REVIEW – Wilson Staff FG Tour V6 Irons

Before I start writing I feel that I should let some of my new readers in on something that isn’t much of a secret. For others that already know what I’m about to say I apologize. The secret… I have always had a soft spot in my heart for Wilson Staff/Golf. My first set of “legit” irons were a set of Wilson Pro Staff irons… circa 2004. Those irons really got me on my way to truly loving this game. A couple of years later I would upgrade those irons to a set of Wilson Staff Pi5 irons which would still be in the bag had it not been for the 2010 “Groove Rule”. I haven’t been the same since separating from those irons. 

Wilson Staff. The name really does speak for itself when it comes to the history of the game. The Chicago-based golf manufacturer was born in 1914 and has the most Major victories for any one brand… 61 victories in fact. Some of the legends that have played the brand include Gene Sarazen (he had a 75 year-long relationship with the brand), Sam Snead, Walter Hagen, Arnold Palmer and Payne Stewart just to name a few. In more recent times Brendan Steele, Padraig Harrington, and Kevin Streelman continue the legacy of flying ‘The Shield” the symbol that embodies Wilson Staff. The latter (Streelman) just renewed a 2-year contract that will see him continue to play the brand to 2019. The irons that are currently in his bag are the Wilson Staff FG Tour V6.

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Photo Credit: PGA Tour

 

When the calendar flipped to 2017 there were several products that I was excited about trying. The Wilson Staff FG Tour V6 ranked very high on said list. Most of the reasoning was simply because there was something that I didn’t like about its immediate predecessor (FG Tour F5). As a matter of fact I couldn’t get down to Orlando fast enough to try them.

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The FG Tour V6 irons from Wilson Staff are a forged iron that’s geared towards better players. That said, you don’t need to be a Tour player to play them (more on that in a bit). The V6 is forged from 8620 Carbon Steel which offers golfers terrific feel and feedback. The blade-length is relatively compact and this is just merely the beginning. In the long irons 20 grams of tungsten  is split between the heel and toe. This provides perimeter weighting giving the V6 a degree of forgiveness. Meanwhile, in the mid-irons tungsten is placed in the middle of the head. Like its long iron brethren the mid-irons feature forgiveness and a lower center of gravity. The V6 irons also have what Wilson called “impact area mass” which gives the V6 irons the feel of a muscle-back with the forgiveness of a cavity back. Stock grips are Lamkin Crossline while the stock shaft is the impressive True Temper Dynamic Gold AMT.

My experience swinging the FG Tour V6 irons started out very early. like every other year the Wilson Staff booth was my first stop during Demo Day at Orange County National. After warming up with a few swings with an FG Tour PMP Oil Can wedge I reached for a FG Tour V6 8 iron. Starting with the aesthetics. There was only one other iron that would come close to rivaling the sheer beauty and elegance of the FG Tour V6. this is one of the prettiest irons released in 2017 and it’s for a number of reasons. The cavity itself is void of any graphics thus cheapening the look of the V6. The shield is prominently on display in a down-stated way with makes the irons look classy. There is just a hint of color with the “gold’ detailing (paint-fill). Towards the toe is where the iron model is identified as the “V6” is there to be seen. I love the high-polish chrome finish of the heads and then there’s the look from the address position. I would describe the offset as “minimal” and the top-line is one that gives you the feeling of confidence. It isn’t blade-thin but there really isn’t a whole lot there to distract you from the golf ball or the beauty that sits in your eyes. Not that it really matters even how the shaft/ferrule/head seemingly blend together is very eye-pleasing.

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Performance of the V6 iron is superior all the way around. Remember when I said that you don’t need to be a tour player to play these irons? It’s true and much of that has to do with the tungsten weighting that Wilson Staff incorporated into the construction of the head. Strikes were well-rewarded with  a ballflight that was high and long. More importantly the feedback was the “best feeling” that I’ve ever had in my hands with an iron. I loved the feel through impact and the impact mass area was something that I could really feel and looked forward to feeling with each pass. Divots were crisp and I had no issue with the leading edge (I overheard someone explaining that it dug too much). Shot-shaping was a breeze with draws and fades easily being hit at will and flighting the ball was no problem. The 4-iron was more of the same and this is where I felt the heel and toe tungsten placement work its magic. I wasn’t too far off of the center at any time with the V6 irons in my hands but those misses were enough for me to know that my “gamers” would be inferior with a similar miss.

