“First Impressions” Review – Wilson Golf LaunchPad Fairway Metal

Heading into the 2020 PGA Show, my focus on Wilson Golf products was mostly on their irons. The Staff Utility and D7 Forged in particular. When it came to the LaunchPad range of metalwoods I wasn’t particularly interested. I wasn’t crazy about the name and it was almost too “no frills” to even bother with. To be frank, I felt no excitement or buzz around this range heading into the show. Which ails in comparison to their D7 line-up from 2019 which I had an excitement about.

 

The Set-up

The LaunchPad fairway metals from Wilson Golf are designed to help golfers from the tee and fairway. The LaunchPad fairway metals are built on the premise of super lightweight technology to increase clubhead speeds and increase distance for golfers. This is achieved through the use of lightweight components (grip, shaft, etc). The LaunchPad fairway metals might be a good option for golfers struggling with a slice. There a moderate amount of hosel offset built into the design. The face is constructed from a highly responsive 455 Carpenter Steel, which in the past has proven to be great from an acoustics/feel point of view and yielding higher ball speeds.

If you’re a tinkerer looking for adjustability, you’ll need to look elsewhere. There is none to be found with the LaunchPad. Like I said, “no-frills” or “bell and whistles”

The stock shaft is the UST Mamiya Helium and overall the LaunchPad has a swing weight of D1 in the 3 and 5-woods respectively.

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The Transition

I’ve talked about the conditions at this year’s Demo Day during the PGA Show. It was cold and windy. The high reached 59*F but with windchill, it might have been closer 40-45*F. As far as location goes, the Wilson Golf booth was set up into the face of a sustained 20-25 mph wind. A disadvantage you might think?

As far as my first impressions regarding the LaunchPad fairway metals. Overall, I liked the appearance of the LaunchPad metal woods. The crown is pretty sleek in the address position and the offset didn’t bother me like I thought that it would. There is a small alignment aid and some accenting along the trailing edge. Flipping the club over, I think the white accents on the toe, heel, and sole is very tastefully done. Even the “LP”  looks modern but not obnoxiously so. The Helium shaft from UST Mamiya is a great compliment to the head and the shaft really brings it all together.

I would end up swinging the LaunchPad fairway metals in both of the available lofts (15 and 18 degrees) and both from a tee and off of the deck. My main focus, however, was off of the deck. Had there been rough available, I would have tried it from that lie too. My swing left me with a feeling of “Whoa”. Honestly, I was not expecting to like it that much. The flight was long and straight. Into the wind, there was no sign of ballooning. The ball flight, just sort of bored through the air. Time and time again, the strike and consequential ball flight was the same and predictable. The ball just wanted to fly straight off of the clubface. An awfully nice problem to have don’t you think?

As far as I’m concerned, there is one thing to consider when swinging super-lightweight golf clubs. Do not over-swing and “go after it”. Let the technology work for you. Nice and smooth is optimal. I did overswing on a couple of swings and I did lose the ball left on those swings. Remember two things in me saying that.

  1. The offset
  2. Draw-bias

It’s designed with “slicers” in mind. My miss is a low-left (RH golfer).

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The Finish

Sure the LaunchPad may not have the bells and whistles of other fairway metals in 2020? Is this a problem? No. The LaunchPad performed extremely well in difficult conditions. The LaunchPad fairway metals produced straight, predictable ball flights swing-in and swing-out. LaunchPad is a golf club that will help golfers with moderate swing speeds and even those with slightly higher speeds (90-100 MPH). LaunchPad fairway metals retail for $199.99 USD.

Until The Next Tee!!

#fightandgrind #seeuonthenexttee