I saw something earlier in the week about Rory McIlroy trying out the new TaylorMade driver, with speculation that he was perhaps going to play it in his next event, the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass.
For once, I looked at the swing gif. online and bit my tongue, determined not to say anything. I just didn’t want to be negative, but I’ll tell you what had me shaking my head, now that I’m hearing he had some back issues during today’s opening round.
First, the news from GolfDigest and Brian Wacker, and the title says it all:
Rory McIlroy ‘rusty,’ with back issues in first start since Masters
Playing for the first time since the Masters a month ago, getting married and switching equipment, Rory McIlroy said he felt “rusty” in his opening-round one-over 73 Thursday at the Players Championship.
More worrisome is that he aggravated the same joint in his back that bothered him earlier this year when he missed two months following extensive equipment testing.
“My back has got a little bit stiff again, I guess just from obviously building it up and playing through and then not doing anything for three weeks and then coming back last weekend and hitting balls for four or five hours a day,” said McIlroy…
And that’s about all I need to know, that he’s hitting balls for four to five hours a day with this setup, link to the actual swing here:
Seeing what I’m seeing?
I’m seeing another Tiger Woods special coming up here, with a power swinger set up completely vertical with the spine, center-biased at best, if not left, and who is going to swing at 120+ mph hour like this:
What do you all think is going to happen to an athlete’s back if he’s swinging at high speed with his head dropping hard to the right (along with the upper back) while his hips are driving the lower back hard to the left, or at the target?
I bet you can hazard a guess?
So, it’s not exactly hard to predict ongoing problems at best, and a possible career-threatening injury to the back for Rory, with a swing like this.
Now, repeat a few hundred times, and…
I have praised Rory’s embracing of the heel lift on the leading foot with his back swing pivot, and it isn’t the back swing that’s hurting Rory.
It’s what he’s doing in his setup, as I’ve mentioned in passing. In fact, I pointed out this exact extreme head drop in his action the last time he injured himself heaving that way at the ball.
It’s leading to the down swing and especially the impact and post-impact area that are the problem, and it all goes back to the setup.
We all know (or should know, if you’re a high-level golf instructor or player) that the proper impact position has the head over the right knee and side:
So please, someone tell me what is accomplished by setting up with the head that far away from where it’s going to be at impact, because Rory certainly knows where the head needs to be, he’s moving it there coming down.
What I’d love to know is who is telling him that setting up in the manner in which he’s doing so isn’t a complete and utter recipe for disaster.
That’s all I have to say about this.