Rory McIlroy’s stirring victory in Dubai on Sunday capped a five-win season during which the Northern Irishman ascended to No. 1 in the world, hoisted his second major trophy and captured the money title on both sides of the Atlantic.
What will his 2013 campaign bring? For one thing, change.
McIlroy’s relationship with Titleist will not be extended beyond this season, and it has been widely reported that the 23-year-old will sign a mega-deal with Nike that could be worth upwards of $250 million over the next decade.
McIlroy has used Titleist equipment since age 14, and ditching those clubs at this juncture would seem a calculated risk. But McIlroy’s swing coach, Michael Bannon, told The Guardian on Monday that he has no fears that the change will negatively affect the world No. 1.
“He’ll have no problems at all with new equipment,” Bannon said, according to the report. “If you look at the clubs he is going to change to, all the shafts are the same. He is also going from blade to blade, which is quite an easy thing to do.
“The ball is fine, he just has to practice a wee bit more with it and get used to the feel of it. He has to play a few rounds of golf as well, which he hasn’t been able to do (with new equipment) yet.
“People overstate what the change could mean. It is something to talk about but I think this will be an easy transition for him. I don’t see it being a problem at all.”