REVIEW: Wilson Staff 8802 Putter
Different Putter Designs
Testing a putter is both the easiest and least objective process in the world. Metrics like ball speed, clubhead speed, or launch conditions are obviously not needed, but that doesn't mean one putter isn't more forgiving than the next.
Bladed putters with smaller, thinner clubheads (like the 8802) are less forgiving in terms of roll and distance control than, say, a mallet putter. Off-center putts are more easily corrected on less forgiving models as you can feel where you hit the putt in your hands.
Besides, the only metric that really matters is whether or not the ball goes in the hole.
The Wilson Staff 8802 putter falls more in the "better player" category, but only because of its design and lower forgiveness on off-center contact. Instant feedback is this beauty's main quality, which I'll argue is vitally important to players of any skill level.
Look and Feel
The Wilson Staff 8802 putter is gorgeous.
The precision-milled clubhead features soft, rounded lines and a smooth polish you would expect from a top-notch club design. The 8802 face features a modern design and tech wrapped around a subtle and classy Wilson Staff logo toward the heel. A single line featuring the company's name is found on the back of the club.
The putter's feel is also superb. Putts hit on the sweet spot feel soft and muted in your hands while impact sound is slightly "hard" or sharp. This sound is to be expected on a milled putter and adds to the overall classic nature of the club.
Putts hit off the toe or heel feel like they should: you hit a poor putt, so make a better stroke next time.
You get what you get with the Wilson Staff 8802 and no high-tech performance features. This is not a negative; you just have to know what you're getting with a classic putter design.
I thoroughly enjoyed putting with the 8802. The small clubhead with no aiming line takes some getting used to, but I found it to be less distracting. I didn't worry about an aiming line and instead just picked my target line and rolled the putt. I found myself practicing longer than usual, and it had everything to do with loving how the 8802 felt.
The 8802 produced a true roll on putts hit anywhere on the face. They also stayed true to the target line nicely despite losing speed on putts hit on the toe or heel. Players who prefer an open-and-close putting stroke on a slight arc will love the 8802 the most.
The Wilson Staff 8802 putter is fantastic. Its feel and performance is superb, but will take a few practice sessions to get used to. When you do, however, the 8802 might be the most fun putter to roll you've ever used. It's found a safe place in my golf bag for the foreseeable future.
The Wilson Staff 8802 retails for $179.99.