TaylorMade and company staffer Rory McIlroy have joined forces to develop two sets of junior golf clubs. The 4-Plus set, not surprisingly, is for players 4 and up, and the 8-Plus set, is for, well, you get the idea.
Marketed as “Rory Junior Golf Sets,” a driver, fairway woods, rescue, irons, wedges and a putter are all included. The 4-Plus set has five clubs, while the 8-Plus has two additional irons.
“Growing up, golf was an extremely important part of my life. It allowed me to stay active, enjoy the outdoors and have fun within a competitive sport. I partnered with TaylorMade to design the Rory Junior Set to give kids an easy introduction to golf so they can have the same opportunity I had to fall in love with the sport,” McIlroy said.
According to TaylorMade, the sets utilize technologies from other company products with lengths, lofts, and shaft flexes optimized for juniors (example: easy-to-launch 16-degree driver).
Set makeups, courtesy of TaylorMade, below. The titanium driver is 400cc and the irons are made from 17-4 stainless steel.
Both the boys and girls 8-Plus set are designed for ages eight and above and 52″ to 60″ in height. MSRP of $399 USD.
- 400cc driver: 16° / 39.5″
- 3 wood: 24° / 37″
- 5 rescue: 30° / 34.5″
- 7-iron: 36° / 32.5″
- 9-iron: 44° / 31.5″
- Sand wedge: 56° / 31″
- Putter: 30″
Designed for players aged 4+ and 42″ to 52″ in height. MSRP of $299 USD.
- 400cc driver: 16° / 33.5″
- 5 Rescue: 30° / 29.5″
- 7-iron: 38° / 27.5″
- Sand wedge: 54° / 26″
- Putter: 26″
McIlroy announced the launch via Twitter with an accompanying video.
At age 5 I got my first real set of clubs, and that’s when my passion for the game started. Excited to announce I’ve teamed up with @taylormadegolf to create the perfect starter set for young golfers so they can build their passion for the game at an early age like I did! pic.twitter.com/wEpQhuj18c
— Rory McIlroy (@McIlroyRory) November 1, 2018
Top 5 insider takeaways from Hideki Matsuyama’s 2021 Masters WITB
When it comes to players on the PGA Tour, there are few as detail-orientated as Hideki Matsuyama. His equipment testing sessions are non-stop week to week in his tireless pursuit of accomplishing greatness on every swing.
Even as recently as two weeks ago, Matsuyama was spotted at the WGC Matchplay testing no less than 5 different putters. He eventually settled on the one that ultimately helped him win the Masters—but what about the rest of his clubs?
Earlier this year GolfWRX got an insider look at Hideki’s “what’s in the bag” including the how and the why and these are the top five most interesting notes.
He plays a heavy driver shaft
The general rule in club fitting is golfers with smoother tempos can use lighter weight options since their load profile puts less stress on the shaft—we’ve even seen some extreme examples of lightweight options being testing on tour by other players.
For Hideki, using a Graphite design DI 8 goes against that even though he has a fairly smooth tempo and a tiny pause at the top of his swing, but it should be noted he also swings his driver between 115 and 120 mph. It just goes to show the importance of player preference and feel when it comes to finding what’s right.
Srixon tour team – “Hideki is constantly testing driver shafts, including lightweight options. He has found that heavier shafts allow him to generate more clubhead speed with his swing. Hideki also believes that heavier shafts help create and support his unique tempo.”
He prefers a more “game improvement” look to his driver
Even with his ballstriking ability, Hideki—like many other players on the PGA Tour—prefers to use a driver that offers a higher MOI to increase ball speed and forgiveness on shots hit around the face. That means choosing the Srixon ZX5 over the ZX7, even though he has used both with great success.
Srixon tour team – “We had success with both the ZX5 and ZX7 drivers. Hideki played both models in numerous PGA tournaments this year. The deciding factor for Hideki to choose the ZX5 over the ZX7 was distance. The ZX5 setup generated more ball speed and carry distance. The ZX7 setup allows him to maximize his control. During a tournament, Hideki played the ZX7 and hit over 80 percent of his fairways, but it was not carrying as far as the ZX5. He went back to the ZX5 mid-way through that event.”
Hideki is very specific about lead tape
Some golfers just slap on lead tape until it feels right, but not Hideki. He takes his lead tape and testing seriously to the point where he uses precut pieces around iron heads to get things just right.
