Wilson 8802 Putter – click to zoom
(In the voice of Tom Hanks) Wiiilllson!!!
The Wilson 8802 putter has been at the center of numerous major championships and great victories on many professional tours. The 8802 design has been seen in use by the likes of Arnold Palmer, Ben Crenshaw, Greg Norman, and Phil Mickelson. The Wilson 8802 is one of the all-time greats. It has stood the test of time and today is still a great putting choice. Let’s take a look at the Wilson 8802 putter.
The 8802 is a heel-shafted blade putter. In english, the shaft is attached to the end of a thin putter head. This is perhaps one of the most popular designs in the history of putters. There’s a reason it is so popular, it works.
The head is milled from 304 stainless steel, a fairly soft metal. The softness produces great feel and feedback for the player, and helps the player control distance.
To perform well on modern greens and modern green speeds, the head weighs in at 335 grams.
The face of the 8802 features some precise milling patterns which are designed to produce a true and straight roll. See photo below:
Milled face on the 8802 Putter – click to zoom
Standing over this putter the player is not distracted by busy and complex designs, nutty shapes, or fancy graphic art. The look is as clean as clean could be.
The slightly matted silver finish is easy on the eyes and does not produce annoying glare which more shiny putters can produce on sunny days.
The soft 304 metal helps the putter produce a nice feel, which gives the player great feedback. Off-center putts still roll well and true, but the putter’s feedback will let the player know the shot was not on the center of the face. Center-face putts are butter.
On The Course
I’m normally a heel-toe weighted, center-shafted or center-axis-shafted putter player. So I figured the balance and weighting of this blade putter would be problematic for me. Not the case. Somehow, despite being a heel-shafted blade, the balance of the putter is fantastic. I never had an issue with keeping the face square at impact.
The face milling helps roll the ball pure and right on line. There were never any surprises with regards to the roll or the line.
In its simplicity, there’s no alignment line on the top of the putter to indicate the sweet spot and line up the ball. There’s an element of doubt when I line up as I’m not 100% sure I’m lined up on the right spot.
The putter is only available in 35″ versions, right handed. Sorry lefties or short people! I’m not tall and I have long arms, so 34″ putters or even shorter is good for me. Because the 8802 is 35 inches I have to choke down quite a bit to perform my natural stroke.
Wilson 8802 Putter
One of my pet peeves is head covers. At least 18 times per golf round the player will interact with the putter cover. The last thing I want is a crappy cover which does not protect the most important stick in my bag. Even worse is when that cover is hard to use.
The included head cover for the Wilson Golf 8802 Putter is very sharp looking and does its job well. The putter is well padded and protected from dings. The soft metal in the putter makes it even more susceptible to such dings and dents from other clubs in the bag.
The cover seals via Velcro, which I’m not a big fan of. Velcro wears out over time. A better solution would be a magnetic seal. Even better would be a design which uses no magnets or Velcro.
The reasonably priced $179 Wilson Staff 8802 Putter is the most expensive putter in Wilson Golf’s lineup and for good reason. It is a fantastic putter with great feel and performance. The 8802 design is a proven winner through decades of victories by some of the world’s greatest putters.
In golf we screw things up by making them too complicated. Such is not the case with the Wilson 8802 Putter, which is in for review here at Hooked On Golf Blog. This is a very simple heel-shafted putter which many remember as the one Arnold Palmer used when he was a Wilson endorsee.
Wilson 8802 Putter
I’ll be doing REAL testing of this putter and posting a review soon. Why did I all-caps the word real? Because my reviews are not flyby style like other golf review sites. I actually take my own photos. put the club in play, and write my findings and impressions. This is unlike other sites who retype press releases and post stock PR photos.
Rant over. Putter testing to begin. Maybe I’ll putt as good as Arnold Palmer with this thing.
Wilson 8802 Putter Photos
I’ve posted a few photos of the Wilson 8802 Putter in the Hooked On Golf Blog photo gallery for you to enjoy while waiting for the full review.
With the PGA Merchandise Show in the rear view mirror and spring coming, I’m happy to get back on my review schedule. Love doing golf equipment reviews. Fortunately the weather around here hasn’t been like the massive snow-in we had last winter. We have been very thin on the snow here in Salt Lake, meaning many of the lower altitude courses have been open much of the winter. This has allowed me to record some rounds, albeit not terribly warm, and evaluate some gear like the Wilson FG Tour X golf balls.
FG Tour X Overview
Wilson Staff FG Tour X Golf Ball – click to see more
The FG Tour X is a multilayer golf ball with a cast Urethane cover. Urethane is typically the material used in the outer layer of “premium” golf balls. The design of the golf ball is geared for distance first and spin second, but read my comments below on the spin and cover.
The compression level of this ball is said to be 93. I would call that a medium compression ball. Back in the old days 90 was softer and 100 was hard. A visit to the Wilson FG Tour X product page is a bit confusing on the compression. Under the product details the first sentence says “–piece features a higher compression distance ball wrapped in a thin, soft veneer of cast urethane.” I’m not sure what “–piece” means. Sounds like they need to fill in the blank there. To the right on product specs the first line says “Compression Low.” So we have two seemingly contradicting statements, one saying the ball is higher compression and one saying it is low compression.
On The Course
Typically I don’t like the hardness of “distance” balls, except for a few which now includes the FG Tour X. This ball does not feel “hard.” In fact I really can feel it compress on every club in the bag, except of course the putter. On 2nd thought, if I were putting on the massive greens at St. Andrews, I might actually compress it with a 400 foot putt. I’ll have to go try that. …Okay I’m back. The ball compresses nicely and easily, even for my slower “granny dual chicken wing” swing.
Driving the ball is fun. This ball flies very straight and does a very fine job in windy conditions. I have a very strong and mid-height launch angle with the FG Tour X, which I really like. And yes of course–this ball is long.
Irons are a pleasure to play with the FG Tour X. I can feel the ball compress on the club face and I feel like I have great control of the ball.
Short game is the BEST part of this ball, which does sound odd and contradicting to the ball being a “distance” ball. Every time I chip or pitch with this ball, my playing partners comment on the spin and check I’m getting. They’ve watched me fail to check those types of shots for years and it surprises them and me when I can check/stop the FG Tour X on a dime. The urethane cover of this ball seems a bit different than others. Just taking the balls out of the box they feel more sticky and tacky. That extra tackiness is big for me around the greens.
When putting, the ball rolls straight and true. Distance control on the greens is easy.
Wilson FG Tour X Golf Balls – click for more
Unlike most urethane covered high performance golf balls, this ball is actually durable! Even cart paths (and I’ve hit several with these balls) don’t do much damage. High spin square grooved wedges (yes I’m not on the PGA Tour and can still play square grooves) don’t shred the cover.
I’m very happy with the durability.
Admittedly I wouldn’t normally get excited if I found a Wilson ball in the bushes when searching for my previous errant shot. But if I find an FG Tour X, that one is going into the gamer pocket on the golf bag and not the shag bag. These balls are good!
The snow has melted and the temps are supposed to be above 50, which is pretty good around here right now. It was possible that we wouldn’t see green grass until March or April. Thankful for global warming I suppose.
Wilson FG Tour X Golf Ball - click for more images
I’m happy to report that I’ll be testing the new Wilson FG Tour X golf balls TOMORROW. The FG Tour X’s are three layer balls with a cast urethane cover. This is the longer/harder distance version of the Wilson FG Tour, which is more of a spin ball.
Stay tuned for my first impressions in about 24 hours.