Collin Morikawa inspired by Rory McIlroy to add prototype iron to bag

Collin Morikawa

Collin Morikawa has followed the lead of fellow TaylorMade athlete Rory McIlroy in adding a prototype iron to his bag.

The club is not currently marketed for sale by TaylorMade, but McIlroy suggested that they look and feel like a replacement for TaylorMade’s P7MC irons.

Morikawa has found good touch despite his recent trialling of new equipment and has recorded back-to-back top-three finishes on Tour, all while working through a series of club changes.

Morikawa used his older SIM model for the majority of the year to date until switching to a TaylorMade Qi10 LS 9-degree driver. He also moved to a TaylorMade “MySymbol” TP5x No. 5 golf ball, which has a numerical design reminiscent of a baseball jersey, and a TaylorMade Qi10 core-model 3-wood with 13.5 degrees of loft also slotted into his bag.

After the first round at Augusta National, he traded in his familiar TP Soto blade-style putter for a TaylorMade Spider Tour X putter. Morikawa tied for third in the Masters, his highest performance at a major competition since winning The Open in 2021, demonstrating the effectiveness of the change.

Morikawa replaced his old hollow-bodied TaylorMade P-770 4-iron at the RBC Heritage with the brand-new, unreleased TaylorMade “Proto” 4-iron, which McIlroy debuted at the Valero Texas Open last month. The choice was motivated by the excellent performance, feel and launch McIlroy reported on the club.

McIlroy’s role in inspiring the change was clear and Morikawa acknowledged that the Ulsterman proved a good salesman for the new weapon.

“I used to hit my P-770 on a string, but sometimes the distance would be a little unpredictable,” Morikawa said. “This one launches a touch higher, and I feel I can predict the distance better. I know Rory replaced his P-760 with it. I’m liking it so far.”

The make up, design elements and array of technology deployed in this club is yet to be determined. Equipment enthusiasts are left wondering if the new club is an improvement to an earlier TaylorMade model or something completely different as TaylorMade has not yet provided an official statement on the matter.

At the Zurich Classic of New Orleans on Tuesday, Morikawa’s lone 4-iron in his bag was the “Proto.” He will compete in the two-man team event with Kurt Kitayama. Earlier in the week, McIlroy, who will partner with Shane Lowry at the Zurich, also had the “Proto” as his sole 4-iron.