Is Rory fed up of being tied down to an equipment deal?

Golf Equipment

Rory McIlroy hardly seems enthused by the fact he has to get a new driver next year. This and more in equipment editor James Savage's latest All the Gear column

Rory McIlroy has blamed poor driving for his indifferent performances in 2018. Hmm.

Not sure his missed putt for eagle on the 2nd at Augusta, which effectively killed his Masters chances, had anything to do with being wayward off the tee.

Anyway, McIlroy has been working hard with TaylorMade fitter Adrian Rietveld to try and eradicate a high right miss.

To be fair to Rors, he did seem to spend a lot of time in the ‘bush’ at Sun City…

Rory McIlroy driver

And again…

Rory McIlroy driver

The answer was a head and shaft change midway through the Nedbank Golf Challenge which McIlroy seems very positive about.

He’s gone for a new TaylorMade M3 460cc head and gone for a similar shaft to the one he uses in his fairway woods.

“I did some work with Adrian from TaylorMade on Saturday night in Sun City,” McIlroy said.

“I’ve just had this right miss with the driver all year.

“I think back to the first tee shot at Augusta on Sunday; Wentworth on the final day; Akron, final day; Tour Championship, final day. The reason I didn’t play better was because I didn’t put the ball in the fairway, and the reason I didn’t put the ball in the fairway is because I have this right miss with the driver.

Rory McIlroy driver

“He (Adrian) came out and walked the first three rounds with me and he saw that, you know, I have no problem hitting the fairway with a 3-wood or a 5-wood. Something was wrong with the driver.

“So he took the driver, tried to match it up a little closer to the 3-wood and change the swing weight, changed the shaft, changed the settings a little bit in the weighting and the head, and it’s been much better.

“I drove it much better in Sun City and I drove it much better today in the Pro-Am. That’s a big positive coming into this week.”

McIlroy switched to a Mitsubishi Tensei shaft for Dubai with the weights moved into more of a ‘high draw’ setting with one back and one towards the heel.

He previously had one as far forward as possible and one in a fairly central position.

Rory McIlroy driver

But McIlroy then seemed to lament the fact he’ll be switching into a new TaylorMade driver after the DP World Tour Championship.

“Unfortunately it’s a driver that’s only going to last a week because I have to get a new one next year again, but at least it gives me a better chance to win this week, I guess.”

Let’s remind ourselves that all four majors in 2018 were won by players without equipment deals.

McIlroy hardly seems enthused by the fact he has to get a new driver next year.

It will seem a tad ridiculous if the tweaks he has made for this week help him drive the ball beautifully and win.

But then again he didn’t have to take the big bucks on offer from TaylorMade and tie himself down to an equipment deal…

New Callaway Big Bertha irons and hybrids launched

Callaway are launching some new Bertha irons and hybrids next year.

They won’t be available to buy until March but if you’re in need of an upgrade to your current Bertha models then I suggest you wait to check these out.

The Bertha hybrids launched a couple of years ago were fantastic. I still have one in my bag.

So what’s new for 2019?

Callaway 2019 bertha irons

Callaway have added Jailbreak technology – two internal bars that stiffen the body to place more impact load on the face for fast ball speeds – for the first time in an adjustable hybrid.

The new Hyper Speed Face Cup promotes power and ball speed right across the face for increased on off-centre hits.

There’s an entirely new OptiFit Hosel System that’s shorter and lighter, allowing their engineers to optimise the Centre of Gravity. They say the new progressive shape also makes it easy to hit.

And they are available in 3-8. Who has ever hit an 8 hybrid?

Callaway 2019 bertha irons

The irons, in a new smoked PVD finish, feature something called a suspended energy core for more ball speed and distance.

This involves a floating tungsten weight which allows the centre of gravity to be positioned deeper in the head, promoting higher launch.

SRPs:

Irons: £ 1149 (steel) £1399 (graphite)
Hybrids: £269 each
More information can be found on the Callaway website.

Winner of Wilson’s Driver vs. Driver 2 announced

You may have been following the second series of Wilson’s Driver vs Driver show on YouTube.

If not, then you may not have a clue what the show is all about.

It’s an Dragon’s Den-style show where hopeful engineers present their ideas for a new driver.

A winner is chosen and that model will be put into production and sold at retail.

Wilson Cortex driver

The ‘Cortex’ designed by show contestant Evan Hoffman of San Diego, California, was the winning model, beating the ‘Roswell’ in the final.

Wilson Rozwell driver

Both drivers have appeared on the USGA conforming drivers list.

Hoffman received a prize of $250,000 along with the opportunity to have his design brought to life under the Wilson Staff brand name.

The Cortex is super-adjustable model with an 8g sliding adjustable weight across the centre of the club head allowing golfers to select the ideal spin rate and ball flight.

Wilson Cortex driver

The interchangeable weights can promote a neutral, draw or fade bias off the tee.

More information can be found on the Wilson website.

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