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It’s Official: Rory McIlroy is with TaylorMade

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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.

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

Rory_McIlroy_WITB_2017_Feat

  • 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

Related: See all the TaylorMade clubs McIlroy is using this week at The Players

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.

Screen Shot 2017-05-09 at 12.25.16 PM

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.

246590-rorsnumbers-467282-large-1494277485-1

  • 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.
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32 Comments

32 Comments

  1. The Real Swanson

    May 10, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    Tosser.

  2. King of Carlsbad

    May 10, 2017 at 11:40 am

    Can Rory still collect when TM goes bankrupt?

  3. Teddy

    May 9, 2017 at 9:02 pm

    I guess the Epic driver wasn’t so “Epic” for Rory…

  4. H

    May 9, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    Let the TM dominance-Titleist take down finally come to its conclusion!

  5. Wenz

    May 9, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    Fairly sure his driver is 8.5 stamped with the actual loft being 8.25 as written in sharpie.

  6. Tony Rich

    May 9, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    Sellout……while he is chasing the money everywhere he goes…guys like Willett, Stenson and a guy named Walker are winning majors. He dominated tournaments with his Titleist sticks. He has become a question mark since joining Nike and now this. Stats said he hit 20% of his fairways last year using Taylor Made low CG driver, doubt he will improve on that.

  7. Moses

    May 9, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    I didn’t know Rory was a “6 time” major champion.

  8. Judge Smells

    May 9, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    I heard Wilson was in there right until they discussed the compensation involved

  9. Greg V

    May 9, 2017 at 4:13 pm

    Looks like he’s opening his left hand at the top of the swing, in the picture. Could be trouble, although Bobby Jones got away with it.

  10. AndyUK

    May 9, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    Watched the live interview with him earlier today where he stated he was excited to play the TP5 ball as it was much more suited to his game and windy conditions compared to the Pro V. Said he spend 10 days of intensive testing. Kick in the teeth to Titleist, which is no bad thing.

  11. Lewi

    May 9, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    Looks to me, he has sold out to the highest bidder, used callaway through choice and the brand has boomed, Taylormade had no choice but to buy him to try and reverse the trend.
    Rory said he was staying club free for at least a year, amazing how money talks and changes people’s minds. Money obviously means more to him than titles

  12. golfraven

    May 9, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    You would think that Tiger and Rory now come as a pack of two. You cannot sign them up seperately. This is a big hit to Callaway and somehow the Epic line is loosing the charm since more and more players not hitting those drivers anymore. Wonder how much Tiger invested in TM and maybe Rory is joining to bail him out or both will take over TM. I guess Tiger will need to suck it up if Rory gets his signature clubs (irons and maybe wedges in the future).

  13. Tourgrinder

    May 9, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    Can somebody with more TaylorMade insight than me please let me in on the secret as to why more pros seem to be gravitating toward the M2 rather than the M1. Even those with an M1 driver seem to choose M2 fairway models and hybrids. But…the M2 driver seems to be preference for pros such as DJ, Rahm, Rose, Tiger Woods, and now McIlroy, plus many, many others. I’ve probably overlooked a boatload of other pros using the M2 rather than the M1. I thought the M1 was the flagship model and the M2 was the game-improvement model, if you could call it that.

    • SH

      May 9, 2017 at 2:40 pm

      We all want to find fairways and the M2 is a tad more forgiving for most. Besides, with all the hot melting, it’s not like these heads don’t have weight near the front

  14. Ibo

    May 9, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    I’d be excited too while pocketing $10M a year on top of $20M more from Nike.

    • Aaron

      May 9, 2017 at 6:49 pm

      This is technically inaccurate. Nike will supplement whatever Taylormade pays Rory to equal the amount they would have paid him (had he continued using their clubs). He’s technically making the same amount of money, just from two companies instead of one.

      • Earl

        May 16, 2017 at 12:31 am

        Well THAT is technically incorrect. For every amount above what Nike are paying RM, they will take “a percentage” out of his pay. So he is earning more.. just not the full 10 mil more.

