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GOLF BALL REVIEW! – 2013 Wilson Golf Balls

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Introduction

(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.

SERIOUSLY.

Feel

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.

Durability

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.

Data

Driver Performance

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.

PW Performance

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.

Value

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.

Player Profile

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

Final Thoughts

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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{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

Scott Messner January 7, 2013 at 9:33 am

Thanks for the review. I will check out the Duo though the high spin rate would worry me for high handicappers with slice problems.

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manbearpig January 7, 2013 at 12:15 pm

Thank you sooooo much for reviewing these. I’ve played the FG Tour for the past 2 seasons and had a hard time convincing my buddies that they are every bit as good as the other tour balls. They say Wilson? Aren’t they low end?

And the findings are right on through the bag. Longer for me off the tee, soft off putter and consistent through the irons. I’ve seen these spin back 15 feet, but I am consistently able to control the amount of spin. This is a very predictable golf ball.

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RP Jacobs II January 7, 2013 at 2:07 pm

Dude, I had no idea you gamed these! I’ve got a dozen of the Tours that I don’t even know where I got em, I think they were a gift, but everytime I get to em in my closet, I keep movin them under another box of Bridgestones, lol.

Hell, based on Matt’s review & your post, I’m puttin em in the bag. They go from my bottom pocket to my top pocket to a tee in the ground, HaHa, so I’ll be hittin em in the first month. Man. I probably woulda given em away(you know me & givin sh*t away :-) ).

Good read!

Excellent review Matt!

Fairways & Greens 4ever

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revkev January 7, 2013 at 3:46 pm

And here I thought you were going to make the magnanimous jester of shipping them up North!

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RP Jacobs II January 7, 2013 at 4:14 pm

LOL, the funny thing is, I almost did ship em to Nidine except they’ve got the Nittany Lion logo on em(Im notta Grad and I didn’t like JoePa before the scandal, lol). I’m not sure why the hell the logo’s on em. Whoever gave em to me obviously got em for free, HaHa. Nice to know that I’m down the food chain for someone’s gifts. This is golf’s equivalent of gettin a compressed fruit cake for Christmas, lol.

Fairways & Greens 4ever

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manbearpig January 7, 2013 at 5:31 pm

Seriously!

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RP Jacobs II January 7, 2013 at 6:09 pm

Seriously! :-)

Fairways & Greens 4ever

Shark January 7, 2013 at 12:42 pm

Same as the last poster have been using it for 2 seasons and I think you have to be to our is a very underrated, ball and I got them on sale at less than half the price of Prov

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manbearpig January 7, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Considering you can get blem’s for $14 these things are a steal.

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Damon January 7, 2013 at 2:01 pm

Yes, best deal out there by far.

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two-ball January 7, 2013 at 2:33 pm

I’m glad to see that others are getting great results with the Wilson DUO. I received a two-ball pack at a demo event last year and finally tried the DUO in October while I was testing 10-12 different balls. I shot several rounds in the low 60′s with this ball. The DUO is definitely the softest ball I have hit in the last several years; it fell much like an old Balata 80 ball. Although soft, the cover is quite durable and I can get 36 holes without much scarring or marking. I get 290 to 320 yards consistently off the tee and find that it has less side spin than most. The one drawback I have hitting this ball is that I get almost zero spin around the greens, but I’ve been playing mostly tight lies. Here is the important part about playing the DUO – when putting this ball, it is SOFT, and you must strike the ball with more force than other balls to get it to travel the same distance. As long as you warm up putting the DUO ball, you can make the adjustment. I did some testing against a Pro V1X on the putting green. Using the same putting force, the DUO goes about half the distance of the Pro V1X using my Corza Ghost putter. The DUO is also SOFT when chipping. On all other shots, with any other club, the DUO was just as long as any other conforming golf ball I have tested (including the Penta 5, Pro V1x, Z-Star, and HEX Black). I ordered 3 dozen DUO personalized balls over the holidays at $14.99 a dozen, free personalization, and free shipping from Golfsmith. That makes it the best ball for the value for me. Make sure to stop by the Wilson tent at your next demo event and ask for a trial pack, you might be pleasantly surprised like I was.

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RP Jacobs II January 7, 2013 at 4:30 pm

Dude, what are ya, the human version of Iron Byron? I mean ya gotta a driver average of 305yds/drive(290-320yds), ya got multiple rounds in the low 60s, and you’re testin 10-12 different balls?

