These 15-year-old irons are making a comeback on Tour
LA QUINTA, Calif. — It’s not unusual for PGA Tour players to keep a couple of older clubs in the bag, especially when it comes to something like a putter or a favorite fairway wood that performs exactly the way they expect it to shot after shot. On the other hand, clubs that see a lot more abrasive ground contact like irons and wedges usually get replaced a lot more often, and upgraded to a new model.
But holdouts exist — like the 15-year-old set of irons James Hahn had in the bag at the American Express.
What irons are they?
The irons that stood out in James Hahn’s bag this week at PGA West were a set of Adams Golf Idea Pro Black MBs dating back to 2009.
The Adams Golf brand was reintroduced into the market by TaylorMade last year, but these irons date back to when Adams was still a standalone OEM out of Plano, Texas, with a big stake in the hybrid market and an aggressive CEO — current Callawy TopGolf CEO Chip Brewer — determined to build market share.
Although they were famous for their mid to higher-handicap hybrid combo sets, it was around the mid-2000s that Adams began putting a greater focus on irons designed for the low-handicap golfer when they launched the Idea Pro and then the Pro Gold. But it was their Pro Black MBs that set them apart and caught golfers’ attention.
When asked about the reason for going back to these older Adams irons, Hahn told GOLF.com that he likes the look of the slightly larger head shape compared to modern blade irons, and the forgiveness they provide on mishits due to the bigger footprint and sole profile. Another thing he said when discussing these older clubs was that they were “some of the best-looking irons ever made,” which is high praise coming from a guy who has had the chance to play and test almost anything over the last decade.
As for how he got them, Hahn explained that he had used the irons dating back to his time on the Nationwide Tour — now the Korn Ferry Tour — and had collected several sets of backups over the years including some very lightly used ones, and has plans to hold onto them for as long as he can.
Not the only older clubs in play
Other older clubs spotted this week at the American Express include Daniel Berger’s 2010 TaylorMade MC irons, Brandt Snedeker’s Bridgestone J15CB irons, Chad Ramey’s 2017 TaylorMades Tour Proto 750s, Cameron Champ’s original Ping Rapture driving irons and a well-loved TaylorMade M5 5-wood belonging to Michael Block.
Don’t worry, we’ll have more on Berger’s irons this week in the weekly gear wrapup from the California Desert.
It just goes to show that even at the highest level, if you have a club or even a set of irons that’s working, then as the saying goes, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.
But if you are looking to replace some clubs that aren’t performing as you would like, you can overhaul your bag for 2024 by finding a True Spec Golf fitting location near you.