Rory McIlroy's impending switch to Nike Golf isn't official just yet, but based on recent reports and the hints he dropped following his fifth win of the season at the DP World Tour Championship, it's safe to say he'll likely be playing clubs with a Swoosh on them next year.
Switching to a new set of sticks can be a daunting proposition, especially when you're the top-ranked player in the world and have been playing the same brand of clubs (Titleist) since you were 14. McIlroy would be crazy to turn down the money -- it's rumored to be upwards of $250 million over 10 years -- however, there's no question he's taking a big risk, especially after the dream season he just produced.
While some may see the switch as a risky decision, McIlroy's coach Michael Bannon believes his student is up to the task, telling the Guardian's Ewan Murray that the new equipment shouldn't be a problem whatsoever.
"He'll have no problems at all with new equipment," Bannon said. "If you look at the clubs he is going to change to, all the shafts are the same. He is also going from blade to blade, which is quite an easy thing to do.
"The ball is fine, he just has to practice a wee bit more with it and get used to the feel of it. He has to play a few rounds of golf as well, which he hasn't been able to do (with new equipment) yet.
"People overstate what the change could mean. It is something to talk about but I think this will be an easy transition for him. I don't see it being a problem at all."
Fair enough. But as Golf Digest pointed out in a recent feature on the costliest equipment switches, sometimes the move to new sticks doesn't pan out. Will McIlroy join the list in a couple years? Probably not. The way he's playing at the moment, I think he could play with a some persimmon woods and an beat-up pink putt-putt ball and still win.
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