Could a set of Wilson Staff Ci9 irons help any golfer, or are they just intended for professionals and low-handicap amateurs? After a quick introduction, I’ll share what I learned when I took a demo set out onto the course for a full round of golf.
First though, I’m happy to see that Wilson golf equipment is finally starting to get some recognition. For example, Wilson Staff’s “C” series irons have been receiving some much-deserved accolades.
Wilson Staff Ci9 irons are a completely redesigned version of the “C” irons, but they’re also winning awards. In case you’ve been wondering, the “C” in the name stands for “control.”
With a name like that, you’d expect these irons to be extremely accurate and allow players to “bend” the ball at will. The company says the heads of these irons have the shape Tour players prefer. So, are these irons designed just for highly skilled players, or would they also work well for mid- to high-handicappers?
What I found out about these award-winning irons might surprise you. As Wilson says, the heads have the thinner topline that skilled players prefer. But, they also have a moderate, progressive offset and medium-sized heads, making them appealing to golfers of all skill levels.
An “exoskeleton” surrounding the back cavity positions weight near the heel and toe to produce a high Moment of Inertia (“MOI”) and increase the club head’s stability, control and forgiveness. Those characteristics are real confidence-boosters for mid- to high-handicappers.
Their high MOI and a center of gravity that’s positioned directly behind the sweet spot make these irons forgiving and powerful. And that’s exactly the type of club that can help an average player elevate his or her game.
Add the solid sound and feel that Wilson Staff Ci9 irons are capable of delivering, and suddenly you have clubs that are suitable for just about any golfer. Naturally, the grooves comply with the conditions of competition established by the USGA and the R&A.
Out on the course, I learned that the clubs would be a good choice for “better” players who want workability and a classic look, but they’d also be good for average players who need forgiveness and distance. The back cavity looks pretty high-tech, but the look at address is pretty traditional.
There’s one thing less skillful golfers (or perhaps I should say “golfers with slower swing speeds”) should watch out for with Wilson Staff Ci9 irons. The center of gravity is directly behind the sweet spot (which will help with distance and accuracy), but it’s also placed higher than the center of gravity of many game-improvement irons. The higher center of gravity promotes a higher spin rate and an enhanced ability to work the ball, but it also makes it harder to achieve a high trajectory if your swing speed is on the slow side.
When I struck the ball crisply, I was rewarded with a relatively high ball flight (despite the fairly high center of gravity) and a solid, pleasing feel. Unfortunately, the feel was similarly solid on my miss-hits, so I can’t say the clubs gave me the type of feedback that would let beginners know they missed the sweet spot. The only penalty on miss-hit shots was a slight loss of distance – most of my off-center shots stayed more or less on their target line, and I didn’t experience any overly harsh vibrations. As a result, I’d rate these irons as being extremely forgiving.
The clubs consistently sent the ball where I aimed it. I felt as though the longer irons in the set (the 4-iron and 5-iron) were more consistent than the long irons of many other sets I’ve evaluated. I was also able to work the ball from right to left (I have a natural draw, so this is pretty easy for me with just about any club) and left to right (more difficult for me, but I could do it with these Wilson Staff Ci9 irons).
The stock set starts with a 4-iron and goes through the pitching wedge, but it also includes a gap wedge. A sand wedge and a 3-iron are sold separately. The stock shaft for Wilson Staff Ci9 irons is a step-less steel FST, but other shafts (including graphite) are options.
The Bottom Line: I’d prefer more feedback on miss-hits, but there’s no question that Wilson Staff Ci9 irons are forgiving. Control and workability were more than acceptable. Feel was solid, whether I struck the ball properly or not. But other than their lack of feedback, I was extremely impressed, and I loved the thinner topline. If you want a dose of confidence along with classic looks, you might want to try out the Wilson Staff Ci9 irons yourself.