  15. King of Carlsbad

    May 9, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    Hard to understand how TM has the budget for these signings. They are losing close to 9 digits a year and can’t find a buyer. Odd…

  16. Chris

    May 9, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    Taylormade’s player staff bill must be huge now, Rory, DJ, Jason Day, Sergio, Justin Rose…….

  17. chinchbugs

    May 9, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    Can Nike just buy TaylorMade already….

  18. Philip

    May 9, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    Sure he is playing the best equipment for his game, and it has nothing to do with him selling himself to the highest bidder … there is always more swampland for sale :o)

  19. Tom1

    May 9, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    exciting times……

  20. Eric

    May 9, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    He is using TMAG Proto Blades (saw a pic on instagram). Who knows who made them. Probably Miura. Just kidding, I have no idea.

  21. Soggy golfer

    May 9, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    I don’t see him playing TM irons maybe with the exception of the tour preferred blades. I feel like he has always played a firmer feeling iron and the TM P series is extremely soft. I know some really good players that tried them after a firmer feeling set (myself included) and it was counter productive.

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Tour News

Arnold Palmer Invitational Tour Truck Report: Rickie’s iron experiments continue, MMT train rolls on, Rose tests a ton

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The fleet of tour trucks arrived southwest of Orlando this week for the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club and Lodge.

It’s an appropriate place to be digging into the nuances of pro golfers’ gear, given the club building, tinkering, and general gear junkie-hood of the tournament’s namesake, Arnold Palmer, whose 10,000 club-filled workshop is gear nut’s cave of wonders.

Let’s dig into the tweaks and wholesale switches we’re hearing about at the King’s place.

Titleist

Byeong Hun An plugged a Mitsubishi MMT Utility 125 TX shaft in his Titleist U500 2-iron.

Bernd Wiesberger is testing a Graphite Design Tour AD DI9 TX shaft (tipped 1.5 inches) in his TSi2 3-wood as he searches for more of a consistent cut ball flight. His current gamer features a Graphite Design Tour AD IZ 8 TX shaft with the same tipping.

Denny McCarthy, Robert Streb, and Byeong Hun An are all testing new Project X EvenFlow RipTide shafts (which began tour seeding in late January).

And on a related note, while we haven’t heard specifics of anyone putting one in play, we spotted prototype Scotty Cameron 11.5 putters that feature an expanded range of sight lines (more photos here).

Vokey

The report from @vokeywedgerep: “Tons of fresh wedges this week anticipating firm and fast greens at Bay Hill as well as prep for The Players. Many players checked loft and lies, also.”

Bernd Wiesberger has a fresh set of wedges and Byeong Hun An added a 60T SM8.

Doug Ghim, who is usually in an SM8 60-08AD+, is going with a different grind/bounce profile this week: 60-06K.

Patton Kizzire switched to a 52M Proto.

JT Poston is switching to SM8 56-10S reducing some bounce on his wedge (from 56-14).

Jazz Janewattananond may have some of the most unique wedge stampings on tour. Gotta love the skateboard tricks (and the skateboarder stamped by AD) on the 60T!

 

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A post shared by Aaron Dill (@vokeywedgerep)

Callaway

Both Kevin Kisner and Matt Every have switched into Mitsubishi MMT iron shafts (125 TX) as the composite iron shaft surge continues (more on the MMT shafts here).

Francesco Molinari is testing a Callaway Epic Speed (Triple Diamond) driver.

Tyler McCumber has a fresh set of MMB irons.

Sam Burns is in an Epic Speed LS driver with a Fujikura Ventus Black 7 X shaft (and going down three swingweight points, D6 to D3)

Marc Leishman moved into an Epic Speed 4-wood with a Fujikura Ventus Black 8 X shaft.

Matt Wallace is putting an Epic Speed driver (9 degrees) in the bag with a Fujikura Ventus Blue 6 X shaft.

Maverick McNealy is gaming “Proto Top Gun irons” (that we are eager to get a look at!) with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts.

Ping

Tyrrell Hatton is testing a Fujikura Ventus Red 6 X (tipped 1.5 inch) shaft in his G425 driver. Compared to his gamer, Hatton saw an increase in ball speed, more consistent spin, and less curve to the right.

