Wilson Staff are not the first name you think of when it comes to the best golf drivers, but they are making a big effort to change that with their new offering for this year. The Dynapower is a premium, tour-calibre driver that Wilson believe can compete against the best any of their competitors have to offer. I’ve tested it, and I agree. This driver could be the biggest surprise package of 2023.
But before I get into why this is the best golf driver for those after a fantastic value-for-money golf accessory, allow me to recommend some of our useful guides to the best golf watches, best golf bags, best golf shoes and the best putters on T3. And if you're in the UK, don't let the bad weather deter you from playing your favourite sport: the best golf waterproofs will keep you dry, even if it's pouring down on the green.
But where was I? Ah, yes, the Wilson Staff Dynapower driver, which is replacing the D9 in Wilson’s lineup. The D9 was very underrated, but it was not a premium driver and it offered no adjustability. It was, however, fantastic value for money and an ideal option for any mid-high handicap golfer who doesn’t want to spend four or five hundred pounds on a new driver.
It was not a tour-level club, though, and therefore you wouldn’t see many of the Wilson stable of professionals using the D9. Dynapower is a different animal entirely. You can expect to see it in the bags of most of Wilson’s tour pros this year, including the latest addition to their stable, US President’s Cup team member Kevin Kisner.
Not only is the Dynapower Wilson’s most adjustable driver in years, offering a variety of loft combinations, it also comes in a choice of two different heads. There’s a Titanium version, which is more forgiving in nature and aimed at the average golfer, and a Carbon head offering which is said to be more suited to the better player due to its extra workability and lower spin.
I was professionally fitted for this driver by Wilson’s expert fitters, and I have spent several weeks putting it through its paces and testing it against other drivers, including the D9. Initially, I was mainly using the Titanium head, but I have recently been experimenting with the Carbon head, too, and both performed to an impressive standard. How impressive? Read on and find out.
Wilson Staff Dynapower Driver review – Price and availability
The Dynapower drivers, fairway woods and irons will be available from March 2023. The Carbon has an RRP of £420/$500/€480, while the Titanium model has an RRP of £370/$430/€420 although most of the major retailers are offering it for slightly less. In the UK, at American Golf, you can grab the Titanium for £349 and the Carbon for £399. In the US, you can buy direct from Wilson.
Wilson Staff Dynapower Driver review - Looks, sound & feel
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 on the Titanium version, while the Carbon has a slightly different crown with a subtly patterned design.
Both the Titanium and Carbon sound nice on impact but there is a noticeable difference between them. As you would expect, the Titanium has a slightly higher pitch to it, but both basically 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, although it isn’t as soft and springy as the 2021 TaylorMade Sim2 Max D, which is perhaps my favourite driver when it comes to sound and feel. There is a really solid feel about the Dynapower driver, though, particularly on the Titanium head, which reminds me a little of the Ping G425.
Wilson Staff Dynapower Driver review - The Technology
The new Dynapower Driver is one of the most adjustable drivers ever created by Wilson. As well as having a choice between Carbon and Titanium, it comes with a host of custom fitting combinations – from swing weight, flex, shaft, loft & lie – that enable golfers to find the perfect club off the tee, 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 produced the award-winning Wilson D9 wood range. 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.
A new dynamic 6-way adjustable hosel enables fitters to make quick shaft changes, while golfers can benefit from easy one-click launch and spin adjustments.
Aimed at the avid 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.
Designed more for the aspirational player looking to maximise distance with a straighter ball flight, the Titanium 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.
Wilson Staff Dynapower Driver review - Performance
As mentioned above, I was custom fitted for the Dynapower driver by Wilson’s team of professional fitters. If you have never had a professional fitting, you should check out my article on it, as it’s very interesting, even if I say so myself. Anyway, based on my 12 handicap and distinctly average ability, the fitter recommended the Titanium head rather than the Carbon option. I have since tried the Carbon head option too, and I shall get to that, but first, I’ll concentrate on the Titanium driver and how it performed.
As I explained in the article on the fitting, the shaft was the key to the increased performance I got from the Dynapower. I use a stiff shaft in my driver but Wilson’s fitters informed me that the particular shaft I was using was not especially well suited to me and that I’d be better served with a Fujikura Ventus Blue 6 stiff instead. They were right, at least sort of. I’ll clarify that shortly.
Initially, I was hitting the Dynapower Titanium slightly further than anything else I put it up against, and it was also going straighter, with a lower launch and more penetrating flight. That’s to be expected as the shaft is different to the other drivers and more suited to my swing. I didn’t feel like that was a fair comparison, though, so I went on eBay and bought the same Ventus Blue 6 stiff shaft for my TaylorMade Stealth HD, just to level the playing field, as it were.
And it did. With the same type of shaft in both drivers, there was virtually nothing to choose between the Dynapower and the Stealth HD. I also compared them with the D9, the club that the Dynapower is replacing. While it isn’t a like-for-like comparison (as mentioned above, the D9 isn’t adjustable and had a different loft and shaft), the Dynapower and Stealth HD only outperformed the D9 by a tiny amount in terms of distance (and they were slightly more accurate too), which backs up my view that pound for pound the Wilson Staff D9 was the best value driver of last year.
Here are some numbers from a range session where I put the Dynapower up against the 2022 TaylorMade Stealth HD as well as the D9. As you can see, I'm not a big hitter, but most of you reading this won't be either, so you can relate far more to my experiences with drivers than the golf pro on Youtube hitting it 100 yards further.
