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Rory McIlroy Is Using TWO Different Swings At The Players

Rory McIlroy has pulled himself into form by employing two different swings whilst out on the course, PGA Professional Jack Backhouse explains what he is doing.

 

After firing a first-round 65 at the 50th Players Championship, which included an incredible ten birdies and two penalty shots, McIlroy believes he is swinging well enough to win. In a press conference on Wednesday, he mentioned using two different swings to find his best form.

rory mcilroy swing

‘I have this amazing feeling with my woods at the minute, but when I try to recreate that feeling with the irons it just it starts left and goes further left’ McIlroy says, ‘I love this feeling of firing my right arm down the target line, and I can do that with my Woods really well but then when I try to do that with my irons it like Club face closes over and goes left.’

This is really interesting, and actually, it is fairly common for a golfer to use different swing feelings for different clubs in the bag. Rory McIlroy seems to have found some expert driving form by feeling like, in transition, his arms move further behind him, which would shallow the club out and allow him to hit more from the inside and more up on the ball. This is absolutely why we are seeing McIlroy hit some staggering drives at the moment, driving one of the greens at Bay Hill last week and hitting a driver a whopping 149 feet in the air today.

The reason this swing feel might not work for his irons is that when you drop the club behind you aggressively, you need tremendous body rotation and body speed to pull the club back online for a square hit. This is something you can do when hitting the driver as you generally are moving as quickly as possible, but with iron swings being far more about finesse rather than max speed, the club is getting stuck behind him and, as a result, is flipping his hands over, causing pull hooks.

‘I have a swing thought for my woods and I need a different swing thought for my irons’ Rory later says. He is using his super-powered draw swing with the driver to be the PGA Tour leader in strokes gained off the tee but has developed more of a neutral to fade swing for his iron shots, which is allowing him to control his irons. Rory Mcilroy’s swing thoughts have led him to 2nd in the strokes gained approach to the green as I’m writing this in the middle of round one, gaining a whopping 3.774 shots on the field with his iron shots alone.

What we can take away here is that it is fine to be doing different things with different clubs to get the best outcomes, and do not stick to one thought if it works with one club but not any others. Golfers often want to make golf as simple as possible by playing and sticking with just one thought, and although this may work for some people, some of the time, more often than not, it just isn’t that simple. The driver and short irons are very different clubs and need different swings. If it works for Rory McIlroy’s swing, it’s good enough for the rest of us!

Jack Backhouse

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Jack is a PGA Golf Professional who specialises in coaching, teaching golf to beginners and top-level amateurs for 10+ years. He also loves his golf equipment and analysing the data of the latest clubs on the market using launch monitors, specialising in blade irons and low-spinning drivers despite having a chronically low ball flight.

Although Jack has no formal journalism training, He has been reading What's In The Bag articles since he started playing at 12 and studying golf swings since his dad first filmed his swing to reveal one of the worst over-the-top slice swings he reckons has ever been recorded, which set him off on the path to be a coach. His favourite club ever owned was a Ping G10 driver bought from a local top amateur with the hope that some of the quality golf shots would come with it (they didn't), and worst was a Nike SQ driver he only bought because Tiger was using it.

Jack is a member of Sand Moor Golf Club and regularly gets out on the golf course to prepare for tournaments. Jack uses a TaylorMade BRNR Mini driver, a half set of TaylorMade P7MB irons, MG4 wedges and a TaylorMade TP Reserve putter.

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