Ball tested: Wilson Staff FG Tour X
Specs: Construction – Three-piece; Cover – Urethane; Core – Rubber; Dimples – 312
Price as tested (new): $39.99 per dozen
Ball notes: Introduced in 2011 to complement Wilson’s FG Tour, the FG Tour X promises a slightly firmer feel through a higher compression core (93 vs. the FG Tour’s 75), with similar distance and spin characteristics. Both models earned silver medal status on Golf Digest’s 2013 equipment Hot List.
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.
Like its mate, the Tour FG X is designed to deliver low-spin shots with the long clubs (driver, hybrids, long irons), high spin with short irons and wedges, and top-notch greenside control.
Sound and feel: The FG Tour X is definitely firmer than the FG Tour, but comparable to other balls in the “tour” category. In other words, it’s plenty soft. Feel players will appreciate its cushiony feedback, which provides a heightened sense of control.
Off the tee: While shorter hitters (swing speeds in the 80-90 mph range) may have trouble getting maximum length with this ball, that generally holds true for all tour models. If you can approach 100 mph or more with the driver, you’ll find the FG Tour X delivers excellent distance. We did not detect any ballooning into the wind, nor excessive sidespin.
From the fairway / rough: Again, we got great yardage from the FG Tour X from long range (3-wood, 4-hybrid, 4-iron), without shots getting away after landing. Short irons and wedge shots came down with a tight spin, stopping dead in their tracks when struck well.
Around the green: If you’ve tried the Wilson FG Tour and found it a bit too soft (if such a thing is possible), the Tour X may hit your sweet spot. It’s soft, all right, just not as “mushy” as its sibling. Happily, nothing is lost in performance. The Tour X has ample sticking power on chips and bunker shots. Feels nice and tracks well on putts too.
Bottom line: Wilson’s got another winner in the FG Tour X. It’s long, it’s soft, it’s workable and it’s controllable around the greens. It’s also priced a little lower than many competitors’ tour offerings, which makes it a definite must-try.
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