McIlroy set to wear special shoes at Irish Open

(Image credit: Radley Muller www.radleymullerph)

Rory McIlroy will sport four different pairs of shoes at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open designed by children affected by cancer having joined up with Cancer Fund for Children to raise awareness

World No.1 Rory McIlroy is sure to turn heads this week as he hosts the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down but it won’t just be because of his flawless golf swing.

During each round, McIlroy will lace up a different pair of strikingly unique Nike Lunar Control 3 golf shoes, each designed by a child whose life has been impacted by cancer.

McIlroy, The Rory Foundation and Nike teamed up with the Cancer Fund for Children in Northern Ireland to raise funds and awareness through the kids’ designs. The four colorways that were selected were created by kids on NIKEiD during a weekend at the organization’s log cabin in Newcastle.

“I’m delighted that the young people associated with the Cancer Fund for Children got to design my shoes,” said McIlroy, whose Foundation was established to give kids support they may need through a variety of children’s charities. “The shoes are really unique with some crazy designs. The Irish Open is going to be a very special event for golf and my Foundation and I am excited to compete in them this week.”


Fifteen-year-old Chloe Hyndman’s design was one of the four chosen for McIlroy to wear at the Irish Open. “It was great fun designing them and a privilege to be a part of the whole process,” said Chloe. “I never thought I would have won — I’m delighted!”

These NIKEiD Lunar Control 3 designs can be purchased on A portion of the proceeds benefit The Rory Foundation.

Round 1 – Designed by Sara Lockhart

For the opening round, McIlroy will wear Sara’s shoe design with a red toe box, purple lining, an orange midsole topline and volt green lacing — one of the most colorful shoes of the bunch. Sara, 12, said she did her research before beginning her design.


“I read online that Rory really likes different shades of green so I combined that with some of my favorite colors. I really love art and am so happy my design was chosen,” Sara said.

Sara, who also loves swimming and playing the piano, became involved with the Cancer Fund for Children when her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.


Round 2 - Designed by Ryan Keenan

On Friday, McIlroy will wear a gray and green Lunar Control 3 designed by Ryan Keenan. Ryan selected the words, “Go Rory,” for the tongues of the shoes.


“I chose the colors because it is for the Irish Open and they are colors associated with Ireland,” Ryan said. “It will be amazing and really exciting to see Rory wearing shoes I have designed.”

The Cancer Fund for Children helped Ryan, 16, find solace after he discovered his mom had cancer.

“When my mom became diagnosed and was going though operations, I became very sad and worried,” Ryan said. “Attending time at the log cabin allowed me to just get away from it all for a weekend and be with people in a similar situation who knew what I was going through.”


Round 3 - Designed by Chloe Hyndman

To start the weekend, the World No. 1 will sport a blue and white colorway created by Chloe.

“My design is a combination of what I would wear and what I thought Rory would like,” Chloe said. “I picked black and white to make them look professional, but then added a print to keep them fun and recent. I also added blue to make them more colorful, and to ensure that all eyes will be on Rory on the course!”


As part of the NIKEiD process, Chloe included “Irish Open” on the tongue of the shoes. Chloe, 15, has been supported by the charity since she was 12 years old.

“I was 11 when my mom was diagnosed with cancer. It was a really difficult time and I really didn’t understand what was going on,” Chloe said. “Spending time away with the Cancer Fund for Children has made me realize I am not alone and that I will be alright in the end.”


Round 4 – Designed by Alex Kernaghan

On Sunday, McIlroy will wear a multi-colored version of the shoe created by Alex Kernaghan, 13. The design features yellow, green, white and blue for a unique colorway.


“It says ‘Be You’ on my Nike shoes because that’s all you ever should be - yourself. I also added in a bit of blue as it’s my dad’s favorite color and yellow to represent the charity,” Alex said.

The children were presented with their very own pair of Lunar Control 3 shoes complete with their designs, gifts from Nike and The Rory Foundation.

Joel Tadman
Deputy Editor

Joel has worked in the golf industry for over 14 years covering both instruction and more recently equipment. He now oversees all equipment and video content at Golf Monthly, managing a team of talented and passionate writers and presenters in delivering the most thorough and accurate reviews, buying advice, comparisons and deals to help the reader or viewer find exactly what they are looking for. 

One of his career highlights came when covering the 2012 Masters he got to play the sacred Augusta National course on the Monday after the tournament concluded, shooting a respectable 86 with just one par and four birdies. To date, his best ever round of golf is a 5-under 67 back in 2011. He currently plays his golf at Burghley Park Golf Club in Stamford, Lincs, with a handicap index of 2.8.

Joel's current What's In The Bag? 

Driver: Titleist TSR3, 9°, Fujikura Ventus Black 6 S shaft.

Fairway wood: Titleist TSR3, 15° 

Hybrid: Titleist TSi2, 18° 

Irons: Titleist T150, 4-PW

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM10, 50°, 54° and 58°

Putter: LAB Golf DF3 

Ball: 2023 Titleist Pro V1x