Wilson FG Tour Wedge
Teacher’s Comments: Worth an upgrade
When the USGA changed the rules on grooves, a lot of people assumed that the days of high spinning shots out of the rough were over.
Naysayers underestimated the creativity and ability of golf club designers. With new groove combinations and face surface textures, designers like those at Wilson Golf have actually managed to maintain — and perhaps improve on — spin performance. It is the old economic principle of creative destruction, where outdated (or in this case, outlawed) goods and services are inevitably replaced — via human creativity and ingenuity — with new and often better forms.
Recently, Wilson sent me an FG Tour “gap” wedge for testing. The model is a 53 degree with 6 degrees of bounce, in the “traditional” sole design. It has a swing weight of D3.
The FG Tour Wedges from Wilson incorporate two sets of differently sized grooves. The large Tour Y Grooves look quite traditional, although their size and shape conform to the new rules. I doubt anyone’s naked eye could tell the difference. Less traditional are the eleven laser-engraved micro grooves situated between each of the Y Grooves. The effect is to offer more surfaces to grab the cover of the ball, and thus generate more spin.
Reflecting on the play of the FG Tour wedge, it seems to me the ball checks up very quickly regardless of how hard I hit it or the distances involved. I imagine that this is the effect of the two different types of grooves. The one will “activate” more on harder swings, while the other takes over more on finesse shots.
With a full shot from the fairway, I like the FG Tour anywhere from 80 to 100 yards out. Closer, and around the greens, it is nice on short-sided shots. I can pitch it up with confidence that it won’t run past the hole.
Confidence is to my mind the most important thing in wedge play. If I trust and believe that the ball will land on the green and come to a reasonable stop, I can swing with aplomb. If, on the other hand, doubt slips in, I invariably leave the ball short, or perhaps worse, skull it over the green.
After playing several rounds, I have learned to trust the Wilson FG Tour. It inspires a lot of confidence.
Visually, I find the FG Tour Wedge very pleasing. It has nice rounded edges, and a bezeled look, much like the fine woodwork my late father made. At address it looks as though it will bite, even on tight hard lies. Spun open, it lies flat and makes me think that I can, indeed, slide that leading edge under the ball.
The feel at impact is pleasant, if not particularly soft like some fine forgings. The average golfer will, I think, be very pleased with the way it feels.
The bottom line is that the Wilson FG Tour has replaced my old gap wedge in the bag. That’s a big decision for me because I rely very heavily on my short game. I do not hit the ball a long way, so once I get near the green, the ball has to get close and then get in. I give up shots off the tee. I can’t give them up elsewhere. Pitching, chipping and putting are my game.
If your wedge is more than a couple of years old, I think you’ll find that the Wilson FG Tour not only replaces your old U-groove wedges; it actually improves on them.