By Mike Stachura
The new Wilson Staff Model Utility Iron might not be exactly the right fit for every level of player, but it just might be the exactly right club to win you a U.S. Open.
That certainly was the case early this year when Gary Woodland conquered the field and Pebble Beach Golf Links in June to win the national championship with the yet-to-be-released club in his bag.
Woodland, who plays an 18-degree model, used the Wilson Staff Model Utility Iron in establishing his 36-hole lead, including a second-round 65 where he hit 71 percent of his fairways.
Woodland used the club exactly how it might work for many players, whether or not they’re contending for a U.S. Open: It’s a backup driver with forgiveness and a face technology that enhances ball speed.
The Wilson Staff Model Utility Iron features the compact iron design similar to the shaping of the Staff Model blades (also used by Woodland), but features a slight cavity to the muscleback shaping.
But while the shaping is blade-like, this a hollow-body design made of 17-4 stainless steel that features a thin high-strength C300 maraging steel face insert for better flexing and faster ball speeds.
Inside the head, weight is pushed low with steel structure to house a weight port that houses a 7-gram weight.
The low weighting helps drop the clubhead’s center of gravity for higher launch with less spin. The entire head is nickel chrome plated for the look preferred by Wilson’s staff of tour players.
The company’s entire tour roster uses the Staff Model Utility Iron, depending on the course in play that week. In addition to Woodland’s 18-degree model, Brendan Steele (18, 21, and 24 degrees), Kevin Streelman (18 degrees), Padraig Harrington (21 degrees) and Ricky Barnes (18 degrees) have put the club in play this year.
“We are excited to bring the utility irons to golfers and believe the strong mix of distance and forgiveness will enable players to attack the course with more confidence,” said Jon Pergande, Wilson’s manager of golf club innovation.
The Wilson Staff Model Utility Irons (KBS Tour Hybrid graphite shaft) come in 18-, 21- and 24-degree lofts. They are slated to be in stores December.