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First Look: Wilson Staff D300 Metal Woods

Post image for First Look: Wilson Staff D300 Metal Woods

The 20 Second Intro

Model: Wilson Staff D300 driver, fairway, hybrid

Available Lofts:

  • Driver – 9°, 10.5°, 13°
  • Fairway – 15°, 18°, 21°
  • Hybrid 17°, 19°, 22°, 25°, 27°, 31°

Stock Shaft: Matrix Speed Rulz A Type
Retail Price: Driver - $349.99, Fairway - $219.99; Hybrid - $199.99

I swear on my mother’s grave I saw this on Twitter the other day:

“Another new driver from Wilson? Triton’s been out, what, 6 weeks? Who do they think they are, TaylorMade?”

Put the torches and pitchforks down, villagers. This isn’t that.

What this is is the D300: Wilson’s newest iteration of Game Improvement metal woods and the replacement/upgrade for – please read carefully – the 2-year old D200 line. Wilson has been consistent with 2-year product cycles in each of its product categories, with each category launching something new every other year.

wilson-staff-d300-driver-15

So no, this is not a replacement for the Triton. Despite some early hiccups, the Driver Vs. Driver champ is now listed as conforming by the USGA in all three lofts (9-, 10.5- and 12-degrees). Wilson is planning a major Triton relaunch at the PGA Merchandise Show in a couple of weeks.

So what’s the D300 line all about? According to Wilson, it’s all about aerodynamics and going fast.

The Need For Speed

2017’s metal wood buzz has been all about ball speed, and how to increase it.

Everyone has their own ball speed boosting technology, and Wilson is no different. The most visible tech in the D300 driver, fairways and hybrids is what Wilson is calling Micro Vortex Generators.

wilson-staff-d300-driver-4-0348

As first glance, Micro Vortex Generators look like a mild case of back acne, but Michael Vrska, Wilson’s Global Director of Innovation, says there's some real aerodynamic technology in those little bumps.

“It’s all about generating and maintaining club head speed, and effectively maximizing ball speed,” Vrksa tells MyGolfSpy. “Micro Vortex Generators help keep the air moving fast and stay attached to club head.”

If that rings a bell, it should. The concept is fundamentally similar to PING’s Turbulators, with aerodynamic roots in the trucking, automotive and aircraft industries. Vrska says the goal – to increase club head speed – is the same as PING's, but the shape, application and placement of the Micro Vortex Generators are significantly different from what PING is doing.

“One of the things that’s so critical is that you have to get the airflow attached to the club head first. If you don’t get the airflow attached, then it kinda doesn’t really matter. You need to get it attached right over the leading edge.” – Michael Vrska, Wilson Golf

If you look at the crown of the D300, you’ll see the Micro Vortex Generators are away from the leading edge and laid out in three rows in a curved pattern, with two smaller rows next to the hosel. Turbulators on the PING G are larger, there are fewer of them and they're right at the leading edge.

Does it make a huge difference? MyGolfSpy's upcoming Most Wanted Driver test will no doubt shed some light. To Wilson's credit, they only compare their new equipment to their own previous model, and they confirm a 2.5 MPH club head speed increase with the D300 compared to the D200, due to the improved aerodynamics.

wilson-staff-d300-driver-7-0362

Unbearable Lightness of Being

When the D200 driver came out, it was touted as the lightest adjustable driver on the market. Wilson called it Right Light™ technology, and the idea is pretty simple: the lighter the club the faster you can swing it with the same amount of effort. And if you can swing it faster, you’re likely going it hit it farther.

Unfortunately for Wilson, some golfers found the D200 to be too light, and wouldn’t even try it.

“They never found out how good it would have been for them,” says Vrksa. “With the D300, we still have the lightest adjustable driver on the market, and for 80% of the people out there, that’s what they should be playing. But we’ve also provided some weighting adjustability and some fitting options that weren’t available before.”

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For the D300, Wilson has morphed Right Light™ technology into SuperLight™ technology. From what we can see, there are three differences with varying degrees of importance. First, the D300 driver comes with an interchangeable sole weight located towards the rear of the sole, allowing for some fine-tuning (the D200 had no interchangeable weights). There are no interchangeable weights in the D300 fairway or hybrid, however.

In addition, Wilson is using a different stock shaft in the D300. A lightweight version of the UST Mamiya Elements Chrome was used in the D200 metal wood line. For the D300, Wilson is shifting to the Matrix Speed Rulz A Type. The driver features the 44-gram version, but for those who prefer a heavier shaft the 65-gram option is available at no upcharge. Matrix classifies the A Type as mid-launch, mid-spin and best suited for golfers with smooth swing tempos.

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And finally, the D300 driver features Wilson’s Fast Fit adjustable hosel, which Wilson touts as the lightest and easiest to use hosel out there. Fast Fit was first used in Wilson’s F5 metal wood line, and is also used in the Triton. While we can't vouch for lightest, we can say it’s pretty easy to use. You don’t have to take the head off to adjust the settings; you simply loosen the head until you see green on the adapter, and then you can adjust. It’s adjustable up or down 1-degree in both standard and draw bias settings.

