Need To Know
WHEN it comes to Wilson Staff clubs right now, I honestly couldn't be more impressed with the new F-C-D system of feel, control and distance clubs. It's fantastic to see a brand catering for the needs of just about every golfer out there, no matter playing ability.
Wilson Staff is clearly on the up in 2014, particularly having joined the adjustable world of total performance drivers with the new FG Tour M3 this season, yet putting this season's bats to one side, there has always been one facet of this beautiful game where the brand delivers time after time. Wedges.
In 1932, Wilson Advisory staff member Gene Sarazen was inspired by the aerodynamics of an airplane's wing to create a clubhead that would glide smoothly through sand. Sarazen welded a piece of steel to the sole of the club and ground it producing ‘bounce’. This marked the introduction of the sand wedge, and in 1933 alone, Wilson sold 50,000 of these clubs, marketed as the R-90, which went on to be the most popular sand wedge in golf.
Some 82 years on, and the brand with more major wins with its wedges - fittingly 82 - has revamped its Tour-proven FG Tour TC wedges with a fresh, new darkened PVD finish.
The new FG Tour TC wedges, which hit the shelves earlier in March, can be found in the bag of former Open champion and Ryder Cup hero Paul Lawrie and they come in 52-, 56- and 60-degree options with Dynamic Gold shafts and wedge-specific Lamkin 3-Gen grips.
Sporting a new, confidence-inspiring black PVD finish, the wedges feature two sole options – a standard sole and a Tour version for players looking for extra shot shaping and strikes from tighter lies.
I opted for the standard sole version in 52-degree, and following four rounds now with the new FG Tour TC in the bag, I can safely say this wedge generates plenty of extra spin.
On the shot data monitor I used last year, the FG Tour TC wedge in 52-degree presented me with 7,900 RPM of spin. Using the new wedge on the same shot monitor last week, spin had increased by 300 RPM - and I'm more than happy with that.
This new Traction Control wedge features a laser-etched pattern within the individual scorelines and this contributed to plenty of additional spin on those approach shots into the green, particularly from around the 110-yard mark - both on the fairway and pleasingly out the rough.
These new scorelines were promoting an incredibly soft feel, too. I felt like I could achieve ideal control around the greens. I've never been one to pull out a 7 or 8-iron around the green and play a bump and run. I love to get up there and pop the ball on the green - like a typical American player - and with this 52-degree wedge, I have complete confidence to do just that. I am working on the Scottish bump-and-run shot, however, it's just not as effective!
I also felt like I had complete control on those devilish 40- and 50-yard bunker shots - a shot I believe is the toughest in golf. During one recent round - ensuring there was a full three holes between myself and the next playing group - I went and chucked 10 balls in the greenside bunker some 45 yards away from pin. Five shots finished within 10-feet, two within 20-feet, and three outside of 30-feet. Decent results.
One of my criticisms of the Wilson FG Tour TC wedge of 2013 was that it was a little too shiny out in the sun. It would appear the brand took note. The new darkened PVD finish eliminates any glare whatsoever and it's a great club to look down on, as well as looking great in the bag.
In terms of feel, I enjoyed a very stable sensation through impact. The beveled sole cuts crisply through the turf. It’s very much head heavy, however, which seems to be a familiar trait to wedges on the market today. Saying that, it’s very easy to control - as it's Traction Control name suggests.
Performance-wise, the ball sticks on the face and there's plenty of spin on offer. Ball flight seemed higher than ideal but there wasn't too much loss in yardage.
FG Tour TC is a versatile wedge that performs well around the greens and on full shots down the line. Not the longest out there, but who cares, it's a wedge. Spin rate and control is all I care about when it comes to a scoring club, and the new FG Tour TC wedge delivers on that front. It's one of the best zipping wedges on the market.
Great value for £79, especially when it comes with a new wedge specific Lamkin 3-Gen grip with imprinted dots to help players grip the club appropriately for different shot lengths. Impressive and well worth parting some hard-earned.