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Rory McIlroy switches back to TaylorMade Rors Proto irons at Wells Fargo

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It has been a busy equipment week at the Wells Fargo Championship with lots of new gear debuting out on tour, but for world number 15 Rory McIlroy, it’s been less about new stuff and more about reuniting with something older: his TaylorMade Rors Proto irons.

We were on the first tee Wednesday morning to spot Rory tee off with his pro-am partners and that is where we spied the Ulsterman with his old set back in the bag.

To provide a bit of a refresher, the Rors Protos were part of the custom series of irons made for a number of prominent TaylorMade staff players, including Dustin Johnson and (at the time) Justin Rose. They all featured slightly tweaked profiles of the TaylorMade P730 blade, featuring either a unique grind or blade length profile.

There is no question Rory’s game has not been up to his standard recently, and he has been messing around with iron shafts over the last couple of months with the goal of dialing in distance control and dispersion. With the PGA Championship quickly approaching at Kiawah Island, a course where Rory won the 2012 PGA by an astonishing eight shots, this looks to be a switch made for the sake of comfort and trying to find something to get him back into form.

You can join the discussion about the switch here in the GolfWRX forums: Rory is back to the Rors Proto iron at Wells Fargo Championship

 

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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.

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Pingback: Tour Truck Report: Rory switching driver shafts? | Xander making a golf ball change? | Hideki testing putters – GolfWRX

  2. Delbert

    May 6, 2021 at 9:09 pm

    Time to switch to Ping.

  3. Pingback: Lots of new and old gear in play at Wells Fargo Championship – GolfWRX

  4. Pingback: Wells Fargo Championship Tour Truck Report: Rory’s new (old) irons, Bryson’s proto 2-wood, Jason Day is SIK – GolfWRX

  5. HKO

    May 5, 2021 at 3:59 pm

    noticing the cavity-back black iron. possibly a DI? any info?

    • CraigC

      May 5, 2021 at 6:04 pm

      GForce swing trainer. Looks like an iron and wedge trainer in the bag.

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Equipment

SST Pure: A deep dive into the technology

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Due to the manufacturing process, all golf shafts contain irregularities in straightness, stiffness, and roundness. And depending on how a shaft is aligned, the inconsistencies can adversely affect a shaft’s performance and consistency.

SST PURE was developed as a solution to this problem.

In simplest terms, the SST PURE (stands for it stands for Plane of Uniform REpeatability) process finds a shaft’s most stable orientation to minimizing twisting and off-line bending during the swing. This results in longer, straighter ball flight and more consistent performance in all PUREd shafts. Subjectively, PUREd shafts are often described as feeling “softer” than their non-PUREd counterparts.

For more background on SST PURE and PUREing on tour, we talked with SST founder Dick Weiss, independent rep Scott Garrison, who has the only SST Pure machine on a tour truck, and rep Arnie Cunningham.

Here’s what they had to say.

SST founder Dick Weiss

GolfWRX: Give us a 101-level overview of SST PUREing.

DW: What we do at SST is we analyze the irregularities in a shaft and based on various algorithms, various mathematic formulas, determine which is most asymmetric. Which is the one that’s causing the shaft to bend and twist out of line at impact and also in the first load – the transition between backswing and downswing, there’s a lot of movement in there also. What we do is identify that and mark it so it can be assembled into the club head.

It’s a technological development. It’s come about because we have computers today to do this. We don’t do it by eyeball. The computer doesn’t care who’s going to play it, what level of skill they have, what the material composition is of a shaft, who made it, what kind of ball you’re going to hit. That’s not what we do. What we are saying is we want to analyze a shaft to get it to perform to the best of its ability. You can take a shaft based upon irregularities in it – because shafts are not round or straight.

If you take any shaft and roll it on a table like a pool cue, you’ll see 90% of the time they’ll bounce along because they’re not round. There’s high points and low points, thicker and thinner areas. All we want to do is locate that and say, “Let’s make it work as an asset, let’s make it work as a support for a shaft so they don’t torque out or twist out at impact.”

GolfWRX: Can you give us a brief overview of exactly what goes on in the SST PUREing process?

DW: Sure. In the PUREing process, there’s approximately fifty-six steps you have to take assuming you do what we call a retro-PURE. There’s two ways to PURE. One is if you take a brand new head, a brand new shaft, PURE the shaft and assemble it into a head – that’s a brand new club. The second way would be what we call a retro-PURE. One is we take apart an existing club, keep the shaft, take the grip off, peel the tape off underneath the grip. We use our Weiss-Gibson Ultimate Extractor, we cut the ferrule off. We remove the shaft. We drill out the old epoxy in the head and acetone the head down. We then drill out any old epoxy that may be in the tip of the club. We turn down and clean the outside tip of the club if there’s any epoxy or residue from the epoxy itself where the ferrule may have been. We then go ahead and PURE the shaft. We come back and fit a ferrule, reassemble the club. We use a fast dry epoxy with shafting beads in it.

GolfWRX: Now what would you say to those who don’t believe in the SST PUREing process?

