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!!

 

 

 

REVIEW – Tour Edge Exotics CBX Blade Irons

As I sit here and write I just posted a question on Twitter. Addressing it to the folks that run the PGA Merchandise Show (Reed Exhibitions) I simply asked… “How many more sleeps until the show?”. The answer is too many. I love going to the show for many reasons but what I really love is jumping onto the range at the Orange County National Golf Resort and Lodge where I can swing the myriad of products that are getting set to be released. One of these products this past year that I made swings with is a new iron from Tour Edge Golf.

Recently the Batavia, Illinois (outside of Chicago) headquartered company made public the release of a new iron. This new iron is the Tour Edge Exotics CBX Blade. What the CBX Blade offers golfers is an iron set that gives golfers a muscle-back iron that comes in a forging that’s constructed from S25 Carbon Steel. The use of CAD technology was instrumental in the design of this iron which features laser engraved precision-milled grooves. These square grooves gives players that choose to play the CBX iron superb control while the carbon steel used in the construction yields the feel that only a forged blade can offer. The CBX  Blade is offered to right-handed golfers and comes with the option of graphite or steel shafts. The graphite offering is the fantastic Recoil from UST Mamiya while the stock steel shafts are either the True Temper XP 95, True Temper Dynamic Gold AMT or the KBS Tour. Stock grips on the CBX Blade irons are the UTx from Lamkin Golf which has proven to be among my favorite grips used thus far.

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Upon arriving at the Tour Edge (Exotics) booth on Demo Day I was greeted by a couple members of their team. What was really cool was the fact that the two reps knew me from my reviews at my former site. Initially, I was there for the purposes of hitting their new line of metal… the XJ1. After making swings and talking a little bit of shop I was asked if I wanted to see something. That something was an iron that nobody else had seen or struck yet. That iron was the CBX Blade. My immediate first impressions upon looking at this iron was that this iron was a throwback. A classic design that was simple and clean. These might be two of the biggest compliments that I can hand to any iron. In hand (and eyes) the CBX looks retro which is a very endearing quality to me. It’s narrow sole and razor-blade-like topline were instant winners to me. Rounding out the overall look is the square toe which also adds to the playability of the CBX Blade.

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Photo Credit: Tour Edge Golf

 

So the time came to put swings on the CBX Blade irons. The head was shafted with a True Temper Dynamic Gold AMT in S300 flex. What I cannot stress enough is how great this head sets up behind the ball in the address position. You know how it is sometimes when things just “feel right”? That was the case with the CBX Blade. It felt right to me… I felt confident with the CBX Blade iron in my hands. The results reflected this confidence. My first strike was rewarded with feel unrivaled by many and a ballflight that went outward more than up. This ballflight was penetrating and aggressive. The wind was quartering slightly over my right shoulder which translates into a wind that “helps” a little. The CBX Blade produces “frozen ropes” and the ball wastes no time leaving the club face. I loved the feel in my hands and more to the point I loved feeling the sweet spot as the ball left the clubface. If you’re wondering… you could feel the “meaty” part of the muscle-back design at impact. As expected, the ability to shape shots with the CBX Blade is a breeze and the same can be said of executing punches and knockdowns.

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However a question remains… Is the CBX Blade for anybody? I will put it this way… if you’re a golfer regardless of handicap that feels comfortable with a blade then… yes. If you’re a lower to mid-handicap golfer that likes blades then the answer is… most definitely! Thus far the CBX Blade might be one of my favorite blades that I’ve made passes with up to this point… period. The CBX feels good, looks terrific and performs. It’s clean and exudes simple elegance from a time gone-by.

Until The Next Tee!!