Rory McIlroy changed his putter for the first leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs in Memphis, but his bag tinkering wasn’t done there…
Rory McIlroy switched his putter at the FedEx St.Jude Championship – a move he’s already deployed in 2023.
The Northern Irishman has largely used a TaylorMade Spider in the last few years and as recently as the Wells Fargo Championship in May with the Hydro Blast mallet edition.
But to navigate the first leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs, McIlroy has opted for the Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5.5 putter, but how did he come to this decision?
Endless hours of testing? A thorough examination of his stroke tempo?
No, none of that. The 34-year-old explained his choice in more detail at TPC Southwind:
“Honestly, I just wanted a different look, just wanted to freshen it up,” he said.
“I’ve got my Spider with me this week – if that putter isn’t doing what I want it to do over the first couple of days, I may go back. I just wanted to freshen it up.
“Honestly, it was zero testing process. It was to go into the garage and see what I had and just pull a couple out and go have a few putts. That was it.”
But the four-time major champion’s tinkering didn’t finish there.
The putter felt too long compared with the TaylorMade Spider after two rounds in Memphis – but was it too late to shave an inch off the club?
The equipment trucks left the event on Wednesday, so McIlroy’s caddie Harry Diamond took the Phantom X 5.5 to a local shop to make the necessary adjustments.
“I always put my right hand on my putter first,” he said. “I just felt like where my right hand was at the top, it just felt a little too up.
“I compared it to my Spider last night, it was like half an inch. It wasn’t like a huge difference. But Harry took it to a local golf shop and got it cut down last night for me.”
He also added tungsten weights in the sole of the putter to counteract the weight lost when the shaft became shorter.
Through the first three rounds this week, McIlroy was ranked 40th in strokes gained in putting, but sixth on the leaderboard, and the World No. 2 is ranked 86th in this department across the whole season.
Rory McIlroy WITB 2023
Driver: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus driver (9°, Fujikura Ventus Black 6-X shaft)
Fairway woods: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus fairway (15°, Mitsubishi Kai’li White 80 TX shaft) TaylorMade Stealth Plus (19°, Fujikura Ventus Black 9 X shaft)
Irons: TaylorMade P730 Rors Proto (3-9, Project X 7.0 shafts)
Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind 3 (46°) Titleist Vokey SM9 (54° 10-S, 58°K, Project X 6.5 shafts)
What do you make of this Rory McIlroy putter swap? Tell us with a post!
Do the Ryder Cup captains actually matter?