Wilson introduces new clubs, charts comeback

Golfers who are are traditionalists know all about Wilson forged irons. Tim Clarke, general manager of Wilson Golf, likes to tout that his company has more major championships in the iron category (61) than any other manufacturer.

Despite its rich golf history, dating back to Gene Sarazen, Sam Snead, Patty Berg and other legends, Wilson took a tumble in the 1980s and 1990s, thanks in part to its inability to react quickly and effectively to metalwoods, cavity-back irons and other sweeping changes in equipment.

Now Clarke is talking about a major comeback.

“We’re still here, and we’re the oldest global golf company left today,” said Clarke, noting the downsizing of MacGregor and Spalding, which along with Wilson were the most prominent names in clubs for much of the 20th century.

For 2011, Wilson is introducing several new products (muscleback FG62 forged irons and FG Tour forged wedges) that honor the company’s heritage while providing technologically inspired irons (Di11 cast irons) that Clarke calls “the longest, most accurate irons Wilson has ever created.”

Clarke is optimistic.

“Our sales are up in every market this year,” he said. “We’re up in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Canada. Why? We’ve thought long and hard about offering the right clubs for every golfer.”

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Di11 irons

The skinny: The fifth generation of the Di iron, this model features a lower center of gravity and a wider sole. The Di11 also has a thinner topline that will appeal aesthetically to many golfers. Wilson claims these irons have the largest sweet spot in the game-improvement category.

Cost: MSRP $999 (4-GW, with wide-tip graphite shafts), $849 (4-GW, with wide-tip steel shafts)

Available: Nov. 15

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DXi driver

The skinny: The calling card for this titanium driver is a tungsten rubber weight pad in the rear of the clubhead. The 8- and 9-degree models have a 5-gram weight, while the 10.5- and 12-degree drivers have 7.5- and 10-gram weights, respectively. This driver has the thinnest face Wilson has offered.

Cost: MSRP $299 (with graphite shaft)

Available: Nov. 15

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FG62 irons

The skinny: These are forged muscleback irons designed as a companion set to the FG Tour irons used by Padraig Harrington and Ricky Barnes. Made of soft 8620 mild carbon steel, these blades have a slightly larger head and wider sole than the FG59 irons they replace.

Cost: MSRP $799 (3-PW, with steel shafts)

Available: Nov. 15

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