Srixon tour team – “We travel with pre-cut lead tape in half-gram and one-gram increments, and Hideki will apply the tape to different areas of the club (muscle, flange, hosel, shaft), depending on how the club feels while testing. When iron testing, Hideki likes to have a full set built rather than just a few lofts. We do this because if he likes the iron while testing, then we have the full set ready to go for him to test right away.”
He players softer iron shafts than his wedge
Much like his heavier driver shaft, Hideki’s shaft of choice in his wedges goes against conventional fitting wisdom. He uses True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 wedge shafts compared to S400 iron shafts and for most players on tour, it would be the other way around.
According to the team at Srixon, he prefers the stiffer profile to help with flighting the ball down and controlling his launch window.
He is always tinkering with his highest-lofted wedges
With course conditions varying week to week, Hideki is always working with different bounce variations to maximize the efficiency in his short game. Even though he does play with his bounce combinations, the overall sole shape stays constant along with the look he prefers from address.
Srixon Tour team – “Hideki doesn’t change his 52-degree sole often, but he is constantly tinkering with his 56 and 60. All three soles have a subtle C-grind shape. The 56 and 60-degree have an aggressive heel relief. Hideki also utilizes a similar subtle leading-edge grind that is in his irons. He plays his 60 and 56 weaker to help remove the offset and maintain a very straight, smooth transition from the hosel to leading-edge.”
How to gap your clubs with Rapsodo MLM
When it comes to improving your scores on the course, there are few things that are going to help more than gapping your clubs using a launch monitor. Knowing your yardages with each club allows you to make confident decisions on the course and hit it closer to your targets.
This is the reason you see professionals at the highest level on the range every week dialing in their distances using launch monitors.
Now, up until recently, access to a launch monitor has required you to book time at a coaching or club fitting facility with the right equipment, or in extreme cases, investing thousands of dollars into a high-end photo or doppler radar system that costs about the same as a new mid-range 4-door car.
These systems are great but certainly don’t fit the mold of something affordable and portable for personal use—this is where the Rapsodo MLM comes in.
What is the Rapsodo MLM?
The Rapsodo MLM (mobile launch monitor) is a personal launch monitor device that utilizes the camera in your phone or tablet in conjunction with an internal radar to track your golf ball after impact.
The resulting culmination of data gives you ball speed, clubhead speed, smash factor, launch direction, launch angle, and most importantly in the discussion of gapping: distance.
Beyond the provided ball data, the Rapsodo MLM’s app offers a shot tracing function and video capture of each swing, and when sharing your GPS location, also provides an overhead shot map of your dispersion—an endlessly useful tool to have at your disposal on the range. The best part is for those looking to get into the personal launch monitor market, the Rapasodo MLM is only $499.
How to best use your Rapsodo MLM to gap your clubs
You should think about your set of clubs is like a toolbox with each club serving a function and having a purpose in your bag. The more often you are able to test, the more knowledgeable you are going to be, and the quicker you are going to improve.
Here is a quick guide on how to gap your clubs.
- Go through the whole bag – Once you have taken the time to warm up, start with the highest-lofted club, and work your way up to the longest. You want to hit at least 7-10 shots with each club to build an average. A cool feature of the MLM app is it not only gives you your averages but creates an easy-to-understand graphic that also showcases your minimum and maximum ranges.
- Pay attention to any overlap – As mentioned off the top, you want each club within your set to serve a purpose and when two clubs are overlapping in distance you need to make adjustments. On a basic level, bringing this data to a club-fitter can make getting your lie and loft angle adjusted easily and with a purpose, or on a more advanced level it could demonstrate the need to change up some of the clubs in your bag.
- Put your new knowledge into action – Now that you are armed with this newfound information and confidence in your clubs take it to the course to see how it can be put into play. Need to stay short of a dogleg? Making the right choice off the tee has never been easier. Have to carry a hazard? Play the club you know will cover the carry distance.
One of the greatest skills better players have is knowledge in their game and no matter how much you play – the more good choices you make on the course when it comes to club selection the better you are going to play.
Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (04/12/21): Copper Goodwood putter
At GolfWRX, we love golf, plain and simple.
We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment of the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball. It even allows us to share another thing, including equipment or, in this case, a custom milled putter.
Currently, in our GolfWRX buy/sell/trade (BST) forum, there is a listing for a Goodwood custom plated in copper.
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