Wilson Staff Model R is the world's first unpainted, tour level, four-piece, urethane-covered golf ball as brand claims painted finishes could have a negative impact on performance.
Ever wondered why golf balls are painted? Well, according to Wilson, the shiny white finish offers little more than a visual treat and could actually be detrimental to a ball's performance.
That is why they have created the new Staff Model R, an unpainted, four piece, urethane-covered golf ball which Wilson say offers better aerodynamic consistency than a painted ball, providing a straighter flight.
With golf ball quality and production being more closely scrutinised than ever before, Wilson wanted to improve quality control and that led to their experts noticing that the automated painting process could lead to uneven pooling of paint in the bottom of dimples, especially those that are shallow, negatively impacting performance.
“That can significantly affect trajectory, directional stability and aerodynamic consistency," Frank Simonutti, Wilson Global Director of Golf Ball Innovation, told us.
"By doing away with the paint finish, we were able to eliminate all the short comings attributed to the paint process and deliver a unique product for the golf purist.”
It may be the first time a brand has produced a tour-level raw unpainted golf ball, but don't be fooled into thinking this is a gimmick or marketing ploy. The Staff Model R has already seen Wilson balls return to the highest stage with Craig Lee putting it into play at the Scottish Open, while former Open champion Paul Lawrie will also use the ball.
But, without the traditional painted finish, is there a risk that the Staff Model R's performance levels could diminish with use? Not according to Wilson. They say that while the unpainted finish will see the new golf ball discolour over time depending on the weather and course conditions, the performance quality will remain.
Simonutti added: “A glossy paint is primarily added to golf balls for visual appearance, UV stability and stain resistance, not performance.”
But there's a lot more to the new Staff Model R than an unpainted finish. The four-piece construction features a “V-COR” that magnifies energy for excellent distance, but also maintains greenside control.
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A thinner cover and harder core generate more iron spin, and puts it on the edge of conformity for velocity with the USGA.
And, to keep traditionalists and those who may not want a ball that discolours more quickly, Wilson are offering a standard Staff Model golf ball with a traditional white cover.
Both the Staff Model and Staff Model R golf balls are available now priced at £44.99 per dozen.