Rory McIlroy hones in with pre-Masters lesson from Butch Harmon

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McIlroy seeks advice from Butch Harmon as he sets his sights on the Masters to complete a career grand slam.
Posted on
April 3, 2024
by
The Editorial Team in
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Rory McIlroy believes his lesson with Tiger Woods’ former coach Butch Harmon was “really worthwhile” as he prepares to make his 10th attempt to complete a career grand slam.

McIlroy needs to win the Masters to join Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Woods as the only players to have won all four major championships.

The world number two started the year well with victory in the Dubai Desert Classic in January, but his form on the PGA Tour has been underwhelming ahead of this week’s Valero Texas Open.

McIlroy revealed on the “I Can Fly” podcast with PGA Tour professional Morgan Hoffmann that he had recently visited Butch Harmon in Las Vegas and expanded on the visit in his pre-tournament press conference in San Antonio.

Butch Harmon
Butch Harmon, pictured, is Tiger Woods’ former coach (David Davies/PA)

“I’ve done this a number of times in my career,” McIlroy said. “I met Butch when I was 14 years old, so we’ve always had a good relationship. If there’s one guy that I want to go and get a second opinion from, it’s him.

“I think just after the Players (Championship) and just sort of struggling through that Florida swing and with some of the misses I was having with my irons, I just thought to myself I’m obviously missing something here and I just would love to go and get a second opinion and have him take a look, a second set of eyes.

“The one thing with Butch is you go spend time with him and you’re always going to feel better about yourself at the end of it whether you’re hitting it better or not.

“He’s sort of half golf coach, half psychologist in a way. It’s fun to go out there, I went and spent probably four hours with him in Vegas. He said a couple of things to me that resonated.

“It’s the same stuff that I’ve been trying to do with my coach Michael (Bannon), but he sort of just said it in a different way that maybe hit home with me a little bit more.

“It was a really worthwhile trip and I feel like I’ve done some good work after that. As I said, this is a good week to see where that work has gotten me.”

Speaking before the Players Championship last month, where he carded an opening 65 before fading to a tie for 19th, McIlroy revealed the reasons behind his current struggles.

“I have this amazing feeling with my woods at the minute, but when I try to recreate that feeling with the irons, it starts left and goes further left,” McIlroy said.

“I have a swing thought for my woods and I need a different swing thought for my irons and that’s what I’ve been working on over the last couple of days. I feel like every other part of the game is in great shape.”

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