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Daniel Berger notches top-10 finish with 9-year-old TaylorMade irons

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Editor’s note: TaylorMade Tour Preferred MC irons were released in late 2011 for the 2012 season. We’re choosing the release year in dating the clubs. 

Golfers love to talk about new gear, but like with classic cars, it’s hard not to take notice when a classic piece of equipment shows up in a player’s bag—especially on the PGA Tour.

At the Waste Management Phoenix Open, former Callaway staff member and 2015 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, Daniel Berger went back to a nine-year-old (in golf years that’s ancient) set of 2011 TaylorMade Tour Preferred MC irons—and recorded a top 10 at TPC Scottsdale.

From pictures on the range at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, the rest of Berger’s bag consisted of a Callaway Epic Flash driver and fairway woods, Callaway Apex 3-iron, Callaway MD4 wedges, and an Odyssey putter—no word on his ball of choice at this time.

It’s not uncommon to see a player go back to a comfortable set of clubs, especially irons, but to see a player go this far back is more unusual. The only other recent example would be Steve Stricker going back to a much older set of Titleist 755’s. The big difference, from what we can tell, is Berger’s set appears to be NOS (new old stock) and a recently built set, based on their condition.

When talking to those in “the know,” the 2011 TaylorMade Tour Preferred series of irons—including the MB, MC, and CB’s—were some of the best irons ever made by the Carlsbad-based OEM (I will personally admit to owning two sets of the MC’s and an MB set).

The distinct design feature of the 2011 Tour Preferred MC CB irons was the weight screw in the back of the head that kept mass centered right behind the sweet spot of each head. This feature, something we have seen before and that continues to this day from other OEMs, allows for precise controlling of head weight without altering the CG to maximize performance.

We don’t know if these irons will be a mainstay for the rest of the season for Mr. Berger, but it is going to be something interesting to follow over the next few weeks.

 

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Ryan Barath is a club-fitter & master club builder with more than 17 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. He is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, and share his passion for club building, course architecture and wedge grinding.

14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Pingback: Daniel Berger WITB 2021 (September) | GolfTechie

  2. Pingback: Daniel Berger WITB 2021 (September) – GolfWRX

  3. Pingback: Ryder Cup WITBs: U.S. team | GolfTechie

  4. Pingback: Ryder Cup WITBs: U.S. team – GolfWRX

  5. Hjjv

    Feb 15, 2021 at 8:19 pm

    I play with myself

  6. Pingback: Daniel Berger’s winning WITB: 2021 AT&T Pro-Am | GolfTechie

  7. Pingback: Daniel Berger’s winning WITB: 2021 AT&T Pro-Am – GolfWRX

  8. Steve C

    Feb 6, 2020 at 10:54 am

    I’m surprised the golf manufacturers would allow a story like this to be printed.

  9. Kingsley Barry Adams jr

    Feb 4, 2020 at 5:36 pm

    My irons are 15 years old and my putter is almost 60 years old

  10. DJ

    Feb 4, 2020 at 10:25 am

    I’m still playing Bridgestone J40 DPC’s that originally came out in 2012. I have gone through two full sets (4-PW) and a couple extra 6 irons. I have one more set of them left. I have switched shafts a few times – from the original project X flighted to the PXI, then tried AMT White, but now on the Project X LZ. Finally got the perfect shafts.

  11. Gunter Eisenberg

    Feb 4, 2020 at 8:47 am

    That goes to show you that in the hands of a skilled golfer, he/she can perform with any club regardless of its age.

  12. Dan

    Feb 4, 2020 at 6:34 am

    Adam Scott (OWGR #15) is still using Titleist 680MB irons released in 2003!

  13. Fred

    Feb 3, 2020 at 8:00 pm

    I am still playing with my clubs from 1984 and I use my dad’s putter from the 1950’s. I did replace my persimmon woods a few years ago.

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Equipment

What are SQAIRZ golf shoes and can they really help you hit the ball farther?

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SQAIRZ golf shoes are the sport’s latest footwear designed to provide golfers with the one thing every player wants: the ability to hit the ball farther.

The brand’s shoes have been independently scientifically tested by numerous organizations, including Golf Laboratories Inc. and Terry Hashimoto, Co-founder of BodiTrak, (who are one of the top golf pressure mapping manufacturers), with the results showing that SQAIRZ help golfers excel in a number of key areas.

SQAIRZ golf shoes: The data

There are two connections in golf; your hands to the club and your feet to the ground. Your feet and the interaction of the shoe on the ground provides the energy to produce swing speed. Arguably, the feet to the ground is most important connection when considering balance, stability, and swing speed.

Terry Hashimoto tested the performance of over 200 golfers of all experience and levels for months wearing their current brand and then wearing SQAIRZ golf shoes. While using some of the top swing analysis software and devices such as BodiTrak, SwingGuru, and Ernest Sports, the data showed that SQAIRZ shoes have the most surface area connection with the ground of any golf shoe on the market, and this increased surface area resulted in a greater energy exchange with the ground, better balance, and weigh distribution/transfer, the key to generating more swing speed and distance.

