The 7 coolest clubs we spotted in pros’ bags in 2023

michael block taylormade tour preferred mc irons

Michael Block's TaylorMade Tour Preferred MC irons were the talk of the Tour after his dream week at the PGA Championship.

Jonathan Wall/GOLF

One of the things that differentiates GOLF’s equipment coverage from other outlets is the amount of time we spend on the PGA Tour keeping tabs on gear changes in real time. Ryan Barath and I lost count of the days we spent on the road, but the club photos snapped along the way are a good reminder of all the gear goodness we experienced in person.

To put a bow on our gear coverage for this year, we’re recapping our favorite gear finds from the last 12 months spent on Tour with 7 snaps that captured our attention. Without further ado, let’s get to the goods.

1. Nike lives

Suh’s Nike Method Core putter. Jonathan Wall/GOLF

This year marked seven years since Nike exited the hard-good industry, which still doesn’t seem real. Even with a lack of new product making its way to Tour, several pros continue to keep the Swoosh relevant in the hard-goods space. That includes Justin Suh, who has been using the same Method Core putter for a decade.

If you want to call shenanigans on a pro not named Tiger or Jordan using the same putter for that long, just check out the wear mark on Suh’s wand. Enough said.

2. Do it yourself job

Schauffele’s caddie added the white lines to the face of the driver for visual purposes. Jonathan Wall/GOLF

At the highest level of professional golf, visuals are everything. If a driver looks visually shut at address, it might not even receive a single cut from a Tour pro. The same can be said for how much of the face is showing when the club is set down. In Xander Schauffele’s case, the original silver scoring lines on last year’s Rogue ST and the current Paradym made it appear as if there wasn’t enough loft when he put the driver down.

Too little loft — or even the appearance of not enough — can make some golfers change their swing to get the ball airborne, even if that’s not really the case. Instead of asking for a completely custom driver face from Callaway, Schauffele’s caddie, Austin Kaiser, drew white sharpie lines on the face to mimic the pattern of the scoring lines found on Callaway’s Mavrik.

“I’m not meticulous or tedious enough to draw those on the face myself,” Schauffele said. “Austin is the only one who has enough patience to make that happen.”

3. Just for Cameron

Young tested a prototype version of his 631.CY irons at the Memorial. Ryan Barath/GOLF

One of the many perks of this job is getting the opportunity to watch clubs go from concept to prototype to finished product. Earlier this year, Barath spotted Cameron Young testing an unmarked Titleist 6-iron that eventually turned into the custom 631.CY blades he debuted later in the year.

The 6-iron in the photo wound up being the impetus behind Young’s decision to switch irons in the first place, following a conversation with Titleist Tour rep J.J. Van Wezenbeeck on what he’d like to see in a set of custom blades made for his game.

“The one thing he mentioned was possibly getting the 6-iron to launch a little higher, because of the transition into T100 at the top of the set, but he still wanted the look of a blade 6-iron,” Van Wezenbeeck said.

4. Trendsetter

Fowler’s Odyssey Versa Jailbird putter was a hot commodity on Tour. Jonathan Wall/GOLF

Rickie Fowler didn’t realize it at the time, but his decision to put a 38 5/8-inch Odyssey Versa Jailbird in play at the American Express set in motion arguably the hottest gear trend on Tour. Fowler’s success on the greens with the heavier counterbalance build led Wyndham Clark to switch to an identical version just before the U.S. Open — and eventually take down Fowler with the same putter at Los Angeles Country Club to claim his maiden major title.

Pros couldn’t get enough of the “Fowler putter,” and Odyssey had a tough time keeping up with the incredible demand. A retail version was eventually released that instantly sold out. You get the point: Versa Jailbird was red-hot.

The photo above was taken the week Fowler put Jailbird in play in La Quinta, Calif. — back when it was just another mallet putter on Tour. Things have changed in a big way since that week.

5. Prescient gear change

Rory McIlroy’s TaylorMade P760 long irons came in handy at the Scottish Open. Ryan Barath/GOLF

Back in February at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Rory McIlroy made a curious change to his setup when he swapped his TaylorMade Rors Proto 3- and 4-iron for older TaylorMade P760s. At the time of the change, McIlroy was looking for something the Rors Proto struggled to produce: a higher launch.

“I feel like sometimes with the 3- and the 4-iron in the blades they can come in a little flat at times, where the par-5 and the second shots into the par-5s specifically this week are very, very important, so I thought having a little bit more flight on those long irons could be helpful,” he said in Phoenix.

The two long irons were mainstays in his bag this season, outside of stretch in July when McIlroy added a Tour-only P760 2-iron to the bag. Rummaging through the garage in advance of a trip to Scotland for the Scottish Open and Open Championship, McIlroy unearthed the 2-iron and found it to be a better fit than his 3-iron or 5-wood during testing.

The gear change wound up producing a moment at the Scottish Open that McIlroy later called one of the “best shots I’ll hit in my career.” The shot in question? A 201-yard approach into the final hole that barely got off the ground and somehow settled inside 15 feet to set up an improbable birdie-birdie finish to win the tournament. If not for McIlroy’s decision to reinsert P760 earlier in the year, the 2-iron may have never seen the light of day.

6. Major payday

Block confirmed he received a big offer for the Tour Preferred MC 7-iron he used to record a hole-in-one at the 2023 PGA Championship. Jonathan Wall/GOLF

The 2023 PGA Championship will be remembered as the week Brooks Koepka reestablished his place as one of pro golf’s alpha dogs. But if you’re looking for a 1B storyline to Koepka’s 1A, Michael Block’s incredible run at the Oak Hill Country Club has to top the list.

The club pro enjoyed a dream week that included an incredible hole-in-one during the final round — while playing with four-time major winner Rory McIlroy. The TaylorMade Tour Preferred MC 7-iron he used to pull off the shot turned into a wanted club overnight. The PGA of America had hopes of displaying it at their new headquarters in Frisco, Texas.

But as everyone knows, cash is king.

The week after his T15 finish at the PGA Championship, Block told that he had a head-spinning offer on the table for the club, to the tune of $50,000 for just the 7-iron.

“For $50k, I’ll hand deliver it,” he said with a laugh. “All I know is that thing isn’t going to be too far out of my eyesight anymore. I don’t think I made $50k per year until 10 years ago.”

Block still had the 7-iron in the bag during multiple Tour starts following the PGA Championship, so we’re going to assume the mid-iron caked in lead tape was too valuable to sell.

7. Garage find

Champ was reuinted with Ping’s Rapture utility iron after rummaging through the garage. Jonathan Wall/GOLF

For years, Cameron Champ relied on a Ping Rapture 2-iron as a secondary option off the tee, going back to his time playing golf at Texas A&M University. Hoping to make a slight tweak to the lie angle, Champ had the club bent flat and watched the hosel snap during the process. Compounding the problem, Champ didn’t have a backup at home and struggled to locate a clean used option on the secondary market.

“All of them were so beat up,” Champ told “I figured that was it for the club, so I moved on to other options.”

Before leaving for the RSM Classic, Champ’s luck changed when he unearthed a Ping Rapture 2-iron from an old golf bag at home that was caked in dust and dirt.

“I honestly couldn’t believe it,” Champ recalled. “It was just sitting there next to a bunch of other clubs. It’s one of those clubs I loved having in the bag because it could hit a bunch of different shots. I plan to use it a ton going forward.”

Champ confirmed typical carry for the 2-iron is 260-plus yards, which just makes you shake your head and laugh. It’s a weapon Champ’s happy to have in the bag heading into next season.

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