Padraig Harrington wants to power to Volvo Masters glory - with a set of game improvement irons.

In a shock move, the Dubliner has decided to take the new Wilson Staff Ci7 irons - designed for 10 handicappers - to the toughest course in Europe.

Needing a top three finish at Valderrama to have a chance of catching Ernie Els in the race to be European No 1, Harrington used his new sticks to win in the Hassan II Trophy in Morocco last week.

The Dubliner had 22 birdies en route to his 21st career win, holding off a resurgent Darren Clarke to win by three shots.

Now he's banking on his extra powerful new clubs to help him win the Order of Merit for the second year on the trot.

Harrington said: "I just wish I was a 10-handicapper so I could play this club, it's so powerful.

"They're Wilson's mid-range handicap irons so they are game-improvement irons.

"Every time I have hosted a demonstration day for Wilson this year, I find myself using the Ci7s and I've found that I hit them awfully well.

"So I asked the guys at Wilson make up a set for me so that I can try them out.

"I've kept the same steel shafts as I always used but they have bigger heads and I just hit them great.

"I so like these irons that I'm taking them to Valderrama and we'll see how we go."

Harrington won the Irish Open, the Irish PGA and then the Open at Carnoustie using Wilson's top of the range Pi5 irons.

But the American manufacturer has replaced them with the Ci7s as they prepare to launch a new range of Pi7s next year.

Harrington will have to wait for those to be ready and in the meantime, he he has decided that the game improvement irons can give him an advantage at tight and testing Valderrama.

According to Harrington, he now hits a six-iron 200 yards in normal conditions compared to between 180 and 185 yards with the old clubs.

And that has given him a pleasant headache ahead of the season-ending showdown with Justin Rose at Valderrama.

Harrington explained: "The problem is I hit them too well and that's a bit of a worry because compared to the clubs I had been using, these irons are very powerful and I certainly can see myself carrying the longer irons for ever."

Packing the four to eight iron in the new range, Harrington has decided to hold on to his old Pi5 9-iron and stick with the Wilson Staff driver, wedges and fairway woods.

The driver and putter will be the most important clubs in Harrington's bag this week and he's decided to stick with his trusty two-ball putter and Wilson driver.

But he revealed that he may soon opt for the square driver he tried in practice for the Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews, Kingsbarns and Carnoustie.

He said: "The square-headed driver goes forever but Wilson are tweaking with it a bit for me so as it will suit me better.

"But certainly when I've hit the square-headed driver it's really gone a very long way, and I am very impressed with its length."

As for his bid to hold on to his crown as European No 1, Harrington knows exactly what he has to do.

Ranked second in the Order of Merit, he is €217,295 behind Els and just €657 ahead of Rose.

Els is not playing in Valderrama has he is contracted to play the clashing Singapore Open, where Phil Mickelson and Darren Clarke will also tee it up.

That means that Harrington would have enough with third place prize money of €250,400 to go ahead of Els, providing Rose doesn't finish ahead of him.

With a top prize of €666,660 and a runner up cheque for €444,440 it is still possible for Swedes Henrik Stenson and Niclas Fasth, ranked fourth and fifth, to take the Order of Merit.

If Stenson or Fasth wins at Valderrama, Harrington will have to finish second to beat them to the top.

Stenson is certainly taking it seriously as he arrived in Valderrama last Friday to prepare.

He said: "I am definitely not out of it. I admit I have been playing poorly all summer, but I have been working hard, I am better prepared and I am hungry to start winning again."

Fasth has a nightmare in the Mallorca Classic on Saturday, crashing to a nine over par 79 before rallying with a 66 to claim 27th place.

Order of Merit standings

1 Ernie ELS €2,496,237
2 Padraig HARRINGTON €2,278,942 (€217,295 behind Ernie Els)
3 Justin ROSE €2,278,285 (€217,952 behind Ernie Els, €657 behind Harrington)
4 Henrik STENSON €1,986,191 (€510,046 behind Els; €292,751 behind Harrington)
5 Niclas FASTH €1,873,239 (€622,998 behind Els; €405,703 behind Harrington)

Volvo Masters prize fund (€4 million)
1st €666,660
2nd €444,440
3rd €250,000
4th €200,000
5th €169,600