The D300 fairway and hybrid are both non-adjustable.

wilson-d300-fw-hybrid-1

Looks and Specifics

If you like red and black, you’re going to love the D300. The black and red of the Speed Rulz shaft flows nicely into the matte black crown. While the D200 head mixed black and red with a healthy dose of chrome on the clubface and sole, the D300 features a black clubface and black sole, with red highlights. For a game improvement driver, it looks fairly stylish, with a head shape vaguely reminiscent of older Adams drivers (not surprising as Vrska was with Adams prior to returning to Wilson in 2012).

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If you've found yourself put off by the sound of recent Wilson metal woods, the D300 series will please you. The Triton's hollow-block sound has become the stuff of online legend (for the record, the F5 driver sounds almost identical), and the D200 lineup had a very distinctive tinny sound. The D300's, from hybrid through driver, have a much more pleasing, muted thwack-like sound.

MyGolfSpy's Most Wanted testing will give us a better idea of distance and spin, but limited mid-winter-in-Minnesota testing shows a driver very much in line with its D200 and D100 predecessors: they're very easy to hit, launch relatively high, want to go straight and have the forgiveness of a puppy.

The D300 driver is available in 9-, 10.5- and 13-degree lofts for righties (10.5- degree only for lefties), and are a longish 46 inches.

And despite its lightness, the D300 driver plays to a D2 swingweight, largely due to the weighting of the shaft and Golf Pride Tour 25-gram grip.

D300 Fairway and Hybrids

wilson-staff-d300-hybrid-4-0378

The head shapes of both the fairway and hybrid are sleeker and more compact than those of their predecessors. Both feature Carpenter Custom 455 maraging steel faces and piggy back on the SuperLight™ and Micro Vortex Generator technologies of the driver.

The fairway woods are available in 15°, 18° and 21°lofts (non-adjustable) for righties – there’s no 21° option for lefties. The fairway woods will play to a D3 swingweight.

The D300 hybrids are interesting in that Wilson is offering a progressive head design, increasing head volume for the lower lofted models to increase forgiveness. Wilson also says the lower lofted hybrids have a slightly more curved face for more consistent impact and accuracy. Offsets are about what you’d expect from a Game Improvement hybrid – designed to reduce a higher handicapper’s slicing tendencies. Six lofts are available, all playing to a D1 swingweight. 

Price and Availability

The D300 metal woods are available today on Wilson’s website and should be on retailers shelves soon. The D300 driver retails for $349.99, the fairway for $219.99 and the hybrid for $199.99. The Matrix Speed Rulz A Type shaft is stock on all three models, and the driver and fairway come stock with the Golf Pride Tour 25 grip. The stock grip for the hybrid is the Wilson Staff Tour Traction grip.

 

About John Barba

John is an avid middle-aged golfer, writer, HVAC trainer and 7 handicap.

Finalist in the 2015 Hack To Jack Golf Reality Show, John is a fan of Jack, Arnie, Ben Hogan and Jason Day.

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Comments

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Tom Duckworth January 15, 2017 at 11:20 am

Don’t most of the guys on this site just use 430, 7.5 drivers with extra stiff high dollar custom shafts? After all that,s what they need to match their 125 mph swing speed.
I mean really who wants an easy to hit driver anyway?
If you are not giving Wilson a honest look you are missing out on some very good gear.

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mcavoy January 11, 2017 at 1:44 pm

For the driver the 65 gm shaft is supposed to be available for no upcharge but you don’t see that mentioned on Wilson’s site and its not an option if you try to buy one direct from the site. Ridiculous.

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Nic January 10, 2017 at 6:35 pm

Keith, the “friggin’ bumps” are used to make the boundary layer transit to a turbulent flow earlier, which in turn makes it more resistant to separation and thus lessen aerodynamic drag. In theory it would significantly reduce the air resistance, which is significant at the driver’s speed. As noted, we do the same things on planes. It is unclear however how much gain would be really achieved in view of the head form (and the effect those things would have on the tip vortices). Still, a 2.5 mph gain doesn’t sound unbelievable.

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Bob Menzies January 10, 2017 at 5:30 am

ATTENTION: want more distance?! Instead of yet another $350 gimmicky driver (that will probably be “obsolete” once the next years model comes out ), instead spend $29.99 for TWO dozen of the hottest golf balls on the planet — balls that average 9 yards further with a driver than Pro V1’s — the Kirkland Signature from Costco, yes, COSTCO!
https://www.mygolfspy.com/kirkland-vs-titleist-pro-v1/

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Brad Korkowski January 10, 2017 at 3:55 am

Turbulators?

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Cace Smith January 10, 2017 at 1:36 am

I like some of the W/S gear but the little bumps on the crown are gimmicky just like Pings turbulators. The benefit to amateur golfers with average swing speeds is marginal to non-existent. Strip those away and the D300 driver is a dead sexy beast.

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William Williams January 9, 2017 at 5:03 pm

This reminds me of when I was in high school and had really bad back acne !!

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Jerry Chen January 9, 2017 at 4:48 pm

Oh shit this driver got shingles.

