Wilson Staff… The golf brand that has brought you 62 Major Championships is on a roll. In 2019, they brought you a new U.S. Open Champion (Gary Woodland), an exciting range of golf clubs that have seen the metalwoods division finally catch up to their long-standing tradition or producing great irons and more notably a terrific golf ball that has seeming slipped under the radar. That golf ball… the new for 2019 Wilson Staff DUO Professional.
I first learned about this new golf ball at some point late in 2018 consequently leading up to the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida. The DUO Professional golf ball that continues the legacy of what the DUO brand has brought to golf balls from the Chicago-based manufacturer. Long known for its soft feel DUO is a golf ball that has garnered praise since it’s introduction in 2012 and it’s also a golf ball that has evolved through its different iterations. In the past, we’ve seen the DUO, DUO Soft, DUO Spin, and DUO Urethane and each golf ball seemingly was better than it’s predecessor. When the DUO Professional was introduced I was immediately intrigued by what the marketing team at Wilson Golf was claiming. So when I got down to the PGA Show and received a 2-ball sleeve sample I was excited to put them to work.
I would eventually put them to work in late-March in Florida and eventually in June and July here at home. We’ve had a freakishly wet season up until now and playing golf was literally a wash. Thus delaying testing and reviews until well into the summer. At any rate, let’s look a little closer at what the DUO Professional brings to the table.
The Pre-Shot Routine
First and foremost it’s important to point out that the DUO Professional golf ball continues with its soft feel roots as it’s a golf ball that features a compression rating of 60. The DUO Professional is a multi-piece construction featuring three layers including a soft urethane cover like you’d find on any tour-level golf ball. The dimple count is 362 which is somewhere in between a distance golf ball and let’s say a certain tour golf ball that features 392 dimples.
Of interest are the claims that Wilson Golf makes in saying that the DUO Professional spins up to “6% more” on iron shots and flies at least as far or further as other competitive 3-piece balls on the market. Pretty brazen claims but claims that are intriguing enough to put to the test… And that’s exactly what I would do.
The price point of the DUO Professional is $34.99 USD or $44.99 CAD.
Consequently, my testing would take part in two locales with play coming in a wide variety of playing conditions. From the heat and dried out conditions of dormant Florida greens… To the soft receptive greens of rain-soaked golf courses in the north. The opportunities to test these golf balls were packed with variety.
Feel – The reality is that Golf Ball Innovation Director Frank Simonutti knows a thing or two about producing soft golf balls. In my opinion, Wilson Golf has set the industry standard when it comes to delivering golf balls that offer a soft feel. The DUO Professional offers superb feel “in spades”. Whether it’s putting, pitching greenside, hitting full irons or driving the golf ball the DUO Professional is one of the best feeling golf balls (if not the best) launched in 2019.
I found that with the driver (Cleveland Classics XL) the sound and feel was more of a “muted, soft click”. Off of the irons and full wedges, the feel was simply “soft”. I absolutely LOVED the feel of the DUO Professional.
Distance – The claims made in marketing literature from Wilson Golf was that the DUO professional is as long if not longer than any other competitive golf balls in a 3-piece design. Considering that there are an absolute plethora of golf balls in this category it’s a lofty claim. However, based on my observations I have to say that there just might be stock in their claims. Following my stroke in September 2018 my journey back to reclaiming my pre-stroke swing (and more precisely power) has been tough. My swing speed went from 110 mph (+/- 3 mph) down to around 95 mph. Essentially resulting in me being a club or two shorter than I was.
The one constant that I noticed both in Florida in March and back home here this spring/summer is that the DUO Professional is one of two golf balls that have given me some distance back. Maybe it’s that the 60 compression rating and I get along really well (always have preferred a soft feeling golf ball) or maybe it’s the dimple pattern. All that I know is that this golf ball has seemingly given me “another club”. Prior to my stroke, a 160-yard shot warranted an 8-iron. Since then I’m now using a 7-iron. However, the DUO Professional allows me to still use an 8-iron for the shot. So I can affirm (or confirm) that the DUO Professional is as long or longer than equivalent golf balls in the category.
Another thought regarding the distance claims of the DUO professional is how it equates to the driver. DUO Professional has been long off of the driver as well. Good carry on wet courses has yielded nice numbers (longer than other 2019 testers tested head to head) and in situations where the course has been drier, there has been sufficient rollout to assist with total yardage.
Spin – Quite honestly, this is the part of the testing that proved to be the strongest characteristic of the DUO Professional. The spin of this golf ball is EXCELLENT! I will go on the record and state that the DUO Professional has been an absolute dynamo as far as it’s spin attributes go. It’s one thing for me to draw this conclusion when the greens are “sticky and wet”. In a way, it’s sort of expected when a golf ball has a urethane cover. However, what about when the greens are dry and for the most part in a “non-receptive state”? This is where the DUO Professional absolutely “blew my socks off”.
At first, I just thought that it was my wedges that was creating all of the greenside spin. Even though other models of golf balls tested with the same wedges (Ben Hogan Equalizer) didn’t spin as much. It wasn’t too long after that initial thought when I really took the DUO Professional and thought that the spin was in fact “superior” compared anything else that I’ve ever used (at time of writing) The DUO Professional has the uncanny ability to slam the brakes on. Whether it’s a pitch out of the rough, or a greenside chip the DUO Professional offers tour-caliber greenside performance. In fact, I found the spin to be very predictable. Translating in confidence if you need to scramble a little bit during your round.
As you might expect based o the findings that I just wrote about the approach spin of the DUO Professional is also very strong. I observed “stop and drop” qualities during testing and what I found was that this translated throughout the golf bag. whether it’s a 4H from 210 yards or a lob wedge from 70 yards the DUO Professional has terrific stopping power. Yet, when it came to driver spin I found the spin rates to be on the lower side based on the fact that there was ballooning of tee shots. The golf ball tends to fly a little higher than some but that’s okay. Looking at the yardage gains and the stopping power I would suggest that the trade-off is well worth it.
Wilson Staff. Frank Simonutti. Folks, have you ever got yourself a golf ball. With no doubt in my mind, it’s the best golf ball that you’ve manufactured. Up until now my favorite ball of all time from your stable was the Px3 (yeah that goes way back) and the DUO Professional blows that golf ball out of the water. The DUO Professional is long, spins better than any golf ball that I’ve used, has very good durability, and it also has a very intriguing price point.
To anybody reading, if you haven’t tried the DUO Professional you just might want too. The DUO Professional offers a ton of performance at a fair price point.
Until The Next Tee!!