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Heritage Award: Wilson Staff 8862 Putter

Wilson Staff’s 8862 model putter earns PutterZone.com’s Heritage Award for a putter that honors tradition in an age of radical putter design and technology.

This award is the latest in PutterZone.com’s 2007 Midyear Putter Awards, which began Monday with the Next Level Award, followed by the Comeback Award. Stay tuned for the Staying Power Award and Anticipation Award.

The Wilson Staff 8862 putter belongs to Wilson Staff’s new 88 Series, which features five models that embody time-honored shapes as well as newer modern designs. The 88 Series was launched earlier this year at a suggested retail price of $89.

What makes the 8862 special is its intentional visual connection to Wilson’s legendary 8802 model putter—an elegant flanged blade first made famous by Arnold Palmer and still imitated today. For example, you can see a lot of the 8802 in the Odyssey White Hot XG 9 used by Phil Mickelson and other tour pros.

The 8802 was designed by Wilson’s renowned clubmaker Robert Mandrella and was released in 1950 at a suggested retail price of $10. Arnold Palmer wasn’t the only one to sink some epic putts with the 8802. Ben Crenshaw found his 8802 on the rack at a municipal golf course and later used it to win the 1984 Masters. Crenshaw still puts his 8802 into play today. The original 8802 putters are now hot collectibles that command top dollar.

Wilson Staff’s new 8862 is a modern update of the original, with a milled face pattern designed to improve contact and promote truer ball roll. But technology really isn’t the selling point with the 8862—there’s nothing terribly technological about it. The selling point is its decades-proven design, as well as the opportunity to wield a flatstick that conjures memories of a simpler, but no less spectacular, era in both professional and recreational golf.

Well played, Wilson Staff.

Runners Up
MacGregor Golf’s new Response DCT Putter, which earned PutterZone.com’s Next Level Award earlier this week, honors the company’s first Response putter (though more in name than design). The original Response ZT 615, considered massive at the time, earned fame when it helped Jack Nicklaus win the 1986 Masters.

Ping’s new milled Redwood Series putters honor the company’s visionary founder, Karsten Solheim, who made his first Ping putter in his garage in Redwood City, California. The abbreviation of Redwood City to Redwood is a bit weird for a stainless steel putter (and for a Bay Area suburb), but it’s the thought that counts.

About Sean Weir

Sean Weir is the founder and editor of PutterZone.com, and the author of Putter Perfection, the definitive guide to putter fitting. Profile: Google+

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  1. This putter looks pretty common, I did not find anything special on it.

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