Alexis Boucher

Major Change

Alexis Boucher
Major Change

Major Change: How It Paid Off for Rory

If someone offered you $200 million to switch golf clubs, would you?

Now imagine you were one of the world's best golfers and at the top of your game. You just won your second major championship of the year, both in record fashion. You are recognized around the world, but aren't yet an icon. Your potential is celebrated by everyone, but not yet fully realized. You're poised to join Tiger, Jack, Arnie and Hogan in golf's pantheon of greats. Would you still make the change?

Late in 2012, Rory McIlroy signed a 10-year contract with Nike, a deal reported to be worth somewhere north of $200 million. The only catch: Rory had to ditch his familiar Titleist driver, irons and putter for a shiny new set of Swooshes, a brand as familiar to the world as Coke, but not as much to the Northern Irishman.

Even self-proclaimed big fan of McIlroy's, Nick Faldo, publicly doubted the decision. Having made a change himself during his career, Faldo stated the obvious: the switch was a giant money grab. He knew what all golfers know, any slight change in feel could affect his confidence, and new clubs were sure to deliver the blow.

True to Faldo's word, Rory's 2013 campaign was full of disappointment and unmet expectations. He hit rock bottom when he missed the cut at the Open Championship at Muirfield. Blame for his poor play was placed largely on the new gear. Rory had nowhere to look, except within and trust he had made the right call.

One year later, Rory stood under the grandstands surrounding the 18th tee at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake. Minutes before, he had tapped in for par and emphatically tossed his Nike RZN Black ball into the stands. Now, he waited for the words every young golfer across the globe dreamt of hearing. McIlroy was introduced to the gallery and the world as "Champion Golfer of the Year," after a convincing and dominating performance.

This year, Rory is 2nd on the PGA Tour in scoring average and 3rd in driving distance, which makes him a favorite in any event. He has returned to his 2012 form, winning the BMW Championship and the Open at Hoylake running away. The golf world is once again heralding his play; admiring his skill, poise and tenacity.

Rory's decision to try new gear may have had some hefty dollar signs behind it, but no one is doubting it now.

Are you ready to make a change? Consider rolling a different putter than that old flatstick your high school coach loaned you and never asked to return. Get fit, and try out a driver with a shaft that is right for your swing. Stripe some irons that maximize ball-striking and forgiveness for your game. Play a new wedge that helps you spin it around the greens like a Tour pro.

In the end, the decision to switch clubs is yours alone. Chances are, no one will pay you to do it. You won't win the Open Championship or be named "Champion Golfer of the Year." You may even play worse for a period of time and consider going back. But before you know it you may set personal driving records. Chip in for birdie. Drop a long bending putt for par. If you stick with it, you just might shoot your lowest round.

Take a tip from Rory. Have the guts to make a change, and the results will follow. Just don't hold your breath on the Claret Jug.

Head to our site now and make a change today.