McIlroy Reveals Quest For Distance And Speed Has Led To Swing Problems  

McIlroy Reveals Quest For Distance And Speed Has Led To Swing Problems  

Rory McIlroy Distance
(Image credit: Getty Images)

After missing the cut at The Players Championship on Friday, McIlroy revealed that Bryson DeChambeau's victory at the US Open had inspired him to gain distance and speed. 

McIlroy Reveals Quest For Distance And Speed Has Led To Swing Problems  

Rory McIlroy’s defence of The Players Championship ended in disaster as rounds of 79 and 75 meant he missed the cut by 10-shots.

But it was after his three-over-par round on Friday that the Northern Irishman revealed that, in his pursuit for more distance and speed, he had developed swing faults.

Related: Rory McIlroy What’s In The Bag?

The reason for McIlroy’s bid for more distance had actually stemmed from Bryson DeChambeau’s victory at the US Open in September 2020.

Rory McIlroy Distance

McIlroy missed the cut by 10 shots at The Players Championship (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

“I’d be lying if it wasn’t something to do with what Bryson did at the US Open. I think a lot of people saw that and were like, if this is the way they're going to set golf courses up in the future, it helps. It really helps.” Mcilroy said.

When golf returned from lockdown, McIlroy was paired with DeChambeau at the Charles Schwab Challenge, getting to see his body and swing transformation first hand. At that time McIlroy acknowledged the difference was obvious.

Related: WATCH: McIlroy Makes 8 On TPC Sawgrass 18th

“He hit a couple drives on Sunday that Harry [his caddie] and I just looked at each other, and we’re like, holy s**t, that was unbelievable.”

Initially, though, the Northern Irishman said he would not be following DeChambeau’s path of increased distance and speed, stating he felt his game is better when he feels ‘fit and light.’

But after seeing the American’s dominant six-shot victory at Winged Foot, McIlroy’s mindset soon changed.

"I was doing a little bit of speed training and started getting sucked into that stuff, and my swing got flat, long, and too rotational.

"Obviously I added some speed and I am hitting the ball longer, but what that did to my swing as a whole probably wasn't a good thing, so I'm sort of fighting to get back out of that. That's what I'm frustrated with.

Related: WATCH: Bryson DeChambeau Hits Monster Drive At Bay Hill

"I felt like I made some good strides. I played well at the Tour Championship, played well at the US Open. I sort of look back at Winged Foot and I look at my swing there, and I would be pretty happy with that again.

"And then after Winged Foot I had a few weeks before we went to the West Coast and I started to try to hit the ball a bit harder, hit a lot of drivers, get a bit more speed, and I felt like that was sort of the infancy of where these swing problems have come from. So it's just a matter of trying to get back out of it."

The four-time major champion admitted that he had also felt fatigued and "achy" during his seventh tournament in eight weeks, hinting that he may miss the WGC-Match Play at the end of March to fully prepare for The Masters in April.

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x