DW: In any technology, people question it which is good. People still don’t think the Earth is round. I think if they are honest with themselves – forget about Dick Weiss and SST as an entity. If they’re honest with themselves and they know anything about clubs whether they make them in their garage or professionally, they have to be able to tell that shafts can not perform the same just randomly or haphazardly assembled. Each shaft has its idiosyncrasies.

So I say for the ones that don’t believe in it, do a test yourself without any type of process. Take a club out, hit it, bring it back in, try to stay off the quadrants, 90 degrees left, 180, another 90, that’s not the way to do it. Move it 30 degrees to the left or right. Put it back in and go hit it. Flip the plane upside down, put it back in, and go hit it.

We’ve started doing a lot of internal testing is because everyone says, “Let us see some independent testing.” We said okay and did it. We took the tour van and five workers with us. We used clubs I hadn’t seen. They came from tour. We didn’t look for asymmetric products. We just took what was there, new shafts, new heads, some of the heads I’ve never seen before. It doesn’t make any difference. We’re happy to subject it to any tests.

Scott E Garrison

“Studies have shown the irregularities in shafts, and that causes offline shots. If you play pool at a bar, you’re going to take the straightest queue.”

GolfWRX: How do you showcase the benefits of SST PUREing when players visit your truck?

SEG: When I have a player in the truck, and I do a quick demonstration and put a shaft in the machine, within two minutes, they’re in…they’re hooked.

All the OEMs, they’re seeing their players want this done, so we’re PUREing up shafts and getting them back to [their trucks] so they can build PUREd clubs for their players.

GolfWRX: What performance examples can you give us where a player PUREd his shafts and saw tremendous improvement?

SEG: It was about seven years ago when I just finished re-gripping Ben Martin’s putter with a SuperStroke grip. As he was leaving, I asked him if he had ever had his clubs PUREd. He said, “No, but I had heard about it and was curious.” I showed him a set I was in the middle of PUREing and he was sold. It was Monday morning, the week of the RBC Heritage and it was pouring. He said to PURE his entire set. That’s what I did Monday afternoon. I ripped his gamers apart and PUREd the shafts and put them back together (a retro-PURE). He was leading the tournament, he shot a career-low round and finished third. He told me later how much better his mis-hits were.

Arnie Cunningham

GolfWRX: What’s the most obvious benefit of PUREing?

AC: It’s about dispersion patterns. Until a person can really dive deep into the numbers—and we’ve done it throughout the years at Golf Laboratories and its proved over and over that the dispersion pattern is better PUREd vs not.

GolfWRX: Are there any misconceptions about PUREing?

AC: Detractors might be looking for some miracle feel, but really, it’s about the dispersion and an improvement on the already good technology in shafts.

GolfWRX: Tell us about the USGA restrictions on PUREing.

AC: You’re stabilizing the golf shaft. You’re putting it in the best playing position possible. If you PURE a shaft, by USGA rules, you can not turn that shaft to allow for a draw or a cut. Just that rule tells me they know it works because they’ve tested and they’ve seen the difference in performance.

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Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (06/11/21): The Buck Club paint splash scorecard holder

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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 The Buck Club paint splash scorecard holder ($125).

From the seller (@taylorhat): “The Buck Club paint splash scorecard holder from the valspar. This is a really neat piece, though I just don’t use it to justify keeping it.  $125”

To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: The Buck Club paint splash scorecard holder.

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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Reason not to play multiple hybrids? – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been discussing whether players should have a variety of hybrids in the bag. WRXer ‘Jetandollie’ kicks off the thread asking is there a reason not to play multiple hybrids and wonders whether we’ll get to a point where a 6-iron is the shortest iron in the bag for a player:

“Now that companies (Ping, PXG, Mizuno, Titleist) are making hybrids up to 28-34* with several shaft options is there a reason that the majority of us should not be playing them to as high a loft as we can find? 

All of the review videos and numbers always show that they go higher, land at a steeper descent angle and are significantly more forgiving and consistent than irons. 

I get that the main point of rebuttal is too high of a ball flight and playing in a windy location, but over the course of 60-80 rounds per year (1500-2000 long/midiron shots) will the shots saved from the forgiveness and higher launch/steeper decent not outweigh the iron mishits or shots lost in the wind? 

Will we get to the point with the way tech in clubs is progressing that the norm will be hybrids to the 6 or 7 iron in most bags?”

And our members have been weighing in on the topic in our forums.

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.

  • MPAndreassi: “Cleveland has been trying to do this for at least a decade now. I don’t think it’ll ever catch on.”
  • cpang05: “Price. For the average guy I see at the muni, starting with a 4H, 5H, then 6i seems really popular. But those hybrids are half the cost of a full set of irons.”
  • Clubhoe: “Workability. Will continue for as long as I’m able to hit them. Will go to utilities next, then hybrids after that.”
  • Mattm97: “I hit my irons better than hybrid. I think it depends on the person, their game and usage. I have a 3H, and I honestly don’t use it a ton except for certain situations.”

Entire Thread: “Reason not to play multiple hybrids?”

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