Wilson’s super game improvement Launch Pad family gets a dramatic revamp for 2022 to help high-handicappers play better golf.
With new and returning golfers flooding into the game there’s never been a better time for brands to be making super game improvement clubs. Whether that equipment be super easy to launch lightweight drivers or wide body hybrid irons there’s a large and more willing audience waiting to be captivated.
Wilson (like Cleveland) stole a march on their competitors when they decided to plough huge resource into taking super game improvement clubs seriously several years ago.
And it’s thanks to the success of Wilson’s previous Launch Pad family, launched back in 2019, that the range been redesigned for a second generation with an all-new driver, fairway wood, hybrid and irons.
“The original range achieved great success in meeting its main objective to help less skilled golfers get the ball airborne and gain consistency in the strike, but we knew it could be more aesthetically pleasing,” said Jon Pergande, Manager of Golf Club Innovation at Wilson Golf.
“The new Launch Pad range features optimised technology on the irons to keep the club head on the ball and out of the grass, while in the woods it helps players overcome one of the most frustrating problems in golf – the slice – so shots fly straighter and with more accuracy.
“The look of the irons and woods now gives players greater confidence over the ball at address and test performance results are extremely encouraging.”
Here’s everything you need to know about the 2022 Wilson Launch Pad family.
Wilson Launch Pad 2022 Iron
RRP: £600 (s), £699 (g) | Available: March 14th
Availability: 4, 5–PW, GW, SW | Women’s: Yes | Stock shafts: KBS Max Ultralite (s, men’s only), Project X Evenflow (g) | Stock Grips Wilson Staff Midsize (men’s), Wilson Staff Performance (women’s) | Adjustable hosel: No
Before Wilson began development on the original Launch Pad hybrid irons they conducted a ton of research into the typical ball striking traits of 10+ handicappers. And the results showed that mid and higher handicap golfers overwhelmingly have a tendency to hit iron shots fat. They found that even typical mid-handicap golfers register fat/heavy shots 12% of the time, which costs an average of 10 yards in carry distance and means a missed green in regulation.
According to Wilson, the original wide bodied, camber soled, Launch Pad increased clean shots by 25% and reduced the likely hood of hitting a fat shot by 73%. Thanks to some clever new computer simulation, they believe the new Launch Pad irons are even more efficient.
By studying how a typical mid–high handicapper delivers an iron to the back of the ball, which is much steeper than better players, Wilson have tailored the new Launch Pad’s sole shape, size and camber to its target audience. The new iron creates shorter and shallower divots, meaning golfers lose less speed in the turf, meaning Wilson’s engineers have rinsed an extra 0.75mph of head and 1mph of ball speed from simply improving turf interaction.
Compared to the brand’s brilliant D9 iron Wilson say the Launch Pad stay above the turf so the head isn’t slowed, where the D9 gets below the ground and interacts much more with the turf.
It’s no secret hybrid irons are more forgiving than traditional cavity backs (historically the issue’s been convincing golfers they need/want the oversized hybrid heads), but Wilson say the new Launch Pad, which is made from 2-pieces of 17-4 stainless steel, has a more optimised head over the original. By minimising the wall thickness across the back, extra weight has been freed up to position lower in the sole. In turn that lowers the centre of gravity, making the new Launch Pad even easier to launch from the turf.
While super game improvement iron users are far more swayed by clubs that easily send shots sailing into the air and land on the green, that hasn’t stopped Wilson refining the original Launch Pad shape and size down into a more attractive slender bodied package. The new model looks more like an iron at address, with less of a hybrid appearance in the bag.
RELATED: Best Irons
Wilson Launch Pad 2022 Hybrid
RRP: £175 | Available: March 14th
Lofts: 19.5° – FY / 22.5° – 4 / 25.5° – 5 | Women’s: Yes | Stock shafts: KBS Max Ultralite (s, men’s only), Project X Evenflow (g) | Stock Grips Wilson Staff Midsize (men’s), Wilson Staff Performance (women’s) | Adjustable hosel: No
No modern iron set is complete without matching hybrids nowadays, with their wider bodies making them easier to launch higher, faster and longer than traditional long irons.
The Launch Pad hybrids are great for filling gaps between your longest iron and shortest fairway wood. All lofts feature the same high-strength and super thin Carpenter Custom 455 face found on the fairway woods, as well as being lightweight and draw-biased to help players who struggle with long irons and want effortless distance.
