Graham McDowell has dismissed fears Rory McIlroy’s game could suffer when he switches from Titleist to Nike.
Nick Faldo described the proposed move as “dangerous”, but McIlroy’s closest companion yesterday rejected that assertion.
McDowell raised plenty of eyebrows when the then reigning 2010 US Open champion switched from Callaway to Cleveland/Srixon. And he believes that McIlroy will also be unaffected by an equipment change.
“Faldo grew up in an era when there was a huge diversity in the best compared to the average and now we are talking about equipment companies that spend millions and millions and millions on research and development,” said McDowell of Faldo’s concerns about the equipment change.
“The knowledge is also shared now because one R&D guy starts working at Srixon and then may switch to Nike and then another guy might go to Titleist and another to Callaway. I disagree with Nick because as long as a guy gets a good driver and ball combination, a guy like Rory, potentially one of the most talented players we have ever seen, should be okay.”
In talking with McDowell, who is also managed by Horizon Sports, he was not asked to confirm or deny McIlroy’s move to Nike but then there was hardly getting away from golf’s worst kept secret.
But whenever the move is officially confirmed, McDowell indicated McIlroy is not switching to Nike simply because of the increased wealth of a new $20m a year deal.
“When I switched there were plenty of comments but it just doesn’t boil down to purely financial reasons, and it would have been pretty short-sighted of me to switch equipment companies for money,” he said.
“What you do on the golf course is more important than how much money you are making off the golf course.
“Eventually the money will dry up and you have to keep producing the goods on the golf course, so I would never go to a company that had inferior equipment.
“So whoever Rory turns to, that company will be able to provide him with a certain level of equipment but he is not going there if he doesn’t like the equipment.
“Rory McIlroy is now 23, so he’s got 20 years left of trying to win Major Championships. He is not going to go to an inferior technology company.”
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