'I'm Much Happier' - Rory McIlroy Explains Equipment Changes

·3 min read
 Rory McIlroy takes a tee shot at the par 5 ninth during the 2023 Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass
Rory McIlroy takes a tee shot at the par 5 ninth during the 2023 Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass

Rory McIlroy says he was “much happier” with the new driver set-up he debuted at the WGC-Match Play, while also enjoying a positive first competitive outing with his new Scott Cameron putter.

McIlroy has gone to a shorter and softer shaft on his TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus driver and it produced positive results during his first match at Austin Country Club, where he beat Scott Stallings 3&1. He has put in a Fujikura Ventus Blue TR 6 X shaft instead of his previous Ventus Black 6 X model

The Northern Irishman has also reverted back to a similar putter he used to win his first two Majors – putting a Scotty Cameron Newport 2 in the bag this week.

Both clubs seemed to be working nicely, with the 33-year-old feeling much more at ease off the tee - as he explained in his post-round interviews when talking about his changes.

Rory McIlroy lines up a putt
Rory McIlroy lines up a putt

“Driver was good. Driver was really good. I'm much happier with where I am there,” said McIlroy. “Obviously off the tee is such an important part of the game for me.

“I knew I just needed to change it up a bit going back to a driver length that I'm a little more comfortable with. But the thing is, going to 44 inch driver with the previous shaft I was using I was too stiff and I couldn't spin it.

“I needed to go to a slightly softer shaft and I can hit more shots with it and feel a bit more comfortable sort of playability-wise. I feel like I can hit a few more shots with it. It sort of hangs in there a little bit for me.

“So it was good to see. It was good to put it in play today and have to perform pretty well. Drove it well, especially on the back nine. It did pretty well today.”

McIlroy was also pleased with how his putter, what is essentially a replica of his former Scotty Cameron flat stick, performed as he admitted his gear changes came with one eye on Augusta and next month’s Masters.

“It's basically the same,” McIlroy added. “Just it has a line on the top just on the top line instead of on the flange.

“They made me one back in 2016 when Nike went out of the equipment business, when we all sort of were figuring out what to do, which was an exact replica. I just think what I'm trying to do with lining the ball up, the line on the top instead of on the flange matches up a little bit better for me.

“Putter was good. Struggled a little bit with the speed, so I'll probably go work on that a little bit, but a new putter in the bag and getting comfortable with that.

“It was good. It was solid. I made six birdies and one bogey and I played solid today.

“Obviously this part of the season you've got one eye on what you're doing now and one eye on Augusta. It's trying to do both.”