#1, I couldn’t even name 10-12 different balls and as far as shootin in the low 60s, and I’m a rock solid 2 hdcp, but Dude, I couldn’t shoot in the low 60s if I played by myself and cheated my ass off, lol.

You ever get to The Burgh, you call me(412-897-5129) and I’ll getcha in some swats on some nice tracks, and you bust 70 from the tips, and the round, caddie, dinner & drinks are on me. If ya don’t, you better bring some coin, lol

Happy New Year & have a great season!

Testin 10-12 balls? What the hell? I can still only name seven. Man, am I a putz, HaHa

Fairways & Greens 4ever

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golfer4life January 8, 2013 at 6:42 am

Hmm, I’m confused, don’t you get more spin playing off of tight lies? Sounded like it would be a good ball except it only going 10′ on a putt I would normally hit hard enough to go 20′. Not good enough to make that much of a change from what I’m use to. So you really didn’t see much spin from it at all?

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RP Jacobs II January 8, 2013 at 6:52 am

G4L, exactly my thoughts, lol. I think that I’d base my opinion offa Matt’s review & Manbearpig’s & Barbajo’s thoughts. They bring a lot if credibility to the table.

Two Balls? I’m thinkin he took two Top Flights to the head, hence the username and the subsequent post.

Just one mam’s opinion ;-p

The Best to Ya this season

Fairways & Greens 4ever

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Barbajo January 8, 2013 at 7:47 am

First putt was probably downhill, the second was a com backer ;-)

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golfer4life January 9, 2013 at 7:37 am

Ya, I will def be using the review for an honest opinion.
12-15 balls, several rounds in the low 60s, half the distance on putts, 290-320yrds ??? Ok I’ll say it, Stop the charades pal!

Barbajo January 7, 2013 at 2:41 pm

Gamed some Tours and Duo’s last year — loved ‘em both, especially the Duo. Someone said it’s like hitting a marshmallow. Played the Wilson Elite 50 last year, as well — and got a couple boxes for Christmas. I tell ya, for $10-12/dozen, those are the best balls on the planet!

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RP Jacobs II January 7, 2013 at 4:39 pm

Bro, are the elites a two- piece ball? Did the Duo replace them? What’s their composition?

Thanx much

Fairways & Greens 4ever

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Barbajo January 7, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Yep, two piece and billed as the first 50 compression ball. Remember reading somewhere the Duo was replacing it, but they’re still in the stores…

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RP Jacobs II January 8, 2013 at 6:54 am

Thanx Much

Fairways & Greens 4ever

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GolfSpy Dave January 7, 2013 at 2:45 pm

I am currently gaming a -secret- version of the Duo. Love that ball.
I am also using the FG Tours for my mallet testing and the testers are really loving how the ball feels off the putter.

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Brian January 7, 2013 at 2:56 pm

“…because it’s so much fun to hit.” I’m looking at 3′ of snow outside – any ball would be fun to hit.

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RP Jacobs II January 8, 2013 at 2:21 am

+10…HaHa

Fairways & Greens 4ever

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RAT January 7, 2013 at 8:43 pm

I have played A DUO and not impressed. I play WilsonC:25 balls and the FG Tours. Would like to try the FGX version. It has a compression of 93 Maybe 73. The FG model is better in cooler weather. The C:25 is the best all around Ball ..I have tried several different models and I keep going back to the C:25 balls and they are being dropped. Pity !!

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Yohanan January 8, 2013 at 12:10 am

My first set of irons that i bought back in day were Wilsons. And i played the Wilson Staff for quite a few years. Still smile when i find them from time to time. Like today a Titainum. If was scuffed up but i was playing 2 balls by myself and it flew just as far as the pro v x on a hole or two before i put it back in the bag for safe keeping and a water shot later. I am almost certain its still dry in my bag!

I am wondering if all the wilson staff players are playing wilson balls? I am no pro but man did i get a ration last summer when i was playing callaway blacks and then chromes while wearing my Titelist hat!

Anyway my favorite low cost ball currently is the noodle long and soft. Driver is 104. And it chips and putts well. I will get to putting in a minute.

Cheapest fav use to be the Pinnacle Exception and then Demension. But they simply are not round. What up with that accushnent? Yeah i know. . . But hear me out. I got tired of putts rolling off line – at the hole. I get it . . . speed slope grain and stroke. But i would drop a pro v and draino. Same putt same spot same speed. And then i would put the pinnacle down and same thing. It rolled off using the stock alignment line.

