While Rory McIlroy didn’t specify exactly what he meant in his tweet at 11:02 a.m. Tuesday morning, “Final tweaks are made,” it was clear from the the presence of a custom TaylorMade Staff Bag in the photo that he had signed an endorsement contract with golf equipment manufacturer TaylorMade.
Minutes later, the official details from TaylorMade hit inboxes. Rory had signed a long-term contract with the company, and he would switch to a full bag of TaylorMade clubs, including a TaylorMade golf ball.
Time to show the world what you’re really made of.
— TaylorMade Golf (@TaylorMadeGolf) May 9, 2017
Earlier this year, it appeared that McIlroy was primed to signed an equipment contract with a different company. He was using Callaway’s new Epic metal woods and muscleback irons, as well as a custom Odyssey putter. There was also some Titleist equipment in his bag: the company’s new wedges and its Pro V1x golf ball. By Masters time, McIlroy had switched out his Callaway fairway woods for new TaylorMade models.
McIlroy’s equipment saga was the result of Nike’s decision to exit the golf equipment business in August, which left the four-time major champion an “equipment free agent.” He said he would take his time — maybe as much as a year — to find the absolutely best equipment for his game. Nine months later, the search has ended with TaylorMade.
“My future rests firmly in my hands,” McIlroy said. “That’s why I choose TaylorMade. I’ve been around the game long enough and have tested most clubs on the market, but I have never been as excited about equipment as I am right now.”
McIlroy’s TaylorMade Clubs
- 2017 M2 Driver (9.5 degrees)
- 2017 M2 Tour Fairway (13.5 degrees)
- 2017 M2 Tour Fairway (19 degrees)
- P750 Tour Proto Irons (3-4),- “Rors Proto” Irons (5-9)
- Milled Grind Wedges (48, 54, 60 degrees)
- TP5x Golf Ball / #22
TaylorMade’s press release about the signing of McIlroy is filled with the typical hyperbole, and rightfully so for a company that currently has equipment deals with the top-3 ranked golfers in the world (Dustin Johnson, McIlroy and Jason Day), but there’s also some interesting tidbits.
For one, TaylorMade has designed a custom set of irons for McIroy called the “Rors Proto” that he will use as his 5-9 irons. And for those who think they can swing like McIlroy, TaylorMade passed along his launch monitor data with his new TaylorMade 2017 M2 driver.
- Ball Speed: 181 mph
- Launch Angle: 12.3 degrees
- Spin Rate: 2119 rpm
- Average Carry Distance: 315.8 yards
- Average Total Distance: 338.5 yards.
Interesting photos from the AT&T Byron Nelson
GolfWRX was on site at a very wet TPC Craig for practice rounds ahead of the AT&T Byron Nelson, and we weren’t going to let the rain wash away the opportunity for interesting photos.
We have six general galleries for your viewing pleasure
- 2021 AT&T Byron Nelson – Tuesday #1
- 2021 AT&T Byron Nelson – Tuesday #2
- 2021 AT&T Byron Nelson – Tuesday #3
- 2021 AT&T Byron Nelson – Tuesday #4
- 2021 AT&T Byron Nelson – Wednesday #1
- 2021 AT&T Byron Nelson – Wednesday #2
…and a number of special of galleries as well.
- Cameron putters (including James Hahn’s T-12) – 2021 AT&T Byron Nelson
- Russell Knox testing an Axis 1 putter – 2021 AT&T Byron Nelson
- Cole Hammer – 2021 AT&T Byron Nelson
- Fitzpatrick’s and Kuchar’s Bettinardi putters – 2021 AT&T Byron Nelson
- Odyssey putters – 2021 AT&T Byron Nelson
- Rickie back to his old Cameron – 2021 AT&T Byron Nelson
- Tim Wilkinson testing lefthand Axis 1 – 2021 AT&T Byron Nelson
- Jhonny Vegas’ custom Cameron with LA Golf shaft – 2021 AT&T Byron Nelson
- Daniel Berger “testing” Titleist driver – 2021 AT&T Byron Nelson
We got a look at University of Texas Junior Cole Hammer’s sticks as he prepares to put a peg in the ground at the Byron Nelson on a sponsor’s exemption.
Equipment free agent Daniel Berger was seen testing a Titleist TS3 driver with a Fujikura Ventus Black shaft.
D.J. Trahan once again solidifies his status as the Tour’s biggest Deadhead.
Kevin Chappell’s Wilson Staff irons have taken on a lovely patina.
Tidy stamping on Jhonattan Vegas custom Cameron.
Also on the Cameron front: James Hahn’s T12 Prototype.
More putter photos: Matt Kuchar had two center-shafted Bettinardi blades built for testing. (More photos here)
Rickie Fowler has gone back to his Newport 2 with “Cameron” stamped in the cavity rather than “Rickie,” which is in his other wand. He’s also been back in a steel shaft in the putter for a while.
Russell Knox was spotted testing an Axis1 putter.
