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Spy Pics! – 2014 Wilson FG Tour M3 Woods and Irons

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Written By: Tony Covey

Wilson Staff is Back

Maybe not back in black, or even all the way back, but 2013 has been nothing short of a monster year for Wilson, and if the 2014 lineup is any indication, they're just getting started.

Given Wilson's reputation (both real and imagined), one might assume that whatever success Wilson has enjoyed in 2013 is the result of strong iron sales. That's partly true, the D-100 irons has helped propel Wilson to a 119% increase in irons sales over last year.

That's pretty good...especially if you're Wilson, but %119, it turns out, is relatively nothing.

The real story of Wilson's 2013 turnaround is the unexpected (to me anyway) success of the D-100 series of woods. Admittedly some, including myself, found the D-100 line to be a curious offering from a company struggling to become relevant.

Wilson staffers have won more majors than any company in golf. For a serious stretch of time, Wilson was THE company for serious golfers. And yet, despite the company's tour and elite player pedigree, every single club in the D-100 line of metalwoods falls solidly in the game-improvement category.

This is how you wage a comeback (shakes head, rolls eyes)?

Take the driver for example. It's an ultralight model with no x-flex offering, and nothing below 9°. Despite being infinitely fun to hit, the D-100 was never a real option for higher swing speed players who need a little help keeping the ball down and keeping spin under control. It was never going to appeal to 100% of the potential market.

If anything, the D-100 line was created almost to the exclusion of the better player, and Wilson knew it. As much as anything, the D-100 was a proof of concept designed to prove to the corporate overloads that the new blood at Wilson Staff was capable of not only creating golf clubs that performed; they could create clubs that people actually wanted to buy.

And they did.

Retail Buyers Took Notice

Flying home from this year's PGA show I ended up on the same flight (and consequently in the same airport bar) as my local Wilson Sales guy (shout out to my man Adam). While I was admittedly less than thrilled by the D-100 series, he was understandably excited and optimistic. Sell-Through (orders from retail shops) were way up. The early signs suggested it could be a big year for Wilson Staff.

It has been.

I already told you about that 119% increase in iron sales. Pffft...119%. Check this out. Compared to the previous season:

  • Hybrid Sales: Up 269%
  • Fairway Sales: Up 344%
  • Driver Sales: Up 294%

I could probably do the math, but even the simplest among us doesn't need a calculator to realize that Wilson Staff sales are up a shitload on average.

Those are awesome numbers, and that's without digging into the success of the Duo Golf Ball (for a time it was outselling everything other than the ProV1 at the PGA Superstore). And, from a performance standpoint at least, it's without digging into what quite possibly is the best wedge you've never hit; the Wilson FG Tour TC.

2013 has been a year of epic resurgence for Wilson Staff, but as I said at the onset, they're just getting started.

2014 Wilson M3 Series

Yesterday we posted a pic of the upcoming FG Tour 100 Blade. While everyone loves a pretty blade, those types of offerings will never be your top sellers. To be successful you need to feed the middle without watering things down to the extent that the better player (or the guy who thinks he's a better player) loses interest. That's exactly the challenge Wilson has struggled to overcome for the last several years.

2014 is different. Fresh off the success of the D-100 series, a reinvigorated Wilson Staff finally looks poised to deliver a metalwoods lineup that will not only appeal to better players, but one that is also every bit worthy of the Wilson Staff tradition.

I think you're going to like it.

FG Tour M3 Driver

While recent anomalies like Xhot and RocketBallz have proven you can sell woods with a fairway-first approach, for most companies, it's the driver that powers the lineup. That's been a problem for Wilson. Seriously, when was the last time you got excited about a Wilson driver?

How about today?

As they did with the D-100, Wilson is taking a lightweight approach to driver design with the FG Tour M3.  Wilson calls their philosophy "The Right Light". The idea is that while lighter can be better (Wilson's research shows that for 50% of players, swing speed increases as head weight decreases), you still need to serve those players for whom lighter isn't better (that same research found that for 15% of players, swing speed increases as head weight also increases).

The FG Tour M3 Driver offers the versatility needed to better fit a wide range of golfers.

With head weights starting at 198 grams and total weights beginning at 294 grams, the Wilson FG Tour M3, though heavier than the D-100, could be one of the lightest offerings on the market in 2014.

Take notice...I said "starting" and "could". There's nothing definitive in my statements, and that's because the Wilson FG Tour M3 driver can be as heavy as 206 grams (head) and 312 grams overall.

