First Cut

Wilson's Triad golf ball: What you need to know


WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Wilson’s Triad ball moves weight from the core of the ball to its mantle layer. Doing this makes the density of all three layers (including the urethane cover) the same. That produces a ball that is better balanced with a higher moment of inertia to promote less movement of the ball in flight as well as less wobble on the greens.

AVAILABILITY/PRICE: The new Wilson Triad will be in stores Feb. 15 at a cost of $40 per dozen.

THE DEEP DIVE: What if you could find a few more fairways? That would likely lead to hitting more greens and maybe making a couple more putts. Such improvement could turn an 82 into a 79 pretty quickly. It’s that kind of mindset that drove the design of Wilson’s new Triad golf ball.

“We’ve always been on a quest to make the perfect ball,” said Bob Thurman, VP of innovation for Wilson. “We’ve always done a lot of experimenting. We looked at what is the best ball for a player that’s looking to break 80 most times because we all know shooting 79 emotionally is a lot better than saying you shot 81. So how do we go about making that happen?”

It started with identifying the type of player that fits that mold. Of course, that isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. It could be a good player trying to hang on that maybe hits more of a fade than they like. It could be a player with an aggressive swing that generates too much spin or it could be the player that is improving at a rapid rate.

In all instances, the player likely hits the ball far enough. Getting the spin down and having the ball move less became the goal. With a clearer idea, the focus shifted to increasing the moment of inertia of the ball and then balancing the ball itself.

In order to get a higher inertia in a three-piece, urethane cover ball, Wilson looked at the core. “The USGA has a weight limit so you can’t add weight, but to increase inertia you’re looking to move weight outward,” said Thurman. “To do that we took weight out of the inner core and moved it to the thermoplastic mantle layer to make the density of the mantle layer the same as that of the core and cover. This moves weight outward, raises moment of inertia and balances the ball because each layer has the same density instead of three different densities.”

But wouldn’t taking weight out of the core make the ball slower? Not according to Frank Simonutti, golf ball innovation director for Wilson.

“The core of a ball has fillers that don’t contribute to speed, but are in there solely for the purpose of getting the weight up,” said Simonutti. “We took some of those fillers out—essentially taking out the deader material in the core. The more rubber rich you can make the core, the more you’ll get velocity out of it. In this instance, less weight in the core does not adversely impact speed.”

Although known for producing very soft golf balls, the Triad has a compression of 85, although a soft cover material still generates a pleasing feel.

So how does all this help deliver the promise of more fairways, greens and putts made. By boosting the MOI and lowering the spin rate off the tee, the ball should theoretically fly straighter, leading to more fairways hit. The combination of the mantle and cover, along with a better balanced ball takes care of the hitting greens part of the equation. The MOI and balance also helps on the green as well as it helps promote a better roll. If a ball isn’t centered it will wobble. Because the densities are the same for all the layers, it acts as a single density ball. That promotes a truer roll.

The new Wilson Triad will be in stores Feb. 15 at a cost of $40 per dozen.