PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — There's no way 175 players on the PGA Tour have a better iron game than Sean O'Hair. But according to the computers that track greens in regulation, so far this season there are.
For O'Hair, a 27-year-old with more than $14 million in earnings over the past five seasons as one of the best ballstrikers around, that's unacceptable.
"New Orleans was my fifth missed cut in a row," he said leaving the practice area. "So I just said to myself that there needs to be a change." Tweaking his swing is part of that change, but another major part is a new set of irons. This week at The Players, O'Hair will be using TaylorMade's Forged MB blades.
"Over the last couple of years, because of the groove issue, I've had a difficult time trying to find irons that will flight the ball the way that I like," O'Hair said. He said that he's not too concerned with how the new grooves effect his shots out of the rough because like other pros, he's learned to handle flier lies. It's the shots from the short grass that have given O'Hair headaches.
"Out of the fairway, at least for me, I'm noticing that I am not getting the same flight every time," he said. "I'm looking for a penetrating flight; I don't like my irons to go super-high and I don't want them to come out so low that I cannot stop among the greens."
O'Hair has always played TaylorMade irons that feature a small cavity back or perimeter weighting system. He previously played TaylorMade's Tour Preferred irons, which have weight notches in the heel and toe. Earlier this year he tried new Forged CB irons, but they sent shots too high, especially with the short irons. The Forged MB irons offer plenty of feel and predictability, and a low, piercing flight.
"I'm looking for a certain miss," O'Hair said. "I always want my miss to be on the right. I may over-cut it or push it a bit, but when my misses start landing 10 or 15 yards short then I've got an issue. But if they're only three or four yards off on a missed shot, then I know these are the irons for me. That's what I've seen with the MBs, which I have not seen for two years."
TPC Sawgrass is a tough place to bring a new set of irons and a work-in-progress swing, but O'Hair seems encouraged by what he was able to achieve while taking last week off. Don't be surprised if he proves the green-tracking computer wrong. See-Try-Buy: Learn more about TaylorMade clubs and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC or Golfsmith. Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter | Facebook