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In my opinion, these Wilson Staff FG Tour V6 irons were the best at Demo Day and are my pick for the “Best Irons in 2017”. Superior feel, looks that are second to none and performance to match. I really feel like there’s nothing else to add. If you’re a “Feel” player and you haven’t made swings with them… please go out and find a set to swing.

Until The Next Tee!!

 

 

 

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Mini-Tours

Many golfers have the dream of playing golf professionally. While a tiny number of golfers succeed others don’t quite “make the cut”. In a massive understatement you could say that I fall into the latter category. I’ve made a few decisions lately with some counsel from my coach but more on that later. What’s life like chasing the dream while playing Mini-Tours?

There are several ways that golfers approach this dream. For many, the chase begins at a very young age where most often a golf club is much larger than the little golfer themself. As they get older, the parents put their children into golf lessons under the watchful eyes of a coach. From there the “cookie-cutter” process begins and eventually the child is introduced to competition through the likes of U.S. Kids Golf or associations like the AJGA or CJGA. No matter what the development has begun much like a 7 year-old hockey player playing Novice hockey at a Triple-A level. They have a goal of playing in the NHL. Most of these young golfers do as well with their eyes focused on the PGA or LPGA Tour. A little further down the road they play high school golf and if all goes well coaches from different college and university golf programs have taken notice. Inevitably, they graduate high school and pursue post-secondary education while playing golf at a college level. With collegiate play under their belts they focus to life as an adult and maybe just maybe they make it to the professional tours. Through playing golf at their club the membership base supports their endeavors by raising tournament fees or sponsors enabling them to enter tournaments. Perhaps a star is born and they turn into the next Jordan, Rickie, Justin, Lexi, Lydia or Brooke. In some cases it’s not quite as glamorous and I can tell you first hand that it isn’t.

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Photo Credit: AJGA

 

In my case, my approach was as unorthodox and off of the grid as you can get. Regardless, I played and all of this was done while battling a swing change. Playing through a swing change is tough enough. You have doubts if something doesn’t feel right and then you revert back to what you were doing before. Playing in competition while doing so is sadistic. Playing through health issues while all of that is going on is even worse. When compared to the pressure of playing while spending grocery money on entry fees knowing that you’re taking food out of your family’s mouth is by far the worst kind of pressure that you can face. This was the kind of pressure that I placed onto myself every time that I teed it up and I’m sure that didn’t help matters. Nobody made me do it as I simply did it to myself. I’ve always been private about finances and I’ll continue to be but I will say that without some sort of financial backing chasing the dream is damn near impossible. In a case like the GLT in order to have any hope of getting your money back you had to finish Top 5 (roughly) otherwise you were simply a donor. I only teed it up as a professional because I wanted to get my money back. The payouts in a word suck at this level. For a one day event in 2012 on the Great Lakes Tour here is a rundown of the costs….

  • Tour Registration Fee – $300 (whether you play in 1 or 10 events… nothing massive)

  • Tournament Entry Fee – $230 (low-end of the scale)

  • Practice Round – $100 (more with cart)

  • Hotel Accommodations – $100 (low-end… most events were about 2 hrs away with 7:30 tee times)

  • Fuel and Food – $75

So if you were to add up each event it’s easy to see that per event it roughly costs $500/event. In the grand scheme of things it’s nothing when compared to other Mini-Tour’s like the Florida Pro Golf Tour. Their entry fee alone is $575 USD for a Non-Member. A Mini-Tour like the SwingThought Tour is $1400+ USD for registration and another $700 USD per event. Unlike the Great Lakes Tour (when I played) these other tournaments at least offer a two or more day tournament. Basically, if you’re paying out of your own pocket you need those pockets to be very deep. Supporting yourself to play is high stakes gambling in a nutshell. To play in these Mini-Tour’s not only do you need game, experience and decent health. You need the money!!

