Jamie Kennedy

No, I'm not late to the party, reviewing a club that came out in 1963. In actual fact, I have been trying out the newly-redesigned Wilson Staff 8802 putter.

Whilst modern putters come in all shapes and sizes, the folks at Wilson decided to not try and reinvent the wheel, rather they just redesigned the blade. Having turned 100 in 2014, Wilson Golf didn't want to let such an occasion pass without marking the occasion. Along with the FG Tour 100 irons, they released an updated version of one of the most iconic putters in golf history.

And I was lucky enough to be one of the very first to get my hands on one.

Wilson 8802 Sole

Having just been a twinkle in my Dad's eye when the original came out, I haven't had much experience with it. However, I do remember watching Ben Crenshaw hole just about everything he looked at using the design in the 1990s.

The 2014 version has stay very true to the original with the same iconic blade-looks and lines. The key changes Wilson made were to make the new putter slightly heavier than before, at 335 grams, as well as adding a double milled face. Not only does the milling look good, it makes a big difference when it comes to sound and feel.

Wilson 8802 Face

Anyone who used the original 8802 or another old-style blade will remember the blunt, sharp "click" noise they made with quite a hard feel. Modern golfers and equipment cater for a softer touch, hence the face milling.

The feel of the 8802 is simply incredible. It's quiet, soft and feels, on the greens, like a sweetly struck forged blade feels like off the fairway.

As someone who has become used to modern putter designs, with a lot of mass positioned back and away from the face, the look of the 8802 at address was daunting. However, after one or two rounds, it's simple, straight look became familiar and I didn't miss any of the larger alignment aids you see on putter designs these days.

Wilson 8802 Face

The no-nonsense view at address is the view Wilson had when they created this putter. This is not a game-improving, high MOI, counterbalanced, adjustable putter. Far from it. This is an old-style, pure, simple putter that will appeal to those that perhaps remember the original 8802 or fancy a modern take on a classic design.

Whilst the sole of the putter has a glossy, mirror-like finish, the bulk of the putter has a duller, matte finish that helps to reduce reflections and glare. It may seem like a small difference but it shows when you put the putter behind the ball.

Wilson 8802 From Behind

As far as performance goes, I was surprised. I expected the 8802, like a blade iron, would be hard to use and suffer on poor strikes. Whilst it certainly doesn't have the forgiveness or stability of a larger, mallet shaped putter, for its size it does very well.

Because of the straight, blade shape it took a while to get used to the feel of the putter during my stroke. The toe is keen to open on the way back and close through impact. Modern putter strokes tend to be straight-back-straight-through. During my first round with the 8802 I must have missed 90% of my misses to the left, as I got used to the free-spirited blade design.

However, it soon grew on me and after two or three rounds I was sold. More and more I felt myself throwing out the modern, textbook putting stance and stroke and getting into a position like Gary Player or Jack Nicklaus and feeling my putts more than hoping the putter would do the work for me.

One nice modern touch on the 8802 is the grip. Wilson Staff have included a Lamkin 3GEN grip that is smoothy, tacky and very comfortable in your hands.

Wilson 8802 Grip

More and more equipment manufacturers are looking back into their history to redesigned trusted designs of old. Few, in my opinion, have done it as well as Wilson. The new 8802 is work of art. The elegant, smooth, classic shape inspires you to hole more putts rather than doing the work for you.

At £129 it is relatively affordable in today's market and is well worth consideration if you are a golf traditionalist or enjoyed using a blade putter in your youth.

Golfalot Rating: 5 stars
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Wilson 8802 Putter - Product Details

UK Launch06 May 2014
UK Launch RRP£129
Handicap Range
Hand AvailabilityLeft, Right
Weight335 grams
Shaft NameTrue Temper Head Speed
Shaft TypesSteel
GripLamkin 3GEN smooth Pistol grip
Putter ShapesBlade
Putter InsertNo
Manufacturer's WebsiteWilson Website

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User Reviews

March 2019

After struggling to find the right putter, I eventually stopped buying into the hype of mallets and large grips and bought a used Ping J-Blade. I loved it, but something was missing in the sound. After trying out my dad's old 8813, I decided to purchase this 2015 8802, and I am never looking back. What a beautiful putter; feels great and rolls exceptionally well.

