McIlroy Turns To Performance Coach Ahead Of Career Grand Slam Attempt

The four-time Major winner has teamed up with Dr Clayton Skaggs in his bid to win a Green Jacket

McIlroy Turns To Performance Coach

The four-time Major winner has teamed up with Dr Clayton Skaggs in his bid to finally win a Green Jacket

McIlroy Turns To Performance Coach Ahead Of Career Grand Slam Attempt

This could well be the biggest week of Rory McIlroy's career so far, with the chance of becoming the sixth man to complete the career grand slam just four competitive rounds away.

McIlroy has come close at Augusta many times before, with five top-10s in his last five starts and that's not even taking into account 2011 where he squandered that 54-hole lead catastrophically.

However, fast forward to April 2019 and Rory McIlroy is a completely different golfer, and person, to what he was perhaps even last year.

His work with Brad Faxon in 2018 paid off quickly with victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational but now Faxon is more of a mentor and mental game coach to him instead of just a putting tutor.

McIlroy and Faxon at the 2018 US Open

McIlroy and Faxon meet up and sometimes don't even talk about golf, Rory has said in the past.

The four-time Major winner, who has fully based himself in Florida and on the PGA Tour now, also revealed this week that he has begun meditating and reading psychology books.

"Look, I'm not going to go live with the monks for a couple of months in Nepal," he said.

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"I meditated for 20 minutes on the Sunday morning of the Players Championship. My routine now consists of meditation, juggling and mind training, doing all the stuff to get you in the right place."

He also referred to the “3 Ps” of perspective, persistence and poise.

As well as his new hobby of meditation, McIlroy has also began working with a new performance coach in Jupiter, Florida.

The 29-year-old was pictured with Dr. Clayton Skaggs at Augusta National, which is the second time the pair have been pictured together after TPC Sawgrass last month, and we know what happened that week...

Dr Clayton Skaggs and Rory McIlroy. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Rory seems to be in the best place in his career, and life, right now. Confident, happy and playing great golf.

He has, in the recent past, been criticised for appearing mentally weak and how easy he is to get down on himself, but there is no doubt that he is now stronger in the mind.

Related: Rory McIlroy What's in the bag?

This is likely due to his work with Faxon but with Dr. Skaggs too, who is Medical Director at the Central Institute for Human Performance.

Skaggs has studied performance for a number of years now and is also a licensed chiropractor.

McIlroy was recommended the CIHP by Brad Faxon.

He is aiming to complete the career grand slam this week

This could prove a very good move by the Northern Irishman, who could easily go on and move up a gear as he approaches 30.

We've seen the incredible success both Francesco Molinari and Luke Donald have had after working with performance coach Dave Alred, and perhaps McIlroy is about to begin playing his best golf again now that he himself has also turned to a performance coach.

He is favourite to win the Green Jacket this week and it'll take some very good golf to beat him if he plays anywhere near his best.

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Elliott Heath
Senior Staff Writer

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer 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. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, 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 2-6. 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: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x