Wilson Staff has long been known as a golf equipment company that caters to players looking for a boost in confidence without breaking the bank. The Wilson Staff D300 and C200 irons are playable by handicaps of any level with a focus on distance (D) and control (C), respectively. I had the chance to test both iron sets recently. How would they compare, and would I prefer one over the other?
Finding the right clubs for you
What golf clubs are you supposed to play?
That question is one I've toiled with over the years as my game has improved. It seems every golf equipment company offers a range of iron options, each designed specifically for golfers of a targeted handicap level. We are lead to believe that blades are meant for only low-handicap players while chunky super-game-improvement cavity backs are meant for beginners.
While I understand that companies are trying to make purchasing golf clubs easier, I believe placing golfers into silos introduces an unnecessary constraint on their decision making.
For example, as a 9-handicap, I'm technically supposed to favor an iron like the C200. However, as a golfer who only plays once a week (maybe), could I benefit more from irons like the D300s?
I decided to go into my test with an open mind and hoped for the best.
Look and Feel
Both the Wilson Staff C200 and D300 irons feature a design that scream "Wilson Pride." Red, silver, and black tones surround each clubhead, making both irons "pop" with color. Chrome perimeters add a shiny glare on a clear day, but not to the extreme that I've seen from other companies.
I like my irons to look sharp and traditional. The C200 and D300 irons, while sharp, look anything but "traditional."
The classic Wilson Staff shield is displayed predominantly on the back of both irons, however the clubs' Power Holes along their perimeter give an interesting (maybe off-putting?) first impression. Admittedly I was not blown away by the Power Holes design, but felt the remainder of the clubs' design was modern by not too edgy. I particularly enjoyed the look of the D300 irons.
In terms of feel, both irons were similar in that pured shots produced a sharp, crisp sound at impact. This translated to a soft yet powerful feel, however the thinner C200 irons had a tendency to feel harsh on miss-hits. This is to be expected, of course, as the thicker D300 irons have more "meat" behind the ball to be more forgiving.
Using my trusty VoiceCaddy personal ball launch monitor, I measured the average carry distance and ball speed produced by the 5- and 7-irons from both sets. All shots were struck from driving range mats and using new Srixon range balls. All irons featured standard length and lie angles. Each featured stock KBS steel shafts.
The Wilson Staff D300 5-iron (23* of loft) produced an average carry distance of 181.2 yards (minimum = 177, maximum = 190) and an average ball speed of 122 mph. This is slightly longer than my gamers, which feature a loft of 25*.
The D300 7-iron (29.5*) produced an average carry distance of 163.8 yards (min = 160, max = 169) and an average ball speed of 115.6 mph. Surprisingly, this was slightly shorter than my gamers (32*).
The Wilson Staff C200 5-iron (25*) produced an average carry of 183 yards (min = 178, max = 188) and an average ball speed of 124.3 mph. Like the D300 irons, this was longer than my current irons.
Finally, the C200 7-iron (32*) carried an average of 160.2 yards (min = 150, max = 164) and ball speeds averaged out at 114 mph. This, too, was shorter than my current irons.
Generally speaking, I much preferred the feel and performance of the D300 irons compared to their C200 siblings.
While long iron distance was greater and dispersion was tighter with the C200's, their ball flight seemed to balloon at times. This obviously lead to the ball being in the air longer -- hence more distance -- but I couldn't help but wonder how this would change on windy days. As built, and without a shaft change, the C200's felt like they could get away from me.
Ah, but we mustn't forget that the D300 irons feature stronger lofts per iron. Definitely something to consider should you be in the market for super GI irons.
Also of note: the wider shot distance range of the D300's. You need to know how far your irons are going to fly (pretty much) every single time. While a bigger shot sample size would eventually minimize outliers, a 13-yard jump in shot distance is basically a full club. That's concerning.
Both iron sets were similar in terms of left or right shot control. The D300's are basically point-and-shoot while the C200's were more workable.
Which clubs should you play for your game? Whatever makes you happy.
I could easily play the Wilson Staff D300 irons tomorrow. They're super easy to hit and are an absolute blast to play. They look great for a super GI iron, feel even better, and over time you won't even notice the Power Holes.
But if you prefer a thinner and smaller clubhead profile, the Wilson Staff C200 irons are the better option. I'd like to try another shaft in these irons one day to get the ball flight lower, because their playability is undoubtedly sharp.
What are your thoughts? Share them below or contact me via email at email@example.com.