New to us, this Odyssey “Sir Makes-a-Lot” putter cover is clever.
Odyssey Tri-Hot insert sighting!
Michael Greller displays Jordan Spieth’s new 2021 Pro V1x balls. Did he stop in the pro shop to pick up a sleeve?
AT&T Byron Nelson Tour Truck Report: Details on Spieth’s ball change, Kuch’s new putters, more
There’s not a ton of tinkering going on at presently soggy TPC Craig Ranch where Monday was wet and Tuesday was a washout. With it being the week before a major championship and the heart of the season, most players are committed to dancing with the one that brought them and are only soliciting the tour trucks for spec checks and regripping.
Perhaps most interestingly this week, Jordan Spieth has switched from a previous generation of the Titleist Pro V1x into the current iteration of the golf ball (Exhibit A: The photos of Spieth’s caddie, Michael Greller holding up the wares below).
Check out all our photos from the Byron Nelson!
Matt Kuchar continues his flatstick experimentation as he looks to find his form on the green. Bettinardi built him a couple of long-neck center-shafted blades to tinker with. Face-on view of one of the models below, and more photos here.
More of what’s up with major OEM staffers, below.
Sean O’Hair is testing a TSi2 (10 degree) driver and TSi2 (15 degree) fairway.
Per Titleist, Spieth offered this about his switch into the new Pro V1x
“I’m trying to optimize launch conditions through the bag. For me, the 2021 Pro V1x, I get more spin around the greens. It’s softer, spinnier around the greens with my short game shots. And then when I went up the bag, I started to get a little bit higher launch, but it didn’t add spin in the long clubs. It just added ball speed and launch. So it’s a little higher window, but it just looks like it’s screaming through the air. And then from the 7-iron on down, I didn’t see much difference in the full shots, just like I said more action around the greens.”
“I’m trying to just hit optimal windows and if I can gain – really, in my long clubs – just a little bit better peak height with a little bit faster ball speed, it actually helps fill my gaps a little bit easier. And then it’s just coming down – it has the potential to come down a little bit softer, which is obviously important. But I’m not seeing a massive difference through kind of that mid iron into short iron. And I still can hit each shot that I want to with the scoring clubs. So being able to tee off and all you do is change the ball and it’s actually in a similar window that’s going 3-4 yards further, that’s nice. And then when I get to the scoring range clubs, I feel like if anything, I just have the ability to hit an even softer shot if I want to. But the rest of them were all still there.”
View this post on Instagram
And while Titleist is mum on any further details, there is this…
There’s only one chance to make a first impression, and we’d say it went well.
@JordanSpieth and @WillZalatoris got a sneak peek at some new irons earlier this week and gave them a test spin. Their feedback… ?? pic.twitter.com/03npRpmsgy
— Titleist (@Titleist) May 12, 2021
Sam Burns had set of raw Apex MB irons built for testing.
Wesley Bryant added a prototype full-face MD5 wedge to his arsenal.
Others, free agents
Rickie Fowler returned to the Scotty Cameron with “Cameron” rather than “Rickie” at the Wells Fargo Championship, but this is the first good look at the flatstick we’ve gotten since the switch.
Daniel Berger was spotted testing a Titleist TS3 with a Ventus Black shaft.
Russell Knox was spotted testing an Axis1 putter.
In a pretty wild story we’re looking for more information on, notorious gearhead Chris Baker is rumored to be putting a set of irons belonging to Cobra rep James Posey in play. Incidentally, Baker is also testing a Kali White shaft.
Free agent Dominic Bozzelli is testing a Titleist TSi3 driver (9 degrees).
James Hahn is reportedly testing a number of shafts: prototype Aldila in a fairway wood, and Mitsubishi MMT in a hybrid and long iron.
PXG staffer Danny Lee switched out of Project X 6.5 and into KBS Tour V 125 shafts (5-PW) and KBS TGI 110 in 3 and 4-iron.
Tom Lewis has moved back into KBS S Taper 125 in his full set. He was playing Nippon 125’s in his irons and a Fujikura Ventus Black 115 HB in his Srixon ZX5 3-iron.
Check out all our photos from the Byron Nelson!
Interesting photos from Tuesday at the Wells Fargo Championship
This week, the PGA Tour is at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, North Carolina, for the Wells Fargo Championship. GolfWRX was on-site Tuesday to spy a glimpse into the bags of some of the world’s top golfers where the field is getting ready to play starting Thursday for the $8.1 million purse, with the winner going home with just over $1.45 million dollars and the important 500 FedEx Cup points.
Don’t forget you can check out all our image galleries in the GolfWRX Tour Equipment forum.
New Ping irons and wedges spotted
It’s a big week at the Wells Fargo for Ping, with the official tour launch of the new i59 irons and Glide Forged Pro wedges. We are still seeking out the full tech, and potential release info, but you can join the discussion about the new gear in the GolfWRX forums: Ping i59 irons – 2021 Wells Fargo Championship
That’s one way to make a site line
Although he is still one of the better ball-strikers on tour, Lucas Glover’s difficulty with the putter has been well documented. We spotted him on the putting green at Quail Hollow making an improvised site line on his Scotty Cameron Newport 2. Those Sharpies are good for more than just signing autographs!
