To me Wilson Staff have been one of the two biggest movers and shakers in the golf business over the last 5 years. The brand that has the most Major victories in golf history and a brand that’s been around for over 100 years. In recent memory the brand has tried to get back into the golf consumers mindsets with some groundbreaking marketing with their popular Driver vs Driver reality television show. In January, at the PGA Merchandise Show Demo Day they announced that there was going to be a Driver vs Driver 2 with judges including Rick Shiels, Jeremy Roenick and President Tim Clarke. The Triton was the winner then so I’m excited to see what happens this time around, Wilson Staff Triton Review
In the meantime fresh for the 2018 golf season Wilson Staff introduced the new C300 range of products. Geared towards the “Crossover” player who is looking for control and distance. The line-up includes a driver, fairway wood, hybrids and irons (cast and forged). For today’s review we’re going to look at the C300 driver and my organic, first-hand thoughts and experiences with the driver.
When it comes to the C300 it’s clear that Wilson Golf wants you to #PowerYourPlay. How does Wilson want to establish that notion? Well, through the utilization of what the company calls “Power Holes”. On top of the crown and right behind the leading edge of the face (sole) Wilson Golf engineers strategically placed urethane-filled holes on the entire range of products. What the design team was looking to achieve by doing so was to give golfers higher ball speeds, more distance, and more consistency through more face flexion and a larger sweet spot. The aptly named “Power Hole Technology” was first seen in the brands C200 irons. As far as adjustability goes there are a few methods with C300 that allows golfers to tweak their launch and trajectory characteristics. Firstly, there’s the adjustable hosel loft which allows you to adjust either adjust 1* Down or 2* Up in half degree increments. Secondly, there are three adjustable weight screws (2 gram and 2 6 gram weights) that allow you to give a draw or fade bias. Place the 6 dram weight in the heel for a draw-aiding shot shape. The C300 comes in 3 different lofts (9*, 10.5*, and 12*) and features the venerable Fujikura Speeder Pro 58 shaft as its stock option. The Lamkin Crossline 2 grip rounds out the construction points. The constructed stock length is 45.5″ and has a solid D4 swingweight.
The conditions on the Demo Day range at Orange County National were fairly ideal and the wind was generally over my left shoulder (right-handed golfer) at their location.
Aesthetics – Upon picking up the driver for the first time my eyes went to the finish. It’s a lovely matte red finish that gave me an instant memory of their old Deep Red drivers. I love the colour and how it goes from black to red much like a “sunburst design” on a Gibson or Fender guitar. Honestly, this driver had the best looking finish of any of the drivers at the 2018 PGA Show. While I didn’t mind the Power Holes on the crown I did NOT like the “Power Holes” graphic towards the trailing edge of the crown. Personally, I think it cheapened the looks of an otherwise pretty driver. But I really liked the subtle “shield” as an alignment aid. Flipping the C300 over the Power Holes are evident as mentioned towards the leading edge with another touch of the classy Wilson Staff branding that is ‘The Shield”. There are also graphics that say C300 and “FLX Face”.
Performance – First off, when I had the C300 in my hands I loved the overall “heft” of this club. For some the D4 weight might seem “heavy” but it was something that I really liked about it. I really felt that the weight allowed the head to work the shaft and more importantly allowed me to feel the club through the hitting area. As I set the C300 down in the address position I also observed something else. I have to mention that the combination of the Power Holes on the crown and the alignment aid perfectly frame the golf ball. It just gives you additional confidence over the golf ball. On my first pass the ball flight was high and straight. two great things especially when hitting downwind. I think that the first shot was pretty spinny as well basing that judgement on what I observed.
At impact, I think the best way to describe it was that it gave me a feeling of being “indifferent”. I wasn’t astonished or disappointed in any way… it was just sort of “meh”. I really liked that I could feel the club throughout the golf swing which is a nice characteristic. I made several more passes and the one word that was most operative was straight. Hitting the ball straight was a breeze with the C300 and I think a lot of that has to do with the expanded sweet spot. From a distance standpoint, I think the distance was average and not where my gamer is. It could have been the spin numbers being high. This was a case where I wish I would have had some sort of launch monitor or a tech representative giving me a hand. If nothing else, to verify what I was seeing. The feel off of the driver wasn’t overly awe-inspiring which is something that I alluded to in my remarks regarding the first pass.
Overall – I think the C300 has some good things going for it. It’s a great-looking driver but this isn’t just about beauty. One of things that I don’t like is how spinny the head/shaft combination appeared to be. The distance was average (at best) and the C300 has a real unassuming sound and feel to it. The launch however was perfect, it’s straight (which is a positive) and if I have choice of being straight off of the tee or hitting 3 from the same tee… I’ll take straight every time. Maybe a different shaft fixes the results for me or assistance from a tech rep in changing the configuration around. After all, there is adjustability to burn with the C300. I researched some WITB information of some Wilson staffers and none are playing the C300. Does this suggest anything? If you’re looking for a new driver give the C300 a try. The retail price for the C300 is $399.99 USD.
Until The Next Tee!!