Rory McIlroy Trials New Equipment And Turns To Trusty Putter Ahead Of Return
Rory McIlroy has not been shy about making equipment changes in recent months, and that looks set to continue at the Wells Fargo Championship.
Per Jonathan Wall at Golf.com, the World No.3 had a practice round with four TaylorMade lob wedges this week as part of a process that has been ongoing for seven or eight months.
He explained: “I started messing around with some of my Nike wedges at the end of last year. There was some stuff I liked about them. When there’s so many variables going on, you have to try and take some variables out to see what you need to do.”
McIlroy also explained that he kept coming back to a wedge grind developed by club maker Mike Taylor, which offer the kind of versatility he's looking for. He said: “Depending on the conditions, I think that ‘Mike Taylor grind’ is good for all conditions. It’s sort of one where, if you go to the British Open it could be good, and if you go somewhere like Oak Hill in a couple of weeks - where it could be soft - it could be good there too.”
To that end, McIlroy has co-developed an "RM grind" with TaylorMade, and that’s in his thinking for this week’s tournament, where he’s looking for his fourth Wells Fargo Championship title.
He said: “They seem to be performing really nicely. Sort of a combination of things that I’ve had previously, like a little bit of stuff from the Nike wedge, a little bit of stuff from the Vokey wedges, just sort of trying to blend them all together into the components that I like between the two, and coming up with something that’s a little bit of a blend of both.
"They’ve stamped an RM because it’s my certain head shapes, certain sole, certain leading edge, it’s sort of the stuff we’ve worked on together to get to a good place, and I think we have.”
McIlroy’s form has hardly been poor in recent months having won the Dubai Desert Classic and finished tied for second at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. However, his performance at The Masters, where he missed the cut, was concerning. Nevertheless, at that tournament, it was mainly wayward drives and misjudged putting that let him down, rather than his wedge play.
Earlier in the year, McIlroy explained he had “flexibility” with his TaylorMade deal after using Titleist wedges in his win in the Dubai Desert Classic, and he’s experimented with other equipment as 2023 has progressed. He has used a Scotty Cameron putter recently, too, but will return to his TaylorMade Spider Tour Hydro Blast this week, albeit with a new "Rors" SuperStroke Zenergy Pistol Tour grip.
After a brief run with the Scotty Cameron 009M, Rory McIlroy is back to his previous TaylorMade Spider Tour Hydro Blast. Only change is a new "Rors" SuperStroke Zenergy Pistol Tour grip. pic.twitter.com/nxPlY0NZvnMay 2, 2023
At the WGC-Match Play, McIlroy also declared he was “much happier” after using a shorter and softer shaft on his TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus driver.
As he prepares for this week's tournament, McIlroy admitted he feels comfortable with the work he has done with the equipment manufacturer. He said: “We’ve put our heads together, and I think got to a really good place.”
An early indication of just how successful that has been could be seen at Quail Hollow in the coming days.