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Michael Block spotted with full set of TaylorMade “Proto” irons at Valhalla

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Editor’s note: This is an excerpt from a piece our Andrew Tursky originally wrote for PGATour.com’s Equipment Report. Head over there for the full article.

On Monday at the 2024 PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club, Block had a full set of TaylorMade “Proto” irons in the bag.

Block is the first player of many on the PGA TOUR to bag a set of the mysterious “Proto” irons. Rory McIlroy first switched into a “Proto” 4-iron at the Valero Texas Open, and Collin Morikawa followed suit at the 2024 RBC Heritage. Block isn’t using just the 4-iron, though, he’s using a full set to go along with a TaylorMade Stealth UDI driving iron.

Speaking with GolfWRX.com on Monday at the PGA Championship, Block revealed the full backstory.

“I hit a couple super “Proto” irons when I was at the Kingdom (TaylorMade’s fitting facility in Southern California) a couple months ago, and it was a 9-iron that didn’t have any badges or anything on it,” Block said. “I had no idea what it was … It was very similar to what I was using back then, you know, my old MCs, and very similar from the top. I hit it and absolutely loved it. For me to even think about switching irons from the last 11-12 years is crazy.

“I got this set about two weeks ago, and I’m working my way into them. I hit them more solid; it comes off the face more solid. Much higher. I think they’re still slightly too upright for me, so they’re being bent a degree flatter, because they’re going a little too high for me and drawing a little too much. When that starts to happen, I start to drop the club under and compensate too much, so I’m getting them flattened slightly, and I’m going to test them on the range again, and hopefully have them in play on Thursday…

“They go further, and they go higher … that combination is kind of a no-brainer. If I can take a 5-iron from 204 rather than a 4-iron, it’s good on me. It’s going to help me out for sure, especially at a major with the pin locations. Having that height coming in, that descent angle is going to be huge.”

With such new irons in the bag, after using the same irons for over a decade, surely you’d think there will be a bit of a learning curve. Block, however, is finding immediate comfort with the new “Proto” irons.

Head over to PGATour.com for the full article.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Pingback: John Daly’s $750 custom irons, and 10 must-see gear photos from the 2024 PGA Championship – GolfWRX

  2. Paulo

    May 14, 2024 at 11:19 pm

    Good to see blocky gets offered these first

    • KB

      May 15, 2024 at 2:23 pm

      the guy is a total douche -bag his 15 minutes are up now

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Whats in the Bag

Min Woo Lee WITB 2024 (May)

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  • Min Woo Lee what’s in the bag accurate as of Charles Schwab Challenge. 

Driver: Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond S (10.5 degrees @9.5)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Blue 6 X

3-wood: Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Triple Diamond HL (16.5 degrees @15.5)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Blue 9 X

Hybrid: Callaway Apex Pro (20 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Blue HB 8 X

Irons: Callaway X Forged UT (2), Callaway Apex MB (4-PW)
Shafts: True Temper AMT Tour White (2), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 (4-PW)

Wedges: Callaway Jaws MD5 (50-10S, ), Titleist Vokey Design SM9 (56-14F @55), WedgeWorks (60-T)
Shafts: Nippon NS Pro Modus3

Putter: Odyssey Ai-One Milled Six T DB
Shaft: Odyssey Stroke Lab 70
Grip: SuperStroke Zenergy Claw 1.0

Grips: Grip Master

Check out more in-hand photos of Min Woo Lee’s clubs here.

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Whats in the Bag

Talor Gooch WITB 2024 (May)

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Driver: Ping G430 LST (9 degrees @7.5)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei 1K White 80 TX

3-wood: Callaway Epic Speed Triple Diamond (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D-Plus 80 TX

Hybrid: Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815 (20 degrees @19)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Blue ATX 105h TX

Irons: Callaway X Forged UT (22 degrees), Callaway X Forged CB (4-6), Callaway Apex MB (7-9)
Shafts: Nippon Modus3 Tour 125 X

Wedges: Callaway Jaws MD5 (46-10S, 52-10S, 56-10S, 60-08)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Odyssey Tri-Hot 5K Two
Shaft: Odyssey Stroke Lab

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet

More photos of Talor Gooch’s WITB in the forums.

 

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Equipment

Spotted: Chris Kirk’s Callaway Opus wedges

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Gear junkies have been waiting patiently for Callaway to release new wedges. We may have gotten a sneak peek at what’s coming after seeing something new in Chris Kirk’s bag at the 2024 Charles Schwab Challenge. Spotted were a few different wedges, but the Callaway Opus caught our eye.

The term opus can mean, “any artistic work, especially one on a large scale. With iconic wedge designer Roger Cleveland now working with Terra Forza golf, could this have been his last creation for Callaway?

We don’t have any official word from Callaway on these wedges, but the main focal point seems to be the extra mass in the center of the club. This added material could be used to adjust the center of gravity on the wedge in order for it to launch and spin a specific way. It can also be used to enhance the feel and sound of the club with more material behind the impact location.

The shaping of the head looks to be a little more on the rounded side compared to the current Jaws Raw wedges. The topline on the wedge looks to be fairly thin and the leading edge is pretty straight with just a little bit of a radius to it. The color looks to be an antique brown and it will be interesting to see if that is a plating on the club or some kind of oilcan finish that will wear away and rust.

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