Designed to be both versatile and forgiving, Wilson Staff DXi hybrids are among the clubs Wilson Sporting Goods is hoping will help re-establish its reputation as one of the world’s top club makers. Are the clubs succeeding? And do they deserve to be in your bag?
Wilson Staff clubs are the company’s high-end line of clubs. I had been hearing some good things about these hybrids and that made me curious, so I tried them out on the course for a few rounds. Naturally, I formed some opinions about them in the process. So, here’s a description of some of their features, along with my personal review of the Wilson Staff DXi hybrids.
Wilson Golf says these hybrids were created after two years’ of input from Wilson staff professional Padraig Harrington. That seems like a pretty good pedigree to me – Harrington’s won three majors in his career, and that’s three more than I’ll ever see. But does Harrington’s heavy involvement mean the hybrids were developed strictly for the pros and low-handicap amateurs?
Based on their specs (and how they played when I took them out), I’d say no. They might be designed to satisfy golf’s most demanding players (PGA Tour professionals), but they include several features that make them suitable for higher handicap players too.
First, their sloped-crown design and weight concentration place the center of gravity low in the head to promote a high ball trajectory from any kind of lie. A large-radius sole makes it easier to strike the ball purely from uneven lies but still allows the head to sit flat at address when the terrain is better.
Like many of today’s other clubs, these hybrids use a design that varies the thickness of the face to enlarge the sweet spot. In the case of these clubs, their three-zone “variable face thickness” design brings the sweet spot out toward the heel and toe of the face.
The stock shafts used are Aldila VooDoo SVS8s, topped by Lamkin grips. These high modulus graphite shafts are said to be 80% stronger and stiffer than regular graphite shafts. They’re available in stiff, regular and light flex.
Wilson Staff DXi hybrids come in 16-, 19-, 22- and 25-degree lofts. I tested the 19-, 22- and 25-degree versions with the stock VooDoo shaft in regular flex.
The whole point of hybrids, in my opinion, is to help players who struggle with their long irons - clubs that are infamously difficult for many golfers to hit properly. Hybrids are intended to substitute for long irons, producing shots that are about the same distance. Fortunately, they’re generally much easier to hit and the ball flight they produce is usually much higher than what you get with long irons. The clubs I hit did a good job of both, giving me good distance and a trajectory that was higher than I usually get with a 3- or 4-iron. They also gave me reasonable accuracy, even on shots hit off the heel or toe.
I loved their simple, solid look at address. They set up well behind the ball and felt balanced throughout my swings – I never lost track of where the heads were in my backswings, but they didn’t feel overly heavy, either. Their distance was surprisingly long on crisply-hit balls, and the yardage loss on heel and toe shots wasn’t overly severe. The sweet spot felt big and hot, which definitely boosted my confidence.
Hitting out of the rough was much easier than with a long iron, and hitting these clubs off the tee on par threes and short par fours was a breeze. I was even able to work the Wilson Staff DXi hybrids in both directions. I consider that a real bonus in a hybrid that’s this forgiving. The only “fault” I could really identify in the Wilson Staff DXi hybrids was their subdued feel: I often had a hard time telling the difference between good shots and bad based on the feel, because both types of shots felt about the same. A little more feedback would have been nice.
The Bottom Line: I wouldn’t call the Wilson Staff DXi hybrids the best hybrids I’ve ever hit, but their performance was clearly more than just “respectable.” I know Wilson hasn’t been getting much credit for its golf clubs lately, but I’d be happy to put any of the Wilson Staff DXi hybrids in my bag. These are solid clubs that are easy to swing, launch the ball high, and are forgiving enough to help golfers of any skill level.