Apart from the hosel adjustability (we'll cover that next), the biggest performance feature of the FG Tour M3 is an interchangeable sole weight (3g, 7g, and 11g) that allows the golfer to tune his driver to reach the desired swing weight and/or optimize performance. It's those sole weights, along with the differing weights in the stock shaft offerings, that account for the range of both head and total weight options.

Unlike some others, Wilson includes all 3 weights with your driver purchase. No need to hit eBay first,  from day 1 you'll be free to either set it and forget it, or mess around to whatever degree your compulsion drives you. Like most other aspects of adjustability, the reality is most golfers won't take advantage of the options, but for the tinkerer, it's one of many features of the M3 series that makes it more compelling than anything Wilson has released in years.

Seriously. I think you're going to like it.

Other key features of the FG Tour M3 design include an adjustable hosel that allows loft to be adjusted from 8.5° to 11.5° in 1/2° increments and Wilson's Neutral Sole Design (NSD) which, like Cobra's Smart Pad, ensures the club sits square and stable when grounded.

Each degree of loft changes launch angle by .6° and alters spin by 270-300RPM.

Finally, from a cosmetic perspective, the M3 driver is engineered to look the part of a better player's driver. The pear shaped head is 460ccs, has a deep face for a more compact look at address, and what Wilson is calling an "iced" matte crown with black PVD finish.

Stock shaft offerings will be the Aldila RIP Phenom which has quickly become one of the go-to standards for mid-launch/mid-spin performance, and the Aldila Phenon NL which Aldila lists at the lowest launching shaft in their current lineup.

Additional shafts will be available through custom.

FG Tour M3 Fairways and Hybrids

As you might expect the FG Tour M3 Fairways and Hybrids feature much of the same technology as big brother. While additional weights aren't included, the same weight-based adjustments are available in both lines.

The fairway will be available in lofts of 13.5°, 15°, and 17°. Each can be adjusted 1° down and 2° up, also in 1/2° increments.  Each degree of loft change alters launch angle by .8° and spin by ~200RPM.

Hybrids will be available in lofts of 17°, 19°, 21°, and 23°. Each hybrid can be adjusted 1° up or down from the stated loft. The M3 hybrid's hosel also allows for an upright setting at each loft.

FG Tour M3 Irons

We've been telling you for years that you need to be looking at Wilson irons. Sure, the Ci-11s (game-improvement) performed very well for us, but it's the original FG Tour, and last season's FG Tour V2 that have left the lasting impressions.

The V2s proved particularly awesome because they offered the forgiveness of a game-improvement...arguably a super-game-improvement iron, in packaging that was every bit that of a better player's iron.

Our testers love them. Our readers love them, and if you never hit them, you should.

I think you'll love them too.

Forged from 8620 carbon steel, the new for 2014 FG Tour M3 is the direct replacement for the original FG Tour. The V2 will remain a current offering (and it damn sure should). The new model is slightly larger (longer and taller with a wider sole) and more forgiving than the design it replaces. It has more offset - though it's progressive, and a more modern, rounded shape with more sole radius and camber (the original FG Tours are fairly blunt).

While the description suggests more of a game-improvement design, Wilson maintains that the FG Tour M3 iron falls solidly in the game-improvement category. While I know some of us would like that everything on the market be a true player's club, adding some forgiveness while adding some needed differentiation from the FG Tour V2 makes solid sense.

What we're really talking about is an iron that fits well in the emerging transitional iron category; forged irons for the guy transitioning from a traditional GI design. In that space, the FG Tour M3 isn't just interesting...it's dead sexy.

Wilson Staff is Back in the Big Leagues

Look, I don't have an illusions...delusions really about Wilson's 2014 lineup powering the brand to the #1 spot in golf. Wilson isn't going to unseat TaylorMade tomorrow, and they know that. And 2013, no matter how good of a year it's been, it's still just 1 year, and I think Wilson knows that too.

What Wilson did in 2013 is kick the tires of relevancy. They apparently liked what they saw and that's reflected in the 2014 FT Tour M3 lineup. It's not going to happen overnight, but what I've seen in the last year suggests that Wilson is serious about reclaiming their place in the golf equipment world.

Wilson was stagnant for so long that there's an entire generation of golfers...let's call it what it is...the Nike generation, who've never know Wilson Staff as a top-tier golf company. For those guys, Wilson has never played on the same level as TaylorMade, or Callaway, or even Nike.

It's going to take time for that lost generation to discover the the revitalized Wilson Staff.

As with anything...you have to start somewhere, and that's what Wilson did in 2013. With the D-100 series they laid the ground work...they proved they could make clubs that golfers want. In 2014 they're going to dedicate the same type of effort towards the seriously player, and based on what I've read, and what I've seen, I'm all but certain he's going to like it.

