While his putting might occasionally be a bit wonky and his wedges not always his strongest suit we don’t expect much to go wrong with Rory McIltoy’s driver.
But the big dog has been out of sorts this season, even when he won at Quail Hollow, he did it with some ordinary driving and, as part of his work with new coach Pete Cowen, he has been working on trying to hit a majority of fades off the tee – think Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka et al.
Now though he has gone back to his high, soaring draws which has seen him on top of the driving stats at this week’s WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational – he has averaged 335.6 yards with an accuracy of 74 per cent.
After the US Open he went to a slightly shorter driver and he has now taken a quarter of a degree off the loft and the rest is just down to his innate talent.
“I was just driving it like crap for a while, basically and I thought why don’t I do it like I’ve always done? I just feel like I’ve got a little more freedom with it. I’m not squeezing it as much; I’m not trying to get on top of it as much as I was. I know what I do well with the driver – I’ve done it my whole career. I turn big, wide, wind up and then hang onto my right side and throw my arms and body at it.
“I was trying to go away from using my talent and my hands and trying to sort of do it all with body turn and try to make it very mechanically efficient. But I came to the realisation that I’m pretty good with my hands, and I’m pretty good at matching it up, and it’s OK to rely on your talent. I’ve always been a little uneasy with the ‘talented tag,’ because I feel like I work hard and it was probably a part of my mentality and my ego to go, No, I’m going to drive the ball well with hard work and dedication. But if that’s my talent, I may as well use it to the best of my ability.”