Are you looking for more distance with your irons? Let’s face it, who
isn’t? I tried a set of Wilson Di11 irons to find out if they really are
“distance irons” the way the company claims.
Irons designed for distance should be “plug and play” – you shouldn’t need to know all their technical specifications in order to hit them long. All you really need to know is whether they produce a consistently long ball flight, give you effective feedback on both good and bad hits, deliver a fair amount of accuracy and workability, and have an appealing appearance that gives you confidence. But some of our readers like knowing the technical stuff, so I’ll start this review by describing their features. Once we get through those details, I’ll share my personal impressions, based on playing them for a couple of rounds.
A set of Wilson Di11 irons usually includes the 4-iron through pitching wedge plus a gap wedge (as an aside, next to my driver, my trusty gap wedge is my favorite club and I recommend that every golfer have one in his or her bag). These irons can be purchased with one of three shaft options: a 95-gram, wide-tip SL-95 steel shaft in “Uniflex” or stiff flex; a 65-gram Uniflex UST Proforce Tip Control wide-tip graphite shaft (55 grams in ladies flex); or a 76-gram Half & Half shaft (half steel, half graphite) in regular flex. Each of the shaft options is paired with a stock Lamkin grip.
The company claims the irons have a sweet spot which is significantly larger than other maximum game-improvement irons, including those made by PING, Callaway and TaylorMade. According to Wilson, the ball also comes off the face of these clubs faster than the clubs of these competitors.
Like many game-improvement irons, the center of gravity of these irons is positioned low and deep in the head to promote high trajectories, a higher resistance to club head twisting (a high Moment of Inertia), and a straighter, longer, more accurate ball flight. Wilson says that resistance to twisting on off-center hits is also enhanced by the wide-tip shafts used in Wilson Di11 irons. A large, undercut cavity enlarges the sweet spot out toward the toe, the part of the face where Wilson says most amateurs miss. Wilson coats this cavity with a lightweight elastomer substance to dampen the harsh vibrations that would otherwise occur when the ball is hit poorly.
Elsewhere on this site, I’ve mentioned my belief that Wilson’s golf clubs have been underrated for a while now. So, are Wilson Di11 irons spearheading a new era for the company’s clubs? Do they deserve more respect than they’ve been getting? Read on to see what I think.
I couldn’t resist the temptation of Wilson’s proprietary “Half and Half” shafts: I had to see what they were like. And yep, they felt heavy compared to all-graphite shafts.
I liked the irons’ thin top line at address, but the soles were wider than I prefer, and their offset spelled trouble for my natural draw (I kept hitting them left). Don’t go by me, though. I didn’t care for them, but the wide soles and offset of the Wilson Di11 irons could help a lot of golfers, especially higher-handicappers.
What I did like was their balanced feel, distance and forgiveness. The balls I hit off the heel or toe stayed on my target line pretty well, and I didn’t lose a ton of length on my miss-hits. Each of the irons in the set seemed two or three yards longer than my own clubs. That’s not a major distance gain, but it’s also nothing to sneeze at. And, I have to admit, the wide soles did make them fairly easy to hit out of the rough. Feel and feedback on impact were solid but seemed a bit subdued. If anything, I felt like the vibration-dampening technology in the Wilson Di11 irons worked a little too well. It felt like every shot was perfectly struck, so I would have liked a bit more harshness on my bad shots. I know I hit some, but the clubs didn’t really let me know.
The Bottom Line: Wilson Di11 irons with the Half & Half shafts were a little heavy for me, but they also gave me a little extra distance. Because of their weight, they might be best in the hands of stronger golfers, but for those who are able to handle them, average- to high-handicappers with slower swing speeds might find Wilson Di11 irons quite appealing. They’re even good-looking, especially for maximum game-improvement irons with extra-wide soles and fat shafts. Wilson’s back!