Rory McIlroy – The Greatest Driver on Tour?
Time and time again, we are left in awe of the way Rory McIlroy swings a golf club. A swing of effortless power, balance and finesse sees him hit drives that are not only consistantly above 330 yards in length, but also arrow-straight fairway finders.
This season saw him once again lead the PGA Tour in strokes gained off the tee, essentially picking up 1.195 shots on the field each time he competes. He also lead the PGA Tour in strokes gained scoring average, bettering the field by an average of 2.551 shots per round.
We caught up with Rory at the Taylormade product launch in 2018 and again this year and were lucky enough to talk to him about his areas of focus to achieve those drives.
You may be surprised to hear that Rory says he only hits “maybe one” perfect drive per round and that it’s very rare for him to hit more than “two or three perfect tee shots in a round” when he’s playing his best golf.
However what he does say is that “golf is a game of misses and if we can make those misses smaller then we can become better, so even though I don’t hit it perfectly every time, I’m hitting it well enough that I can go from there”.
“I’ve always been around 4 or 5 degrees up on my attack angle” says Rory. This allows him to optimise his drives in terms of launch and spin, and ultimately maximises the distances he can hit the ball.
So, what can we learn from the now two-time FedEX Cup Champion and what can you potentially implement into your own game to improve off the tee?
“Tee it up higher! It may sound simple but this makes such a difference to attack angle and distance.” Rory mentions that this is something he has always worked on from an early age and felt this helped him get the ball in the air as quickly as possible and go as far as possible.
From a technique standpoint, Rory uses the ground incredibly well and this is another thing he works on a lot in his practise; “I like to have a stable base and set my feet apart a bit wider than normal. From there I think ‘width’ and want to load into my right side”.
This athletic stance which Rory creates enables him to work on “shifting into [his] left side and putting a lot of pressure through it”.
So to put it in simplistic terms, he thinks ‘width and shift’ to create a great coil into his backswing and then he unloads all that stored energy to produce those strokes gained leading drives which have become so synonymous with his game.
For more information and to see the video we created with Rory all about hitting ‘The Perfect Drive’ click on the link below.