What is New in McIlroy’s Bag for 2017?
When Nike first made their announcement that they would no longer be producing or selling golf equipment, the two big names that popped into everyone’s mind almost straight away was Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. Woods is arguably the greatest golfer ever, and McIlroy is one of the game’s young stars and current world number two.
While Tiger has chosen to change very little in his bag, Rory did a complete overhaul. He’s now swinging Callaway woods, Callaway irons, Titleist wedges, and hitting a Titleist ball. It’s really too early to compare his performance with these clubs to what he did last season, but in his only PGA appearance this season Rory finished with a T4 and in his only European Tour appearance he finish 2nd. It will certainly be exciting to track how McIlroy’s game and form changes with these new clubs.
Driver: Callaway GBB Epic Sub Zero at 9.5 degrees
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Kuro Kage XT 70TX
By now, I’m sure most of our readers are quite familiar with the Callaway GBB Epic Sub Zero and it’s ground breaking, jail breaking technology. The Sub Zero, at least on paper, appears to be the perfect driver for a golfer like McIlroy. He is getting low spin, high ball speed, and the industry’s highest MOI. The result should be the longest, straightest drives McIlroy has ever hit. He may have to get used to the difference in spin vs his old Nike driver, but by the end of the season, I guarantee this will be one of Rory’s best seasons driving the golf ball.
3 Wood: Callaway GBB Epic at 14 degrees
5 Wood: Callaway GBB Epic at 18 degrees
Shafts: Fujikura Pro P95 (X-Flex)
Rory almost always bags both a 3 and 5 wood, but on some courses and in some conditions will swap the 5 wood out for a 3 iron. Our tests for the 3 and 5 wood compare quite similarly to the tests we ran for the driver. There are really 3 sets of woods that we truly love on the market today: the M2, XR, and GBB Epic. For those of you that have hit the M1 and M2 woods, the Epic can essentially be summed up as being extremely similar, slightly longer, slightly more forgiving. Most of our staff hits TaylorMade woods, but admitted to preferring the feel of the Epic. Obviously for most casual golfers, the biggest hurdle to owning these clubs is the $1,000 price tag.
Irons: Callaway Apex MB Prototype (4-PW)
This is the set we have received the most questions on since updating the WITB pages for Woods, McIlroy, and Koepka. We don’t have any inside information here, and have no clue when these will hit the market. They are gorgeous, but being a blade, will have a limited market. Keep an eye out for them and watch for some data to come out once they release, but if you hit blades, you understand that all that matters is the strike.
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM6 – 52-08 F Grind, 56-10 S Grind and 60-08 M Grind
Shafts: True Temper Project X 6.5
So, of the Nike players that are transitioning to new clubs this season, McIlroy, Koepka, Finau, and Vegas are all hitting some generation of Vokey wedges. McIlroy is hitting the new SM6 wedges, Koepka is hitting the SM4’s with a SM6 60, and while we haven’t been able to verify the generation quite yet, we know Vegas is hitting a set of Vokey wedges as well. No big surprise, these have been the industry’s best wedges for years, and were once again our top rated wedges last season.
Putter: Odyssey Prototype
This was a little bit of a surprise to me. I really expected to find a Scotty Cameron putter here. Woods, Finau, Vegas, and Watney all made the change to Cameron putters. That being said, this is a mallet putter, and Odyssey mallets have always outproduced any of the mallet putters that have come out of the Cameron line.
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Gone is the Nike RZN Platinum ball that Rory hit all of last season, and big surprise… he’s hitting the Pro V1x. The Pro V1 share of the PGA field is nearing the 70% mark for 2017.