How Rory McIlroy has transformed his putting

McIlroy’s first port of call was to enlist the help of putter designer Scotty Cameron. Nike’s decision not to continue making golf clubs enabled the Northern Irishman to look further afield. His decision was to turn to Cameron, the man responsible for the putter he used before switching from Titleist to Nike at the beginning of 2013.

How Rory McIlroy has transformed his putting

For Rory McIlroy the missing piece of the jigsaw has been his putting. We take a look at how Rory McIlroy has transformed his putting to win the Deutsche Bank Championship

For the last few months the problem has been painfully clear. Hitting the ball as well as any of the top players, Rory McIlroy was being let down consistently by his putter. Heading into the Deutsche Bank Championship he was ranked 1st in strokes gained driving and 130th in strokes gain putting. The disparity in performance between the longest and shortest clubs in his bag was stark. After he missed the cut at the USPGA Championship, it was obvious that something had to be done. Here we take a look at how Rory McIlroy has transformed his putting...

McIlroy’s first port of call was to enlist the help of putter designer Scotty Cameron. Nike’s decision not to continue making golf clubs enabled the Northern Irishman to look further afield. His decision was to turn to Cameron, the man responsible for the putter he used before switching from Titleist to Nike at the beginning of 2013. He opted for a Scotty Cameron Concept M1 prototype putter. In itself this represents a significant departure for McIlroy who has always leaned towards the classic looking, heel-and-toe, Anser style putter. The new putter is a compact mallet design that will provide more alignment help. It is also likely to be a higher MOI design – the larger head allows more weight to be moved to the perimeter to improve resistance to twisting. He told PGATour.com, “I feel like with the putter change to a mallet, it doesn't encourage that face to close that much, which is the bad putt I was getting. So just sort of encourages the face to stay a little more square through impact." There is little doubt that the new flatstick has had an immediate effect but that’s not the only thing that has changed.

Rory Exclusive: Golf Monthly October Issue

Rory McIlroy has started working with Phil Kenyon, the owner of the Harold Swash Putting School of Excellence. Kenyon is a regular face on Tour and has coached a long list of top players including Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose, Lee Westwood, Darren Clarke and Colin Montgomerie.

Ahead of his Deutsche Bank Championship win, Rory McIlroy told PGATour.com, “We’ll see how it goes and work hard at it and hopefully I start to see little improvements each and every week.”

Rory McIlroy Swing Analysis

“If I can be really comfortable with my putting going to Augusta next April, that’s my timeline,” McIlroy said. “So that’s a seven- or eight-month period where I can sort of try to get it right.”

Thankfully for the Northern Irishman and those supporting team Europe at the Ryder Cup next month, he didn’t need to wait that long. At TPC Boston he led the field in putts per green in regulation. His final round 65, was a blistering performance and perhaps the first time this season when his putter has matched the brilliance of his driver. Again, he told PGATour.com, “I tweaked my putting grip on Saturday morning and holed some putts on Saturday. I went with it and got some momentum.”

There is little doubt that ahead of the Fed Ex Cup playoffs, Rory McIlroy was struggling with his putting. The changes themselves seem to have had both a physical and mental affect, combining to explain how Rory McIlroy has transformed his putting. If he can retain his confidence in the new approach, he will be a red-hot favourite to win the Fed Ex Cup and pocket the $10 million bonus prize.

In his current role, Neil is responsible for testing drivers and golf balls. Having been a part of the Golf Monthly team for over 15 years and playing off a handicap of 3, he has the experience to compare performance between models, brands and generations. For 2022 he thinks the main trend in drivers is: "In a word, consistency. Whilst all the brands are talking about ball speed (and the new drivers are certainly long), my biggest finding has been how much more consistent the ball flights are. Mishits don't seem to be causing the same level of drop-off or increase in the spin numbers. This means that more shots seem to be flying the way you want them to!" As far as golf balls are concerned the biggest development is in the, "three piece, non-Tour, urethane-covered section. For regular golfers, these models offer superb performance at both ends of the bag without denting your wallet quite as much as the premium Tour-played options."


Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he is now the brand's Digital Editor and covers everything from Tour player interviews to gear reviews. In his time at Golf Monthly, he has covered equipment launches that date back well over a decade. He clearly remembers the launch of the Callaway and Nike square drivers as well as the white TaylorMade driver families, such as the RocketBallz! If you take a look at the Golf Monthly YouTube channel, you'll see his equipment videos dating back over a decade! He has also conducted 'What's In The Bag' interviews with many of the game's best players like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Over the years, Neil has tested a vast array of products in each category and at drastically different price-points. 

Neil is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus Fairway Wood: Titleist TSi2 Hybrid: Titleist TS3 Irons (4-9): Mizuno JPX 919 Forged Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 46˚, 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X