Why does Aaron Rai have iron covers for his golf clubs as a professional golfer?

Why does Aaron Rai have iron covers for his golf clubs as a professional golfer?

A photo of golfer Aaron Rai

Aaron Rai is in position to win for the first time on the PGA Tour, giving himself a chance in the final round of the 2024 Rocket Mortgage Classic. Curiously, the Englishman might become the first pro in a long time -- who knows, maybe ever -- to win on the PGA Tour while having iron covers on his golf clubs.

Iron covers are like headcovers for irons, and they're typically like sleeves or molded plastic or rubber materials to protect irons from being damaged. Most golfers view them as unnecessary and worth making fun of a person for using them.

However, Rai has a very good reason for why he uses iron covers -- his background. Rai told Sirius XM PGA Tour Radio why he uses iron covers in an interview.

“I grew up in very much a working-class family, and golf has always been a very expensive game,” Rai said. “I started from the age of 4 years old, and my dad used to pay for the equipment, pay for my memberships, my entry fees. And it wasn’t money that we really had, to be honest, but he’d always buy me the best clubs.”

With his first great set of irons, Rai's father was meticulous in keeping them clean and looking spotless.

“When I was about seven or eight years old, [my dad] bought me a set of Titleist 690 MBs, and they were like 800-1,000 pounds (GBP) back then, just for a set of clubs for a kid. I cherished them,” Rai said. “When we used to go out and practice, he used to clean every single groove afterward with a pin and with baby oil.”

When they were done practicing, the Rais put iron covers on.

“To protect the golf clubs, he thought it would be good to put iron covers on it,” Rai said. “I’ve pretty much had iron covers on all of my sets ever since just to appreciate the value of what I have, and it all started with that first set.”

So while it may seem silly to some that a professional golfer, who has access to amazing, custom equipment.

Rai also uses two golf gloves when he plays, which isn't considered as much of a golf faux pas as the iron covers, but he is also unique in that regard, too.

About the author

Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for nearly 20 years. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He is currently a +2.6 USGA handicap, and he has covered dozens of major championships and professional golf tournaments. He likes writing about golf and making it more accessible by answering the complex questions fans have about the pro game or who want to understand how to play golf better.

Ryan talks about golf on various social platforms:

X or Twitter: https://twitter.com/ryanballengee
Facebook: https://facebook.com/ryanballengeegolf
Instagram: https://instagram.com/ryanballengee
YouTube: https://youtube.com/@ryanballengeegolf

Ballengee can be reached by email at ryan[at]thegolfnewsnet.com

Ryan occasionally links to merchants of his choosing, and GNN may earn a commission from sales generated by those links. See more in GNN's affiliate disclosure.