Rory McIlroy's 30-Minute Warm-Up For Golf

We take a look at the detail in Rory McIlroy’s 30-minute warm-up for golf, to see how the Northern Irishman prepares for the first tee.

Rory McIlroy's 30-Minute Warm-Up For Golf
(Image credit: Getty Images)

We take a look at the detail in Rory McIlroy’s 30-minute warm-up for golf, to see how the Northern Irishman prepares for the first tee.

You might think that when a player reaches the upper echelons of world golf he would have an intricate, in-depth warm-up routine. Well, not Rory McIlroy. The Northern Irishman uses his 30-minutes to warm-up, not practice and the difference is huge. Here we take a look at the detail in Rory McIlroy's 30-minute warm-up for golf.

Rory McIlroy Practice Tips

Starting with his pitching wedge Rory steadily builds up the power. This appears to be all about getting the club on the ball and grooving a good strike. Between five and 10 shots later, he is at full wedge power and it is time to move up into a 7-iron.

Rory McIlroy Pitching Tips

Rory McIlroy’s 30-minute warm-up for golf is simply about getting his body moving, ready for the first tee. He doesn’t try to hit different shots – fade, draws or punches but he keeps it simple, retaining his natural ball-flight throughout.

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After his 7-iron Rory moves up to his 3-iron and then onto his driving iron. This is where preparation for the specific task ahead comes into the equation. With certain tee shots requiring a lay-up to a certain number, he hits the club required for that shot as something of a dress rehearsal. With his driving iron, every shot is teed up, albeit only fractionally. Again, he hits no more than five balls with each club.

Rory’s focus narrows as he reaches his driver. He runs through his simple pre-shot routine before each ball and is not swinging at full tilt. Each shot takes a little longer and it is clear that the Northern Irishman is not rushing through his warm-up. Fifteen minutes after arriving on the range, Rory has finished his long game work.

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He now heads straight to the putting green. Again, it is the simplest of routines. There are no drills or long putting practice. Instead, he takes aim at a hole and hits putts from six to 10ft from a host of different angles. This appears to be all about getting a feel for the greens and his stroke ahead of teeing off. This is not the time to crowd your mind with technical thoughts and Rory is certainly avoiding that.

Rory McIlroy's 30-minute warm-up for golf is one of the simplest you’ll find on Tour. While other players are running through complicated practice drills and hitting dozens of balls, Rory is simply warming-up his body and conserving energy. Perhaps that explains why he’s at the top of his game.

Neil Tappin
Digital Editor

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