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Rory McIlroy’s advice for how amateurs can improve is practical and brilliant

October 31, 2019

If you’re looking to improve your golf game, there is one thing you can do that has nothing to do with your stance, setup or swing. According to Rory McIlroy, the key to improvement is simple: Just play with people who are better than you.

At this week’s WGC-HSBC Champions in China, McIlroy was asked about advice that Xander Schauffele had given to a junior player prior to the beginning of the tournament. According to the reporter who posed the question, Schauffele suggested playing with people who are better than you, and that you don’t like. The reporter then asked if McIlroy had found someone like that to play against.

In his typical thoughtful fashion, McIlroy offered a great answer. “I think for me, I was always the youngest to play, whether it be at my home golf club or in competitions,” he said. “So I was always playing with people that were better than me, and I think that — even my caddie now, Harry, he’s basically five years older than me, and he was a very good player, and I always played with him. So Harry was always better than me growing up as a kid, but that made me a better player because I saw what level I needed to get to.

“I don’t think you necessarily, you know, you don’t have to not like the person that you’re playing with,” McIlroy continued. “But I think it’s a wonderful piece of advice to find people that are better than you and to play with them, because it shows you what you need to do to get to that next level.”

So there you have it, straight from the world’s second-ranked player: If you find your game’s progress plateauing, get out there and find someone better to play with, and see what happens.

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