Rory McIlroy Practice Tips
In this special Rory McIlroy Practice Tips feature, the Northern Irishman explains how he laid the foundations to his game. From the hours of work he put in as a junior to his current schedule away from tournament play, what follows is a Rory McIlroy Practice Tips special feature and a rare glimpse into what goes in to creating a champion:
It’s hard to put it across to people sometimes because all they see is us on the golf course. They watch us on TV and I think the whole narrative around me from the beginning was talent and how I was so talented. Even before then, as a teenager and turning pro the amount of time I spent practising and putting in my game. You realise when you turn pro you almost need to take it to another level again and add certain areas to your game whether it be the fitness part or try just to add different elements to your game. I don’t think people appreciate how hard we work but having said that, I wouldn’t say I work hard because going and spending the whole day on the driving range or the gym isn’t hard work to some people. I do spend a lot of time at it – Rory McIlroy’s Gym Routine. You’re born with a certain talent but you need to work as hard as you possibly can to turn that talent into something more than just potential.
I think if you’re trying to make some sort of swing change or tweak, before it feels 100% comfortable and 100% subconscious, it takes thousands of repetitions. At the minute I’m trying to tweak a couple of things. My left-hand grip has gotten a little strong and I haven’t thought about my grip since I was 12 years old. So all of a sudden now I’m trying to think about weakening the left hand grip a little bit – I practiced for a few days last week and it felt so strange. If you can persevere and stick with the uncomfortable feeling, then at the end of the day it’s going to make you a better player. I think sometimes what people don’t do is they don’t stick with something long enough to get through that period. They might try it for a couple of sessions with a pro or at the range and it mightn’t work and they’ll just revert back to what they’re comfortable with. There is a certain point where you have to say ‘Okay I’m going to be uncomfortable with this for a while but I know in the long run it’s going to make me a better player’.
Rory McIlroy Practice Tips
There are some things or practice drills that I do where it’s more of a competition or a challenge and you record your results and that makes practice more fun as well. Whether it be chipping around the green or putting. I think one of the great things now is being able to play games on trackman and try to do different things there. That would be another thing for me if I was on my own. I’d bring the trackman out and try and challenge myself and say ‘Okay I’ve got a yardage band from 150-175’ which is one of the most important yardage bands in my game because I hit a lot of shots from there on the golf course. You pick your target out there and you’ve got to hit 10 shots and you can’t miss one left. One of the great things about technology and using stuff like that is that it puts you under pressure during practice and you’re really going through your routine and hitting a shot like you would on the golf course.
All of these things do make a difference. If we’re talking about power between carrying the bunker or not on the final hole of a major and being able to hit the ball from the fairway instead of the rough or the bunker. There are so many tiny little variables that if you can just get a little bit better it’ll make a huge difference in the long run.