You can expect to see the Wilson FG Tour M3 lineup hit retail sometime in January of 2014.

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Hunter August 8, 2013 at 1:29 pm

Leave it to Wilson to mess up a decent looking driver by putting a bad alignment mark on the top.

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keno August 8, 2013 at 1:29 pm

all i know is the wilson di-11′s i purchased this year are the best clubs i’ve ever hit.
at 63yrs of age, i’m at least a club and a 1/2 longer than i was at 40
their motto of “if you hit it you’ll get it” is so true

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Dave Wolfe August 8, 2013 at 1:34 pm

Wow! I played, and loved, the D100 driver for most of this year. Looks like I may be playing another Wilson driver in 2014. Maybe more than just the driver. Love the look of these irons!

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ms1195 August 8, 2013 at 1:49 pm

All these clubs were looking sweet, until I saw the top view of the woods. It looks like a silver-ish raw finish or something, is that just a bad picture? Why not just make it black or matte black like the pings?

Either way the irons look really good and certainly worth a try.

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RAT August 8, 2013 at 2:03 pm

I think that having Demo Days over a large area of the country has also helped in getting the
interest up in the products .I own the FG Tour V2 irons and love them but not too crazy about the M3 look of the irons.They resemble the Adams CB2 irons I also have and am not crazy about. I will put my order in today at my local proshop at the course and wait for New Years!
I wish we could see more touring pros playing Staff gear.

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tider992010 August 8, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Really love the new designs. Would purchase if they play as well as they look!

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whiskey golf August 8, 2013 at 5:05 pm

This a very nice lineup. I don’t need new irons and I wasn’t a big fan of the V2′s so I don’t need to look there. For wedges, although their latest series is very nice, I will stick to Vokeys. But the woods look nice, it would’ve been better if they left off the alignment aid on the driver.

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Bill August 8, 2013 at 6:14 pm

As an owner of the original FG Tour irons, I like where they are going with the M3. Nice looking club with a fair amount of GI features. Some have sounded off negatively about the new blades, but I happen to love the look (even if it does evoke some Haig Ultra blade memories from the late 60′s). I will definitely hit both when the time comes.
As for the driver, I’ll wait and see. The sole is gorgeous and the top is X-Hot gray. The alignment mark is virtually invisible so I’m not sure what the objection is. After switching to a 440cc head on the Razr Fit Xtreme, I’m not sure I can go back to a 460. But I want to hit it, which I couldn’t say about the D100. Nothing wrong with that club, but the lightweight approach doesn’t work for my swing. Those it works for really seem to have great results with it.
I also want to mention the new wedge line. I have the TC 56 degree and I put away the Vokey.
I love the feel of the head through the swing and I’m able to execute a hop and stop repeatedly that I couldn’t with the Titleist. Nothing against the Vokey, I’m sure it’s my swing that gives different results. But I’ve had regular playing partners saying that they’ve never seen me stopping the ball on the green like I have with that club. I can confidently stop it by the pin now and I love it out of the sand and rough.
I mentioned it elsewhere but the new FG Tour prototype ball has already been a winner in Europe on the senior tour. The old one was a great spring ball but summer turned it to mush. Hopefully the compression is upped a bit in the new one..The FG X is as good for me as the Hex Black or Pro Vx. It gets dingy after 18 or 27 but the performance is excellent. If it was a $30-$35 ball it would be my everyday…At $40 its a toss up with the Hex Black, which I really like also (I’ve seen it online for $30 so I’ll probably grab some more. I figured the price drop was preceding a new ball)
But even though my swing isn’t worthy, I admit to having a little drool going on for the blades. Might have to go 7-pw to augment my FG Tour longer irons.

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Displayedname August 8, 2013 at 6:52 pm

Now those look good! To bad they won’t be out till January. I hope they put new matching wedges as well.

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Dick August 8, 2013 at 7:26 pm

These will sale as good as the previous. Not appealing in the least.

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Tom-333 August 8, 2013 at 9:14 pm

That is a very tidy looking hybrid tucked away in amongst those other clubs. The face looks very adams boxer . Although there arnt any really good pictures it looks a nice head shape, a distinct move away from the fybrid shape. Now lets hope they put a reasonable weight shaft in it. It looks like a long iron replacement rather than a 9 wood so hopefully they’ll be sensible and put something 80g plus in it. I carry a 19 and 21 910h and have a 90 and 100 g ust in them respectively. I understand light weight means distance but hybrids for me are for hitting targets not distances hence the heavy shafts. But a good move for wilson i think. The fg tour and v2 irons are cracking irons for the better player and its about time wilson joined the party with some woods to match.

