Michael Block stole the hearts of golf equipment fans at this year’s PGA Championship when he made a hole-in-one during the final round – while playing alongside Rory McIlroy – using a TaylorMade Tour Preferred MC 7-iron that he’s been using since 2012. The iron became so popular that an interested buyer offered him $50,000, on top of other requests by museums and collectors. Block, though, turned down all requests and continued using the club.
After his captivating T15 finish at Oak Hill, Block competed in the Charles Schwab Challenge and RBC Canadian Open, missing the cut in both. This week’s World Wide Technology Championship marks Block’s first TOUR start since the RBC Canadian Open in June, and much has transpired for the 47-year-old Californian in that span.
Block’s decade-old 7-iron remains in the bag this week at the Tiger Woods-designed El Cardonal at Diamante – but he has made a few notable equipment changes.
A new “Red Bull” driver
Just two weeks ago, TaylorMade announced a limited-edition Oracle Red Bull Stealth 2 Plus driver release in collaboration with the Red Bull Racing team, and Block will put one in play at El Cardonal.
Block received the driver while in Qatar recently for the Formula One Qatar Grand Prix, won by Max Verstappen. Block’s driver is a 9-degree head with a neutral weight setting and set to the “lower” hosel setting for lower flight and spin.
Adjusted weights in his 3-wood
Block is still using the same TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus 13-degree 3-wood that he used at the PGA Championship, but he made a slight adjustment to the sliding weight that sits in the sole of the fairway wood.
“I did notice when I was hitting out of the fairways here, I was getting a lot of spin, so I actually did set this weight more forward so I got rid of a little spin off it, because it’s also a little windy here,” Block said at El Cardonal. “That helped a lot with trajectory and flying through the wind.”
For most players, moving the CG (center of gravity) slightly forward toward the face will induce a more penetrating ball flight with lower spin.
New lob wedge
Block isn’t one to make many changes to his iron set – obviously – but he recently added a new TaylorMade MG4 Raw 60-degree wedge.
Block finds the new MG4 Raw wedge to have a softer face that produces more touch and feel, and it helps him induce more spin on short-game shots.
Block wore a “RAW” hat at the PGA Championship; the “RAW” moniker is a reference to the un-plated finish on his wedges.
A fresh line on the old-school putter
Block still uses an Odyssey White Hot 2-ball putter from 2001, and it still has the original face insert on the putter face.
While the 2-ball putter uses two white golf-ball-like designs on the crown to help with alignment at address, Block takes the visual assistance a step further by adding a contrasting black Sharpie line, which is hand-drawn.
How does Block get the Sharpie line so straight?
“I actually just freshened up the line here the other day,” Block said. “I used my business card and a Sharpie. There’s nothing too fancy about that. I always thought (there) was some fancy technique to do it, but I watched them do it on the TOUR van one time … it’s nothing but a Sharpie and basically a ruler.”
The more you know.
Source : PGA Tour