Rory’s swing wouldn’t suit everyone. People try to copy the swings of top players like him, but they don’t have the same natural athletic gifts as someone like Rory. He swings like that because of his immense ability; you don’t see many golfers with that talent.
The basics were ingrained in it at the start and all I’ve done with Rory is tweak it along the way. When he was younger, his swing was a little flat. At other times, he’s been a bit quick at the top. Most recently, we’ve worked on his takeaway because if you get the takeaway right – all of the basics in fact – it makes hitting good shots easier.
Whether it is the World No.1 or a club golfer, there are basics we all need to follow. And whether it is Rory McIlroy or a high handicapper, I like to keep things simple, in plain English, so the golfer ends up doing it themselves. Turn over to find out how you can ensure you start your swing just as well as the world’s best golfer.
Last year Rory was taking his hands away from his body too much, so we corrected that, but it was an over-fix; Rory was getting the club “behind him” a little on the backswing. He was turning too much, he was out of sync with his body and arms a little bit on the backswing; the shoulders turned and he was sitting down into his right leg and getting stuck a little bit. So he tended to get underneath it too much when hitting driver.
We simply got the arms and body in sync; turning to reach the top of the backswing at the same time. A great drill to help your arms and body stay connected is to put a towel under your arms and swing half-way back and half-way through. Get it right the towel stays in place; if you’re out of sync, it falls.
In the pictures below, see how Rory’s shaft and hands are in line with his toes – that’s the position you’re looking for.
Try and generate the speed gradually in the downswing. It is the second half of the downswing where you let it go through the ball and put in most speed. Swing through to a balanced finish and hold it.
As I’m swinging back, I try to keep my lower half as stable as possible. I then try and make a big turn to resist against that stable foundation – turn into the right knee to resist. From there, if you’re in the right position at the top, let the club fall down.
I try and get a very wide stance – a little wider than shoulder width – to build a solid foundation, because when you create a lot of speed and want to hit a big drive, you need stability in the lower half to still have control in the swing.
Inside or outside?
Here, the hands have moved significantly outside the toeline and therefore so has the clubhead. It can lead to an overly-upright position in the follow-through.
My preference is to have a takeaway which isn’t ‘wristy’. The left hand, left arm and left shoulder should keep the synchronisation they had at address.
The swing's key move?
Your takeaway does a lot to determine the path the swing takes and also even the tempo with which you swing the club. Start it incorrectly, and you will be fighting to try to fix it for the rest of the swing, which is never a good scenario.
The camera tip
I like to say to people ‘imagine there is a wee camera in the face of the club and keep it looking at the ball’ for the first two feet. It helps stop you manipulating your wrists early in the takeaway. We want to keep everything together.