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aotearoabrad August 8, 2013 at 11:32 pm

Great get T! I was thinking that the Tight Lies FMs might be a shoe-in for the bag, but these definitely will get a chance to prove themselves at some point. Really liking the look.

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TwoSolitudes August 9, 2013 at 1:03 am

Love the irons, I would happily bag those. The hybrid is a bit blah to me- it does look a bit Adamsish.

The woods look much better than the D100 line, but I agree with ms1195 that the top view is disappointing. Is that the final product or are we looking at the unpainted unfinished versions here?

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Joe Golfer August 9, 2013 at 1:17 am

I like the lofts on those irons. Much more traditional.
A 47* PW, when everyone else is going to 44* or 45*, which screws up the gaps between wedges.
I like the look of these irons and the progressive yet minimal offset, but I wonder about that dark finish. Several companies came out with that dark PVD finish a couple of years ago, but then abandoned it because it just didn’t hold up. Looks great when brand new, but scuffs and worn marks appear quickly.

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John Barry August 9, 2013 at 8:46 am

Love the new line up, can’t wait to take a whack at them!!!

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Tim August 9, 2013 at 1:06 pm

What is replacing the Ci11′s? These M3 irons have the same lofts as the other FG Tours I believe.
Don’t like the crown color. Looks different than the Cally X Hot woods for some reason.

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Lee H September 30, 2013 at 10:04 pm

My local store showed me the 2014 catalog. The C100 will be coming out. I would expect that they are replacing the C11′s.

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MikeG August 9, 2013 at 5:33 pm

Shouldn’t be any yardage gaps with that much adjustability .. really want to hit these!

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Nevin August 10, 2013 at 8:03 am

Really good looking clubs. I hope the do well. I’ll definitely try them.

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Craig August 10, 2013 at 7:04 pm

Let’s do a math class… Ready kiddies?
Take $100 dollars…. Now let’s say that was last year & this year we did $500 bucks in sales.
What’s the increase in sales?
Hmm? That’s right a humongous (by percentage) increase.
Actual dollar increase? Pathetic. Insignificant.
When u have zero sales an increase no matter how small appears good..percentage… But it’s not.
200% increase for wilson?
Maybe 50k went to 150k…

Taylormade? How bout a 1% increase which would equate to a 3 million increase…
Ok… I joke… Sort of… Don’t know specific sales.

But u guys get my point.

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Steve Sheridan August 13, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Wow, hard to believe an icon on top of the head would distract someone so much. If the majority says kill it I would imagine they have time to.

Based on the shape of the industry any increase in sales is big news. For Wilson it is huge news. The ball(s) play great, wedges too. This is an awesome step which will create another huge increase.
It always strikes me as weird that some people just do not want some brands to succeed. I view them as sheep that must follow the herd. Nothing wrong with that. Just seems too safe.

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RP Jacobs II August 13, 2013 at 6:24 pm

Didn’t hit or play the first two generation FG Tours before them so I have no comment on the M3s. I’m sure that they’re nice.

Please tell me that Staff is going to introduce a Fg MB to replace the Fg62, which is an exceptional iron. The Fg MB’s have won more majors than the next three irons combined, and are right there with the MP MB line as arguably the finest “off the shelf” MB made. The 17s were iconic and there are many that put the 59s there with them, and I just can’t see Staff not offering a MB.

Now that, I’ll get excited about.

And yea, the hybrid looks very Idea Pro ish. Id’ just go with the Adams. It’s still a hell of a hybrid.

fairways & Greens 4ever

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RP Jacobs II August 13, 2013 at 6:46 pm

Ok, I’m a little slow. Just saw the pic of the FG Tour 100s. I’ll need to see the full line-up, however the iron shown looks nice. I really hope that they didn’t go Mizzy, with the HGH induced muscle pad, and damn, I wish that they’d left the yellow off of them.

These are players irons, not some bullsh*t GI iron that’s gotta have blingy colors to compete with TMaG & Cobra.

And what’s with dumpin the Fg moniker?

And no, using it on some CBs doesn’t count. Those are no more an Fg iron, than the MP-H4 is an MP iron.

Seriously.

Wilson just doesn’t get it. And I grew up on the Dyna Powers, Fg 17s, and I’ve rotated the 51s, 59s & I just picked up a set of 62s to rotate with my Mizzy 68s, so spare me the lecture on Staff.

As I said above, they’ve made arguably the best or second best MB, year in & year out, of any off the shelf iron save possibly Mizzy, & I’ve also had Mizzys in the bag for 26+ years.

