6 interesting gear finds inside Rory McIlroy’s golf bag | Bag Spy

bag spy title Rory McIlroy clubs

Rory McIlroy went back to TaylorMade P760 long irons in Phoenix.

Ryan Barath/GOLF

The gear crew at GOLF.com spends much time at Tour events snapping photographs of the tools used by the best players in the world. Posting club images online without context works in some cases, but it doesn’t help the weekend golfer under the “why” behind a pro’s setup. In a fresh series for GOLF.com, equipment editors Jonathan Wall and Ryan Barath attempt to answer those questions by highlighting interesting clubs in the bag, unique weighting, loft sleeve settings and more. Welcome to “Bag Spy.”

Rory McIlroy is one of the best golfers on the planet. After winning the 2022 FedEx Cup, his strong play has continued into the 2022-2023 season with a win at the CJ Cup, another win in Dubai at the Hero Dubai Desert Classic and most recently a second-place finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

With the Players Championship on the horizon, there is no better time than now to dive into the bag of the third-ranked player in the world. Below are six things we noticed while shooting Rory’s gear during the PGA Tour’s west coast swing.

Out with the old

Rory genesis driver taylormade
Rory changed to the TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus during the second round of the Genesis Invitational. Getty Images

It’s hard to argue with results, and after a hugely successful end to the 2022 season, Rory was reluctant to change from his trusted first-generation TaylorMade Stealth.

Now maybe he just felt it was time, or he was looking for a change, but before the second round of the Genesis Invitational, he made the change to the new Stealth 2 Plus. Now although the driver head changed, the one thing that didn’t was his shaft — a Fujikura Ventus Black.

This is a good thing for a lot of golfers to pay attention to when changing to a new driver with similar characteristics; if you have a shaft you are comfortable using, and it works with your swing, it’s ok to keep trusting it.

Speaking of old

rory mcilroy taylormade p760 irons
At the WM Phoenix Open, Rory put two older P760 long irons (3- and 4-iron) back in the bag. Ryan Barath/GOLF

When it comes to hitting long irons, Rory doesn’t have any issues, but hey, everyone can always use a little extra help once in a while. That’s precisely what he was looking for when he put a couple of older TaylorMade P760 long irons in the bag at the WM Phoenix Open.

“I feel by going back to that [TaylorMade P760] long iron in the 3- and the 4-iron, just to give me a bit more extra flight into the par-5s,” he said. “I feel like sometimes with the 3- and the 4-iron in the blades they can come in a little flat at times, where the par-5 and the second shots into the par-5s specifically this week are very, very important, so I thought having a little bit more flight on those long irons could be helpful.”

It goes to show that in some cases newer isn’t always better, and there is nothing wrong with getting a little extra height on your longer irons either — even when you’re a top-five player in the world.

Let the good times roll

Rory putter Spider
Rory’s TaylorMade Spider has been a steady performer. Ryan Barath/GOLF

Although he has used a number of putter styles during his career, from smaller blades to oversized mallets, Rory’s TaylorMade Spider Tour has been in the bag for a number of years now.

A key to its staying power for Rory’s stroke is its balance between being a midsized mallet and offering more toe hang like a blade. Thanks to its small bent hosel style, it’s the perfect fit — and easy to align.

Go Team Europe

Rory team Euro
Rorys putter grip and fairway cover offer constant reminders of the Ryder Cup. Ryan Barath/GOLF

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist (or even a lowly gear writer) to know that the Ryder Cup is a big deal to McIlroy. From his putter grip to the cover on his 5-wood, his passion for the biennial matches is year-round. He was even happy to make a fun Christmas video with the 2023 captain Luke Donald.

Grip it and rip it

Rory McIlroy watches an approach at the BMW PGA Championship on Thursday.
Rory has been playing Golf Pride’s MCC grips since before he truned pro. Getty Images

With so many changes to his gear recently, the one constant for Rory is his preference for the Golf Pride MCC (Multi Compound Cord). Although he settled on the black-black colorway, he was the one that popularized one of the first alternative color options when he used the black-and-yellow colorway early in his career.

Play to your strengths

rory vokey wedges
Rory’s 54-degree (bent to 55) and 58-degree (bent to 59) Vokey wedges. Ryan Barath/GOLF

Having only two wedges after a pitching wedge has become increasingly rare on the PGA Tour, but Rory proves that with his new wedge setup, he’s having no issues with his approach and short game.

One key with wedges is being confident in decision making and a lot of amateur golfers can learn a lot by simplifying how many wedges they carry to further help improve shot selection. It’s better to have one or two tools you are completely confident in, than a whole toolbox you’re not exactly sure how to use. Keep that in mind next time you’re looking to buy new wedges.

Want to overhaul your bag for 2023? Find a fitting location near you at GOLF’s affiliate company True Spec Golf.

Ryan Barath

Golf.com Editor

Ryan Barath is GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com’s senior editor for equipment. He has an extensive club-fitting and -building background with more than 20 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. Before joining the staff, he was the lead content strategist for Tour Experience Golf, in Toronto, Canada.