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Remember this pic. Tee shot on the GLT… #9 at Tarandowah. Two holes later I was carted away by ambulance.

My decision under the advice and counsel of my coach. Over the last couple of years I haven’t played much golf and none of it was competitive. Between being a Director Of Golf in 2016 (50-60 hour weeks led to a total of 53 holes played that year… not rounds) and of course many health issues in 2017 all  led to a lack of play. Although, I did get out a fair amount in 2017 my game simply declined and it wasn’t until November/December when I finally felt things start to click again. With my lack of play and age being a factor (wrong side of 45) I’ve decided to take a step back from playing against the kids out there. These kids coming out of college and university pipelines are long and good. As a soon to be 46 year-old looking at a kid 20 years younger you know when “the time” comes. It’s something that I experienced when I was playing hockey and baseball. While you can’t worry about what they’re doing and you aren’t playing directly against them it does get into your head when they blow by you by 50 yards and have a wedge left to the green and you have a 5-iron left into the same green. It also doesn’t help when your caddy is stammering on about their drive.

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Focused on new goals.

What I’m not saying is that I’m finished pursuing competitive golf. In fact, I’m now turning my focus onto bettering myself and my game. It’s the reason why I’ve been a diehard about getting into the gym and working out. I have a checklist of goals and I am proud to have reached some already…

  1. Lose weight √
  2. Get stronger √
  3. Identify and correct where my struggles on the course are √
  4. Play more golf (I need much more though) √
  5. Quit tinkering with my swing
  6. Play competitive golf again
  7. Get back to enjoying the game more

My plan over the next 4 years is what the plan was all along. It’s always been about when I received my golf vasectomy and turned 50. Anything between then and now was a very expensive learning experience. I’m going to play tournament golf as an amateur and develop a playing resume over the next 4 years through a couple of avenues. Perhaps focus on the Mid-Am and/or Mid-Master Divisions. But if there is one thing that I do know it’s that I’m not finished yet. #golfvasectomy

Until The Next Tee!!

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Press Release – Cleveland Golf Launches Junior Spec Wedges

Cleveland Golf Announces the Junior Spec Wedges for Young,

Developing Golfers Seeking the Best Equipment

 HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. – Dec. 11, 2017 – CLEVELAND GOLF® is dedicated to creating wedges for all types of golfers, and with that in mind, Cleveland Golf is unveiling Junior Spec Wedges. The Junior Spec Wedges are designed for junior golfers who demand the highest quality equipment and are serious about improving their game. Cleveland Golf’s Junior Spec Wedges will launch on Dec. 11, 2017.

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Photo Credit: Cleveland Golf

Cleveland Golf has been a global leader in wedge innovation and short game technologies since 1979. Their latest offering, the Junior Spec Wedges, brings the same scoring tools included in their main line offerings, but in a form that will fit developing golfers.

 

The Cleveland Golf Junior Spec Wedges come in three different wedge options depending on player preference: the RTX-3, Cleveland CBX or the Smart Sole 3 wedge.

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Brian Schielke, Marketing Director at Cleveland Golf, discussed how the Junior Spec Wedges will serve the needs of improving young players.

 

“There are many avid junior golfers who want top quality wedges, but when they order a cut-down version of a standard wedge, it’s still too heavy and not built for their game,” Schielke said. “Plus, these shorter versions aren’t available in stores for kids to test out. Our Junior Spec Wedges provide the perfect blend of technology and playability for junior golfers, and will be available in store for them to see and try out first-hand.”

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Photo Credit: Cleveland Golf

Key innovations and high-end components inside Cleveland Golf’s Junior Spec Wedges include:

  • Premium wedge technology packaged in lengths suited for junior golfers
  • KBS 560 Junior Shafts designed for aspiring juniors
  • Golf Pride Junior grips built for comfort and performance
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Photo Credit: Cleveland Golf

Cleveland’s Junior Spec Wedges are priced at $99.99, and will be available in selected retailers starting on Dec. 11, 2017.

Until the Next Tee!

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