Rory McIlroy Backswing Basics

July 12, 2013

Rory McIlRoy came to Liberty National Golf Course recently for an Audemars Piguet clinic on June 17th. It was a star studded clinic with other PGA and European TOUR players such as Graeme McDowell, Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Darren Clarke, Keegan Bradley, Bud Cauley and LPGA TOUR players such a Cristie Kerr, Morgan Pressell, and Belen Mozo.

Audemars Piguet Clinic at Liberty National

While watching the Tour players warmup you couldn’t help but watch Rory McIlroy’s golf swing. I know he’s not playing his best golf at the moment but anyone can learn a few tips from watching Rory swing the golf club. While thinking about writing an article about the backswing I decided to use Rory as a model. Learning to take the club back correctly can have a dramatic effect on the quality of your shots. For some people this very important because it gives them more confidence on the downswing. Let’s look at Rory Mcilroy’s backswing and analyze it from the ground up.

Rory McIlroy Backswing


His back foot is perpendicular to the target line which braces the back knee and his front foot is angled (20-30 degrees). Angling the front foot this way is a great tip for amateurs because it helps facilitate rotation to the target on the downswing.


The right knee maintains its bend for balance and power and the left knee kicks inward. You want to allow the left knee to kick inward because it helps create a full shoulder turn without too much stress in the back. This is a good tip for amateurs with limited flexibility.


Rory’s hips rotate about 45 degrees away from the target and the right hip remains inside the back foot. Keeping his right hip inside the back foot is one of the best ways to maintain balance.


Rory turns his shoulders more than 90 degrees at the top of the backswing. His left shoulder moves under his chin creating tremendous torque in his body. To turn like Rory think about “turning the left shoulder under the chin.”


The left arm is perfectly straight and pinched across the  chest. Most players would get into trouble swinging the arms back this far, not Rory. I’d recommend swinging the arms back this long only with a driver.


The club is just below parallel, meaning it has not swung beyond a point level with the ground. Most amateurs think a longer swing arc translates into more distance, not true. The length of Rory’s swing arc in this picture is a perfect model for power and consistency.

Not everyone’s backswing will look like Rory’s, but perhaps some of the tips above can help you get into a better position at the top to give you more confidence on the downswing.



  1. Kenny Gandhi July 13, 2013 8:29 pm Reply

    Hay Adam This is very cool stuff man it makes so much sense and I fell it is very sound fundamental If I can understand this anybody can usually in order to understand i need to watch video but you made it very simple in word that even I understand. I really like this article a lot. Thanks again Keep it up. We miss you here in Miami hope you come back soon.

    • akolloff July 14, 2013 7:18 am Reply


      Great to hear from you. Thanks for your feedback, I hope your playing well in Miami. I miss you guys.


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