3 things you can learn from the clubs Rory McIlroy used to win the RBC Canadian Open
In a star-studded finish to the RBC Canadian Open, Rory McIlroy stood on the 18th green at St. Georges Golf Club in Toronto Canada with his 21st PGA Tour victory in hand.
Rory’s game was the talk of the week as players are tuning up for the U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline Mass. and although you might not be headed to play in the U.S Open yourself, there is a lot that can be learned from the way his golf clubs are set up through the bag – here are the top three biggest takeaways from Rory’s clubs:
Ascending wood weight shafts
When it comes to fairway wood shafts, a lot of golfers default to “I’ll just go 10g heavier than my driver shaft” through the bag, regardless of if they play one, two, or even three fairway woods. This might work okay when buying off the rack, but we live in a world where custom clubs can be just a few mouse clicks away and don’t need to cost any extra than something off the shelf.
In Rory’s case, his wood shafts progress from 60 grams in his driver, to 80 grams in his 3-wood, and 90 grams in his 5-wood to maintain club total weight when transitioning through the set. The reason this works is that as the woods get shorter more shaft weight is needed to have the clubs play and feel the same, which can help any golfer make a more repeatable swing.
Softer wedge shafts
This is going to sound completely counterintuitive to everything I just said about fairway woods, but an important thing to note about the short end of Rory’s bag is he plays lighter and softer flex shafts in his wedges than his irons.
When it comes to wedges, I’m a big advocate of using heavier and softer flex shafts for any wedge that isn’t primarily used for full shots, and in his 54° & 60° wedges, Rory uses ProjectX 6.5 which are one flex softer and 5 grams lighter per shaft than the ProjectX 7.0 he uses in his irons. This helps maintain feel for the shaft loading and unloading on partial swings and allows the player to control swing tempo.
Even though 6.5 are slightly lighter than 7.0 flex, it works for this scenario because there just isn’t a shaft that is both heavier and softer than the 7.0 so 6.5 has to do. Plus with the ability to adjust head weight easily in a wedge, the club builders at TaylorMade have no issue getting those five grams back.
Thicker putter grip
Rory has been all over the map with putter grips in his career, but over the last 3-4 years he has settled down primarily on an oversized option from Superstroke to help him sink more putts.
Oversized grips reduce tension in the hands and forearms which helps with keeping a smoothing putting stroke, and as a bonus, these larger grips also have a wider flat top segment which makes alignment easier too. Of the three players in the final group at the Canadian Open; Rory, Justin Thomas, and Tony Finau, all of them used a larger non-traditional style grip, and it could be a sign that you should try one too.
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