Despite all the technological advances in golf equipment, Daniel Berger still uses TaylorMade MC irons he fell in love with when they were first released in 2011 while he was in high school.
They’ve certainly worked. The world No. 16 has won four PGA Tour titles, his most recent coming in last year’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. He’s also been on a victorious Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup team for the USA.
“I’ve just stuck with them. I stuck with them in college, I stuck with them early on in my career as a professional on the Korn Ferry and then early on on the PGA Tour,” Berger said Tuesday ahead of Thursday’s start of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. “I’ve just done a bunch of testing and it’s the best iron for me. So I don’t see why I need to go out there and look for something else.
“And there are sets available online and people have reached out to me, so I’ve got an extremely large amount of backup sets sitting at my house. I have plenty of clubs right now to last me for a while and until something else comes out that is better I’m going to stick with what I have.”
Now, as for the TaylorMade 3-wood he used en route to his victory last year at Pebble Beach, the one that delivered a closing eagle on the epic 18th hole from 250 yards to 30 feet, the one he used to hit “maybe the best 3-wood I’ve ever hit in my life.”
That’s no longer in his bag. He broke it.
“I didn’t do it on purpose. I broke a lot of them. I don’t even know how,” Berger said. “Like I broke one in Hawaii, I broke one like two months before that. I don’t know what happens, but they seem to break.
“Not like out of anger. Like a technical issue, like a part falling off or a face cracking or a shaft going bad. It’s been weird.”
At Pebble Beach, Berger has never felt weird. In his three starts in the tournament, he’s tied for 10th, tied for fifth, and won. Last year, his closing big bird left him at 18 under and two shots clear of Maverick McNealy and three clear of Patrick Cantlay and Jordan Spieth.
“I played this event early on and I took a couple years off, I don’t even know why,” he said. “I just think that I wasn’t prepared for the Poa annua greens and the longer rounds and then I decided to come back, and I’ve been successful, so I think I’ve gotten better at understanding how to play on these California-style golf courses and that’s why I wanted to come back.”
Last year’s win was especially rewarding.
“I think it really kind of propelled me to believe in myself enough to make that Ryder Cup team and to know that if I play my best golf that I can compete every single week, week-in and week-out and have a chance to win,” he said. “And I think that’s kind of changed my mindset where I don’t just show up to play a golf tournament, I show up to have a chance to win and if I do the things that I know I’m capable of doing that I think I can be one of the best golfers in the world.”
Even if he’s using irons that are 11 years old.
This article originally appeared on Golfweek.