What results did that increased surface area in connection with the ground yield? Vast gains for all wearers of SQAIRZ shoes in vital areas pertaining to distance in the game, including swing speed, carry, ball speed, and smash factor.

The average gains for those 200 golfers wearing SQAIRZ shoes compared to other brand’s footwear was an average of an 8-yard extra carry distance, 13mph increased ball speed, 11 degree increase in hip rotation, and a greater smash factor of 7%.

SQAIRZ golf shoes: The technology

At the heart of the design behind the technologically advanced shoes is the patented squared toe.

The interior design of the square toe allows the golfer’s toes to sit comfortably in the shoe, with a wider base and a heel stabilizer designed to provide enhanced balance and stability. The square toe also allows golfers a unique freedom for their toes to sit naturally with a full range of motion and noticeable feel for the ground.

SQAIRZ testing found that added flexibility in competitive sneaker-like golf shoes promoted inversion, the foot (weight) moving to the outside of the trail foot. This is when the golfer gets stuck on the right side (for right-handed golfers) and not being able to shift the weight back to the lead side.

With the SQAIRZ golf shoe, golfers are provided with a structured upper material often used in sports such as football and soccer to provide structure for sudden weight shifts. Along with this upper material, the outsole and midsole have been optimized for the right amount of flexibility to promote efficient energy exchange and stability. In addition, SQAIRZ has engineered a heel stabilizer that keeps the heel down throughout the swing and prevents ankle roll-over injuries on all types of lies.

There are 6 removable cleats on each shoe of which 4 red cleats target the area where the greatest amount of pressure is exerted on the bottom of the feet through the swing. 

The spikes are strategically place under these pressure points for optimum connection in the areas that require it most.

SQAIRZ shoes also feature the widest base and greatest amount of ground coverage of any golf shoe, which is proven to provide better balance and stability as well as offering an efficient braking power. 

Braking occurs towards the end of the backswing and immediately before the ball is struck. Golfers shift the weight from the trail to lead side and this optimized braking at the right time allows for increased swing speed.

SQAIRZ developed Sta-Put laces that don’t loosen or come untied during the round, with the laces containing silicone nubs printed on the top of the lace that are designed to make the “Sta-Put” once laced.

The laces feature a durable polyester material and raised silicone squares printed down the lace in a bid to comfortably form the shoe to your foot and lock it in place.

The soles of SQAIRZ shoes also contain Circular Traction Lugs designed for proper rotational movement of your feet, and the shoes are 100% waterproof thanks to a synthetic leather material that keeps your feet dry in all conditions.

In addition to the durable material, a gusseted tongue design aids at keeping water, sand and other debris out even in the worst of conditions.

Performance Conclusion:

As outlined in the independent tests, there are several notable performance highlights:

  • SQAIRZ allowed pressure to get to the trail heel portion of the foot faster during the
    backswing, generating more acceleration to the lead side quicker and creating a much
    greater “brake effect”, generating more vertical power on the lead side prior to impact
    with impressive distance gains.
  • SQAIRZ’s greater balance and stability translated to less sway and better accuracy and
    energy transfer.
  • SQAIRZ resulted in a significant increase in hip and shoulder rotation.
  • SQAIRZ eliminated inefficiencies witnessed in sneaker like golf shoes.

So, can a golf shoe really help you play better golf? The data says yes.

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Switching from blades to game improvement irons – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been discussing moving from blades to game improvement irons.

WRXer ‘PlayIt’ is interested in hearing from those who have made the switch and what their experiences have been, with WRXers sharing their thoughts on the transition in our forum.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • lefthack: “I am waiting on my GI irons (Takomo 101’s). I have a blade set and am currently playing split cavities. I prefer the blades but am enjoying my SC’s. I want to see what difference, if any, it makes. I will likely upgrade my blades when the Haywood MB’s come out in lefty. No idea what my handicap is, but I shoot close to par most days (I don’t really keep score).”
  • bladehunter: “Eh. It’s a rabbit hole. Don’t expect lower scores. Will always come down to what you think feels best. It’s only going to lower your scores if you are the player who can’t get a 5 iron airborne and is afraid of a 7 iron over water. If neither of those worries you, it’s not going to lower your scores. Edit. On the flip side. It shouldn’t raise scores either. I’m not against trying it. Heck, I’m playing a set of GI irons now ( t100 ). Somebody will chime in and tell you they’re not GI. But they’re wrong. So try it and get it out of your system. I just feel like you should know that expecting to buy strokes isn’t realistic. There’s not that much difference.”
  • DeCuchi: “I’ve tried multiple times; I’m more consistent with blades. I do hit GI’s further my distances are less consistent, and the long and left miss shows up more often, though. I still have hope of one day finding a GI set that works well for me.”

Entire Thread: “Switching from blades to game improvement irons

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Equipment

Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (10/18/21): Piretti Proto putter

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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 we all love – buy and selling equipment.

Currently, in our GolfWRX buy/sell/trade (BST) forum, there is a listing for a Piretti Proto putter

From the seller (@Bradh972): “Piretti prototype 62 of 100 with stability tour shaft new Piretti grip plays 35” with 1” extension comes with cover $600.”

To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: Piretti Proto putter

This is the most impressive current listing from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules

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