Ball tested: Wilson Staff C:25
Tested for golfers with average driving distance of: 126 to 195 yards (carry + roll) / 196 to 245 (carry + roll) / 246 to 300+ yards (carry + roll)
Specs: Construction – Three-piece; Cover – Ionomer; Core – Rubber; Dimples / Pattern – 302
Some manufacturers do not reveal or emphasize the compression ratings of new golf balls. Some models are now designed and marketed to fit and appeal to a golfers preferences for price, distance, spin, feel and control.
Price as tested (new): $21.95 per dozen
Ball notes: Has Wilson gone soft? You bet. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
In recent years, the company has become the go-to source for some of the game’s softest balls, including the DUO, Fifty Elite and FG Tour models. The C:25 is a higher-compression (about 85) companion to the DUO and Fifty Elite, but Wilson still pitches it as a softy.
Fans of Wilson’s Zip golf ball were none too pleased when that model was shelved in favor of the C:25. (Note: As of this writing in July 2013, Wilson still sells the Zip on its website.) The replacement seems to have won over many of the skeptical, however, while adding converts from other brands. Did the C:25 convince our testers of its marketed merits? Here’s what we found.
On the clubface: We can’t compare the Wilson C:25 to the Zip, since we haven’t tested the latter ball. Suffice it to say the C:25 is plenty soft for a “premium” category ball, though a bit firmer than the ultra-soft DUO and Fifty Elite. If you prefer a muted sound to a “click” off the clubface, the C:25 may or may not be to your liking. It’s somewhere in between.
Off the tee: Where the DUO and Fifty Elite are optimized for slower swingers, the C:25 matches up well with golfers who can twirl the driver at 90 – 105 mph. We found it to be long – very long – owing to its low-spin carry and subsequent roll. No complaints about the ball’s accuracy, either.
From the fairway / rough: Replace the C:25’s ionomer cover with urethane and you might have a real spin monster on your hands. As it is, stopping power is very good, if not at the level of “tour” models. We also liked the medium trajectory and piercing flight.
Around the green: Again – good, but not quite urethane good. The C:25 responded well in a variety of situations, checking before slowing to a stop on long chips and generating adequate elevation on lob shots and bunker blasts. In other words, it’s got more than enough bite and action for most golfers.
Bottom line: Wishing Wilson hadn’t cancelled the Zip? Zip it. The C:25 is a classy ball that performs well, if not exceptionally so, in every category. We deem it a worthy successor, and an upstanding member of Wilson’s underrated golf ball catalog.
Value/Recreational/Distance – Designed for mid- to high-handicap golfers with swing speeds below 90 mph; typically feature two-piece construction and firm covers; promote greater distance over high spin rates. Examples: Pinnacle Gold, Slazenger RAW Distance
Premium – Designed for low- to mid-handicap golfers with swing speeds of 90-99 mph; typically feature multi-layer construction and medium-soft covers; happy medium between Value/Recreational and Tour categories for distance and spin qualities. Examples: Titleist NXT Tour, Callaway HEX Diablo
Tour/Advanced/Performance – Designed for low-handicap and professional golfers with swing speeds in excess of 100 mph; typically feature multi-layer construction and soft covers; promote greater spin rates and enhanced feel over distance. Examples: Titleist ProV1, Bridgestone Tour B330