However their executives are *ssholes. Plain & simple, they don’t get it. The business side. The marketing side. It’s like when Caddy slid and couldn’t compete against the Germans. I mean, quality aside, if you can’t sell Caddy autos & SUVs & Staff irons in America, you suck and you have no business being in the industry.

With Staff’s storied history, and this is where they are in 2013.

They’re goin in the fight direction?

Yea, keep tellin yourselves that boys, LMAO

And what really sux is that there is no bigger Staff fan, save possibly JMiller on this site, however that still doesn’t change the fact that that whole executive suite should be cleared out.

Boy, do they suck

Farways & Greens 4ever

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MDR September 12, 2013 at 3:29 am

if you like the 59′s i was at an edwin watts store in nashville tennessee and wilson did the 59 heads with new groove conforming 399 a set for stiff flex i got a set myself, i hope wilson gets it going again like you. Cautiously opptomistic lol

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RP Jacobs II September 12, 2013 at 7:58 am

Got em :-)

Finished the season in the bag. I think that they’re one of the 2-3 best MBs of the modern generation. JMO, however I believe that they blow away the 51s & 62s.

The Best with your set!

Enjoy them.

Fairways & Greens My Friend

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Thomas September 9, 2013 at 8:22 am

The Ci11 irons will be replaced with new C100 iron.

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TravisLG September 9, 2013 at 11:00 pm

Well like some have posted before the crown is very disappointing. Was loving everything I seen until I seen the top. IF it comes to retail shiny black or flat black would even be better, I’d most likely give it a go as I am considering switching back to FG Tour Irons or maybe FG 100 Blades. Would make an awesome set! Hopefully the driver will be good enough for the staffers to play as well!

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MDR September 12, 2013 at 2:34 am

Let’s do another math class. I come out with 2 drivers one priced at 399 one priced at 299 in 6 weeks i lower the price of both of them because they dont sale because another companies driver is killing it and i cant sale mine after i lower it 50 bucks i still cant sale em so i lower it another 50 then i change the color and try to sell it, then i copy another companies design and try to sell another 399 dollar driver in the same year, causing customers to be mad at retailers because the club they spent 400 on in 3 months is 100 less. Thank you Titleist and Wilson for making a quality club and sticking to it instead of throwing darts at a wall and hoping they stick like 2 big name companies do.

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MDR September 12, 2013 at 2:54 am

As for the hybrids looking like an adams, it could be perhaps of the fact that the man in charge of wilson club design is now working for wilson golf. Mike Vraska i believe is his name and he is bringing alot of clud design credibility with him to wilson. I love reading a certain magazines club test articles each year, i like reading anything about golf for that matter, my catalog from a certain retail chain no names being mentioned claims to have done their own club testing and the d100 and tour exotics were top in distance in their testing which i found interesting and caused myself to try each club and found them both to be great. I purchased a wilson driver and was amazingly surprised at how easy it was to hit and get great distance. Of course i swing it about 98 mph so no pro club speed but 265 is a very user happy number for me.

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mdr September 18, 2013 at 3:16 am

Got to see and hit all the new models today. The driver is incredible with the phenomenal shaft, the m3 pictures here do not do justice to how good they look. The c100 irons are also more compact than predessesor.

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Big Richard September 26, 2013 at 7:03 am

I bought the Wilson Di 5 irons when I first started getting back into golf after the kids got off to college. They really gave me a leg up and made golf do- able for me. I passed those clubs on to my son because I know that they can do the same for him.
I got the Ci 11 irons last year and it took a bit to make the transition but now I have lowered my handicap more than a few more strokes. I am starting to see more Wilson irons around and am happy to see that folks are recognizing their quality and value. Not to mention their feel and distance. I know that they are strong lofts but both sets of my irons go beyond that. I am 60 and getting darn near pro distance with my 7- gap. My partners are complimentary but I give Wilson the credit..
I have to say I was not impressed with the FG wedges or the D-Fy fairways but I am interested in these new ones. They are coming out with a C 100 iron the first of the year with some chrome accents on the back but still black. I understand that the shafts are 10 to 20 grams heavier than the flighted on the current Ci 11 irons. I am more concerned with the feel and not sure if the weight will be an issue. It will be interesting to see if they get it “right” like the other Wilson’s I have owned. And I also heard they hired the Adams designer for the new irons. I can say that the Ci 11 irons were hands down a better feeling club than the black Adams irons that were out when I bought mine in 2012. The black did not enter into my decision but the thinner looking top line is good. ( I bought my old Di 5′s over the Mizuno MX 23′s years ago). The black does wear off of the sole some but I could not care less.
I am going to hold off because I am happy with my Ci’s but to anyone who is looking now you might want to scarf up the great $300 deals on the Ci 11′s before they are gone.

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