Glove tested: Wilson Staff FG Tour (men’s) Retail price: $19 Material(s): Cabretta leather Colors: White Hand: Left, right Sizes: S, M, ML, L, XL
Available in cadet* fit: Yes (left hand only) Weather: All
About this glove: The rejuvenated Wilson brand got a big boost when its best-known PGA TOUR rep, Padraig Harrington, won the 2015 Honda Classic. Maybe now the company will start getting the recognition it deserves from consumers.
It hasn’t been that long since Wilson, specifically its “Staff” segment, was the biggest name in golf equipment. The company may never claim that title again, but it has carved out a niche as a maker of high-quality gear at excellent prices. Put another way, Wilson has gone from 800-pound gorilla to scrappy underdog. Wilson wears it surprisingly well.
Wilson’s entry in the glove market’s highly competitive upper echelon is the Staff FG Tour model. Made entirely from Abyssinian cabretta leather (an Ethiopian brand), the glove features “Tack Teck” tanning for extra tackiness, Scotchgard protection for added durability and pre-curved fingers for a better fit and wrinkle-resistant long-term wear.
At $19, the Wilson Staff FG Tour glove is priced toward the lower end of its category, which tops out with FootJoy’s $30 Pure Touch Limited. Can Wilson’s mitt hold its own with more touted competitors? Our trial run says yes, it can.
Appearance: An all-white glove with no conspicuous technological features, the Staff FG Tour is about as simple as it gets. This is a glove for players who prefer to let their games, not their outfits, do the talking.
Comfort: In a category where every glove is extremely comfortable, it’s nearly impossible to stand out. Wilson’s FG Tour doesn’t, but it does stand up to the stiff – make that soft – competition. The leather is supremely delicate and supple, from palm to fingers to back of the hand. If you get a chance to try one on, consider a cadet size as the fingers sometimes run a bit long.
Feel: Here, too, the Wilson glove holds its own – and that’s easier said than done. The sensation of pure and poor shots meets virtually no resistance from the super-thin cabretta. If your short game relies on feeling each lie with a number of practice swings, you’ll garner a world of feedback through the FG Tour.
Tackiness: We’d actually rate the FG Tour above average in this department. Give this glove the old “squeak test” – rubbing a gloveless hand against the glove’s palm to create audible friction – and it generates a tad more volume than others. The best thing about extra tackiness? It lets you lighten up on the grip pressure without losing security.
Durability: Another double check mark for the FG Tour glove. No one disputes that high-end gloves, with their ultra-thin skins, wear out faster than cheaper, thicker models. But this one lasts longer than most (if not all) premium competitors. Surface wear was nonexistent after a couple of rounds. A short practice session added no noticeable abrasions. This factor alone makes the Wilson Staff FG Tour a solid buy in its class.
Bottom line: We were already fans of Wilson’s golf balls, including the DUO and FG Tour. The FG Tour glove only added to our admiration for the resurgent company. The glove proved up to the daunting challenge of matching premium-priced models, and exceeded competitors for grip and – most importantly – durability. Here’s hoping Wilson’s staying power is just as strong.
*Cadet gloves have shorter fingers than regular gloves of the same size; e.g., a cadet medium glove has the same palm fit with shorter fingers than a standard medium.