Jason Day might carry a 1-iron to Muirfield this summer. (Ehrmann/Getty Images)
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider
IRVING, Texas -- Traditional long irons have become obsolete in recent years with the introduction of easier-to-hit hybrids and utility irons. At the 2013 Masters, only two players in the field carried a traditional 2-iron -- one of them being third-place finisher Jason Day, who used a TaylorMade Tour Preferred MC 2-iron during the week.
Even though the iron is course-dependent -- Day switches between a 14.5-degree TaylorMade RBZ Stage 2 fairway wood and the Tour Preferred MC 2-iron depending on the layout -- it's clear the Aussie has some old-school tendencies when it comes to his equipment.
It seems fitting that Day, the HP Byron Nelson Championship winner in 2010, would turn back the clock at the tournament that honors legendary golfer Byron Nelson and put a TaylorMade RocketBladez Tour 1-iron in the bag.
Looking for a particular setup for the British Open at Muirfield, Day and TaylorMade Tour reps discussed a number of potential ideas about a month ago, including taking out the Day's driver and putting in a 2-wood.
When they couldn't get the right configuration with the shaft and ball flight, Day kicked around the idea of going with a 1-iron to achieve the ball flight he was looking for off the tee.
TaylorMade never produced a 1-iron in the RocketBladez line, so reps decided to do the next best thing, bending a 2-iron to 16.5 degrees and making the shaft a 1/2-inch longer. Day also went with a UST Mamiya Recoil Proto (125-gram) graphite shaft instead the current True Temper Rifle Flighted 6.5 shafts in his irons.
Day tested the club on Tuesday and liked it enough to pull his 2-iron and put the new iron in play.
"I was out there today and hit a couple of -- it was downwind and it was a 10 to 20 mph wind out there -- and there was a couple that went 300 [yards] easy with the bounce and roll as well. I want to say today with the wind hit about four, maybe five drives total [during the Pro-Am]. Everything else was a 1-iron and I didn't pull out the 4-wood at all. The ball flight was very strong."
While TPC Four Seasons will never be confused with a links-style layout, Day said he felt the course was the perfect place to test out the club ahead of the British Open -- especially with wind gusts expected to be anywhere from 15-20 mph the rest of the week.
"What the experiment was, was we were going to try a 1-iron and try it out here because we know if we have a 1-iron here and it works well in the wind, we go overseas to the British this year with full confidence that it's doing to go the right distance and can come out low and hit different types of shots when I need to. I know that it's not the British Open course but the wind is very strong here."
Outside of this week's HP Byron Nelson Championship -- Day said he used the 1-iron off the tee on nine holes during Wednesday's Pro-Am -- it's unclear when he'll use it again.
With the Memorial Tournament and U.S. Open coming up, he hinted it could get some additional work before the British Open in July.
"I think that it would be a very good club [at Merion, site of the U.S. Open], but I don't know until I get there. I'm definitely going to use it this week and I'm not too sure what I'm going to do with it for Memorial, but I know I'm going to use it at the British."