December 13, 2016
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM
- Wilson's Triton DVD driver is slated to ship Jan. 1, 2017 with the modified sole plates. (Photos Courtesy of Wilson Golf)
Wilson Golf made headlines last month when it named Eric Sillies' Triton driver design as the winner of Golf Channel's Driver vs. Driver television show. In hopes of keeping the winning club a secret, Wilson waited until the conclusion of the competition to submit the driver to the USGA's list of conforming driver heads.
While many assumed the driver was conforming once it appeared on the USGA's list last week, Wilson confirmed on Monday that after speaking with the USGA, there were two features that needed to be altered before the retail version of Triton complied with the ruling body's equipment regulations.
The first alteration involved reducing the rear edge of the driver's sole plates by a few millimeters — a minor change that the USGA assured would bring the sole plates of all three lofts into conformity with its "Plain in Shape" rule.
Wilson acknowledged the company's 9-degree Triton DVD model — the Tour version of the driver — already has a conforming sole plate, making the club legal for use on TOUR when the season restarts in January. That means the adjustment only has to be made to the retail version.
The second alteration pertains to the optional 12-gram weight in the 10.5- and 12-degree Triton driver accessory kits. According to the company, during testing with "the maximum total of 24-grams of weight, with the optional 12-gram weight in the toe of the club, the USGA observed a CT (Characteristic Time) that was slightly above their allowable limits and testing tolerance."
Wilson pointed out that while the CT was above the limit, the weight configuration that was tested by the USGA was never used during in-house evaluations due to the heavy swing weight (E2-F5 range) and fade/slice bias that would have resulted from the extreme weight position.
Along with the sole plate, the three different weights (2, 6 and 12 grams) that came standard with the accessory kit allowed golfers to dial-in head weight and trajectory bias.
"While we are very disappointed in the USGA’s position on the Triton, doing what’s right for our players and their game comes first," Wilson said in a press release. "As we are a global golf brand with a 100-year track record of only bringing conforming products to the market, we want to assure the Triton is not the exception, regardless of configuration."
To rectify the issue, Wilson announced it will remove the optional 12-gram weight from all Triton accessory kits. An updated Triton driver with the modified sole plates will be submitted to the USGA for review this week.
"We are confident that these modifications will satisfy the USGA’s concerns, and that the driver, across lofts, will be placed on the December 19th conforming list," the company said. "Upon receiving a conforming ruling, we will expedite exchanging the current Triton sole plates for the new modified plates."
To tell the conforming and non-conforming drivers apart, Wilson will add a "DVD" logo to the bottom of each club. For those who already purchased the driver at retail, Wilson created a registration page at www.wilson.com/Triton that will notify golfers as soon as the Triton sole plate exchange program begins.
Wilson's Triton DVD driver is slated to ship Jan. 1, 2017 with the modified sole plates.