32-Year old Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy won the 20th PGA Tour title of his career at the CJ Cup in Sin City, after claiming he is the best player in the world; it wasn’t a surprise. A confident Rory McIlroy is a dangerous Rory McIlroy as far as the other players on Tour are concerned.
Despite struggling for a couple of years now, McIlroy has never lost confidence, and it was only a matter of time before he secured his 20th Tour victory, four of which came in majors. He is an elite ball-striker who possesses a long game prowess like very few others.
Now that McIlroy is back on the winning trail, let’s look at his bag and examine four things that stand out there.
McIlroy Carries Three Wedges in his Bag.
McIlroy carries three different wedges with him for three different purposes. He has a 46-degree standard-bounce TaylorMade MG3, a 56-degree MG2 wedge, and a 58-degree MG2 with leading-edge relief and low bounce.
Very few golfers, even on Tour, have the arsenal of shots and the close game precision that McIlroy does. Bounce and grind influence how the wedge sits at address in differing set-up positions, how the wedge goes through the turf at the point of impact, and how the ball performs in flight.
Rory is Back to A Mallet Putter.
Despite winning all four of his majors with his Scotty Cameron Newport GSS putter, Rory has had an on-off relationship with it over the years. Last weeks victory at the CJ Cup was with the TaylorMade Spider X Tour Mallot.
McIlroy spoke as recently as September about needing more forgiveness from his putter, more forgiveness than he feels the blade offers.
“I think the thing with the blade is the good days are really good, but the bad days are pretty bad, as well. There’s quite a lot of inconsistency in it for me. It’s almost like I need to practice with the blade at home because you have to get your stroke spot-on to hit good putts with that style of putter.
“But then when I come out here, I started hitting putts with the Spider again, and it felt so easy. It felt like I couldn’t not start it on line. It was sort of like there’s a lesson in there somewhere about maybe just keeping the blade at home and practising with it and then coming out here and putting with something that’s got a little more technology in it.”
As it turned out with the victory in Vegas, the switch back to the Spider X Tour was a good decision. I can’t help but wonder how many golfers reading this may try a switch to a mallet putter with more forgiveness if they are also struggling with hitting putts on line or struggling with hitting with the center of the face in general.
Just A Touch Of Offset
McIlroy commented in 2019 on Twitter that how little offset his close friend Rickie Fowlers had and how thin his irons toplines were “gave him the shakes.”
McIlroy now uses custom made TaylorMade’ Rors Proto’ P730 blade irons, a game-improvement iron with a semblance of offset; how times have changed in only a couple of years.
Another thing well worth noticing when McIlroy takes his irons out is just how worn down they are. Once you find irons you are comfortable with, it is important not to change the set-up needlessly. New, shiny technology can be appealing but stick with them if you are performing well with irons that you like.
Ryder Cup Pride Is Important to Rory
Despite the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits not ending well for the Europeans, Rory remains a very proud European team member.
Protecting his TaylorMade Spider X Tour putter, Rory has a custom SuperStroke Traxion Pistol GT Tour grip. The hickory Bubbawhips alignment sticks that McIlroy uses to work on his set-up are yellow and blue striped, the colours of the European Team.
The Famous St. Bernard Headcover Is Still Going Strong
Since his childhood, Rory has used his famous St.Bernard headcover, and now it protects his SIM2 driver. Similarly to Tiger’s famous ‘Frank’ headcover, McIlroy’s St. Bernard cover is a stable part of his equipment setup.
A spectator stole the St.Bernard headcover from McIlroy at the 2021 Scottish Open, but it didn’t take long before it was returned to the Ulsterman, and it was safely returned onto the driver.