Product Watch: “Raw” Ball Is Next Market Entry For Wilson Golf

When consumers choose a golf ball to play, often the determining factors in their buying decision are things like distance, feel, price, or even brand. But do they ever think about paint and how it impacts a golf ball’s performance? It’s unlikely but a new ball from Wilson might draw their attention that.

Just hitting the market this week is the Wilson Staff Model R which distinguishes itself by having an unpainted cover to help ensure consistency in aerodynamics and ball flight.

Targeted at low handicap players and PGA TOUR professionals, this 4-piece model sports a Urethane cover to prioritize feel and spin but it is the outer part of that cover that sets this ball apart.

“Staff Model R is unpainted as the dimple cross-section geometry and the pattern of dimples on a golf ball are critical aerodynamic elements that affect the flight performance of the ball in terms of trajectory, distance and directional stability. These dimples are a mere 0.004-0.007 inches deep and super sensitive to the level of paint on the ball,” said Bob Thurman, Vice President Wilson Labs. 

Wilson Staff Model R Golf Ball

“The painting process can frequently result in balls with poor, uneven paint coverage and pooling of paint in these shallow dimples,” said Frank Simonutti, Global Director of Golf Ball Innovation. “This can significantly affect the trajectory and the directional stability of the flight of the ball. By eliminating the paint, we were able to eliminate all of the short comings attributed to the paint process used on all golf balls.“

According to Thurman, under a black light, it is very easy to observe inconsistencies and paint pooling in the dimples. “Our internal testing* shows that tour quality balls on the market can drift offline as much as +/- 25 feet on a 200-yard 5 Iron shot. The Staff Model R ball’s urethane cover has been left completely unpainted, creating a nearly perfect aerodynamic surface that can be relied on to deliver the ball to its intended target,” concluded Thurman.

Although the removal of paint allows for ball flight to the intended target, the lack of paint protection may compromise the physical look of the ball. Given paint on golf balls is primarily for glossy appearance, UV stability and stain resistance, the Staff Model R may eventually stain and discolour during play depending on turf, weather and course conditions.

The Staff Model R ball became available on Wilson.com and at select retailers starting on November 17th, 2020.

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