Rory McIlroy put Titleist’s new 913 driver in the bag at the Irish Open just days after one was sent to his Northern Ireland home.
It is not common for an elite player like Rory to make such important equipment changes so suddenly – never mind so close to a Major – so it was interesting to read the method behind his apparent madness.
Titleist Tour Technician Mattias Jelver visited Rory at his home and brought with him several of the prototype heads (in both D2 and D3 shapes) and countless different shafts as well as, of course, a TrackMan launch monitor.
“We started with Rory’s 910D2 as a benchmark and moved on from there,” Mattias told the Team Titleist blog.
“As we subsequently tried different combinations of the prototype 913 heads and shafts, each brought something else to the table, but eventually there was one clear choice.”
“I have been testing the new 913 and all the Trackman numbers suggested I was hitting the ball further." – Rory McIlroy The pair eventually settled on the smaller, open-faced D3 head with 8.5˚ of loft and a Fujikura Motore Speeder 7.2 Tour Spec shaft, which weighs 74 grammes in his desired extra stiff flex.
“JP (Rory’s caddie) was calling out different shots – high draw, low into the wind, cut and so on – and Rory was able to execute them all comfortably and producing great numbers on Trackman,” added Jelver.
Rory said: “I have been testing the new 913 and all the Trackman numbers suggested I was hitting the ball further. I’m getting less spin which is great in the wind and it carries 15 yards further in calm conditions.”
So it’s not madness from McIlroy. Actually it is – apparently he hadn’t been on a launch monitor with his 910 driver since originally being fitted.