Are You Sure About That, Rory?
Despite having a recent injury to his back as a result of the high torque and change in spine angle throughout his golf swing, Rory McIlroy has decided to forego any swing changes despite possible further injury.
According to PGA.com, the young professional and European sensation made this decision after finishing a series of medical tests last week:
The 20-year-old from Northern Ireland went for a scan last week after suffering a recurrence of his problem in Dubai and has been having treatment here prior to Wednesday's start of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.
Stretched ligaments have been diagnosed, and it has been linked to a hip movement McIlroy makes, but it is just something he is going to have to manage.
According to McIlroy, changing his swing right now is simply something he "cannot do" as this has been the same way he has swung a club since his second birthday. While I will refuse to believe that his swing has not changed AT ALL in 18 years, I can kind of see his point in regard to possibly being nervous or apprehensive about any major adjustments.
However consider what happened with Tiger Woods. No, I'm not referring to his recent "transgressions", but instead what the man should forever be known for: good golf and smart swing changes. Perhaps the greatest golfer of our time had similar back issues during his early years on Tour, and with the help of a team of swing guru's ranging from Butch Harmon to Hank Haney, Tiger was able to rebuild his golf swing with little to no negative consequences. Were there instances of distance control issues? There always have been with Woods, and even McIlroy has been known to air-mail a green or two.
The reason Tiger underwent what turned out to be necessary swing adjustments is twofold: to increase distance consistency and to prolong his career from a pain management standpoint.
The same can be said for Fred Couples. While Freddy hasn't had as much success on Tour as Tiger, he was still able to manage a horribly painful back condition to the point where he went from possible retirement to playing on the Champions Tour many years thereafter. Flashes of brilliance still grace the fairways whenever Couples is playing, as evidenced by his most recent win on the Champions Tour.
McIlroy, while certainly entitled to his opinion on how he would like to play a game at which he is much more skilled than most, could possibly benefit from taking a page out of the books from either Tiger or Couples. Hopefully this young golf superstar can look further down the road of his career and realize that changing a golf mechanic in your swing does not have to spell out catastrophe.