Cobra

Jason Dufner testing a prototype 3D-printed Cobra putter “Agera.” It seems to feature the same SIK Descending Loft Technology (DLT) as the King Supersport-35.

Rickie Fowler returned to his Rev33 irons—albeit with some fresh grinding to the soles of the sticks. Have we arrived at Rev34?

TaylorMade

Pretty quiet on the TM front—save for some superb limited AP headcovers.

 

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A post shared by Chris Trott (@trottiegolf)

Robert MacIntyre is taking the full SIM2 plunge: SIM2 Max driver, SIM2 Titanium 3-wood, SIM2 Rescue (19.5 degrees).

Tommy Fleetwood is gaming the 2021 TP5x ball.

PXG

Jim Herman is testing a PXG Gen4 driver with a Graphite Design Tour AD DI 6X (tipped 1 inch).

Zach Johnson was testing a Gen4 driver as well.

Scott Garrison/KBS

Jordan Spieth got a new SuperStroke Traxion Flatso 1.0 grip on his Scotty Cameron 009 putter.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by GolfWRX (@golfwrx)

Bryson DeChambeau’s SIK Pro C got a loft and lie check.

Free agents

Justin Rose is looking at new blade-style prototype Axis1 Rose putter models—as well as both Mizuno MP-5 and MP-18 irons—in addition to Ping G425 5 and 7-woods (both LST and MAX) with Mitsubishi Tensei AV Raw Orange shafts.

A final note: If you’re wondering what 1990 champion Robert Gamez will be playing, here’s a look—Wilson D7 irons, Wilson Staff blades, multiple Cleveland RTX wedge varieties, and a T.P. Mills flatstick. Nice!

Check out all our photos from Bay Hill, here.

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Interesting photos from the Arnold Palmer Invitational (plus links to all photo galleries)

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This week, the PGA Tour is at the Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Orlando, Florida, and GolfWRX was on-site Tuesday to spy some interesting things from the grounds and around the practice area as players were getting ready to battle for the $9.3 million purse at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Don’t forget you can check out all our image galleries in the GolfWRX Tour Equipment forum.

Justin Rose’s new Axis1 (Blade) proto

Justin has been using an Axis1 putter for years, but this is the first time we’ve spotted him with a blade-style prototype version.

Rickie continues to tinker

Rickie Fowler’s bag is always interesting, and this week the Rev33’s are in play.

John Augenstein’s WITB

The 2019 U.S. Am runner-up turned professional in late 2020 has quite the club setup.

Camilo Villegas with new Srixon ZX7 irons

Camilo always has a very interesting club set up based on his unique dynamics into the ball—lots of forward shaft lean and low dynamic loft. Thanks to their more aggressive VT sole the new Srixon ZX7’s seem to be a perfect fit for the Colombian.

Justin Rose continues to test

It was exactly a year ago at the 2020 API, Justin Rose started to tinker with his club setup, and this week in 2021 it appears that he is still working to get dialed in and testings drivers.

Speaking of drivers, Rose was as caught talking to Jason Dufner about his new Cobra RAD Speed, and might have ordered one to test.

A story in 4 parts – the assumed conversation

Rose– “Oh, I like the look of this Duff!”
Duff– “It’s my new one. I like it”
Rose– “Interesting, what’s it all about?”
Duff– “It has all this weight to make it stable, & you adjust it here.”
Rose (on phone )- “Hey cobra can I test one of those Rad drivers?”

 

Kisner with a unique putting drill

Keith Mitchell continues to use HZRDUS T1100 in his driver

With all the talk about players including Adam Scott and Louis Oosthuizen moving to longer and much more flexible driver shafts, Keith Mitchell continues to buck the trend with one of the stiffest shafts available – the ProjectX HZRDUS T1100.

Here’s a look at Louis with his stock Ping ALTA CB stiff shaft.

Alex Noren loaded up with golf balls

We know there is a lot of water around the course this week at Bay Hill, and it looks like Alex Noren is prepared like an 18 handicap headed out to play from the back tees with four dozen balls ready to go.

