Bryson DeChambeau’s special irons almost didn’t make it to the Masters

bryson dechambeau masters irons

DeChambeau's custom irons didn't receive the green light from the USGA until

Getty Images

Bryson DeChambeau is using new irons at the Masters. You’ve likely heard about them because the current co-leader has been peppered with questions regarding his Avoda Golf blades since he elbowed his way into contention with an opening-round 65. Picking apart Augusta National with surgical precision will do that.

If it was any other golfer in the field, the gear in the bag might not register at a major championship. But DeChambeau is different. This is a guy who wields a driver designed for the long-drive circuit and relies on single-length irons to get him on the green. And don’t forget about how he strategically picks golf balls with perfectly centered cores by floating them in Epsom salts.

It’s a gear setup fit for a mad scientist — only this one just so happens to be tied for the lead after 36 holes at the Masters.

If DeChambeau is going to close the deal over the weekend, he’ll need the equipment to cooperate, including the irons. Only this set hasn’t seen much action in a competitive setting.

In fact, DeChambeau revealed he’s breaking them for the first time at the Masters.

Go back and look at photos from DeChambeau’s most recent LIV start and you’ll see Ping’s i230 irons in his hands — not the Avoda. While it’s not uncommon for pros to make last-minute changes for the Masters, most don’t wait until Tuesday to pull the trigger. That’s right: Tuesday.

As DeChambeau revealed after Friday’s 1-over 73, the last-minute iron swap wasn’t because he was unhappy with his previous sticks.

“I had been practicing with [the Avoda irons] quite a while before that,” DeChambeau said. “Last week I found out that they were, unfortunately — we didn’t think it was going to be non-conforming, but they were. Just the groove edge was just too sharp. Carter Rich, [the USGA’s senior director of equipment rules and conformance], was super helpful, and I have to thank him for getting those approved and going through the right process.”

As Golfweek noted, due to the 3D printing process, the grooves were deemed to be too narrow, rendering them non-conforming. Connor Olson, manager of DeChambeau’s BAD company, buffed and ground the grooves himself over the weekend to ensure they were conforming for the Masters.

bryson dechambeau masters irons
A closer look at DeChambeau’s Avoda irons. Getty Images

“I started practicing from then on out and felt comfortable with them Tuesday and Wednesday, had no issue,” DeChambeau said on Friday.

As you’d expect, DeChambeau’s irons are anything but conventional. Tom Bailey, the owner of direct-to-consumer Avoda Golf, made the two-piece irons using a 3D printing process that allowed for something DeChambeau has been clamoring for since 2020: bulge and roll in an iron face.

The term “bulge and roll” is usually reserved for woods to describe the heel-toe curvature (bulge) and crown-sole curvature (roll) that’s added to the face to reduce gear effect on off-center strikes, allowing the ball to finish closer to the target line.

Switching to a different bulge and roll design on Krank’s driver helped DeChambeau mitigate misses across the entire face at his incredible swing speeds.

“Ever since I put this driver into play, it’s not been really my golf swing,” DeChambeau said last August. “It’s just hit on the toe, hit on the heel, everything comes back down the middle of the fairway, and I’m like, all right, pick up the tee and let’s go. The driver has been really nice. It’s allowed me to have some time to myself after rounds instead of going and working my butt off all the time.”

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DeChambeau played coy when initially asked about the iron’s design but offered additional details on Friday that all but confirmed he’s implemented bulge and roll into the face. (He also confirmed “there is no backup set,” if something were to happen to the irons.)

“They have a different curvature on the face than other equipment,” DeChambeau said. “Most equipment is flat. These have a different curvature on the face that allows me to have my mis-hits to go a little straighter sometimes.”

Even with limited reps in a competitive setting, DeChambeau is embracing the new iron design. When asked after the second round why he appeared to be more happy on the course, DeChambeau mentioned on more than one occasion that is was due to having “some equipment in my hands that works.”

As DeChambeau will attest, positive gear vibes are always a good thing, especially at a major championship.

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Jonathan Wall Editor

Jonathan Wall is GOLF Magazine and’s Managing Editor for Equipment. Prior to joining the staff at the end of 2018, he spent 6 years covering equipment for the PGA Tour. He can be reached at