Need To Know
A compulsive low-ball hitter, I first got my hands on the 10.5 degree version of the Wilson Staff DXi driver at Oitavos Dunes near Estoril last week, under the tutelage of Wilson Staff Tour van manager Phil Bonham, a PGA pro, who immediately spotted a flaw in my technique.
I was losing distance with my ball flight he told me and needed to get the ball airborne more quickly to make the most of the DXi launch characteristics.
Hands slightly behind the ball, weight favouring my right side and BOOM! I've never hit a ball so high with that kind of hang time and extra 10-12 yards of distance.
"Modern drivers and modern balls and made to be hit high with less spin, " he told me. "You have to develop a technique that gets the ball airborne quickly so it will stay up there longer."
I also tried the 12-degree offset version - aimed at those of us with less dynamic ball speeds - and certainly got full value in hang time. Sadly it had a tendency to fly left on me rather too consistently.
So I brought the 10.5 model home for further testing and despite the heavier atmosphere of Lincolnshire compared with sunny Portugal managed to punch above my weight in terms of distance and accuracy.
Whether this is due to the heavier sole keeping the centre of gravity low for a higher launch angle or the Global Aldila VooDoo VS6 shaft fitted as a standard it's hard to tell. But I was certainly impressed with its length and forgiveness.
And I'd have to agree with Wilson's Bob Thurman, head of research and development who says: “The DXi range of driver and fairway metals provide the perfect option for players who struggle with confidence off the tee or from long range on the fairway. With the reduced weight and a larger sweet spot, all types of swing speeds can be accommodated to improve distance and accuracy.”