There's much to admire in this inexpensive Wilson ball and if you're open to trying a matte finish, the greenside feel on offer here is among the softest
Low compression makes it suitable for more moderate swing speeds
Excellent feel around the greens for an inexpensive ball
Matte finish and colour (certainly in the yellow model) make it hard to see the dimples in certain lights
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Wilson DUO Optix Golf Ball Review
One of the latest models in the Wilson golf ball range is this new two-piece Wilson Staff Duo Optix, available in a matte finish in a vibrant range of colours (yellow, red, green and orange). Wilson says that the finish is semi-translucent and one interesting side-effect of this was getting the colours to really show through in our photographs as they had a tendency to bleach out a little, but we got there in the end!
The number of decent-performing matte-finish golf balls has increased markedly in recent years with Titleist, Callaway, TaylorMade and Srixon all getting in on the act with certain models in their ranges, so the first thing to say would be that if the idea or looks of a matte-finish ball doesn’t do it for you, you’re probably going to struggle to get past the visuals. Yes, the finish and colour do give this ball a slightly disconcerting dimpleless appearance at address in duller light – certainly in the yellow model we tested – but it could well be worth persevering given the overall performance on offer for less than £20 a dozen.
First of all, there’s no doubt that a matte finish eliminates that distracting glare you sometimes get off the cover of a golf ball on bright sunny days. Then there’s the excellent greenside feel and performance on offer. In truth, the cover doesn’t feel that soft to the touch, but on and around the greens it really is buttery-soft off the blade, so if you’re someone who takes real confidence from how soft a ball feels on and around the greens, then the Duo Optix is well worth trying. It’s one of the softest-feeling golf balls out there, primarily due to the soft, highly resilient polybutadiene core that lies at the heart of this ball.
The ball felt good off the face and seemed to deliver our usual expected distances both off the tee and into the greens. Out of season it might be worth trying one of the other three colours as our yellow test model did occasionally prove a little elusive in among the leaves, where the green, red and orange models would perhaps have more standout.
Most of all though, this ball offers very good all-round performance for the price, with its incredibly soft feel its prime USP.
Jeremy Ellwood has worked in the golf industry since 1993 and for Golf Monthly since 2002 when he started out as equipment editor. He is now a freelance journalist writing mainly for Golf Monthly across the whole spectrum from courses and Rules to equipment and even instruction despite his own somewhat iffy swing (he knows how to do it, but just can't do it himself). He also edits The Golf Club Secretary Newsletter, has authored or co-authored three books and written for a number of national papers including The Telegraph and The Independent. He is a senior panelist for Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK & Ireland Course Rankings and has played all of the Top 100 plus 89 of the Next 100. He has played well over 900 courses worldwide in 35 countries, but put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content. On his first trip to Abu Dhabi a decade ago he foolishly asked Paul Casey what sort of a record he had around the course there. "Well, I've won it twice if that's what you mean!" came the reply...
Jezz can be contacted via Twitter - @JezzEllwoodGolf
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