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Wayne Starr January 9, 2017 at 8:32 pm

The Porcupine

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Chris C. January 9, 2017 at 2:51 pm

Do you know what the optional weights are? As you noted in your article, Wilson indicates that optional weights will be available to fine tune the D-300. Unfortunately, Wilson’s website does not indicate the actual weights. Furthermore, their site does not indicate if there will be additional charges for the optional weights, a la Toulan putters. If one of the optional weights is heavy enough, perhaps the “modified” D-300’s swingweight could be increased to something close to the D-2 starting point.

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Chris C. January 9, 2017 at 2:06 pm

The clubhead must be phenomenally light. It appears that if one were to reduce the length to a more manageable 45″; opt for the 65 gram shaft and use a typical 50 gram grip, this club would swing weight out at approximately C-2. This is truly one feather-weight of a driver.

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Derek Dettler January 9, 2017 at 3:58 pm

Will it be conforming? #TooSoon?

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Jd Stocker January 9, 2017 at 3:58 pm

Great write up. I see a lot of Wilson Staff haters out there. I’m convinced it’s because they’ve not swung their clubs. I have c100 irons, traction control wedges, and just put the D200 in my bag. The irons and wedges are phenomenal. The driver is proving to be no different. It has to be the one of the most forgiving drivers made. Just as forgiving, and long as the Cobra f6.

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Adan Olmeda January 9, 2017 at 3:56 pm

Ugh. Looks like ants on that thing. No thank you.

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Keith Irvine January 9, 2017 at 3:45 pm

Ryan Kukla it’s the weight of the club that makes the difference, if any, not the friggen bumps on the top. These manufacturers think we are a bunch of idiots, that we will believe anything……..just like the bullcrap that Callaway promoted about using Boeing’s aerodynamics dept…..pure unadulterated b.s.

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Keith Irvine January 9, 2017 at 3:38 pm

Oh, please, do they actually believe this shit will speed up a clubhead?

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Tom Devine January 9, 2017 at 4:55 pm

They don’t have to believe it. They just have to convince the consumer that it does…..lol

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Leon Covin January 10, 2017 at 12:50 am

Or prove it

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Scott Romines January 9, 2017 at 10:30 am

Nice write up….would like to try out those hybrids against my D200’s

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Daniel Boisvert January 9, 2017 at 3:19 pm

Hideous !!

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Ryan Kukla January 9, 2017 at 2:53 pm

Marshall Blake Wesson I thought the same thing about Wilson. Then I actually tried their clubs. I used to game the Callaway Apex Pros and the tried the wilson FG Tour V4s. They Callaways are now in the garage and the Wilsons are in the bag.

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Ryan Kukla January 9, 2017 at 2:52 pm

This is marketed towards being an ultra lightweight driver. I got to demo this a few months ago and it’s by far the lightest driver I have ever used. I like lighter swing weight clubs and this felt great. Will be getting fit for one soon.

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Keith Irvine January 9, 2017 at 3:50 pm

a lighter club/clubhead means less ‘mass’, and it’s a trade off which will affect clubhead speed and smash factor….if it works for you, fine; doesn’t mean it works for everyone…

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Ryan Kukla January 9, 2017 at 3:52 pm

Pretty sure that holds true for every club….. Thanks captain obvious

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Jake January 9, 2017 at 12:11 pm

Does Keith have a personal vendetta against W/S?
Did they kill your dog or something? Good grief man, give it a rest.

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Keith Irvine January 9, 2017 at 4:40 pm

Well, I prefer a little weight, so when I hit a solid one, I hit it beyond my shadow….

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Beau Foster January 9, 2017 at 4:47 pm

Keith Irvine I’ve seen a very, very good golfer play this club and hit it a long way. Generalizing is a good way to skip over good clubs.

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Tracey Copeland January 9, 2017 at 2:48 pm

Airplanes use them on their wings and control surfaces.

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Keith Irvine January 9, 2017 at 3:59 pm

maybe they should put them on baseball bats, hockey sticks, lacrosse sticks, tennis racquets, etc.etc….lol

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Marshall Blake Wesson January 9, 2017 at 2:46 pm

I dunno man, when I hear Wilson I think “tennis balls” or “rock hard distance golf balls”. Hard pass.

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Carolina Golfer 2 January 9, 2017 at 11:10 am

Well you need to broaden your thinking then. The Wilson Duo and Duo Urethane, are two of the best balls in their respective price categories.

But yes, Wilson does make some quality tennis equipment as well as baseball gloves. Those that haven’t tried the Wilson Staff golf offerings aren’t fully up to speed on it’s current technologies.

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Andrew January 10, 2017 at 7:49 pm

You’re really overlooking a great brand. They make some of the best irons on the market, and their woods/hybrids can really work for a lot of people. As for balls, hard is not the word that comes to mind anymore. They make a great tour level ball, and have had much success with the soft Duo series balls, including a urethane covered version.

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Danny Day January 9, 2017 at 2:44 pm

Does the Triton have vortex generators tho

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Marshall Blake Wesson January 9, 2017 at 2:44 pm

“Another new driver from Wilson? Triton’s been out, what, 6 weeks? Who do they think they are, TaylorMade?”

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