MyGolfSpy Ball Lab is where we quantify the quality and consistency of the golf balls on the market to help you find the best ball for your money. Today, we’re taking a look at the Wilson Staff Model and Staff Model R. An overview of the equipment we use can be found here. To learn more about our test process, how we define “bad” balls and our True Price metric, check out our About MyGolfSpy Ball Lab page.
While Wilson’s golf ball lineup is synonymous with its uber-soft DUO line, the company typically has at least one premium Tour offering.
That position is held by the Wilson Staff Model which replaced the FG Tour. Instead of offering an “X” model this time around, Wilson took the unusual approach of adding the Staff Model R to the lineup last fall. The “R” stands for “raw” and refers to the fact that ball is entirely unpainted. The result is a ball that’s structurally the same as the standard model but plays a bit differently because of the lack of paint.
It’s a unique approach to the market which is exactly the route smaller brands like Wilson need to take to capture attention.
About the Wilson Staff Model and Staff Model R
The Wilson Staff Model and Staff Model R are Wilson-designed balls manufactured by Foremost in Taiwan. As we’ve noted previously, Foremost produces balls for many direct-to-consumer brands including OnCore and Vice as well as DICK’S house brands like MaxFli and Top Flite.
The Wilson Staff Model is a four-piece cast-urethane design with a 362-dimple cover. The only difference between the Staff Model and the Staff Model R (raw) is that the latter is unpainted and lacks a clearcoat finish. For that reason, it’s expected to launch a bit lower and spin a bit more. Results of our preliminary testing suggested the Staff Model R performs more similarly to a matte-finish ball when wet. We found that, when moisture is introduced, launch angles increase while spin decreases more significantly than with the painted Staff Model.
Wilson Staff Model / Staff Model R – Compression
The Wilson Staff and Staff Model R both measured 99 on our gauge. That makes it among the firmest balls in our database. You’re certainly not going to mistake it for the DUO but it should be appreciably faster, especially for higher swing speed golfers. The bottom line: both the Staff Model and Staff Model R easily qualify as Tour-level compression and then some.
Wilson Staff Model / Staff Model R – Diameter and Weight
Nothing but good news and semi-interesting footnotes here. Across both models, we didn’t find a single ball that failed to meet our standard for roundness. Likewise, none of the balls measured was above the USGA limit of 1.62 ounces.
Because the only design difference between the Staff Model and the Staff Model R is the paint, the assumption was that balls in the Staff Model R would be a little smaller in diameter and weigh just a bit less due to the lack of paint and clear coat.
That’s exactly what we found as the Staff Model R was ever-so-slightly lighter on average despite six balls in the sample that were the heaviest across both models. Similarly, the Staff Model R proved a bit smaller overall though, again, six balls in the sample were among the largest across both models.
Under our weight classification system, the Staff Model falls in the average range while the Staff Model R is small. Where weight is concerned, the Staff Model is again within the average range while the staff Model R is light.
Wilson Staff Model / Staff Model R Inspection
Centeredness and Concentricity
Across both models, we found no significant issue with core centeredness. We did find some inconsistencies with layer concentricity. In total, six percent of the Staff Model samples were flagged as bad for unevenness in the layers (most often in the mantle layer), while 14 percent of the Staff Model R showed significant concentricity issues.
Core coloring across both models was extremely consistent. We found a bit of debris in the core of a single Staff Model R that wasn’t considered significant enough to be problematic.
Foremost covers are typically excellent. That was the case here with only a single minor defect being noted across both samples.
Wilson Staff Model / Staff Model R Consistency
In this section, we detail the consistency of the Wilson Staff Model and Staff Model R golf balls. Our consistency metrics provide a measure of how similar the balls in our sample were to one another, relative to all of the models we’ve tested to date.
- Relative to the other balls in the Ball Lab database, the weight consistency of the Wilson Staff Model was one of very few that reaches into the Good range.
- The Wilson Staff Model R fell into the low end of the Average range. That can be attributed to six balls that were appreciably heavier than the others in the sample.
Overall, the results for the Staff Model R are more typical of what we’d expect to see for weight consistency from balls produced by Foremost. Weight inconsistency is the most common issue we find, though the Staff Model results are at least encouraging.
- Diameter consistency for the Wilson Staff Model falls within the low end of our Good range.
- The Staff Model R qualifies as Fair (below average), again due to the significant variation for half a dozen balls in the sample.
Once again, these findings aren’t atypical of what we see for Foremost-made balls. Typically, balls are generally consistent and often above average for some metrics. However, significant outliers are far from uncommon.
Compression consistency was similar from both balls, which is to be expected. The Staff Model R was slightly more consistent across the sample. The difference, though small, was enough for the Staff Model R to rate slightly higher. It’s reasonable to classify the Staff Model/Staff Model offering as a whole as “average to slightly above average” for compression consistency.
True Price is how we quantify the quality of a golf ball. It's a projection of what you'd have to spend to ensure you get 12 good balls.
The True Price will always be equal to or greater than the retail price. The greater the difference between the retail price and the True Price, the more you should be concerned about the quality of the ball.
Wilson Staff Model/Staff Model R – Summary
To learn more about our test process, how we define “bad” balls and our True Price metric, check out our About MyGolfSpy Ball Lab page.
If you’re a fan of the Wilson brand, the quality of the Staff Model is good enough that it shouldn’t dissuade you from playing the Staff Model R. If you’re not Wilson-inclined, there’s also no compelling quality argument for Wilson over its industry-leading competitors. If the performance works for you (we expect the Staff Model will be lower launching and higher spinning than a good bit of the competitive set), by all means, give it a go.
- Reasonably consistent across our core metrics
- No significant core issues
- QC at the source factory sometimes allows outliers to slip through, creating inconsistencies within your box of balls.