We particularly like the 19.5° FY with its superb higher launching Project X Evenflow shaft, ideal for getting the ball to fly high and then land softly on greens from distances.
RELATED: Best Hybrids
Wilson Launch Pad 2022 Driver
RRP: £305 | Available: March 14th
Lofts: 9° /10.5° / 13° | Women’s: Yes | Stock shafts: Project X | Stock Grips: Wilson Staff Midsize (men’s), Wilson Staff Performance (women’s) | Adjustable hosel: No
The original Launch Pad driver was very successful at straightening out shots thanks to a whole suite of slice busting tech. Now Wilson reckon this new model is even more efficient at keeping slicers out of the right rough.
Wilson studied the impact locations of average golfers and noticed that 68.3% occurred on the toe side of centre on the face. That knowledge allowed Wilson to go after optimising that area of the new Launch Pad driver, making the face 5.2% bigger, with a deeper toe section to increase both confidence and forgiveness.
Wilson used computer modelling tech to optimise zones across the D9 driver face last year and they’ve turned to computing power again to ensure the new Launch Pad outperforms its predecessor. Wilson say they handed over extra parameters to the computer, including how many zones should be on the face, along with the thickness of the zones, and how each blends with adjoining zones. The move has meant golfers can expect additional ball speeds from across the Launch Pad’s entire PKR face.
With the Launch Pad being aimed at slower swing players (whose lack of speed typically leads to issues with squaring the face at impact) and slicers, Wilson have built in deep heel side weighting to straighten the ball flight.
The tech is combined with a more upright lie angle, which helps start shots further left. When tested against golfers’ own drivers, Wilson saw the Launch Pad hit shots with a spin axis 8° more left on average, which led to shots finishing 13.5 yards further left than with their own driver.
Wilson’s R&D team are also aware that lots of golfers don’t like seeing a closed clubface at address, even though it’s a feature that would help them hit more fairways. To cleverly disguise the Launch Pad’s closed face there’s extra face bulge (from toe to heel) so golfers get a decent looking driver at address.
All in Wilson say the Launch Pad’s traits mean golfers on the tee swing with more confidence, so they swing faster, hit shots higher, further left and longer down the fairway, which is a recipe lots of club golfer will love.
RELATED: Most Forgiving Drivers
Wilson Launch Pad 2022 Fairway Wood
RRP: £200 | Available March 14th
Lofts: 16° – 3 / 19° – 5 / 22° – 7 | Stock shaft: Project X Evenflow | Adjustable hosel: No
Thanks to attacking the areas typical club golfers struggle with when hitting fairway woods, the Launch Pad flies straighter and further, more easily.
Designed with the same ultra-lightweight clubhead and shaft as the driver, the high-strength and super thin Carpenter Custom 455 face delivers higher ball speeds.
Wilson say they pitted the Launch Pad’s moderate offset, lightweight heads against a test pool of club golfers own fairway’s and shots flew twice as high, 24 yards further left as well as being four clubs longer, which should put the model on the radar of any golfers who struggle to launch fairways successfully from the turf.
RELATED: Best Fairway Woods
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Simon Daddow is the Equipment Editor at todaysgolfer.co.uk
Simon has worked in the golf industry for 30 years. Starting out as trainee professional at Downes Crediton GC where he learned the art of golf club making, before going onto work for Clubhaus Plc and Tony Charles Ltd as a golf club maker, and running Product Development at Benross Golf.
Joining EMAP Active (now Bauer Media) in 2006 as Equipment Editor Simon has worked for Today’s Golfer and Golf World magazines and the Today’s Golfer website.
Simon is 46 years old, he’s played golf for 40 years and plays to a handicap of 10. A lack of club speed means he’s short off the tee, but very handy from 125 yards and in.
You can contact Simon here.
Rob Jerram is the Digital Editor of
He has been a journalist for more than 20 years, starting his career with Johnston Press where he covered local and regional news and sport in a variety of editorial roles across ten years.
Rob joined Bauer Media in 2010 and worked as the Senior Production Editor of Today’s Golfer and Golf World magazines for ten years before moving into the Digital Editor’s role in July 2020.
He has been playing golf for almost three decades and has been a member at Greetham Valley Golf Club in Rutland for eight years, playing off 12.
You can contact Rob here.