We did not set out to intentionally review the Wilson ProStaff Platinum Pure Distance balls. We just needed to find some orange golf balls, but since a lot of readers have requested that we pay more attention to lower-end, affordable balls, we decided to hit two clubs with one ball.
We not only use many different types of golf balls, we use them in various colors, as well. We do this for several reasons. When testing new balls or golf clubs, the balls we use are invariably white. To keep score-keeping as uncomplicated as is possible we have all testers warm up with orange balls. Also. if another crewmember shows up during the sessions and wants to use the range, we have them hit yellow balls so as not to disrupt our scoring patterns. White balls get charted; colored balls do not.
Yellow balls remain relatively common (at least in two-piece versions). Pinnacle, Top Flite and Wilson produce quite a few of them. Orange golf balls have become increasingly difficult to come by, however. We would not have normally been drawn to Wilson’s economical ProStaff balls, but since they were available in orange, we decided to give them a try.
The Wilson ProStaff Platinum Pure Distance is, in spite of the impressive-sounding name and bright, glitzy box, a ball aimed towards the lower end of the marketplace. It is a surlyn-covered, two-piece, high compression ball that comes in boxes of fifteen or twenty-one and sells for less than a dollar a ball. It is primarily intended for players who pick their golf balls from the discounted selections at the mega Marts – Wal and K.
Available in white as well as orange, the ProStaffs are good looking balls. They actually look more expensive than the costlier Wilson Staff balls. Wilson has a dizzying array of product names for their numerous ball lines and players often confuse the various Wilson lines. We can’t begin to understand why Wilson would choose to simultaneously produce a premium “Staff” line and an economical “ProStaff” line, but they do. To add to the confusion, there is a ball called the Staff ProDistance. The logic of this eludes us. It’s as though Ford produced a more expensive version of the Crown Victoria and called it the Ford Victoria Crown instead of its actual name, the Mercury Marquis.
In a number of general, comparative sessions against other distance balls, the Pure Distance proved itself to be a steady, if unspectacular, performer. The patterns we have seen have been consistently decent in terms of both front to back and left to right dispersion. These ProStaffs are predictable performers.
Distances have been acceptably long for balls in this price class – comparable to those of the Pinnacle Gold Distance and regular Top Flite XL’s. In comparison sessions against the newer and more expensive Pinnacle Power Core and Top Flite XL 3000 distance balls the ProStaffs were shorter by two to three yards on average efforts and by five to six yards on big hits.
The ProStaff Pure Distances are low-spin balls that have been designed for upper mid- to high-handicapped, bump and run players. They are not overly hot balls that make holding a green troublesome. Such can be the case with many new distance balls. While the ProStaffs will never bite with too much authority, they can be made to land with a relative degree of softness. They will run, but not excessively so.
The ProStaffs do not have the penetrating flight characteristics inherent to a good wind ball, but, again, they manage to get the job done. Trajectories have been a bit on the high side of average in their nature, but ballooning has been rare.
As for the durability of the ProStaffs: We have not seen any appreciable wear to date and would be surprised if we ever did. Wilson balls that we have used at the range have traditionally been quite durable.
Feelwise, the Platinum Pure Distances have been surprisingly decent for hard-shelled, high-compression balls. They leave the clubface with a moderate sensation of liveliness. They do not feel crisp, neither do they feel dead or dull. With full swings, the feel has been comparable to one of our range standards, the popular Pinnacle Gold Distance – friendly and likable, but not really memorable. The feel of the ProStaffs has been preferred to those of many harder feeling distance balls such as the regular Top Flite XL – another staple on the shelves of discount department stores. It has not been preferred over the various Top Flite XL 2000 and 3000 versions, however. The more expensive XL’s have crisp, little clicks to them at impact that are not present in the more muted ProStaffs. The feel has also been judged a bit less enjoyable than the feel of some other favorites: the Wilson Smart-Cores.
In terms of feel around the green: the ProStaffs have been found to be the equal of any inexpensive distance ball we have used. Putting with these two-piece balls can be quite pleasant. They have rolled well and have demonstrated a reliable sense of pace. They do not leave the face of a putter or chipping iron with the excess enthusiasm shown by some two-piece distance balls.
For those looking to find good, cheap distance balls, the ProStaff Platinum Pure Distances are a safe choice – a bit nondescript, but safe, nonetheless. They will get the job done and will hold up well for more than one round of hard play. While no one is apt to be using the ProStaffs on the golf course, all have found that they are solidly decent balls that provide respectable, overall distances and an unobjectionable feel. They are reliable and predictable balls. And, they look surprisingly good in orange. We’ll be buying more for the range.