Golfalot reviewed the original Wilson Staff D7 irons last year and we were impressed. They produced some good ball data whilst boasting even more impressive value for money - always a good combination in our humble opinion.
2020 has seen the launch of the slightly sleeker, more compact shaped D7 Forged irons, which I have to say caught my eye at first sight. With a few more added bells and whistles than the standard D7 irons you do pay a little extra for them, so my questions in this review are: have Wilson justified the price increase, and where do they sit alongside the original D7 irons?
What's It All About?
Wilson say that the D7 Forged is here to provide another option for better players in terms of looks and feel, whilst still providing the distance and forgiveness benefits that the D7 was renowned for.
As with most irons in recent years from Wilson including the D300 and C300 irons the D7 Forged are immediately recognisable thanks to the rows of power holes on the sole of the club.
Although it may not suit every golfer's taste, Wilson's team of boffins clearly like the idea and the performance benefits of having the power holes in their irons so have stuck to their guns. The idea behind the technology remains the same: allowing the face to flex more at impact and therefore improving ball speed, which theoretically should also give golfers a couple of extra yards of distance.
The main new difference from D7 irons to the D7 Forged is the addition of the a new power chamber that is filled with urethane inside the head, and lower on the face, to improve ball speed and reduce vibration at impact. This should result in a more desirable, better players' iron feel and sound at impact.
Finally, the face is forged from a soft 8620 Carbon steel, with a slightly thicker sole which makes room for the power holes and lowers the CG. Surprise surprise, again this all combines to raise ball speeds, as well as producing higher launch and spin.
What Wilson Say...
"Combining the distance technologies from the original D7 line with the aesthetics of Wilson Staff's players irons, the D7 Forged irons provide an ideal blend of maximum distance and ultimate feel for golfers looking for effortless distance and ultimate control."
"Through the optimised sole and face thickness, urethane-filled Power Chamber and centred power holes, the new D7 Forged provides golfers world-class ball speeds, shot-making ability and a soft forged feel across the entire club face."
Jon Pergande, Manager of Golf Club Innovation at Wilson Golf UK
With this iron test I hit the driving range and went through the bag during a full morning of testing. Usually when testing irons, manufacturers only send out a sample set of either three or four irons, but Wilson kindly sent me a full set from 4-PW of the D7 Forged irons so I wanted to make sure I hit them all.
I was testing at Trafford Golf Centre on their fantastic two-tier driving range and analysing the ball data on their Flightscope simulator.
Wilson Staff D7 Forged Irons Review
The reason I was first attracted to these irons was because I thought "they look like the sort of iron that would suit my game." Having heard about the tech, the sort of player they were aimed at, the price point and exactly what they are said to offer, it really does fall in line with what I would look for in a set of irons.
Looks-wise, on the shelf, Wilson have produced an aesthetically impressive set of irons here. I certainly think that losing the blue/grey colour scheme from the D7 irons was a good decision. The Forged model just looks that little bit more premium to me, it just has more style. The new power chamber has a nice design on it that really catches the eye, making them a definite improvement from the D7 and C300 irons in this area.
At address the compact head strikes a nice balance in size. They're not 'massive' behind the ball, but they're certainly not scary-small either. There is a tad of offset combined with a medium sized top line which I liked especially in the longer irons as I had confidence with the 4 iron in my hands, which isn't always the case with better player irons. I felt like I could go after it and not worry too much about the strike.
I'd go as far as to say, I think these are some of the nicest looking irons we will see in 2020. Wilson have outdone themselves by combining simple and contemporary designs nicely. They could easily be mistaken for a Titleist iron, they remind me of the Titleist 718 AP2 a little, which can only be a compliment.
Having said that, there is one snag - I can't get on with the looks of the power holes, especially when I had the irons in my bag. I think they look terrible to be honest and can imagine them being a nightmare to keep clean and stop from wearing over the years after regular use.
In summary, at address and on the shelf they look great. In your golf bag, not so much.
The feel of these irons is great. Despite the reasonably sized cavity, when caught out of the screws they felt solid yet soft. I wouldn't go quite as far as to say 'buttery', but I think given the forgiveness they offer, the feel was impressive.
The only thing I would say is that in the shorter irons, better players would want that little bit more feel and response of the club face at strike. In the PW, 9, and 8 iron I like to feel the ball almost sticking and reacting with the face at impact to get that instant response on strike, to be honest I can't say I felt that with the D7 Forged.
This may be a negative for lower handicapped, better ball strikers that are looking to gain distance and forgiveness by changing to this type of iron. If you're moving up from a more bladed iron, I think this will stand out.
Performance & Consistency
On average I achieved an impressive (for me at least) 179 yards carry with the 7-iron. This is a good number and certainly a slight improvement from my current irons, which can never be seen as a negative. However it's important to mention that these irons have relatively strong lofts. The 7 iron is 30.5°, which maybe a little weaker than the D7 7 iron at 28° but in my opinion is still a 'modern' loft compared to a more traditional loft where you would expect a 7 iron to be around the 34° mark.
These strong lofts alone could explain the gain in distance, but then again it could be down to the power holes helping to up the ball speed off the face. I think I'll conclude it's a combination of the two.
Although gaining distance is a plus, I found the spin to be very low, a lot lower than I would normally expect from a 7 iron. If you do decide to add these irons to your testing list, make sure you put this to the test on a course, hitting into greens and looking closely at the stopping power - especially with the longer irons.
You might gain distance which is great, but the type of golfer that these irons are aimed at will not want to be pitching greens then arriving at the green to see their ball has run through the back due to lack of spin - particularly with the longer irons if you have a low ball flight.
Another thing that I was surprised by was the flight of the D7 forged irons because to my detriment at times, especially when playing links golf, I struggle to keep the ball down. I was quite pleasantly surprised to therefore see a relatively low ball flight as I went through the bag. With the 5 iron especially I found the flight quite flat, this meant it was penetrating but again I'd have to question the stopping power when hitting into greens.
Consistency-wise although my dispersion was quite wide at times during this test, I have to take the blame for that. As to be expected I hit the odd poor shot during testing where these irons certainly looked after me a little. Mishits still felt relatively good thanks to the urethane filled power chamber.
There's plenty of forgiveness packed into the compact head which meant there was no big drop off in ball speed or in carry distance on off-centre hits.
Wilson Staff D7 Forged Irons Verdict
Compared to the original D7 irons, they're not quite as hot off the face so on the surface they may not seem as impressive but this wasn't the case for me. The soft feel and smaller, sleeker head combined with a chunk of forgiveness throughout the bag means that these irons will appeal to a wide range of golfers.
If you can get past the look of the power holes, which clearly golfers can as Wilson have stuck with them for a number of years now, I predict their solid performance premium finish will see them find their way into plenty of amateurs bags in 2020.
Would I Use Them?
Yes, since testing these irons I have played with them a couple of times in casual rounds of golf and enjoyed them. Don't be put off by the relatively low price-tag thinking that this must mean less quality - the D7 Forged are another great set of irons from Wilson Staff and reaffirm their constantly improving position in the iron market of late.
- Plenty of technology and reliable performance at a great price tag
- Will suit wide range of abilities
- Solid yet soft feel at impact
- Great all-rounder
- Purists will be put off by the power holes
- Strong lofts throughout the bag may put off better golfers