A couple of other points on the above numbers. The data is based on the best 30 shots I hit with each driver. All of the bad shots and mishits were disregarded to provide a more accurate comparison. The Stealth and Dynapower had the same set-up. Loft was set to 9.5, and both had the same stiff flex shaft. The D9 is not adjustable, so it was 10.5-degree loft and a regular flex shaft.
In terms of dispersion, there wasn’t a massive difference, but the D9 was less accurate and had a tendency to drift a little more right than the others, but you’d expect that as the Stealth HD is strongly draw-biased and the Dynapower has a slight draw tendency too. The D9 should not really be getting that close, but I put that down to the difference between the stiff flex and regular flex. Basically, I can hit it further with a regular flex driver.
I have used the Dynapower Titanium extensively on the range but only once on the golf course to this point due to the awful winter weather, we’ve had in the UK of late. I did play 18 holes at Royal Birkdale with it, and on a difficult day for finding fairways, it fared pretty well. Other than a few bad swings that got me in trouble to the right (the story of my golfing life) it performed solidly, and I managed to hit a monster drive on the 17th that travelled 273 yards. Ok, that may not sound that impressive, and ‘monster’ is stretching it, but by my standards, that’s a big ‘un.
But as the test results showed, on the range the Dynapower Titanium was performing almost identically to the TaylorMade Stealth HD, which is good because Wilson drivers are generally regarded as being inferior to the likes of TaylorMade and Callaway etc. Clearly, that’s not the case and the Dynapower stands up quite well in any comparison.
However, when I began testing the Carbon version, the results were not at all what I expected. It, too, had a Ventus Blue 6 shaft in it, only this time it was a regular flex shaft. Rather than switch to the stiff flex, I decided to just hit some shots to see how it went. And it ‘went’ alright. 17 yards further is how it went.
I’d hit a couple of hundred balls over two days at the range using the Titanium Dynapower, the D9 and the Stealth HD, and I was maxing out at around 240yds total distance. You can see from the data above that my average is around 227 yards, and it didn’t seem to matter how well I struck any of them, I just couldn’t get past 240 on the driving range.
The first shot I hit with the Dynapower Carbon went 242 yards, and after hitting around 20 shots, my average was 244. Twice I reached 260 yards, and I was averaging 17 yards more distance.
The Wilson fitter had told me that a stiff flex would be better for my game because it would give me a bit more control, but that a regular flex might give me a few more yards at the cost of some accuracy. So naturally I opted for the stiff option as what’s a few more yards when you’re missing fairways?
He was right in that the Titanium head / stiff flex combo does give me slightly more control and I definitely lose less shots to the right with it, but an extra 12 yards carry is huge for me as I don’t hit it that far to begin with, so any extra is most welcome. And if you give me an extra 12 yards carry to play with, well that’s a game changer.
I needed to know if it was just the shaft flex or if it was the head that was giving me the extra distance, so I switched the shafts around to find out. It was indeed the shafts. The Titanium gained an extra 10 yards with the regular shaft, while the Carbon lost a similar amount when matched with the stiff flex shaft.
So the stiff flex will help me hit a couple more fairways but if I want that extra distance I need the regular. The fitters were right about the choice of shaft though, because the Ventus Blue 6 performs better for me than anything else I’ve tried, but I get better results with the regular over the stiff.
As for the two variants of the new Dynapower, with the same shaft set up the Carbon is slightly longer, with a lower ball flight and considerably less spin, but there is some trade off in accuracy and forgiveness. For the average golfer I’m not sure it’s worth the extra cost and the Titanium is probably the better option as it’s slightly more forgiving. For the better player the Carbon is supposed to be more suitable, but I’m not so sure there’s much difference.
So to find out, I asked one of of the assistant pros at my local driving range to hit some shots with both and to give me his feedback. He preferred the feel of the Titanium and he was able to work the ball just as well with either. I watched him hit draws, fades, he hit some high and he kept some low (not gonna lie, it was pretty sickening how easy he made it look) and his verdict was that he couldn’t really see any noticeable difference in either. He loved them both but said if he had to choose he’d go with the Titanium version.
Earlier in the day he'd been testing the new TaylorMade Stealth2 and the Callaway Paradym drivers and he wasn't expecting much when I handed him the Dynapower to try out. He was shocked at how well it performed in comparison to the more hyped clubs from the bigger brands.
I prefer the feel and looks of the Titanium but the Carbon clearly gave me a little more distance, which is more important to some golfers than others. Both are excellent drivers but - other than perhaps the aesthetics - I didn’t see much to make me think the Carbon is worth an extra fifty pounds.
Wilson Staff Dynapower Driver review - Verdict
A premium driver at a less than premium price, what’s not to love about that? As with any driver, you’ll need to try it out and see if it agrees with you first though. I would recommend trying both the Titanium and the Carbon because there is a difference in feel and sound, and if possible try them with different shafts too as that can have a big impact on performance.
So if you are in the market for a 2023 driver then make sure the Dynapower is one of those you try out because for the average golfer it stands comparison with any of the more hyped models out there and it’s a fair bit cheaper too. Don’t be put off by any perceived stigma there is about Wilson drivers as this is a premium club that is taking Wilson back into the big leagues again.