Report: Rory McIlroy Drove 'Beautifully' On Augusta National Visit After Equipment Change

The Northern Irishman reportedly used a shorter driver shaft in two practice rounds at the Masters venue last week

Rory McIlroy takes a tee shot at the par 5 ninth during the 2023 Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass
Rory McIlroy reportedly used a shorter driver shaft during practice rounds at Augusta National
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy has reportedly enjoyed some productive practice rounds at Augusta National after an equipment change.

Per The Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis, McIlroy is said to have driven the ball “beautifully” during the two rounds last week following the reported change where he apparently used a shorter driver shaft while retaining his TaylorMade Stealth 2 head.

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McIlroy is hoping to complete a career Grand Slam in next month’s Masters, and will no doubt have been encouraged by his progress at the venue as he looks to go one better than his runner-up finish last year.

However, his struggles off the tee have become more apparent in recent weeks, and he has endured a series of mixed results, including a tie for second at the Arnold Palmer Invitational only to be followed by a missed cut the week after in The Players Championship.

Following his opening round of 76 at TPC Sawgrass, McIlroy admitted he was still searching for his ideal driver set-up, and said: "I wish I could use my driver from last year". He continued: “These driver heads are so finicky, it's hard to get one exactly the same. I mean, I'm obviously trying my best, trying to get something that's as close to what I had last year. Yeah, just struggled a little bit off the tee the last couple weeks."

It now looks as though McIlroy may have found an answer in the form of the shorter shaft. The report follows the 33-year-old's experimentation with other clubs in recent months after he used Titleist wedges in his Dubai Desert Classic victory in January and later revealing that his TaylorMade deal offers him flexibility

This week, McIlroy will compete the WGC-Match Play at Austin Country Club, where it will be interesting to see if he showcases the adjustments he apparently used to such good effect last week.

Mike Hall

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.