Wilson drivers haven’t made much of a splash since… I don’t know, maybe the Wilson Whale that was used by Payne Stewart (RIP) and John Daley back in the day. Wilson’s irons have always been top drawer but over recent times the brand has become more about providing value clubs too newer golfers and mid-handicap players. There’s nothing wrong with that, in fact it should be applauded.
But it has hurt the brand in some ways, specifically when it comes to the driver market. Coming in at a low price point often implies that the product is inferior. Usually that is the case to some degree, but not always. The Wilson D9 driver wasn’t quite up the level of the TaylorMade Stealth or the Ping G420 but given the massive difference in price, it was fantastic value for money. Most mid-high handicap golfers are not going to see massive gains from a premium driver over a D9 but you’ll definitely see the difference to your bank account.
But the D9 certainly wasn’t a premium club and you wouldn’t find it in the bag of the better players, let alone Wilson’s Tour Pros. This year Wilson are looking to change that and the launch of their new Dynapower driver in March 2023 was their first big step back into that premium market. Yet despite the leap in quality it still comes in at a significantly lower price point than the competition. Don’t take that as an indicator that it isn’t quite at the level of the ‘bigger’ driver brands though, because honestly, Dynapower is as impressive as any driver to hit the market this year. Don’t just take my word for it, look at the glowing reports it’s had from all the well known golf content creators. People love this driver and you can add me to the fan club.
There are two variations of the Dynapower driver. There’s a titanium head and a carbon head. The difference is fifty quid but both are still massively cheaper than the competition.
In terms of the technology, there’s a lot going on. This is one of the most adjustable drivers ever created by Wilson. In addition to giving you a choice between Carbon and Titanium heads, Dynapower comes with a host of custom fitting combinations – from swing weight, flex, shaft, loft & lie – which can be altered to suit depending on the preferred shot shape and ball flight.
Employing advanced Artificial Intelligence methods, thousands of clubhead aesthetics were analysed using the same computer design process that made the D9 such an impressive value for money buy. Simulating a wide variety of data variations to produce the most effective design possible, it resulted in the deployment of exclusive PKR2 Technology on both Carbon and Titanium heads, providing a dynamic face thickness optimised over an extended area of the clubface for fast ball speeds and maximum forgiveness on off-centre hits.
Wilson say the difference between Carbon and Titanium relates mainly to the ability level of the golfer. The Carbon is aimed at the more accomplished golfer looking to work the ball off the tee. The lightweight Carbon composite panels on the crown and sole, plus a 12g weight moves the Centre of Gravity low and forward, creating a lower spinning driver head with neutral to fade ball flight tendencies.
The Titanium head driver is designed more for the aspirational player looking to maximise distance with a straighter ball flight. The head incorporates a 16g rear weight that produces a high MOI driver with a deep, rear centre of gravity, delivering a forgiving higher launch angle with a neutral to draw bias.
The Titanium drivers are available in three different lofts; 9°, 10.5° and 13°. The Carbon options are 9°, 10.5° and 12°. You can adjust the loft on all of these in .5° increments which allows you to go down by 1° and up by a total of 1.5°. This will alter your shot shape slightly as reducing loft promotes more of a left-to-right bias while increasing it does the opposite.
The stock shaft options are different for both drivers. The Carbon head driver features the premium Fujikura Ventus Blue, while the Titanium driver comes with the Project X HZRDUS Smoke Red RDX. Both heads and shaft options come with a Lamkin Crossline 360 grip.
Both Dynapower drivers look fantastic. There’s a significant difference between them as the titanium has a very plain, sleek look while the carbon has a pattern on the crown.
I’m a big fan of the design of both drivers, which are quite similar. The head design is very sleek and stylish, the red and black compliment each other nicely, and I find the colour scheme to be a welcome throwback to the traditional Wilson colours. The head itself is not too busy and there aren’t loads going on underneath. The crown and face are quite plain and very traditional looking, especially on the Titanium version.
The head cover is very swish too, a big improvement on the rather bland, inconspicuous cover that came with the D9 last year.
The carbon has a more pleasing sound, as you’d expect, but the titanium is by no means high pitched. Both just make a solid, pleasing noise when you catch it right in the centre.
I love the feel of both Dynapower drivers at contact. The Carbon has a softer feel than the Titanium but it isn’t as soft and dull sounding as some drivers I’ve tested, specifically the 2021 TaylorMade Sim2 Max D, which is my favourite driver when it comes to sound and feel. The Dynapower Titanium actually reminds me a little of the Ping G425 in feel and sound.
I’ve hit hundreds of shots with both now. Initially I was only using the titanium and I’d already decided it was going in the bag for this year. Then I got my hands on the carbon a month later and my first impression was that it was even better. Having tested them extensively I’d now say that there’s very little difference in performance, but I’ll get to that in a second. Basically the £50 price difference comes down to looks, sound and feel and whether you prefer the carbon enough to pay the extra cash. That’s purely down to personal taste and preference.
I was actually fitted for this driver by Wilson’s team of professional fitters at their media day late last year. These are the same guys who work with the tour pros and after seeing me spray some around the range with my Stealth HD they suggested the titanium rather than carbon as it’s a little more forgiving and better suited to my swing speed (which is around 90mph average with a top speed of 95mph). The shaft they recommended was a stiff Ventus Blue 6 and I noticed immediate improvements over my Stealth HD. The ball flight was much more penetrating, I added distance and I was hitting it straighter too.
In short I was delighted and immediately put it in the bag. Then a few weeks later the Dynapower Carbon arrived and I had a decision to make. The Carbon also came with a Ventus Blue 6 shaft, only this was regular flex. Interesting. How would this fare against the stiff flex? Shockingly well in actual fact.
It was giving me well over 12 yards extra distance, which made me wonder if it was the carbon head causing that, or the regular flex shaft. I swapped the shafts over and that narrowed things up considerably. With the same shafts, the carbon head gave me a yard or two more than the titanium, but that’s it. The titanium head with the regular shaft went around 10 yards further than it had with the stiff shaft, but there was a small trade off in accuracy, which in fairness Wilson’s fitters had told me there would be. They didn’t tell me I’d be getting over 10 yards more distance though, so that made the decision much easier for me as I don’t hit it far enough to be able to turn my nose up at that kind of gain.
It’s uncanny how many courses have tee shots that require a carry that is at the very limit of my powers, so every little extra is a game changer for me.
Regular flex shaft with the carbon head is best for me statistically, but in truth the difference with the titanium head variant and the same shaft is so insignificant that I’d happily have either in the bag.
I had a lot of fun hitting these drivers on the range, while I’ve used the titanium head on the course three times and the carbon head twice. I can’t decide between them because I prefer the look of the titanium and the sound of the carbon. I have no preference in feel and the performance difference between the two is negligible. I don’t really see any need to pay an extra fifty quid for the carbon as the titanium is just as good, and it’s incredible value for money.
In my opinion, when you weigh up performance v price then the Dynapower Titanium is comfortably the best driver of 2023. Performance wise it’s right up there, it looks as good as any other driver and while the Dynapower Carbon is also excellent value for money at £399, when it comes to getting bang for your buck you aren’t going to beat the Dynapower titanium at £349. Wilson are back as big players in the driver market.