Top 25 coach Ged Walters looks breaks down the game of four-time Major winner Rory McIlroy
6 Things You Can Learn From Rory McIlroy
1 Address: create space
Rory has plenty of room to swing his arms and club past his body in the downswing. This comes from his set-up and, in particular, the distance between the butt of the grip and his legs. Notice how the butt of the club is approximately in line with his toes.
2 Clubface and spine align
Halfway into his backswing, Rory’s clubface angle matches the forward bend of his torso. This neutral-looking face needs no manipulation through the swing to get the ball started on line. In practice, try using this position as a checkpoint in your swing – it is a very simple and effective way to improve your clubface control.
Watch: Rory McIlroy swing sequence –
3 Transition tempo
The key to Rory’s smooth-looking rhythm is the tempo of his change of direction from the top of the backswing into the downswing. Rory creates his immense power from a steady build-up of speed towards impact. He doesn’t snatch at it from the top, instead he completes his backswing before smoothly starting down. This is a great aspect of Rory’s swing to copy.
4 Power sequence
The way in which things move sequentially during the downswing is a crucial ingredient to controllable power. McIlroy’s downswing sequence is ideal – his legs and hips initiate everything, then his torso, then his arms and lastly the club follows. The key fault to look out for is starting the downswing with your arms – this often leads to an ‘over-the-top’ motion that causes a slice and inconsistent strikes.
Related: Rory McIlroy’s gym routine revealed
5 Impact commitment
At impact, Rory’s hips have cleared beautifully – they are open to the target at the moment he strikes the ball, as is his torso (although not as much). His powerful body rotation allows him to square the club through impact while also delivering the speed that is his trademark. We appreciate not everyone reading this will be able to copy Rory’s incredible move through the ball, but you can certainly aim to rotate your body through the shot more effectively. Many amateurs struggle to do this, instead getting stuck at impact, which costs them both power and accuracy.
6 Balanced finish
Rory completes every swing in total balance. His weight is into his left heel and his torso is straight on top of his left leg with his right foot on its tip toes. The image opposite shows he has kept the sequence of his swing all the way to the end, maximising his potential for each shot. It is often said that a good finish position is the sign of a good swing – it’s worth keeping this in mind!