The 20 Second Intro
Model: Wilson Staff D300 driver, fairway, hybrid
- Driver – 9°, 10.5°, 13°
- Fairway – 15°, 18°, 21°
- Hybrid 17°, 19°, 22°, 25°, 27°, 31°
Stock Shaft: Matrix Speed Rulz A Type
Retail Price: Driver – $349.99, Fairway – $219.99; Hybrid – $199.99
I swear on my mother’s grave I saw this on Twitter the other day:
“Another new driver from Wilson? Triton’s been out, what, 6 weeks? Who do they think they are, TaylorMade?”
Put the torches and pitchforks down, villagers. This isn’t that.
What this is is the D300: Wilson’s newest iteration of Game Improvement metal woods and the replacement/upgrade for – please read carefully – the 2-year old D200 line. Wilson has been consistent with 2-year product cycles in each of its product categories, with each category launching something new every other year.
So no, this is not a replacement for the Triton. Despite some early hiccups, the Driver Vs. Driver champ is now listed as conforming by the USGA in all three lofts (9-, 10.5- and 12-degrees). Wilson is planning a major Triton relaunch at the PGA Merchandise Show in a couple of weeks.
So what’s the D300 line all about? According to Wilson, it’s all about aerodynamics and going fast.
The Need For Speed
2017’s metal wood buzz has been all about ball speed, and how to increase it.
Everyone has their own ball speed boosting technology, and Wilson is no different. The most visible tech in the D300 driver, fairways and hybrids is what Wilson is calling Micro Vortex Generators.
As first glance, Micro Vortex Generators look like a mild case of back acne, but Michael Vrska, Wilson’s Global Director of Innovation, says there’s some real aerodynamic technology in those little bumps.
“It’s all about generating and maintaining club head speed, and effectively maximizing ball speed,” Vrksa tells MyGolfSpy. “Micro Vortex Generators help keep the air moving fast and stay attached to club head.”
If that rings a bell, it should. The concept is fundamentally similar to PING’s Turbulators, with aerodynamic roots in the trucking, automotive and aircraft industries. Vrska says the goal – to increase club head speed – is the same as PING’s, but the shape, application and placement of the Micro Vortex Generators are significantly different from what PING is doing.
If you look at the crown of the D300, you’ll see the Micro Vortex Generators are away from the leading edge and laid out in three rows in a curved pattern, with two smaller rows next to the hosel. Turbulators on the PING G are larger, there are fewer of them and they’re right at the leading edge.
Does it make a huge difference? MyGolfSpy’s upcoming Most Wanted Driver test will no doubt shed some light. To Wilson’s credit, they only compare their new equipment to their own previous model, and they confirm a 2.5 MPH club head speed increase with the D300 compared to the D200, due to the improved aerodynamics.
Unbearable Lightness of Being
When the D200 driver came out, it was touted as the lightest adjustable driver on the market. Wilson called it Right Light™ technology, and the idea is pretty simple: the lighter the club the faster you can swing it with the same amount of effort. And if you can swing it faster, you’re likely going it hit it farther.
Unfortunately for Wilson, some golfers found the D200 to be too light, and wouldn’t even try it.
“They never found out how good it would have been for them,” says Vrksa. “With the D300, we still have the lightest adjustable driver on the market, and for 80% of the people out there, that’s what they should be playing. But we’ve also provided some weighting adjustability and some fitting options that weren’t available before.”
For the D300, Wilson has morphed Right Light™ technology into SuperLight™ technology. From what we can see, there are three differences with varying degrees of importance. First, the D300 driver comes with an interchangeable sole weight located towards the rear of the sole, allowing for some fine-tuning (the D200 had no interchangeable weights). There are no interchangeable weights in the D300 fairway or hybrid, however.
In addition, Wilson is using a different stock shaft in the D300. A lightweight version of the UST Mamiya Elements Chrome was used in the D200 metal wood line. For the D300, Wilson is shifting to the Matrix Speed Rulz A Type. The driver features the 44-gram version, but for those who prefer a heavier shaft the 65-gram option is available at no upcharge. Matrix classifies the A Type as mid-launch, mid-spin and best suited for golfers with smooth swing tempos.
And finally, the D300 driver features Wilson’s Fast Fit adjustable hosel, which Wilson touts as the lightest and easiest to use hosel out there. Fast Fit was first used in Wilson’s F5 metal wood line, and is also used in the Triton. While we can’t vouch for lightest, we can say it’s pretty easy to use. You don’t have to take the head off to adjust the settings; you simply loosen the head until you see green on the adapter, and then you can adjust. It’s adjustable up or down 1-degree in both standard and draw bias settings.
The D300 fairway and hybrid are both non-adjustable.
Looks and Specifics
If you like red and black, you’re going to love the D300. The black and red of the Speed Rulz shaft flows nicely into the matte black crown. While the D200 head mixed black and red with a healthy dose of chrome on the clubface and sole, the D300 features a black clubface and black sole, with red highlights. For a game improvement driver, it looks fairly stylish, with a head shape vaguely reminiscent of older Adams drivers (not surprising as Vrska was with Adams prior to returning to Wilson in 2012).
If you’ve found yourself put off by the sound of recent Wilson metal woods, the D300 series will please you. The Triton’s hollow-block sound has become the stuff of online legend (for the record, the F5 driver sounds almost identical), and the D200 lineup had a very distinctive tinny sound. The D300’s, from hybrid through driver, have a much more pleasing, muted thwack-like sound.
MyGolfSpy’s Most Wanted testing will give us a better idea of distance and spin, but limited mid-winter-in-Minnesota testing shows a driver very much in line with its D200 and D100 predecessors: they’re very easy to hit, launch relatively high, want to go straight and have the forgiveness of a puppy.
The D300 driver is available in 9-, 10.5- and 13-degree lofts for righties (10.5- degree only for lefties), and are a longish 46 inches.
And despite its lightness, the D300 driver plays to a D2 swingweight, largely due to the weighting of the shaft and Golf Pride Tour 25-gram grip.
D300 Fairway and Hybrids
The head shapes of both the fairway and hybrid are sleeker and more compact than those of their predecessors. Both feature Carpenter Custom 455 maraging steel faces and piggy back on the SuperLight™ and Micro Vortex Generator technologies of the driver.
The fairway woods are available in 15°, 18° and 21°lofts (non-adjustable) for righties – there’s no 21° option for lefties. The fairway woods will play to a D3 swingweight.
The D300 hybrids are interesting in that Wilson is offering a progressive head design, increasing head volume for the lower lofted models to increase forgiveness. Wilson also says the lower lofted hybrids have a slightly more curved face for more consistent impact and accuracy. Offsets are about what you’d expect from a Game Improvement hybrid – designed to reduce a higher handicapper’s slicing tendencies. Six lofts are available, all playing to a D1 swingweight.
Price and Availability
The D300 metal woods are available today on Wilson’s website and should be on retailers shelves soon. The D300 driver retails for $349.99, the fairway for $219.99 and the hybrid for $199.99. The Matrix Speed Rulz A Type shaft is stock on all three models, and the driver and fairway come stock with the Golf Pride Tour 25 grip. The stock grip for the hybrid is the Wilson Staff Tour Traction grip.