Golf

Rory McIlroy gets ‘golf lesson’ off Tiger Woods’ former coach Butch Harmon

McIlroy is looking for that elusive Masters title.

Rory McIlroy’s form on the PGA Tour has been underwhelming ahead of this week’s Valero Texas Open
Rory McIlroy Rory McIlroy’s form on the PGA Tour has been underwhelming ahead of this week’s Valero Texas Open (Mike Egerton/PA)

Rory McIlroy has consulted Tiger Woods’ former coach Butch Harmon 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 tasted victory in 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.

“I went last week to see Butch Harmon for a golf lesson,” McIlroy told PGA Tour professional Morgan Hoffmann on the “I Can Fly” podcast.

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

“I’ve seen him over the years, like once every few years I’ll say, ‘Hey, Butch, can I just come see you and you can take a look and see what you think.’”

McIlroy added that as he was leaving for the airport – Harmon is based in Las Vegas – his daughter Poppy asked him where he was going.

When he said he was going for a golf lesson, McIlroy said: “She said, ‘Dada, you already know how to play golf.’ That’s probably the best piece of advice I’ve gotten in the last three years.”

McIlroy’s long-time coach is fellow Northern Irishman Michael Bannon, although the four-time major winner has also worked with Pete Cowen.

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.”