World number one Rory McIlroy signed a $100m deal with TaylorMade in 2017 to use the firm’s clubs, ball and golf bag until 2027. The deal was believed to be TaylorMade’s biggest financial commitment to any golfer.
Rory turned pro in 2007 and signed with Titleist, the brand he had used as an amateur. He then signed a contract with Nike in 2013 which ran until 2016 when the company announced it would no longer make golf equipment. Let’s take a look at what’s in Rory’s bag today, as the golf season finally resumes.
Prior to the Charles Schwab Challenge on June 11, which marked the PGA Tour’s return to action, Rory changed from the TaylorMade SIM Driver to TaylorMade’s SIM MAX. During practice, Rory found his spin rate was slightly lower than what he was used to with his 10.5-degree SIM. (With the two-degree loft sleeve turned down two clicks, which makes it play like an 8.5-degree driver.)
TaylorMade provided him with a 9-degree SIM Max that had the standard loft sleeve turned down one click to give it a similar loft (8.5 degrees) to his SIM.
Testing the SIM MAX, Rory picked up ball speed and 200-300 RPMs of spin, bringing him to around 2,200-2,300 RPMs with a launch angle of 13 degrees. Such fine tuning could be key for Rory if he wants to stay world number one.
Rory used the M6 3-wood during the 2019 season. We saw him produce some amazing shots with it, including what he calls one of the best of his career at the DP World Tour Championship.
He switched to the SIM Fairway Wood at the beginning of the 2020 season and hasn’t switched back to the M6. Depending on the type of course, he will also add a TaylorMade SIM 5-wood to his bag.
Shaft 3-Wood: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 80 TX, Shaft 5-Wood: Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 90 TX
Rory never was a big believer of hybrids at the professional level. His thought process was that a pro player should be able to play long irons in any type of situation. But after trying the new TaylorMade SIM MAX, he realised that he was still able to cover great distances, and it was more forgiving. However, depending on the types of course, he will replace his hybrid with a P790 UDI 2-iron.
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Yellow Hybrid or P790 UDI 2 iron
Rory used the P730 Rors Proto during the 2019 season. With stellar iron play, he ranked 12th in strokes gained to the green (0.633). It helped his decision to keep these irons in play during the 2020 season. A good decision so far as he now ranks 3rd in stroked gain approach to green (1.216).
Milled Grind 2 Chrome 52°, 56°, 60°, Shafts: Project X Rifle 6.5
Over the years, Rory’s main struggle has been putting. After testing some different putter types, Rory settled for the TaylorMade Spider X Copper. Even though the changes in statistics don’t look big, combining it with his driving distance and iron accuracy, Rory managed to have one of his best years on Tour last year with 14 top 10’s out of 19 events.
Rory switched from the TaylorMade TP5x to the TaylorMade TP5 after the 2018 PGA Championship. He played with Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas and realised they were benefiting a lot from a higher ball flight with their wedges. As he said to golf.com: “I felt like I could benefit from similar ball characteristics with my irons and wedges. I’ve had better distance control and improved wedge play since I switched.”