Rory McIlroy Reveals He Is Carbon Neutral

The former World No.1 says he started paying to become carbon neutral after feeling guilty whilst flying on a private jet

Rory McIlroy speaks at a press conference ahead of the DP World Tour Championship
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The recent COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow once again highlighted the issue of global warming and how humans can better protect the planet.

Golf isn't always seen as the most climate friendly sport with courses using huge volumes of water and its professionals flying week-in, week-out across the globe.

However, one high-profile golfer, Rory McIlroy, understands the impacts that he as a professional golfer has on the environment and has revealed that he does his bit to ensure he himself is carbon neutral.

Speaking at this week's DP World Tour Championship, where he is tournament favourite, the four-time Major winner discussed how he helps protect the planet.

"So two years ago, after I won in China, I flew back home privately, and it was just me on the plane," McIlroy said.

"And I just got this massive sense of guilt come over me just because this can't be good and all that sort of stuff. 

"So we ended up reaching out to the GEO Foundation who do a lot of great sustainability things in golf, and that was the only sort of organization that we knew of that I guess could help us go in the right direction. 

"What I was trying to do is make all my travel -- I wouldn't self-profess to be an eco warrior, but I'm someone that doesn't want to damage the environment anyway, so how can I make my travel around the world neutral, how can I neutralise what I do. 

"And they came up with a few different ways that I can do that. 

"So on top of what I pay to fly private, I pay quite a bit more on top of that to make sure I'm carbon neutral by the end of the year. 

"So it's something that I have a conscience about and I take it seriously, especially when you see some of these weather events that are happening. 

"I live in a part of the world where hurricanes are very prevalent and becoming more and more prevalent as the years go on.

Related: McIlroy explains Pete Cowen split - "I know what I'm doing for the most part"

"I think we can all play our part in some way or another.

"We play on big pieces of land that take up a lot of water and a lot of other things that could maybe be put to better use some could argue."

Rory McIlroy pictured hitting a drive ahead of the DP World Tour Championship

McIlroy is playing in this week's Race to Dubai finale on the European Tour

(Image credit: Getty Images)

McIlroy makes his penultimate start of 2021 this week in Dubai, where he plays in a regular European Tour event for the fourth time of the year.

The European Tour recently announced its re-branding for 2022 as the DP World Tour, which the Northern Irishman is a huge supporter of.

"I think is wonderful news," he said.

"It solidifies the Tour's future for a long time. 

"And I think it gives the lot of the members on this Tour peace of mind and they're going to be playing for good prize funds and in good event."

Despite his praise for the news, he admits it probably won't tempt him to change up his schedule too much.

"I live in America. That's where I'm going to play the majority of my golf," he said.

"I don't think it will change really, it will change schedule for me. 

"I just think it's a great thing for this Tour that the members that play on this Tour full time have a place to play long into the future. 

"But for me personally, I think I'm just going to play the same schedule that I've basically played for the last sort of five years. 

"It may encourage me to add an event here or there, for the most part I'll probably keep doing what I've done the last few years."

Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2 HL

Irons: Mizuno MP-H4 3-iron, Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5