The range at a PGA Tour event is a busy place. Among the crowd are caddies, coaches, agents, fitness trainers, mental gurus, Trackman reps, clubfitters, assistants, etc. At the center of it all is the modern-day Tour pro, who often couldn’t care less about the hordes gathered around them. Not many players command this kind of attention the way four-time major winner Rory McIlroy does, and for good reason: Rory’s swing is the kind that makes even his competitors stop, watch and take notice. “It’s impressive,” Jason Day says of Rory’s swing. “How do you get that kind of power out of that body?” McIlroy’s freewheeling golf motion has become his hallmark, and it’s produced some astonishing results over the years.
McIlroy, 30, has finished 1st, 11th, 1st, 2nd, 8th, 6th and 1st in Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green over the past seven seasons. To many, his swing is the game’s gold standard. You’ve seen McIlroy swing on TV, or maybe even in person. With the help of TaylorMade’s GEARS 3D, you can now learn from it in ways never before possible. The cutting-edge motion-capture technology lays bare three McIlroy moves that can take you from shortknocker to big-bomber in the blink of an eye. Here’s what the numbers prove.
He makes a huge turn
From address to the top of his backswing, Rory rotates his hips away from the target roughly 42 degrees and turns his shoulders approximately 116 degrees—two degrees more than John Daly’s 114-degree shoulder turn recorded by GOLF in 1992 (you know, when John Daly was the most feared driver in the game). The 75-degree difference between his shoulder and hip turn creates a massive amount of coil—in other words, potential energy that Rory can unleash into the ball at impact. This isn’t simply theory or conjecture: From the top to impact, Rory’s hips unwind more than 100 degrees (in the blink of an eye, no less). More impressive, his shoulders go from 114 degrees closed to
35 degrees open toward the target. All that rotational speed is what helps his clubhead reach upwards of 122 mph.
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