Wilson Sporting Goods

Jeff Sheets Golf,Club Design,Club Development,Wilson,Deep Red,Fat Shaft

Model: Deep Red Driver
Material: Investment Cast 6-4 Titanium
Introduction: 2000


The Deep Red was my first foray into a Fat Shaft development project. I had worked on .400” tip shafts with the Top-Flite Intimidator woods but .480” was all new territory. Fortunately Wilson had a great composites engineer named Rich Hulock who greatly improved the Deep Red shafts over the previous .450” tip Fat Shafts. The Deep Red woods were named after the translucent red finish I created for the “jumbo” sized drivers. This first generation of Deep Reds were offered in a 305cc, 330cc and really large 360cc version. Wilson’s marketing manager, Jeff Harment (now president of Titleist/Cobra) kept challenging me to come up with a hot red paint to show off the design. All of the candy apple red options fell short of his vision until I began working on the translucent die coat that eventually graced the crown and skirt of the Deep Red woods. The performance of these woods led to long and straight shots due to the low rearward weighting and ultra-light .480” tip Fat Shaft. Some of the honors that the Deep Red driver received was Golf.com’s driver of the year, Rankmark’s Best of the Best and the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design Award for 2001.

Jeff Sheets Golf,Club Design,Club Development,Wilson,Deep Red,Fat Shaft

Model: Deep Red Irons
Material: Investment Cast 431 Stainless Steel w/Urethane Dampener
Introduction: 2001


These irons were designed by a team of R&D personnel that included Jon Pergande and me on the head along with Rich Hulock on the Fat Shaft. While Jon and I were modeling cavity designs he stumbled across a look we liked on an incomplete model concept. A dual-durometer vibration dampening insert was developed to improve feel on the oversized face profile. Hulock created an independent dampening system constructed of foam that fit internally into the shaft. For some strange reason Wilson had us combine together the elements of the two dampening systems and component features into a single patent application instead of multiple patents.

Jeff Sheets Golf,Club Design,Club Development,Wilson,Deep Red,Fat Shaft,Bi-Axis

Model: Bi-Axis Hybrids
Material: Investment Cast 17-4 Stainless Steel w/High Strength Steel Face
Introduction: 2001 (Japan)


I have never been afraid to push a design concept beyond traditional limits. So many times a wild idea is restrained by the marketing department or fellow R&D staff members. With the Bi-Axis hybrids I was allowed to carry the concept through production, at least for the Japanese market. I took the concept of double bend shafts used to stabilize putter off-center impacts and applied it to irons and woods. While all were prototyped it was they hybrid that made it to market in Japan. An off-center impact on a face supporting by a single shaft axis will either rotate open or closed depending on the hit location. Because a secondary axis is set at an angle off of the first it is much more difficult to twist the primary axis (main part of the shaft) on an off-center impact. The concept performed admirably but manufacturing difficulties with the shaft limited the Bi-Axis’ future into drivers, fairway woods and irons.

Jeff Sheets Golf,Club Design,Club Development,Wilson,Deep Red,Fat Shaft

Model: Deep Red II Driver
Material: Investment Cast 6-4 Titanium
Introduction: 2003


The second generation of Deep Red woods were overall larger and more forgiving than the first. Two driver options became available with the larger Distance version having a heel bias center of gravity and the Tour model slightly smaller with a neutral CG. Even though I had completed the masters prior to my departure from Wilson the crown shapes ended up changing when the woods made it to market. I was never happy with the way the final product looked from the setup position. I had prototyped the fairway woods using a shaft-over-hosel design to minimize the appearance of the Fat Shaft’s diameter. Without a tradition hosel this new generation looked sleek while maintaining the benefits of the Fat Shaft. Unfortunately the product went to market with an oversized chunky looking hosel in addition to the revised crown shapes which I didn’t like. It pays to complete a project as opposed to only starting one.

Jeff Sheets Golf,Club Design,Club Development,Wilson,Deep Red,Fat Shaft

Model: Deep Red II Irons
Material: Investment Cast 431 Stainless Steel w/Urethane Dampener
Introduction: 2003


As with the second generation of Deep Red woods, the Deep Red II irons offered both a Distance and Tour version. The Distance iron had more similarities to its Deep Red predecessor with an oversize face profile, wider sole and urethane vibration dampening insert in the cavity. As with the first generation the Deep Red irons it incorporated a .500” tip steel Fat Shaft and a .535” tip graphite option. The Deep Red II Tour irons were the players’ version of the design utilizing a traditional Dynamic Gold shaft in place of the Fat Shaft. The same design team of Jon Pergande, Rich Hulock and myself developed this family of product.