Rory McIlroy vs. Scottie Scheffler: a tale of 2 wildly different club setups in the 2022 PGA Tour season
After a full season of golf, the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup came down to an 18-hole shootout at East Lake between Rory McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler. Ultimately, it was McIlroy who took home the FedEx Cup and the $18 million prize after shooting a four-under 66 to Scheffler’s 73 and co-runner up Sungjae Im’s 66. Don’t feel bad, though, Scheffler and Im took home a nice bit of pocket change in the process.
Although they have similar styles of play, Rory and Scottie have had very different ways of approaching their gear this season, and this is a look back at changes they’ve made.
Scottie Scheffler’s 2022 clubs
As told by our own Jonathan Wall back in March, Scheffler signed a deal with TaylorMade that officially linked the 25-year-old with the brand. Up until that point, Scottie had been playing mostly a mixed bag which included an 11-year-old Nike VR Pro Limited 3-wood, which is a club he had used dating all the way back to high school.
Considering Scheffler’s Texas upbringing, it should be no surprise the Dallas native (Scheffler was born in Ridgewood, N.J., but his family moved to Texas in 1999 when he was 3) was linked to Nike Golf headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, early in his playing days. But after signing with TaylorMade, the one thing Scheffler had to change on no specific timeline was his Nike fairway wood. To be frank, the Nike really didn’t stand a chance, and under testing conditions it was no contest — soon after Scheffler had a new Stealth 16.5° in the bag.
As they say, the rest is history, and Scottie had a historic year with four wins and his first major at the Masters.
Since that faithful testing session in March, Scottie didn’t change a thing all season, and through the Tour Championship his clubs have remained the same as they were before the 3-wood swap:
3-wood: TaylorMade Stealth (Fujikura Ventus Black 8X shaft), 16.5 degrees
Utility: Srixon Z U85 (3-iron; Nippon Pro Modus3 Hybrid Tour X shaft)
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (50-12F, 56-14F degrees; True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 shafts), Titleist Vokey Design 2021 Proto (60K degrees; True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 shaft)
Putter: Scotty Cameron Special Select Timeless Tourtype GSS Tour Prototype
Golf ball: Titleist Pro V1
Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet
On the other hand, it hasn’t been so simple for Rory.
Rory McIlroy’s 2022 golf clubs
Compared to Scheffler, Rory has had a very interesting year when it comes to his clubs. Yes, some clubs have remained mostly unchanged through the 2022 season, but he’s had a rotating cast of characters at the top and bottom end of his bag — let’s dive in.
Stalwarts through the season have been Rory’s driving and iron play — he finished 3rd this season in Strokes Gained off the tee and 13th in SG approach the green. The club helping him rip tee shots is his Taylormade Stealth Plus, and his irons are his very own RORS Protos that date back to 2018. Considering his strengths in these areas it should be no surprise he hasn’t messed with these clubs too much, but after that is where it gets really interesting.
The one club Rory has cycled through this season is his 3-wood, which is a complete contrast to Scheffler’s set-it-and-forget-it mentality. Dating back to the CJ Cup in late 2021, the club of choice was a Ver1 TaylorMade SIM Titanium at 15°. We should note this was before the Stealth line was available, but the SIM2 had been out for the season and Rory never made a full-time switch to the club.
After the holiday break, Rory came back in January with new Stealth Plus 3 and 5 woods to build out the top end of his bag, and although the 5 wood has stayed put, he went back to the SIM Ti at the Players. The SIM once again held its place until June when things started to get busy again at the RBC Canadian Open. As covered by our Jonathan Wall, Rory swapped 3-woods halfway through the event, going from his SIM TI to the fixed hosel version of the Stealth for added spin and workability off the tee. A win is a win but the Stealth was again a short-lived experiment and since the Open Championship Rory has kept ol’ faithful in the bag.
The two biggest takeaways from this back and forth is Rory’s amazing ability to quickly change one of the hardest clubs in the bag to swap, and his trust in the process when putting clubs into play.
Now to the wedges. Rory has openly discussed issues with his wedge play in the past but through this season the only major change beyond a low bounce lob wedge for the Open Championship was his move to a specialty pitching wedge from his RORS Proto. With a more rounded profile and camber, the sole of his MG3 offers more versatility for partial shots, which is something Rory has been putting a lot of work into.
Maybe it’s the Tiger influence but, after spending years as a bomb and gouger (he still bombs it!), Rory has certainly approached his wedge game very differently than in the past, and if we look at his finishes in the majors along with his culminating win at the Tour Championship — we’re confident in saying his equipment decisions have paid off.
3-wood: TaylorMade SIM2 (Mitsubishi Diamana Kai’li White 80TX shaft), 15 degrees
Irons: TaylorMade Rors Proto (3-9; Project X Rifle 7.0 shafts)
Putter: TaylorMade Spider X Hydro Blast (SuperStroke Pistol GT Tour grip)
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
Grips: Golf Pride New Decade MultiCompound
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