30 Things You Didn’t Know About Rory McIlroy

Here we take a look at 30 things you may not have known about four-time major winner Rory McIlroy

rory mcilroy things you didn't know
(Image credit: Getty Images)

30 Things You Didn't Know About Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy is one of those rare talents that transcends golf. Once viewed as the natural successor to Tiger Woods (opens in new tab), his form has been a little more inconsistent of late, for his own lofty standards, anyway. However, the man from Northern Ireland is still one of the most popular and successful players on the planet. Check out these 30 things you might not have known about him.

30 Things You Didn't Know About Rory McIlroy

1. McIlroy is from Holywood, Northern Ireland, near Belfast

2. As a result he grew up playing Holywood Golf Club.

3. He named his first dog after Ernie Els, calling it Theo (Els' first name)

4. His father Gerry was a scratch handicapper and he got Rory into the game of golf at a young age. 

5. His first coach was Michael Bannon who, incredibly, still coaches him 20+ years later. Rory has often consulted other coaches like Pete Cowen for example, but it seems he always returns to Bannon. 

6. He won the under-10s world championship at Doral aged 9

7. Also aged 9, he appeared on TV chipping golf balls into a washing machine

8. Reportedly McIlroy made his first hole-in-one at the age of 10.

9. At the age of 17, he was the number one ranked amateur in the world for a week

10. He has been world No 1 for over 100 weeks.

11. He is a huge Manchester United fan

12. He attended the Northern Ireland vs Germany match in Paris at the 2016 European Football Championships

13. He is an Ulster Rugby fan

rory mcilroy with rugby ball

McIlroy attending a rugby match between Ulster and Bordeaux in 2016 (Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

14. He also loves boxing and used to regularly attend fellow Belfast man Carl Frampton's fights

15. He injured himself playing football in the summer of 2015 and subsequently missed the chance to defend his Open Championship title at St Andrews

16. He was engaged to tennis star Caroline Wozniaki but the pair broke up in 2014

17. McIlroy became the quickest man in history to earn his European Tour card. He did so in two starts.

18. He is one of three men (along with Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus) to have won four majors by the age of 25

19. McIlroy currently lives in Florida and like many other professionals, he practises at The Bears Club.

20. He received an MBE in 2012 for his services to sport

21. He has been named RTE Sports Person of the Year twice, in 2011 and 2014

22. He became the youngest man to earn €10m on the European Tour and $10m on the PGA Tour

23. He created the company Rory McIlroy Inc. in 2015

rory mcilroy 2007 open championship

McIlroy winning the Silver Medal for low amateur at The Open in 2007 (Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

24. At the 2007 Open Championship, McIlroy won the Silver Medal. He would then win his Open Championship title in 2014.

25. He made the cut in the 2007 Dubai Desert Classic as a 17-year-old and would have won almost €8,000

26. He identifies as Irish, Northern Irish and British

Rory McIlroy and Erica Stroll

McIlroy and his wife Erica celebrate after winning the 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National in Paris (Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

27. He got married to former PGA of America employee Erica Stoll in 2017 in County Mayo. They famously met while he was running late for his tee time on the final day of the 2012 Ryder Cup. They have one child together called Poppy.

28. He was one of only two sportsmen to make The Times Richlist in 2020 - the other was Lewis Hamilton.

29. He has his own line of junior clubs

30. He left school aged 16 to concentrate on golf, with his parents taking up extra part-time jobs to fund his dream

Sam Tremlett
Senior Staff Writer

A golfer for most of his life, Sam started playing the game to prove he was the best player out of his father and two brothers.
He quickly became a golf equipment expert and has always been the one family and friends come to for buying advice, and spends a lot of his time putting golf gear, apparel and shoes to the test.  
He is a graduate of Swansea University where he studied History and American Studies, and he has been a part of the Golf Monthly team since February 2018. He also previously worked for World Soccer and Rugby World magazines.

A jack of all trades across print and digital formats, Sam now spends most of his time testing and looking after golf gear content for the website. He also oversees all Tour player content as well. 

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 is currently playing:
Driver: Titleist TS3
Fairway Wood: TaylorMade M5 (15 degrees), Nike Covert Tour 2.0 (19 degrees)
Irons (4-PW): Titleist AP2
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 54˚, 58˚
Putter: Scotty Cameron Circa 62 #6