For accomplished players seeking equipment with forgiveness and the benefits of adjustability without resorting to what some consider high-tech shovels, Wilson Golf is rolling out an entire new family of clubs under its Wilson Staff banner.
The launch of the FG Tour M3 collection includes an adjustable driver – Wilson’s first – fairway woods, hybrids and irons. All of the M3 clubs are expected to be at retail in January.
FG Tour M3 driver
The adjustable driver is available in only one model and comes pre-set with a loft of 9.5 degree. But it can be altered in half-degree increments, varying loft from 8.5 degree to 11.5 degree. The deep-faced, 460-cc titanium head has an extremely thin crown, and the weight saved in its production allowed Wilson to add an adjustable weight system in the sole. Each driver comes with a 7-gram weight screwed into the bottom of the head. It can be replaced with one of two additional screws (3 grams and 11 grams).
“We want players to experiment, we want players to dial in their game,” said Michael Vrska, Wilson’s global director of research and development.
According to the company, a variable-thickness face helps to broaden the sweetspot and maintain ball speed on mis-hits.
Cost: $349 with a 50-gram Aldila RIP Phenom shaft or a lower-spinning, 60-gram Aldila RIP Phenom NL shaft.
FG Tour M3 fairway woods
With many golfers using their 3-wood these days as a driving club, Wilson designed the 13.5-degree 3-wood in this line with a slightly deeper face than the 15- and 17-degree models. The 17-degree club is 15 cc smaller than the other two clubs because Wilson wanted it to appeal to golfers who still love traditional, small-headed fairway woods.
The crown of all three clubs are made from stamped 430-stainless steel and is attached to a 17-4 stainless steel chassis. The FG Tour M3 fairway woods feature the same adjustable-hosel system and weight system found in the driver.
“We actually added a little bit of spin in our fairway woods to increase the carry distance,” Vrska said. “That’s one of the reasons why the adjustable weight is positioned further back in the sole. Still, it’s not a high-spinning club by any stretch of the imagination.”
Cost: $219 with a 60-gram Aldila RIP Phenom shaft.
FG Tour M3 hybrid
Low-handicap golfers demand the ability to hit each club to a specific distance. The FG Tour M3 hybrids – which should be considered as long-iron replacements rather than miniature fairway woods – feature an adjustable hosel system designed to make this task easier.
Offered in 17-, 19-, 21- and 23-degree models, each of the four 17-4 stainless steel hybrids allows its loft to be increased or decreased by one degree. (The 19-degree version, for example, can be adjusted to 18- or 20-degree.) Additionally, in any loft setting, the M3 hybrid can be made 2 degrees upright, which Wilson says is the most common fitting adjustment. The long-iron replacement also is equipped with an adjustable weight system in the sole. With such adjustable features, the M3 hybrid should help better players with their distance control and provide more forgiveness than typical irons, Wilson says.
Cost: $199 with Aldila RIP Phenom 85 shaft.
FG Tour M3 irons
Forged from 8620 carbon steel for a soft feel, the FG Tour M3 irons are designed for players who covet a higher trajectory with their long irons and seek the ability to flight short irons accurately.
“On the back of the clubs, under the topline, is the thinnest forged area that we’ve ever done,” Vrska said. “That allowed us to remove a lot of mass from an area where it’s not needed.”
As these matte-black finished cavity-backs transition from short irons to long irons, discretionary weight removed from the top of the face has been repositioned in the heel and toe areas to lower the center of gravity.
Said Vrska: “That’s how we were able to make 3- and 4-irons, in a forged golf club, that were a little more forgiving. Not super forgiving – there are many more-forgiving irons in the Wilson line-up – but just a little more forgiveness and a little more spin in the long irons while remaining workable for the better player.”
The M3 irons replace the Staff FG Tour irons in Wilson’s line, and Vrska said the new set’s long irons have slightly less offset and slightly thinner toplines.
Paul Lawrie used a third-generation prototype of this club, a 3-iron bent to 2-iron loft, at last season’s Open Championship at Muirfield. According to Vrska, Kevin Streelman is expected to switch to M3 long irons this fall.
Cost: $799 with True Temper Dynamic Gold XP steel shafts; $899 with Aldila RIP Phenom 95 graphite shafts.