Ball tested: Wilson Staff DUO Spin
Tested for golfers with average driving distance of: 125 or less to 300+ yards (carry + roll)
Specs: Construction – Three-piece; Cover – Ionomer; Core – Sub-zero compression; Dimples / Pattern – 302 in seamless design
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): $26.99 per dozen
Ball notes: It’s an age-old question: What do golfers want in a ball?
Survey says… 67% prefer a ball with lower compression. The data holds steady across all handicap ranges, and shows that 59% of golfers equate lower compression to a higher spin rate.
The survey was conducted by Wilson, which crunched these numbers and more to determine it needed a ball that offered more spin than its popular Staff DUO model, but less spin than its top-of-the-line Staff FG Tour.
Voila! The Wilson Staff DUO Spin was born.
Billed by the company as “the world’s softest multi-layer ball,” DUO Spin features a core compression of negative-55 – unprecedented in the market – and a total compression of 35. That’s low, all right. Really low.
Wilson then added a mantle layer (which the two-piece DUO lacks) and a soft-ish ionomer cover to impart extra spin without sacrificing DUO’s exceptional distance. The result is a ball aimed at players who crave more control with the irons and short game than the original DUO can muster.
Sounds good to us. Let’s see how the DUO Spin plays.
On the clubface: Wilson wanted the DUO Spin to match its sibling’s softness. Indeed, it does. Pick a club, any club, and this ball compresses to the face with a delightful “smush.” There’s no better feeling in golf than catching a soft ball flush, and if your swing is on, DUO Spin delivers this sensation all day long.
Off the tee: Did somebody say long? We embarked on testing most curious about this aspect of the DUO Spin’s performance. In general, more spin equals shorter tee shots. (Trust us. It’s science.) Good news: Wilson nailed it.
We noticed little if any difference in carry between the two DUO models; perhaps the original rolled out an extra yard or two. We did find DUO Spin to be either slightly less accurate or a little more workable, depending on your perspective. Again, that was expected – added backspin means added sidespin, after all.
From the fairway / rough: Looks like Wilson found the sweet spot here, too. DUO Spin occupies the middle ground between DUO and the FG Tour for workability and stopping power. Want to hit a fade or draw? You can do it with this ball. Want your wedge shots to zip to a halt without sucking back off the green? DUO Spin delivers.
Around the green: There’s not a whole lot of greenside grab separating DUO Spin from its twin. But there is a difference. DUO Spin is just a tad more responsive when you ask it to check hard, whether chipping from a tight lie or blasting from a bunker. It feels divine off the putter and rolls true as well.
Bottom line: Wilson didn’t consult us when concocting the DUO Spin, but we applaud the concept. Better yet, the execution is nearly flawless. This ball does what it promises to do, going just as far as the DUO while offering more workability and spin. The only question for consumers: Is DUO Spin worth $7 more than its partner? You’ll have to answer that for yourself.
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