Rory McIlroy comes into the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play this week looking to spark to life his performance on the greens.
Losing on average about half a stroke on the greens so far this season, after a lengthy stint with his TaylorMade Spider X, Rory is turning to a custom Scotty Cameron Newport.
Confirmed: Rory McIlroy's Scotty Cameron Newport GSS is a new putter — not one he's used in the past. (The 👍 stamp is now on Rory, JT and Scottie's putters, if you're into that sort of minutiae.)
Told myself and @AndrewTursky that he's trying to "rekindle an old flame." pic.twitter.com/z6zXQwD2jh
— Jonathan Wall (@jonathanrwall) March 21, 2023
It’s the same style of putter Rory used for each of his major victories, and he’ll no doubt be hoping for the same results. But while it’s the (admittedly very beautiful) new flatstick that’s grabbing the headlines, there was a more technical change I noticed Rory’s making on the greens along with it: He’s using the line on his golf ball.
While there have been great players in both directions who have and haven’t used the line on their golf ball (Tiger Woods is the most notable and consistent line-user), Rory has gone back-and-forth over the years. Generally and more recently he’s opted against it, as he explained during a TaylorMade shoot in 2020.
“I’ve sort of went on and off using the line, but anytime I use the line, I struggle with my speed. Because I’m so into what I’m doing [with the line], I lose connection with the target.”
You can see the lack of line at his most recent start at the Players Championship…
Rory’s putting coach, Brad Faxon, confirmed Rory is using the line.
“He’s used it in the past, but not recently,” he says.
It’s back in play this week just as a way of mixing things up, which can sometimes offer a nice change when the putts aren’t dropping. There’s no right or wrong approach, just whatever works for you in the moment. Who knows if it’ll stick around, but we’ll be watching keenly to see if it works for Rory this week.