Who Is Rory McIlroy’s Coach?

Who currently coaches the famous Northern Irish golfer? Here we take a look

Rory McIlroy’s Coach
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Who Is Rory McIlroy's Coach?

Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy has pretty much achieved all there is to achieve in the game of golf. A four-time major winner, world No 1, winner of several Ryder Cups, his list of achievements is endless. Perhaps all that is left for Rory to do is win the Masters and complete the career grand slam.

But for all that he's an unbelievable talent, very few great athletes achieve everything on their own. His caddie Harry Diamond and wife Erica Stoll are two such people who have helped him achieve so much, but few have had the impact of long-time coach Michael Bannon.

rory mcilroy coach

McIlroy's father Gerry with Bannon

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy’s coach, Michael Bannon, has been with him from the age of 8. He had been the club professional at Hollywood Golf Club and Bangor Golf Club, which he left in October 2012 to coach Rory full-time.

Speaking about coaching such a young player, Bannon told Golf.com: “He got good parents, and his parents were great. They brought him up well, gave him the confidence and you know, not to talk about myself, but maybe I was the right person in the right place at the time. I was lucky, too. And it’s just a combination. I don’t really know.”

Indeed Rory's father introduced a technique that Bannon recommends for all young golfers and coaches of young players.

“One of the smart things his dad did, which was very good and a lot of junior parents should do, is his dad adjusted the pars on the golf course," explained Bannon.

“So the first could have been a par-6 or 7. Then the next might have been a 6, and he’d do nine holes. And Rory could go round the course under par."

“It was really a smart thing because it gave him the confidence thinking, ‘yes, great, I was under par today',” Bannon continued.

“Under par from the course that his dad had set up for him. So that’s a good thing… not to be afraid to be under par.”

Rory has also worked with coaches specific to short game and putting. Two examples of this are Phil Kenyon and Brad Faxon. Faxon is a more permanent part of McIlroy's team, offering him technical coaching on his putting and help with his mental game. Another curious coaching appointment who was photographed with McIlroy at the 2019 Masters, is Dr Clayton Skaggs.

Rory McIlroy's Coach

At the time, McIlroy acknowledged that Skaggs was helping him work on the 'three Ps' - perspective, persistence and poise.

Skaggs is the founder of the Central Institute for Human Performance which aims to teach individuals about health, pain and performance, and McIlroy is one of their high-profile clients.

In March 2021, it was confirmed that McIlroy had added Englishman Pete Cowen to his team. Cowen has worked with the likes of Henrik Stenson, Lee Westwood, Darren Clarke, Sergio Garcia, Brooks Koepka and Tommy Fleetwood. His most recent major success came with Gary Woodland at the 2019 US Open at Pebble Beach. The pair have known each other since before McIlroy turned pro and appear to have a close relationship.

For more content on him, take a look at our pages on Rory McIlroy's net worth, and Mclroy's what's in the bag setup.

Sam Tremlett
Senior Staff Writer

A golfer for most of his life, Sam is a Senior Staff Writer for Golf Monthly. 

Working with golf gear and equipment over the last six years, Sam has quickly built outstanding knowledge and expertise on golf products ranging from drivers, to balls, to shoes. 

He combines this knowledge with a passion for helping golfers get the best gear for them, and as such Sam manages a team of writers that look to deliver the most accurate and informative reviews and buying advice. This is so the reader can find exactly what they are looking for.

Sam now spends most of his time testing and looking after golf gear content for the website, whilst he is also responsible for all content related to golf apparel. 

He also oversees all Tour player content as well so if you need to know what clubs Tiger or Rory has in play, Sam is the person to ask. 

Unfortunately, Sam is not a member of any club at the moment but regularly gets out on the golf course to keep up the facade of having a handicap of five. 

Sam's What's In The Bag: 

Driver: Titleist TS3 (9 degrees) 

Fairway Wood: Callaway Paradym (15 degrees), Nike Covert Tour 2.0 (19 degrees) 

Irons (4-PW): Titleist AP2 

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 54˚, 58˚ 

Putter: Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5.5 

Ball: Srixon Z-Star Diamond

Shoes: G/FORE Gallivanter/Nike Air Zoom Infinity NEXT%/Cuater The Ringer/adidas Tour 360 22