Three Golf Tips from Rory McIlroy and Rose Zhang to Play Better

By Ryan Adams, PGA
Published on

Both Rory McIlroy and Rose Zhang have a certain gravitas about them, the former with just a little (OK, a lot) more experience in the spotlight than the latter. Zhang is certainly no stranger to big moments, however, and what makes her such an interesting watch like McIlroy is her dynamite swing. They each have flawless moves, and can really turn on the jets whenever they need to — which we’ll likely see tonight in The Match.
Here’s a few tips you can use from these two stars to get better ASAP:
Get round ready with a putting drill
You can drain putts all day on the practice green but the moment one counts for par during your round, what happens?
For Zhang, she already knows. During practice, according to a recent story, Zhang will set difficult challenges for herself, like making 100 four-foot putts in row. You may not have time to do 100 before a round or during practice, but try dropping four balls around the cup from four feet, and make them all. If you miss one, start over. Once you’ve got four, try eight the next time, and 12 the next.
This will get you “competitive game mode” ready like Zhang, and you won’t have to wonder if that par putt will drop or not.
(Chris Condon/PGA TOUR)
(Chris Condon/PGA TOUR)
Target a good tempo
Both Rose and Rory have phenomenal tempos in their swing. You may have seen McIroy wearing a training aid around his neck that looked sort of odd, but the point of it was to get in a good rhythm prior to his third round.
Zhang strives for the same — there’s no rush in her swing. She’s even done slo-mo swings after a bad round to get things synced back up. 
When you’re at the range or warming up before your next round, slot some time for tempo and not feeling so hurried in your swing. Find that natural rhythm that’s comfortable for you, and you’ll find the center of the clubface a lot more.
 (Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Your takeaway is your trigger
Nothing can sabotage your swing more than the first move off the ball in your takeaway. When you watch Rory and Rose’s swings from the get go, they both keep the club in front of them and don’t whip it inside to generate a turn. 
When the club gets “stuck” after that whip, it can lead to a number of issues on the backswing and forces you to re-route coming down to make contact.
A good tip is to do mini-swings with the clubface pointing at the ball until the grip reaches your back hip, which is when you’d make a hinge and turn to complete your backswing. Feel like the grip, shaft and clubface never go outside the “V” created by your shoulders and arms. That will keep you in sync and avoid getting stuck.