If you want great quality golf clubs that don't break the bank, Wilson have been one of the go-to brands over the last few years with products that perform extremely well and are much more reasonably priced than the likes of the 'Big Four'.
Their 'D' range of clubs, which has now reached D9, aims to provide distance and forgiveness in a friendly package which can appeal to golfers from beginners down to single-figure handicappers looking to make life a little easier for themselves.
I got my hands on a full set of D9 Irons to put them to the test on the launch monitor and on the golf course, to see whether you should consider Wilson irons next time you're thinking of a change to your bag.
What's It All About?
For the D9 range in 2021 Wilson have followed in the footsteps of the likes of Callaway by turning to what they call a 'generative computer design process' to produce their clubs.
Just like Callaway's AI super-computer, Wilson are using computer modelling software to create hundreds of designs with different variations in order to find the most effective shape and makeup.
Whilst this all sounds very techy, put simply it just means that you get the precision and accuracy of computer technology in the design of these irons, to make sure that you get the best possible product for your game.
Wilson irons have been recognisable for the last few years due to their Power Holes, and these have been upgraded for the D9 irons. The urethane pockets are designed to increase deflection, transferring more energy to the ball right across the face to help raise ball speeds and, as a result, increase distance.
These ball speed gains continue with the new ultra-thin face, which Wilson say is the largest and thinnest unsupported face that they have ever produced. It also features a larger sweet spot than in the D7 range to give you more from off-centre hits.
The new design process has also produced the lowest ever centre of gravity on a Wilson iron, making it easier than ever to achieve easy launch with plenty of stopping power throughout the bag.
The irons come as standard with a lightweight KBS steel shaft, but there is also an option to add MRC Tensei graphite shafts too if you struggle with generating much club head speed and want to increase launch and distance.
Wilson D9 Irons Review
Looks and Feel
The D9 irons are designed to be friendly and welcoming with their looks - they are all about offering help and inspiring confidence rather than a profile that you may be worried about.
When it comes to iron design I'm in the 'less is more' camp and the new irons seemed a little sleeker than the previous D7 model in my opinion. I probably preferred the blue of the D7 but I think the D9 is a bit more refined, particularly on the back cavity.
You'll quickly notice the Power Holes although they are smaller than last time thanks to the computer design, and these are present on the sole of each clubs in all but the Sand Wedge.
Ok, if you were designing your own dream golf clubs you probably wouldn't have them on the sole of your club but if they do the job they claim to, then I'd say they are probably worth putting up with?
Besides, you can't see them down by the ball so unless you're very particular about how these clubs look in the bag then I think it's something that most golfers could learn to live with. On a bladed iron then perhaps not, on a friendly game-improvement iron? A bit of visible tech never hurt anyone.
At address the irons provide a generous footprint all the way down to the wedge, which to be honest was perhaps a little too big with a very thick topline for what you would call a 'scoring club' if you're looking for any freedom for workability.
As you move into the long irons the amount of offset increases steadily, whilst you can also start to see a little bit of the back cavity poking out - this may put some golfers off.
I liked the the contrast between the shiny chrome head and the brushed chrome/matte portion of the face behind the grooves as it made it really easy to frame the ball.
They produced quite a 'clicky' sound every time I clipped an iron away during testing and this is even more evident in the longer irons. This may provide a bit of a confidence boost to those players who aren't the most consistent of ball strikers.
Whilst I wouldn't describe them as having a particularly buttery feel off the face - and Wilson would agree that this is not the aim with these irons anyway - I did enjoy the fact that they felt pretty hot, leaving you under no illusion that you can get some serious distance from these irons.
As you'd expect from a game-improvement iron of this size, Wilson have made the lofts nice and strong to help give you extra distance by combining with the low centre of gravity for higher, longer ball flights.
Testing these irons on the Trackman simulator certainly proved that to be the case, with the D9 irons consistently coming out at around a club longer in carry distance in comparison to my current Ping iBlades with much more 'traditional lofts'.
The 7 iron was averaging 167 yards carry with a peak height of around 100ft, and this higher flight is Wilson's way of holding the ball on the green because the spin rate of 5100rpm is low for a 7 iron.
I was a little worried before testing these irons that I'd be missing my target to the left due to offset, but I have to say this only came into consideration on the longer irons and was still more than manageable. I think this could broaden the range of appeal to a greater number of players moving into single figure handicappers - they just look forgiving rather than screaming 'anti-slice' - Wilson have got the balance quite nicely here.
Irons like this will often produce pretty impressive numbers on a simulator to try and seduce golfers, but I wanted to test them out on the golf course in real situations to see how they'd perform where it really matters also.
First things first, I'd say the ball flight was just about right. I felt they might launch right up into the air leaving them prone to the wind but I actually felt as if the flight was relatively similar to my current irons, albeit probably slightly easier to achieve particularly if you don't generate lots of club head speed.
One of the weaker aspects of the D9 irons' performance was workability, most notably in the shorter irons. On the 13th hole I had 110 yards into a breeze. My gap wedge would've come up short so I elected to hit a lower punch shot with the wedge but found it hard to really lower the ball flight due to the low CG design.
The irons do excel in forgiveness however, thanks to a generous sole shape which just gives you a little extra margin of error and should stop you from digging into the turf on those heavy strikes.
I could see the irons performing really well out of thick rough too as the irons have the right sole shape to cut through the grass and should also be easier to launch in these instances, giving you more chance of reaching the green if you do happen to miss the fairway.
A common criticism levelled at game-improvement irons like this is that they're just 'too hot' and won't stop on the green. On the 12th hole at Bramall Park GC, a par 3 measuring around 175 yards, I hit a well-struck 6 iron which pitched around 10 yards short of the flag and came to rest pin high, 20 feet away.
Considering that conditions on the day of testing were firm and dry, I'd say that the stopping power was more than good enough and this is something that I saw throughout my round.
Dan's Trackman Numbers:
Wilson D9 Irons Verdict
Perhaps the best compliment that I can give to these irons is that I really enjoyed testing them as they made hitting irons fun and easy. There's no need to worry too much about your strike or about distance, you can just step up and hit them with plenty of confidence, something which I'm sure will be a great relief to many amateurs.
At just £499 for a set of 7 irons they also provide fantastic value for money. This price point has them excellently placed to try and attract some of the newer golfers to the game, or those who have returned to it, as golf is currently booming after being one of the first sports permitted post-lockdown.
The reality is, if they had a TaylorMade or a Callaway badge on them you'd be paying £800 and upwards, and that's solely down to the reputation of the brand rather than the quality of the product.
We liked the Wilson D7 and D7 Forged Irons when we reviewed them, and the D9 have impressed us again. This line of clubs is fast becoming one of the most reliable on the market.
Who Are They Aimed At?
I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed using these irons as they just make life a little easier. You do give up some feel and workability in comparison to a blade or more compact cavity back, but you gain forgiveness and easy launch.
These are worth considering for plenty of single figure handicappers as well as those mid-to-high handicappers who are usually targeted for irons of this type.
- Fantastic value for money
- Very easy to launch
- Plenty of forgiveness
- An improvement on the D7 Irons
- Suitable for plenty of golfers
- Power Holes will divide opinion
- Shorter irons are a little chunky
- Spin rates were low
If you enjoyed this, you may also like:
Wilson Staff D7 Forged Irons Review
Ping G425 Irons Review