- Lynne Sladky/AP
Rory McIlroy can’t seem to make up his mind over how to hold his putter.
On Thursday at the Memorial Tournament, McIlroy reverted to the traditional right-hand-low putting grip, just two weeks after winning the Irish Open with the more en vogue left-hand-low technique (seen above). McIlroy had spent the past three months putting with his left hand low, and prior to the Irish Open he looked out of sorts on the greens with the new grip.
Now, just two weeks before the US Open, McIlroy is going back to his old ways.
“I feel like my pace was a little off left hand low,” McIlroy said after shooting an opening-round 71 on Thursday with his new (old) grip.
He added: “And I feel like coming into golf courses like here where the greens are really quick, and obviously Oakmont where the greens are ridiculously fast, I felt like, to give myself the best chance of having a little bit more feel and a little bit more visualization and stuff, I just needed go back to what I’ve done for most of my career.”
Although he’s moved away from the left-hand low grip, McIlroy did say there were parts of it that he liked, which seems to suggest he hasn’t necessarily retired it altogether.
“One thing I did like about left-hand low is it squared my shoulders up. So I’m really trying to focus on alignment and really setting up to the ball correctly each and every time and being really strict with that,” McIlroy said. “… Sometimes even on the course, it feels uncomfortable. Sometimes I don’t feel like the line is aiming where it actually is. I’m working on the mirror and working on the ball position and my eye position. So I’m trying to be really structured with that. I feel like, if I’m consistent with that, it will give me the best chance going forward. … I’ve given left-hand low a go. I won one tournament with it. I’m moving on.”
Putting has for been the weakest part of McIlroy’s game for a while now, and switching up his grip so frequently feels like it could be counterproductive. It’s peculiar to switch up your grip after winning a tournament, especially when a major is fast approaching.