I was lets say curious and then after watching golf channel late one night in a hotel traveling for work i ended up ordering a check n go. It spins the balls up so you get the fatest (think roundest) part of the ball on its equatior. You mark it and move it slightly and spin it up again. Then mark it.

Mystery solved. Yes that alignment line is NOT on the equator of the ball.

And you know what. Doesnt matter with the brand/cost. They all deviate. Some more than others of course.

I then remembered Wilson claimed to have the highest quality balls a couple years back and actually checked them and put the alignment line in the correct position because they took the time to check them and mark them. And at that time I was like Yeah whatever. Which is why i think i am going off on this rant?

Seriously!

So if i take the time to spin and mark the balls i am playing. I know its me when i miss. And most of time it is me. i get it.

But this thing seems to help? Even if its only mental – LOL.

Bonus with the feedback on miss hit putts is with that ball mark all the way around its equator.

I will check out the fg x. The less spin off driver the better. Noodle LS Bridgestone E6 and tbe ProV1x depending on the swing that day? I was banging some TP Red refinished today on a low cost low spin tip. Then didn’t fly as far. But did like the feel and putted well.

And i will try the duo for fun – Thanks Matt for the review.

Cheers!

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RP Jacobs II January 8, 2013 at 2:24 am

Thanx for the post

Cheers Mate :-)

Fairways & Greens 4ever

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Christopher January 12, 2013 at 10:02 am

Yes most balls aren’t balanced, so you’ll have the heavy side to one side unless you use a balancing machine. That way the ball will roll end over end, you should mark the ball so you hit it along the seam for better contact as well, as hitting across a dimple will move the ball off-line even with a balanced ball. As you said all balls are not created equal although I think the early Pro V1′s were pretty true (they even had a sweetspot).

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Fozcycle January 9, 2013 at 8:15 am

Thanks GSMatt,
I picked up a 2 Dozen pack of Zips when I was in Myrtle Beach last September for $14.95…..started using them recently. Realizing that the Duo replaced the Zip, I am getting decent flight paths and distance from the Zip……Will probably try the Duo when I run out of Zips……Currently, I go back and forth between 2 piece and 3 piece balls…..when I feel like gaming it, I use the ProV1x’s. I’ll try the FG Tour X when i see a deal going down.

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bob gee January 10, 2013 at 11:27 am

it think its great you would review wilson golf balls. i wish you would have included the wilson fifty elite. i’v e played the zip, duo , and fifty elite and found i liked the feel and ball flight of the fifty elite the best (i swing in the low 100s). plus you can get them in yellow and orange for $13.

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John Imbalzano January 10, 2013 at 2:02 pm

Does anyone have the compression and hardness ratings for the 3 Wilson balls?

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Tuba January 10, 2013 at 2:24 pm

These are wonderful balls. I loved the FG Tour until I tried the DUO. They are both terrific, but the DUO is surprisingly good around the green and at $20 it is a steal.

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Douglas Krugler January 11, 2013 at 4:22 pm

Im a shot hitter what it do for me

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RAT January 12, 2013 at 10:48 am

John, I believe the FGX model is 73 compression check the Wilson web site. Try the C:25 ball too it goes further and putts good for feel and distance.

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John Imbalzano January 13, 2013 at 5:24 pm

Tks!

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RAT January 21, 2013 at 7:49 pm

The compression of the FGTOUR is 73 and the FGTOURX is 93.
I heard that Hunter Mahan is trying a Wilson ball. Anyone have a line on that?

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David W February 15, 2013 at 7:14 am

I have read reviews on Wilson’s site and on Dick’s Sporting Goods site that say the durability of the DUO is crap. A lot of people are saying the durability is very inconsistent. They say that some dozens are good but that with some half the balls might crack.

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Scott August 9, 2013 at 11:57 pm

Durability is NOT crap. I have been playing this ball for 4 months. It last as long as any ball I’ve ever played (over 15 or so). Granted, I have a 93mph driver speed so that may be easier on the ball, but then again, a high-speed bomber off the tee would not wisely be using this ball anyway as there are better balls for that swing speed. I got my first Eagle ever 3 weeks ago with the Wilson Staff Duo. Of course, that could happen with any ball, but what it does mean is that I am able to reach greens in regulation and the ball allows for the touch I need to make that kind of shot. So, the Duo has distance and feel.

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Bill July 7, 2013 at 8:04 am

Have played the FG Tour and FG x often the last couple years. Haven’t played the Duo but wouldn’t worry about the balls cracking nonsense. Just about every ball has someone with that claim. Played 50 rounds or more with the Staff balls and no issues (and over 100 SS).

