Don’t Fall for the Bait – You’re Never Going to Swing It like Rory!
The title of this article is a bit absurd. I’m sure most of you are thinking, “of course I’m never going to swing it like Rory McIlroy!”
When it’s phrased that way, it’s easy to come to that conclusion. However, if you saw an article entitled, Rory McIlroy’s 5 Keys To Rip Your Driver (a real title), many of you couldn’t help but read. You want to know what the secret sauce is, and apply it to your game.
This formula has been used over and over again for decades by golf publications. Whoever is the hottest golfer at the moment gets a featured article, and you’re promised to learn how to do what they do. Usually, the information is very watered down and won’t benefit your golf game.
Recently, when Rory McIlroy won the FedEx Cup title and was awarded Player of the Year on the PGA Tour, there was another flood of articles focusing on his driving ability, which is undoubtedly his greatest weapon. To me, it’s a bit silly, but I understand why these articles exist. People are generally curious about what makes players like Rory so unique. But make no mistake, there is nothing you can learn from Rory as it pertains to your golf swing.
He Can Do Things With His Body That None of You Can
There have only been two times in my life when I saw a golf swing, and my jaw dropped. The first was watching Tiger as a junior golfer when he was winning multiple USGA Amateur titles. The second time was when I saw Rory’s first appearance at The 2007 Open at Carnoustie. I had never seen a swing that combined power, speed, and gracefulness the way he did. At 18, he had a world-class golf swing which is a combination of his natural talent and hard work.
Rory’s winning record since then is well noted. He’s also put a ton of work into his body that makes him arguably the best driver of the golf ball we have ever seen.
I saw some of his Trackman stats posted on Instagram the other day:
While some of these numbers might not make sense to you, they are perfect. Long story short – he’s able to generate tremendous speed, strike the ball on the center of the clubface almost every time, and create optimal launch conditions to make the golf ball travel far and straight. When you watch him on TV, it’s hard not to marvel at his ability.
When you see Rory in person, it’s quite surprising. He’s only 5’9,” and most tour players who are power players are much larger than him. So how does he do it?
The Titleist Performance Institute measured Rory’s swing when he was a teenager using 3D analysis. Even before he started working out, the speed of his hip turn and the separation he creates between his upper and lower body were off the charts compared to tour players.
Normal human beings cannot do this. Most golfers sit at a desk all day and consequently struggle with mobility in their golf swing. That’s why it’s unrealistic to suggest that any recreational player should try to swing like Rory does (or any other tour player for that matter). Your body can’t move the way he can. If you try, you’ll likely get hurt.
There Isn’t Much To Learn From Rory, Or Any Other Tour Player
If you are a student of the golf swing and are interested to learn what makes world-class talent so great, I don’t think there is any harm in studying them for fun.
My issue is when people dangle players like Rory and Dustin Johnson in front of regular golfers. You can’t cherry-pick elements from their swing and apply it to others. It’s not realistic, and it won’t make you a better golfer.
So whenever you see articles like these, my advice is to look in the other direction. They’ve been around for years, and the cycle will likely continue for a long time. It’s nothing more than entertainment. Don’t expect to apply it to your swing!