Wilson FG Tour, and Wilson FG Tour X. You can think of the FG Tour and FG Tour X as being analogous to the ProV1 and ProV1X: the X is supposed to be a higher compression, lower spin ball. As such, the FG Tour X feels a bit more firm than the FG Tour, but only slightly. Both balls are soft, as you would expect from a urethane-covered ball. They are not necessarily the softest tour-level balls, but they are far from firm or clicky.
The Duo, however, is a unlike anything I’ve ever tried: it feels like hitting a tennis ball with a baseball bat. And just like when you pound a tennis ball over the fence, you can’t help but smile after laying into the Duo. The one area where I didn’t love that feeling was in putting, but others may not be bothered by it.
Our test group, for the most part, agreed that the Wilson Duo was the softest ball they’ve ever hit. One tester, who has played the Wilson Zip in the past, said that guys who liked the Zip will definitely like the Duo.
The durability of all the balls tested was good. None of them scuffed before they should have, and even after lots of wedges none of them were severely cut up. If I was going to rank them, I would say that the Duo was the clear winner, followed by the FG Tour X and the FG Tour.
Off the driver, the three Wilson balls performed exactly as I expected: the FG Tour X was the lowest spinning, the Duo spun the most, and the FG Tour was right in the middle. The differential was greater than I expected, however, with about 400 RPMs separating each ball from the next.
I also found that the Duo cost me a bit of ball speed: 2 MPH on average. I know that Wilson is pushing the idea that low compression can help players at all swing speeds, but at my swing speed (low 100’s), I found better returns from the FG Tour balls.
4I and 7I Performance
True to the findings of our past ball tests, there was no discernible differences between these balls with the 4 or 7 iron.
This was disputed by some of our testers who felt that the FG Tour was a little spinny with the irons. Since I tend to be a lower-spin player, it’s possible that the difference between the balls is minimized in my hands and exaggerated in other’s.
When I got to the pitching wedge, the differences between the balls became very apparent again. Surprisingly, I found that the FG Tour X spun slightly more than the FG Tour. The Duo displayed about 3000 RPMs less backspin than the FG Tours, which is to be expected when comparing a two-piece ball to a tour ball.
60* Performance – Half Swing
Performance on a half swing wedge fell right in line the full swing: the FG Tour X spun slightly more than the FG Tour, and both spun significantly more (2000 RPMs) than the Duo.
I was happy to see that my launch monitor findings were actually echoed by our test group. Two of our testers found that, for them, the FG Tour X spun just as much or more than the FG Tour around the green.
The Wilson Duo is available for about $20/dozen, and the Wilson FG Tour and Wilson FG Tour X both retail for about $30-$40/dozen. For a basic, two piece ball with a really good feel, the Duo is a B+ value in my estimation. I think the FG Tour balls are also above average in value because they give you really good performance and are a few dollars less than comparable balls from other brands.
The Wilson Duo will be a great fit for the recreational golfer, particularly those with lower club head speed. Either of the FG Tour balls would fit very well into the bag of a higher level player who wants low driver spin and maximum greenside spin.
“The DUO is an EXCELLENT all around ball. Bag the Duo. I did.” –MGS Tester, 14.8 GHIN
Having now tested almost every major golf ball offering of 2012, I can confidently say that if you’re not taking Wilson’s golf balls seriously, you should be.
The Wilson Duo is hands down my favorite two piece ball of the year, purely because it’s so much fun to hit. Combine the great feel with solid performance and you have a ball that one of testers immediately put in his bag.
The Wilson FG Tour and Wilson FG Tour X can easily stand shoulder-to-shoulder with any other brand’s tour ball. For me, the FG Tour X offered the best of both worlds: lower driver spin and higher wedge spin. Other testers found the FG Tour was slightly longer for them throughout the bag. Regardless of which version you end up gaming, you owe it to yourself to pick up a sleeve of these to test against your current gamer.
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