11/24/2016

He shouldn’t have any problems thinking about what he’s thankful for this year.

Eric Sillies, a Cincinnati, Ohio native, was the selected as the inaugural winner of the Wilson Golf driver design contest on the Golf Channel. In his victory he was able to accept a $500,000 grand prize and has basically, become an overnight lower-level celebrity in the golf industry. Hey, that’s pretty good in such a short period of time.

Sillies journey in Wilson golf product design started a little over a year-and-a-half ago when he submitted an application to take part in the new reality TV Show. The idea for the show was reliant upon the ideas of others.

The idea for the contest itself, to me, was brilliant.

In a golf market saturated with high volumes of golf equipment, and with past leaders leaving the industry, something innovative needed to happen to stir any interest, especially from a smaller player like Wilson Golf. What’s the incentive for purchasing a new driver in today’s market? All drivers promise more distance, more accuracy, and better results. People comment on forums throughout the web, “shouldn’t we be hitting it 400 yards by now??” And they’re not wrong with the marketing we’ve seen.

Wilson golf seemed to birth the perfect idea by bringing club design back to the consumers.

They hand-picked a celebrity centered panel to hear the pitches of designers coming in from throughout the world, including PGA Tour player Kevin Streelman. From there, it was a behind-the-scenes look at the club design process. For the club and tech junkies out there, understanding all of the elements that go into club design was heaven on earth.

And in the end, it was the Eric Sillies design that took home the gold.

The Driver That Won

The Triton driver design was the winner of the content.

The features of the driver that stand out are the replaceable sole plates, of which there are two, and the 5 movable weights for 18 possible weighting configurations. It’s technology that remains similar to what we’ve seen in the past 5-7 years, but has unique developments that truly do differentiate it.

On Black Friday, the driver will officially go on sale in over 1,000 retail and golf course pro shops throughout the company. Learn more about the driver here, as it’s available for purchase.

Also, for a video from the Wilson Golf team, check this out:

The aforementioned Streelman will be adding the driver to his bag at the onset of the 2017 PGA Tour season.

What remains to be seen will be how Wilson Golf will fare through this. They launched a new set of irons last year that took years to develop. The Chicago-based company is pushing the envelope, and it will be interesting to see where they go from here.

At the end of the day, Sillies motto was simple, “to make things better by making better things.” We’ll see with the new Triton driver from Wilson Golf.

If you’d like to watch a review of the show’s finale, here’s what aired on Golf Channel’s Morning Drive.