Martin Hopley
By Martin Hopley

The Golf Channel in the USA ran the Driver vs Driver reality show where amateur designers could pitch their ideas to create a new Wilson driver. The winner of the competition and $500,000 first prize was Eric Sillies. I met him at the 2017 PGA Merchandise Show just as his creation was revealed to the golf market for the first time.

Eric Sillies, Wilson Staff

Hi Eric. How does it feel to be here at the PGA Show with the Wilson Staff Triton driver that you designed?

It is really rewarding to see people pick it up and hit it and then see how much people are loving it. It goes straight and it goes far and it gives people the results they want. Everybody has been walking away with a smile on their face which brings a smile to my face. It is why I wanted to do it and has been very rewarding.

Which of the features on the Triton driver are you most proud of?

I think personally the Swing Active Technology alignment aid on the crown of the club. This is actually a tricky question, it’s like asking which of your kids is your favourite, right, but I think because there were a lot of people who were sceptical of it.

Wilson Staff Triton Driver

I believed in it and fought for it and now everyone who uses the club seems to love it, they use it even more and now the data is proving it is working, so I think that makes me proud.

It also makes me proud to say we have the most adjustable driver on the market, which I think is a very valid thing to have, so those two features are my favourites.

You say it is the most adjustable. How do you define that?

There are 260 different possible set ups to configure the driver in, but also doing it in a way which no-one else is doing with the changeable sole-plates and the three additional weight ports with all the different weights you can use there.

Eric Sillies, Wilson Staff

On top of that you have the hosel adjustment and the shaft offerings which makes it an unbelievably adjustable driver, so no matter what sort of golfer you are you can set it up so that it is going to help your game.

How did the ideas for the driver come to you?

When I first saw the opportunity on the Golf Channel to design a driver I spent hours poring over the market, poring over anything I could find about how people were trying to improve their golf game, I watched YouTube channels, anything I could do to fill my head with as much information as I could.

The weight adjustability was a little bit more of a grind, I knew that was something that most drivers are offering, but I knew I had to do it in a way that was unique and not just unique, but better.

Wilson Staff Triton Driver

The alignment aid was, I don’t want to say it was just an 'a-ha'. I started to realise that alignment is something that people are trying to adjust in training drills, so I wanted to figure out how I could integrate that into the physical driver itself to help people’s game.

The idea to put a stripe on the crown that was the width of the golf ball, I don’t remember where that came from as it was just one of those moments where you realised “that’s it!”. More of a 'eureka' moment, but also the result of a lot of research and study to figure out what I could do that was unique, but more importantly better.

What are your plans now? Are you thinking of doing a whole range of clubs?

I am part of the advisory Wilson Staff team so I am here to help out in whatever way I can. For me personally I am just trying to enjoy this, it’s been a lot of work to do this on top of a day job, so I want to enjoy it and ride the wave a little bit and see what’s next. Regardless, whatever is next for me personally, there is a lot of exciting stuff coming out from Wilson.

Thank you Eric

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