Rory McIlroy teases mystery TaylorMade Qi10 driver
Monday was an eventful day for several major equipment manufacturers, TaylorMade included. Instead of waiting until January to debut next year’s driver, TaylorMade chose to go early with the Tour launch of a creation called Qi10 LS that surfaced on the USGA’s list of conforming driver heads.
When a manufacturer chooses to go early, it’s usually at the behest of a high-profile pro. In TaylorMade’s case, the pro happened to be none other than Rory McIlroy. The four-time major winner is teeing it up in Dubai at the DP World Tour Championship — a season-ending event McIlroy has aspirations of winning.
But there’s an interesting twist to this week’s event: McIlroy holds an insurmountable lead over Jon Rahm in the Order of Merit, meaning he’s already won the Race to Dubai before putting a tee in the ground. Instead of simply sticking with the gear setup he used most recently in the Ryder Cup, McIlroy looks set to use the tournament as an equipment proving ground for TaylorMade’s latest creation.
As McIlroy confirmed to the DP World Tour’s social media account, the Qi10 LS will be in the bag come Thursday.
“It’s just a new driver I’ve been playing around with,” he said. “I still want to go out there and try to win the golf tournament, but it could be a good time to test it out in competition. You’ll probably see a new driver in the bag this week.”
McIlroy’s decision to break in a new driver actually makes a lot of sense with his season coming to a close. Having likely practiced with it at home, McIlroy now gets an opportunity to see how it performs in a competitive setting, thereby reducing the learning curve that might have existed had he waited until January to give it a shot.
McIlroy’s decision to play the driver also guarantees gearheads won’t have to wait until January to see something other than a black-and-white photo of the Qi10 sole. Based on early footage of the driver, it’s clear the sliding weight track has been reimagined, along with the overall shaping of the head.
The words “Carbon” can also be seen on the face, all but guaranteeing a continuation of the “Carbonwood” line TaylorMade started in 2022 with Stealth. The silver line visible on the upper portion of the face looks eerily similar to the laser alignment system TaylorMade added to its Stealth fairway woods several years ago as an alignment tool.
The LS on McIlroy’s driver no doubt denotes it’s the “Low Spin” model in the lineup, but don’t expect TaylorMade to stop there. While we might not see them until January, expect a few more models to fill out the Qi10 lineup.
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