June 2018

I was a good putter as a kid, learning how to putt with simple blades, open stance, and feel. Playing to a pretty good standard I moved with the times and used Ping and Odyssey, not bad but then I stopped playing due to family commitments - a common tale. Coming back to golf as my kids are no longer little ones, I don't expect to hit the ball the way I once did but other than losing a few yards, that was not the problem. Total lack of feel for speed and roll on the greens cost me heavily as I learnt for the first time in my life what it was like to be satisfied with a two-putt. Life in three-putt city is no fun and the new handicap was a horrible 9. Then I saw this putter and remembered what it was to putt with one. Ordered online, no test. Best money I have ever spent on golf, no rubbish with alignment, no trying straight back and forward, just putt with feel...wow.

May 2018
May 2018

Wow just got this putter. Always said I need a putter style like the 8802. It's fantastic - the feel of the putter is great. Every time I stand over a putt feels like it's going in and every time took to it like a duck to water. I love it, it's a must buy

January 2018

Are you a feel player? If so get this putter. it is amazing to putt this well. Putting with an instinctive feel. Looks perfect, plays better. Got stage 4 cancer 1 year ago. First round since to break 80 from a former 3 handicap. Almost all putting.

November 2016

I've owned everything from several Ping Anser putters, to Odyssey 2 ball Fang, to 2014 Scotty Cameron Newport, to the Scotty 1.5 Newport Beach SS, to the Byron Morgan 007. The Wilson 8802 has the best feel and purest roll of any putter I have played, though very close to my custom Morgan, which I paid nearly double for. The milling is beautiful yet traditional, as is the shape. What will surprise those who have yet to feel a Napa/8802 head is the heavy, almost velvety full feel. It is not clicky or light as it may appear. It provides the most consistent, day in day out performance I have experienced with a putter. Those who have the time will know how hard they need for each distance after some practice, whereas with my 2014 Cameron I was always left frustrated with inconsistent roll and distance.

September 2016

Been playing an 8802 for about 20 years (still has the original leather wrap grip). Switched from the Ping Anser and never went back.

July 2016

I'm not reviewing this putter,but I'm the proud owner of a Wilson 8802 which I bought about 35 years ago. Putting has always the best part of my game,and I put it down to my old faithful. It cost me the grand price of £12 new, much easier on the pocket than today's. Not sure about the milled face on the new one.

July 2016

I've been looking for a simple soft feeling putter for ages this was the last putter in a golf shop sale in Corby, an orphan if you like. I love it, not the most forgiving, ok its a 50 year old plus design, but concentrate, accept the toe will close on impact and you will hole putts. Soft as melted butter this is simple golf in a sophisticated world. Just wonderful.

September 2015

I jumped on the band wagon with the mallet putter and oversize grip. I stayed with this for over a year but could never feel the correct distances I needed. Frustrated, down I went to my golf shop and pulled out an old 8813 and spotted my old 8802 crafted by Mendralla. The 8802 was butter, fell in love again right away, really enjoyed the simplicity of no markings on top and the toe! the toe just flowing with the stroke. So I ordered a new 8802, Butter. Never going back to a mallet. Oh by the way I also pulled out my old Wilson FG 62 blades. Simplicity sometimes is the best thing going. Less is definitely more!!!!!

June 2015

I would have to agree this putter is as soft as butter. Looking down at the putter is daunting at first but the more you use this putter the harder it is to go back to your other putters. I have a Mizuno MP T-102 and a Scotty Cameron California Del Mar and they are both very lonely clubs. Overall, a purists putter and one that every serious golfer should bag.

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