In the days leading up to the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show I had a poll that I asked on Twitter. The poll was basically… out of these brands what company would you like to see a review on first? I asked and you answered. In a closely contested battle a winner winner emerged pulling away by 10% in the end. The winning brand… Wilson Golf.
So with a company decided on in a relatively small 24 hour sampling size it was time to decide which product to do the review on. After much thought and deliberation I thought that since everybody is distance obsessed I figured that I would choose between the Cortex or D7 driver. Both of which were amongst the first products that I made swings with at the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show Demo Day. Ironically, my appointment with Wilson Golf’s Rich Hulock who is the Innovation Manager – Metal Woods was also the first of the show.
The Chicago, Illinois based golf equipment manufacturer has a rich and storied history. The brand has been around since 1914 and has won 61 Major Championships. It’s been my opinion that Wilson Golf is one of two “movers and shakers” in the golf industry meaning that they’re doing great things and trending the right way. Gaining momentum in golf consumers’ eyes. However, there is the caveat that while their irons continue to be among the industry’s best… their metal woods have lagged well behind. A point that I made abundantly clear to Mr. Hulock.
The latest driver in their “Distance Category” (D100, D200, D300) features a “Superlight” design. Boasting a head weight of just 192 grams the crown is constructed from composite materials. This is what Wilson refers to as a “[K]omposite Crown” which delivers exceptional sound and feel. The [K]omposite Crown is achieved by employing a three-piece crown. The crown is comprised of Kevlar® layered between woven and unidirectional, carbon fiber which neutralizes vibration for a sharp, crisp sound and incredible feel. This is one of the things in particular that I pointed out to Mr. Hulock about past driver releases. Especially, the FG Tour M3… that driver sounded and felt horrible. The head also features “Dynamic Launch Control” (more on that in a few seconds). The stock shaft is a UST Mamiya Helium Shaft which is lightweight (A-flex 45 grams, R-flex 46 grams and S-flex 57 grams) and features a Wilson Staff MicroLite grip by Lamkin.
One of the marketing terms used with the entire D7 product range (metalwoods and irons) is what Wilson Golf calls RE-AKT Technology. What is RE-AKT Technology? Essentially, RE-AKT Technology is a combination of game enhancement features. I’ve already mentioned the [K]omposite Crown. Adding to this technology is that this driver also has a total weight of 280 grams +/- 1 or 2 grams (tolerance) and “Dynamic Launch Control”. One of the methods used to save weight in the D7 driver was that the D7 features a fixed hosel. The lofts come in three options being 9*, 10.5* and 13*. Depending on which type of swinger you are (fast, moderate or slow) weight has been placed inside of the head accordingly. Golfers with faster swings prefer weight towards the front of the face to keep the spin rates down so in the 9* head this is where the weight is placed. Consequently, golfers with slower swing speeds need more spin and help to get the ball up in the air. Thus, the weight in the 13* head is placed low and back. Meanwhile, the 10.5* head has the weight placed halfway back.
Conditions: Sunny/Cool 17*C or 62*C. Light wind right to left.
After my appointment with Mr. Hulock I had to leave almost right away to head to another appointment. Before I departed the Wilson Golf booth at Demo Day I made sure to swing nearly everything that they had there. Of course, this included the D7 driver. Without having any idea what my swing speed was I went with the 9* head with the Helium shaft in a Stiff flex (post-Stroke I now know that I lost nearly 20 mph clubhead speed).
I had much to say about the D7 in the days leading up to the PGA Show. Some of the quotes that you’d see on social media (Twitter, Instagram) were things like “It just looks right” and “The simple looks are the genius of the design”. While there is a lot more than meets the eye with this driver in the grand scheme of things it’s simplistic when compared to it’s stablemate… Cortex. I loved the D7 in the address position and it sets up extremely well behind the golf ball.
Overall, the aesthetics of the D7 is very eye-pleasing. The carbon crown shimmered in the Florida sunshine and flipping the club over the graphics aren’t overdone, ‘The Shield” is ever-present, and the cool blue “pop” catches the eye. The blue is a subtle “change-up” from their traditional crimson red.
On my very first pass I struck the ball and was rewarded with a well-struck drive that was perfectly straight. There was no ballooning and the ball flight penetrated. I have to give kudos to the Wilson team for the design… the weight placed up front was ideal for my needs. The golf ball seemed to have good exit velocity and the carry seemed very good. The next shot was more of the same and it didn’t take long for this driver to give me confidence. These were the first full driver swings that I’ve made and watched since my Stroke. So to hit baby draws with the D7 out of the gate was an eye-opener.
Consequently, all of my swings resulted in the same ballflight. Tight baby draws like I’ve been swinging every day for the last several months instead of being all but laid up since September. The D7 launches the ball quickly and based on my findings it does not balloon. Credit also should go to the Helium shaft from UST Mamiya. By the way, the combination of head and shaft is perfect!! Or at least it was for me.
Some people may think that the lack of adjustment might be an issue. Wilson Golf conducted research and if my memory serves me correct they concluded that once finding the right adjustment 84% of golfers (upon finding the right setting) no longer adjust the club again. I definitely fall into this category. When I find the right setting I more or less lose the wrench.
I said that these D7 drivers looked right. They are!! I also said that the metal woods have long lagged behind their irons. 2019 just might signal the turning point for Wilson Golf metal woods. The D7 is easy to hit, must be forgiving, has technology packed into a relatively simplistic package and the acoustics and feel have been very improved upon. I found out that my swing speed was way down the last day of the show. it makes me wonder what a R-flex in a 9* or 10.5* would have done. The MSRP of the D7 driver is $299.99.
For more information on the D7 driver please visit Wilson for more details.
Until The Next Tee!!