Category Archives: Golf News

Wilson Staff D300 Super Game Improvement Irons – They’re a Game Changer!

The Wilson Staff name is certainly making a comeback; no longer is it thought of as a brand that you can pick up at Kmart or Sam’s Club. Their stable of young PGA Tour professionals has grown over the last couple of years as they realize the quality of this once fabled brand. Having a hit show on The Golf Channel in 2016 where companies competed to create a new driver for Wilson didn’t hurt either.

Like all golf equipment companies, Wilson continues to pour out new equipment, or at least upgrade current models. If you have been following Wilson Staff over the last few years, then you are aware of how they “classify” their irons: F-C-D. Feel, Control and Distance. Every year, one of them gets a facelift and this year it’s D’s turn.

Their newest offering in the distance category is the D300 iron. This super game improvement stick has a certain eye appeal. The more lofted the club, the less metal is visible behind the clubface; wedges are hardly noticeable. As you work your way up to the 4-iron, the appearance of the club’s backside becomes more predominant. For golfers who fit the super game improvement category, this is a good thing. The mass in the back of the clubs leaves no doubt that you will be able to get the ball up in the air quickly. And, with the 60 grams of weight that have been moved to the perimeter of the clubhead, you’ll find that your miss hits aren’t as bad as they used to be. When you add in features like FLX Face technology which increases ball speed off the clubface, you’ll find a little added distance.

Wilson Staff introduced FLX Face technology in the C200 irons and it has proven to be a worthwhile distance gaining feature. It allows for over 75% of the clubface to be unattached to the rest of the clubhead, creating a greater trampoline effect in the clubface. The “Power Holes” around the face are filled with TE031 Urethane and allow this flexing to take place. Throw in the heel and toe weight pods on the perimeter of the club head and you’ve got increase forgiveness.

The sweet spot on the D300s is about the size of a silver dollar and shots hit in the center of the clubface feel sweet and effortless. Because of the TE031 Urethane in the Power Holes, miss hits sound somewhat muted and distance is barely sacrificed. Although the topline and sole on the D300 are thick, and the Power Holes are clearly visible at address, the results this club produces will have you forgetting all about them.

The sole of the new D300 is relatively the same size as the previous model and the polished chrome area in the center of the sole is raised a bit. This helps the club glide effortlessly through the turf and allows you to make better contact with the ball, even in rough and uneven lies.

The back side of the club head is decked out in red and black, and, when combined with the polished chrome finish, inspires confidence. If you’re looking for straight – as most high handicappers are – then the D300 irons are for you.

Last Word:  Although Wilson Staff has strengthened the lofts and added a ¼” to the shafts, the engineering of the new D300 has a lot to do with the increase in distance you will see. Wilson uses the new KBS Tour 80 as their stock steel shaft. It’s a lighter weight version of the KBS Tour, and offers a high launch, and higher spin rate and is designed specifically for players who needs help getting the ball up in the air for more carry.  Graphite shafts are also available. The WS Tour Traction grips are comfortable and fit nicely into your hands.

With the D300 irons, you’ll find that even if you don’t hit the center of the clubface every time, your distance isn’t going to suffer; these irons are super forgiving. Good thing to know when you go for that pin tucked behind a bunker. If you’re a high handicapper looking for a new set of super game improvement irons then you owe it to your game to consider the new Wilson Staff D300s. Check them out online at www.wilson.com.

The Legends Course at Orange Lake Resort – A Great Value in the Orlando Area

Odds are that Kemmons Wilson is not a household name or even a name that comes up every now and then in golf locker rooms around the country, but believe it or not, the man had a lot to do with the proliferation of professional golf in the US. Wilson is the founder of Holiday Inn and if you were to ask any professional golfer from the 50’s and 60’s, you’ll probably hear stories of how Holiday took them in and gave them a place to stay while they competed.

On the other hand, the name Arnold Palmer is a household name; it’s probably safe to say that, because he dabbled in so many other things beside golf, his name is well-known outside of golf too. Arnold Palmer has arguably done as much for golf as anyone else.

Put these two together and what do you get? The Legends Course at Orange Lake Resort in Orlando, Florida.

Orange Lake Resort is known for upscale condo-style accommodations, villas and timeshares as well as a complete array of amenities that include swimming pools, tennis, miniature golf, a fitness center, lots of dining and meeting room options, 2 championship 18-hole golf courses and two executive courses; one that is lit for night play.

Arnold Palmer Design Group built the Legends Course. There are five sets of tees to challenge men and women of all abilities. The Back Tees measure 7,072 yards with a slope rating of 132 and a course rating of 72.2. I found the Blue Tees at 6,263 yards (71.1/124) was the perfect length for my game and allowed me to leave with a little dignity still intact. Seniors will be challenged at 5,780 yards (68.7/120) while ladies will enjoy the Yellow Tees (5,188/92.3/120). Pick the tees that best match your game and you’re sure to have a good time.