As far as the balls, the FG Tour is as good as any ball around the green and my favorite ball to putt BUT it spins a little too much off the tee. The FG X is long, spins great on short game shots and putts well. It’s my favorite premium ball aside from the Pro Vx. At 39.99 it was a few bucks cheaper than other premium balls and my scores didn’t vary. Wilson must be coming out with a newer version since I’m seeing the FG and X now selling for 29.99 (or they are losing sales to the Chrome +)
Callaway’s ball offerings have been solid this year and I like the Hex Black and Chrome balls.
I found that the Chrome + is very close to the FG X (I still like the FG X better 100 yards in) but they’ve been selling for 29.99 so I’ve been bagging the Chrome + lately. It’s seriously long and straight on all but the worst swings (I own a couple of those “worst swings”).
Durability is about even but the Callaway looks great even after 18 holes. The Wilsons paint dulls after one play but doesn’t lose any performance. So my next dozen will be FG X’s.
Spin off the tee for the FG X and Chrome + are both low and the trajectory is great. Both hold their line in the wind. 100 yards in the FG X has more spin and is easier to hop and stop or spin back a little. The Chrome + rolls out a little more and I have to play it that way.

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Dennis September 7, 2013 at 7:00 am

Anyone try out the latest 2-piece offerings from Wilson, namely the Tour Velocity(Feel, Distance, And Tour Accuracy, which wil prob be renamed Straight). Found a Feel on the course on the 6th, and decided to tee up on the next hole, and gotta say I wasn’t sorry I did. Flew just as far as the Callaway Hex Diablo(2013) I’ve been banging(ss around 80-85). Fairway and approach shots played as well as the Diablo, and putts felt just as good, and with 15 balls at HALF the price as the Diablo(19.99) at Walmart(internet price-9.56/doz.), couldn’t pass on trying a box of the Feel(60 comp?) and the Tour Accuracy(70 comp?), to see how they play in my game(20 hdcp and falling / swing flaw and inconsistent play-which has been diagnosed and remedied). Going out tomorrow, and will be tee both balls throughout the day, and will make comparisions, and decide over the next couple rounds which I’m going to bag as my gamer. Walmart is supposedly Wilson HQ, now that Top Flite is out- only at Dicks and Golf Galaxy.

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Dennis September 9, 2013 at 10:44 pm

Wemt and played a track where I ALWAYS lose balls, and I gotta say the new balls from Wilson are great if you are a mid to high handicapper, and still lose a few a round. These will def not break the ol’ piggy, cause WalMart has them at $9.56 a box of 15. Played the Tour Accuracy and it feels and plays just like the Callaway Hex Diablo I’ve been playing. Great distance of the tee, feel good of the irons, and putts feel soft, but not soft where you end up lagging. Came off the wedges just super. On the first hole I was to the right of the green 10 yds. with a blind chip shot-could see the top half of the stick, but couldn’t see the putting surface. Got my 60*, chipped up and over the mound between me and the green, and my partner said it hopped twice, and checked real hard on the second hop, and rolled out about 10 ft.. What more could I ask this ball to do-it was struck correctly, and it did what it should do. I was into this ball for the rest of the round. Putts felt soft, but were predictable. If your looking for great distance of the tee, good feel off of evey club in the bag, putts well-THIS is IT!!

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Barry January 24, 2014 at 9:28 am

I could not understand the comment about the Duo being short on the greens and that with a “similar” strike the Duo rolled half the distance of a Pro V1. My experience is exactly the opposite. Simple test .. hold both balls above your head and drop them onto a hard, even surface. The Duo will rebound higher than the Pro V1 every time. I have been using the Duo now for over 6 months and simply love the feel of the ball. My swing speed is 85-90 (66 yo and paying off 10) and compared to a Pro V1 I get an extra 10m with the driver and anything from 3 to 8 with irons ranging from a wedge to a 4 iron. Now using the Wilson ywellow and I don’t really know why but it scuffs less than the traditional white ball. Is the cover still ionomer?

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Justrite January 24, 2014 at 2:35 pm

Why doesn’t Wilson put the W/S logo on their golf balls?

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gdc64 April 9, 2014 at 8:15 pm

Got a sample 3 pack of the FG Tour X.
Usually hit Taylormade Penta 5s. The Wilson FG Tour X seems just as good. Excellent ball all around. Try them and I am pretty confident you will really like the new Wilson FG Tour ball .

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