Very unique hosel on this Odyssey
This Odyssey widebody putter has its plumber’s neck hosel very close to the center of the topline to reduce toe hang and offer a one-of-a-kind view in the address position.
Bettinardi prototype high toe mallet
This Hexperimental Proto from the folks at Bettinardi looks like the milled steel lovechild of their Studio Stock 17 and a Queen Bee 11. It combines the high-toe look with a bumpered mallet.
Jason Day working with a new putter
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: the Bryson effect is real. This week, it looks like Jason Day has moved to a SIK putter paired with an LA Golf putter shaft after a very long run with a TaylorMade Spider.
Speaking of Jason Day and new gear…
The new SIK putter was seen in the bag with no backup in sight and a new wedge (under plastic). Super bonus points for the Augusta National pro shop (only for Members and guests) accessories bag Day is using—that’s serious golf drip.
Wyndham Clark PXG irons confirmed
After some speculation about their existence, we now have confirmation that the irons being used by Wyndham Clark are a yet-to-be-released PXG Gen 4 0311 ST (Super Tour) blade. You can see more pictures of the iron here: GolfWRX Forums In hand Gen4 0311 ST irons
Xander’s got a lot of headcovers in there
Xander Schauffele must be on the lookout for some new fairway woods, because he had five different options under headcovers on the range at Quail Hollow. Maybe he has a few of those Triple Diamond Epic Speeds under there? GolfWRX Spotted: Callaway Epic Speed Triple Diamond fairway wood
Rickie working on a lot, including his tempo
Rickie had a lot going on at the range on Tuesday and one of the more interesting things of note was an iron shafted with a Fujikura MCI tempo trainer.
Dufner with new Cobra putter
The search for a putter seems to be nonstop for Jason Dufner at the moment and after some time with an oversized Cobra mallet, it looks like he has moved onto something a little smaller and with a bit more toe hang.
Smiling assassin Sungjae Im
If you were inside the top 25 on the FedEx Cup and playing as well as Sungjae is right now, you’d probably be smiling too.
Rafa is rolling one very nice Scotty Cameron
When it comes to Scotty Cameron Circle T putters, the “Timeless” Newport 2 style stands alone and Rafa’s custom looks really good from here.
You can check out all the pictures from Tuesday of the Wells Fargo in the links below
Valero Texas Open Tour Truck Report: Stenson back in Diablo, Rickie’s limited-edition driver, latest AutoFlex-er
Jordan Spieth’s winning WITB 2021 Valero Texas Open
Dustin Johnson unveils Champions Dinner menu (and it’s not sandwiches)
Abraham Ancer WITB 2021 (April)
Most interesting photos from Tuesday at the 2021 Valero Texas Open
The 23 players who can win the Masters
Most interesting photos from Tuesday at the 2021 Valero Texas Open – Part 2
Bryson leaves Vijay mesmerized in unmissable video from the Masters
Patty Tavatanakit’s winning WITB: 2021 ANA Inspiration
Dustin Johnson WITB 2021 Masters
Wyndham Clark WITB 2021 (May)
Driver: PXG 0811 X+ Proto (10.5 degrees) Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana TB 60 X 3-wood: PXG 0341 X Gen4 Irons: PXG...
Jordan Spieth WITB 2021 (May)
Jordan Spieth what’s in the bag accurate as of the AT&T Byron Nelson. Driver: Titleist TSi3 (10 degrees) Shaft: Fujikura...
Jessica Korda gives a deep dive into her WITB
Jessica Korda has been having a fantastic 2021, which began with a win at the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions...
Bryson DeChambeau WITB 2021 (May)
Bryson DeChambeau’s WITB accurate as of the Wells Fargo Championship. After experimenting with a RadSpeed Prototype at the Masters, DeChambeau...
19th Hole7 days ago
Bryson DeChambeau flies home from Wells Fargo early…before realizing he made the cut
19th Hole3 weeks ago
Why Phil Mickelson paid off a group of golfers last weekend
19th Hole3 weeks ago
Is this Korn Ferry Tour player longer than Bryson DeChambeau ?
Equipment2 days ago
Jordan Spieth puts 2021 Titleist Pro V1x in play
19th Hole2 weeks ago
Bryson DeChambeau: ‘This is how I gained 30mph ball speed with an iron’
Equipment1 week ago
Wells Fargo Championship Tour Truck Report: Rory’s new (old) irons, Bryson’s proto 2-wood, Jason Day is SIK
Equipment1 week ago
Remembering the 2018 Wells Fargo and the Tiger Woods Phase 1 irons
Whats in the Bag2 weeks ago
Sam Burns’ winning WITB 2021 Valspar Championship