Jason Sobel ESPN Senior Writer
FARMINGDALE, N.Y. — There were several newsworthy moments from Rory McIlroy’s interview session on Wednesday in regard to his equipment. He might not sign with another manufacturer anytime soon; he’s got three years’ worth of golf balls stored away if he needs them; and he’s switching to a mallet-style putter for this week’s Barclays tournament.
But let’s start with perhaps the biggest takeaway: When Nike Golf announced recently that it would be ceasing its equipment operation, one of the company’s star attractions barely knew ahead of time.
“It was a shock to all of us,” McIlroy revealed. “I got a call two hours before it was announced.”
The dominoes from that announcement have already started to fall, as McIlroy will have a Scotty Cameron-model putter in his bag this week.
Following a poor putting performance at the PGA Championship three weeks ago, he felt it was time to make a change.
“There’s a bit to go and it’s a process, but I feel like I’ve made a good start,” McIlroy explained. “I feel like with the putter change to a mallet, it doesn’t encourage that face to close that much, which is the bad putt I was getting. So it just sort of encourages the face to stay a little more square through impact.”
As for the rest of those dominoes, McIlroy insisted he’ll take a wait-and-see approach regarding any other equipment changes.
“I’m not going to commit to anything,” he said. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see me not go with a manufacturer for a year or two, just sort of play with what I want to play, play with what I’m comfortable with, and go from there.”
That hasn’t stopped other manufacturers from already trying.
McIlroy revealed with a laugh that his parents’ home in Northern Ireland has been inundated with packages from companies requesting that he test out their products.
“I don’t think it’s the time or the place to change what I feel like I’m very comfortable with,” he said. “Obviously, working with the Nike guys over the last number of years, they have gotten to know me and my specific tendencies and what I like in golf clubs. No reason to start changing just because I can. I’m comfortable with everything.”
As for those golf balls, well, McIlroy knows he’ll need to find a new one at some point, but he’s comfortable extending that deadline as long as possible.
“I’ve got them to save me a lot of three years’ worth of golf balls, so at least I’ve got a golf ball that I like and that I know that I can play well with,” he said.
How many balls is that, exactly?
“If I don’t lose a golf ball, I’m still using at least six, you know, cutting them,” he said with a laugh. “There’s a few dozen there.”