Why thinner is better when it comes to Wilson’s Staff Model golf ball
The premium look and feel of Wilson’s Staff Model blades (the same sticks Gary Woodland used to win the 2019 U.S. Open) can now be found in golf ball form with the 2020 Staff Model. Recent work with elite players led the equipment manufacturer to significantly alter the overall construction of the four-piece ball, shifting away from the soft feel found in the popular Duo line to a thinner urethane cover construction.
At 1/40 of an inch thick, the thinner urethane cover assists in producing more distance off the tee, while still maintaining the soft feel, control and spin characteristics necessary for greenside and partial wedge shots.
“By leveraging our experienced and dynamic Advisory Staff, we were able to design a premier golf ball that provides tour-level distance, spin and control,” said Frank Simonutti, Wilson’s global director of golf ball innovation. “[T]he Staff Model ball provides higher spin rates on iron shots and holds the maximum allowable initial velocity based upon USGA conformance for a more impressive velocity than traditional urethane covered balls.”
While the urethane material is thinner, it’s actually softer than the cover construction found on the company’s FG Tour, the closest comp to Staff Model. The final piece of the cover is a 362-dimple pattern that’s designed to navigate the ball through blustery conditions.
The “engine” for the ball is comprised of a larger, firmer CIS polybutadiene rubber core and two mantle layers. An inner mantle layer made of Dupont HPF polymer delivers a combination of feel and speed, while the outer mantle — a blend of firm Surlyn ionomer materials — helps generate added spin around the green by activating the cover.
On paper, the Staff Model appears to be your standard product launch. But there’s more to the ball than a new design. Wilson is shaking things up with a new program that will allow golfers to trial the ball for one month — free personalization (sidestamp or number) is included — at $50 per dozen; the cost drops to $45 per box for three dozen. The trial program will eventually be followed by a subscription service in the coming months.