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Equipment Report
  • EQUIPMENT

    Rory McIlroy puts new TaylorMade Rors Proto irons in play

  • Rory McIlroy initially received the new irons at the World Golf Championship-Bridgestone Invitational. (Sam Davis/PGA TOUR)Rory McIlroy initially received the new irons at the World Golf Championship-Bridgestone Invitational. (Sam Davis/PGA TOUR)

As Rory McIlroy prepares to defend his FedExCup title, he'll do so with a new set of TaylorMade "Rors Proto" irons in the bag at THE NORTHERN TRUST.

At first glance, the irons look identical to the muscleback model McIlroy put in play for the first time at THE PLAYERS Championship, when his TaylorMade equipment deal became official. But there's one noticeable difference between his previous set and the new set: a change in head material.

When TaylorMade designers created McIlroy's first set of irons, they milled each head out of a soft 304 stainless steel that offers a high degree of bendability. The irons had a satin appearance that looked noticeably different from the mirror chrome finish on the "Rose Proto" Justin Rose started using at the Irish Open.

According to TaylorMade, the original Rors Proto iron was roughly 85 percent of the complete version of P-730 when McIlroy started using them. In the months that followed, the company's iron creation team built McIlroy a new set that was made from 1025 carbon steel, instead of 304 stainless, and had a shape that was closer to the finished P-730 product.

The 1025 carbon steel used to create McIlroy's set is a common head material for high-end forged irons and offers a soft feel that better players prefer. The retail version of P-730 is also made from 1025 carbon steel.

McIlroy received the new irons at the World Golf Championship-Bridgestone Invitational but decided to wait a few weeks before making the equipment change. The traditional muscleback iron has a shorter blade length, reduced offset and thinner topline that McIlroy prefers.