The Legends Course is a tale of two nines. The front side – sometimes referred to as the Links Nine – features wide fairways with significant landing areas and lots of rolling terrain. The Links Nine is much longer than the back (Pines) nine and has a real resort feel as it winds through the various lodging options of the resort. Water comes into play on about 4 holes on the outward nine as opposed to 7 of nine holes on the inward side. Many of these water hazards are pressed up against the greens and create precarious approach shots. The Pines Nine also features several fairways lined with Florida pines and majestic live oak trees that create narrow corridors off the tee. Several holes feature rock retaining walls that front the greens – a Palmer Design trademark.

Most Memorable Hole: Number 18: Par 5, 400 yards (Blue Tees). This long, dogleg left features water on the left side that starts into play about 250 yards off the tee. There is also fairway bunker in play on the left side off the tee and a waste bunker on the right. A good tee shot will still leave a long to mid-iron into and elevated green protected by sand and water on the left and a lot of mounding on the right.

Favorite Par 3: Number 3, 200 yards (Blue Tees). This long par 3 plays slightly downhill, but not quite a club less. It’s well protected on either side by deep-lipped bunkers that can make for a tough sandy. This can be a tough hole on a windy day, so choose your club wisely off the tee.

Favorite Par 4: Number 13, 375 yards (Blue Tees). Aesthetically, this signature hole is probably the nicest hole on the course. Your tee shot is blind and uphill; just aim for the middle of the fairway. From there, you should have a mid-iron downhill over water into a large multi-tiered green that features a lot of undulation. It’s a fun hole to look at; it’s even better to play!

Favorite Par 5: Number 4, 565 yards. Number 4 doglegs to the right and then back to the left, with all kinds of trouble along the way. It’s a double dogleg that features water on the right off the tee that comes into play if you try to get greedy. Steer clear of the water off the tee and you’ll have plenty of room for your layup shot. As the hole makes the second dogleg, you’ll be faced with a large waste bunker on the left side. If your approach shot is in the 150+ yards range, you’re facing a blind approach shot into a very small green protected front right and left by bunkers and water if you go long.

Last Word: The Legends Course at Orange Lake Resort is anything but your typical resort course. There are a lot of doglegs – both right and left – that require both length and accuracy to set up a second shot. There are a lot of elevation changes – 10 feet is a lot in this part of Florida – that create blind tee shots and layups. Large lips on many of the bunkers add a bit of difficulty getting it close out of the sand. And the greens – although a little on the slow side – feature a lot of undulation. Several have ridges in the middle that create multiple tiers. Another atypical feature about the Legends Course is the small greens; they really test your accuracy.

After your round, be sure to stop by the Legacy Grill, located in the Legend’s clubhouse. Guests can relax either indoors or out in the comfortable sports-themed setting. Enjoy food and drink with friends and family, all served by a friendly, knowledgeable staff. The restaurant is open from 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM, so breakfast, lunch and dinner are all in play. The menu is vast and has something for even the most discriminating of pallets. They also serve all your favorite post-golf libations.

The next time you find yourself in the Disney area with your golf clubs and several hours to kill, give the Legends Course at Orange Lake Resort a call at (407) 239-1050 or visit the website, www.orangelakegolf.com.

Sandpines Golf Links Receives Recognition

Golf Course Recognized by Pacific Northwest Golfer Magazine

Par-3 eighth hole selected as one of the ‘Great Holes of the Northwest’

In the November 2017 issue of Pacific Northwest Golfer magazine, the par-3 eighth hole at Sandpines Golf Links in Florence, Ore. is recognized as one of the “Great Holes of the Northwest,” one of just four holes selected each year by the Northwest’s largest and longest-running golf publication.

With six different tee boxes, there are numerous ways to set up this downhill par-3, making it a different hole each time it is played. There are dunes on the right and a hillside covered with trees on the left, so it’s a narrow chute looking down at the green. But it opens up down below, and the open area in front of the putting surface allows for an easy run-up shot. There is a large deep-faced bunker that sits on the left and a smaller pot bunker on the right. The green is receptive, with the left side sloping toward the middle and has an undulation in the center, making a back-right hole location difficult to get to.

Designed by world-renowned architect Rees Jones, Sandpines Golf Links opened in 1993 and was immediately lauded as the “Best New Course in America” by Golf Digest. Sandpines has recently hosted the 2016 Pacific Northwest Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship and the 2017 Pacific Northwest Junior Boys’ and Junior Girls’ championships.