Dufner putting with his wedge

Jason Dufner was seen working on his putting using the popular bellied wedge drill which forces you to work on producing a level stroke and precise center contact.

Hideki Matsuyama’s bag must be heavy

Hideki is the ultimate tester, which is why we love him at GolfWRX.

Bryson potentially testing grips

It looks like Bryson was getting ready to test some new Jumbo-Max grips, or just had a fresh set installed this week.

Paging Ping – Harris English needs a new putter headcover

That ratty old thing must hold some sentimental value to Harris based on its condition.

Charl Schwartzel back to Miura irons

Charl has gone through a number of iron sets in recent memory and at the API it looks like he’s back to a set of Miura 001 blades.

Spieth testing new utility

Jordan Spieth had a few extra Titleist utility irons next to his bag on the putting green, and it could be that he is working on his gapping because of the long par 3’s at Bay Hill.

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WGC-Workday Championship Tour Truck Report: New putter for Rory, more AutoFlex experiments

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First and foremost, prayers and love to Tiger Woods and his family.

TaylorMade

Rory McIlroy is going back to an older model putter this week at Concession swapping his Spider X for a TP Juno.

Robert McIntyre AKA “Bobby Mack” put a new TaylorMade Rescue ’21 Hybrid ([email protected]) in the bag with a Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black Hybrid 100 6.5 TX.

Matthew Wolff put a new TaylorMade (19) UDI in the bag with a Mitsubishi MMT 125TX.

Collin Morikawa was testing SIM2, SIM2 Max hybrids this week with Mitsubishi Diamana D+ 80 TX shafts.

Dustin Johnson alongside TaylorMade’s Keith Sbarboro was testing SIM2 drivers with Fujikura Ventus Black 6 X, Fujikura Speeder Evolution 661 and an LAGP Proto.

Callaway

Jon Rahm made adjustments to his Mavrik Sub Zero 5-wood to optimize launch. The 5-wood has 16.4 degrees of loft and a Black Graphite Design Tour AD DI 8X. The adjustments were to the lie of the club going from 59.8 to 58.9 and weight distribution from 12g Front/6g Back to 10G Front/6g Back. Dialed.

Min Woo Lee put a new Epic Speed ([email protected]) with a Fujikura Ventus Red 7X. Lee also debuted his new logo which is on fire.

Titleist 

Genesis Invitational champion Max Homa tested TSi2 5-woods to give him some options for some of the tee shots at Concession. It’s equipped with a Graphite Design Tour XC 8 TX.

Lanto Griffin swapped into a shorter driver going from 45 to 44.5 in his TSi3 (10). Griffin’s driver has a Project X HZURDUS Smoke Black 70 6.5TX

Justin Thomas put a TSI3 (9) in the bag this week. The new set up is powered by a Mitsubishi Diamana ZF TX

Ping

Cameron Champ switched back into a shorter length Ping G425 LST this week going from 45 to 44.25 inches. The shaft is a Project X HZRDUS Smoke Green 70 6.5 TX (@44.25 , Tip 1.5, D4 SW).

Louis Oosthuizen did something interesting. He had a Ping build him a G425 LST (10.5 @ 9.4, Small -) with the company’s lightweight Alta Slate CB 55 stiff shaft. The 2010 Open Champion was looking for a softer feel with the driver, which isn’t surprising, considering he was seen taking a hard look at Adam Scott’s TSi with an AutoFlex. The whippy lightweight plot thickens…

Ping released a bunch of new putters this week for seeding. Multiple staffers tested them and we will see on Thursday if any go in play.

Cobra

Cobra’s Ben Schomin (and king of the mullets) is doing something to Bryson’s driver—wanted to post this because of the respect for Ben’s hair. Hair aside, Bryson did put a new LAGP Axis Blue 6X in his driver and was also testing new Rad Speed 3 Woods.

Misc/Free Agents

Tommy Fleetwood swapped out his Callaway MD5 Jaws wedges for a set of Titleist Vokey’s (52M, 56M, and 60T) with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 shafts.

Adam Scott (Titleist staff) was testing long center shafted Odyssey Two Ball 10.

 

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