Wilson Staff Model R Ball Review

In this Wilson Staff Model R Ball Review, Joel Tadman assesses the unique cover design having tested it on the course

Wilson Staff Model R Ball Review
(Image credit: Future)
Golf Monthly Verdict

This golf ball performs well from tee to green but the claims of a straighter flight are difficult to validate, plus the unpainted cover does discolour more quickly and to a greater level, which makes it more difficult to spot in the rough.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Performs well in all areas of the bag

  • +

    Noticeably strong flight with the irons

  • +

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Unpainted cover discolors quickly

  • -

    Didn't notice a straighter ball flight

Wilson Staff Model R Ball Review

Wilson balls have very much been underrated in the last few years and impressive new launches like the Triad golf ball bolster this opinion.

But the Staff Model R offers something completely different to the premium golf ball market. It is distinguished by its raw, unpainted cover, which is said to ensure aerodynamic consistency and a precise ball flight to the intended target. It’s a claim we were keen to put to the test out on the course.

Wilson Staff Model and Staff Model R golf balls

The Wilson Staff Model R ball (right) has a raw, unpainted cover

(Image credit: Future)

The Staff Model R ball is extremely tacky to touch, which you would think would contribute to more friction and therefore more short game spin. But in reality, testing a 50-yard pitch shot on the Foresight GCQuad showed that it was its sister model, the Staff Model ball, that spun more on this shorter shot.

Off the tee this ball is supposed to come into its own by offering a straighter flight. Sadly, we couldn’t say with any certainty that the Staff Model R flies any straighter than our normal ball of choice - any differences in the flight would most likely be down to user error. It was long enough - certainly comparable to other tour-played balls in this sector in terms of carry distance, and it felt solid off the face.

This was the same with iron shots, producing a strong and consistent mid-to-low flight, with the Staff Model R ball spinning a little less on average. This actually allowed us to get a little more distance out of the ball, which certainly helped when hitting into the wind.

The cover of the Staff Model R ball does discolour a lot quicker than the Staff Model ball, as expected given the layer of protection it is missing, which made it a little more difficult to spot in thick rough and generally makes the ball look tired sooner than others.

Joel has worked in the golf industry for over 12 years covering both instruction and more recently equipment. He now oversees all product content here at Golf Monthly, managing a team of talented and passionate writers and presenters in delivering the most thorough and accurate reviews, buying advice, comparisons and deals to help the reader find exactly what they are looking for. So whether it's the latest driver, irons, putter or laser rangefinder, Joel has his finger on the pulse keeping up to date with the latest releases in golf. He is also responsible for all content on irons and golf tech, including distance measuring devices and launch monitors.


During these enjoyable years he has had some money-can't-buy experiences, like interviewing Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy one-on-one and covering the 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor. 


One of his career highlights came when covering the 2012 Masters he got to play the sacred Augusta National course on the Monday after the tournament concluded, shooting a respectable 87 with just one par and four birdies. To date, his best ever round of golf is a 5-under 67 back in 2011. He currently plays his golf at Burghley Park Golf Club in Stamford, Lincs, with a handicap index of 4.7.


Joel's current What's In The Bag? 

Driver: TaylorMade SIM2, 9° 

Fairway wood: Titleist TSi3, 15° 

Hybrid: Titleist TSi2, 18° 

Irons: TaylorMade P770, 4-PW 

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM8, 50°, 54° and 58° 

Putter: Evnroll ER2V 

Ball: 2021 Titleist Pro V1x