Rory McIlroy incredibly removed two of his TaylorMade MG3 Raw Wedges and replaced them with Titleist Vokey Wedges en route to winning the Dubai Desert Classic in his first start of 2023 on the DP World Tour.
McIlroy, a TaylorMade staff player, had a full set of TaylorMade MG3 Wedges in his bag when GolfMagic caught sight of his golf bag in his final event at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai in November 2022.
GOLF's equipment expert Jonathan Wall confirmed the news following McIlroy's victory on Monday:
First week with new Vokey wedges in the bag (SM9 54.10S, WedgeWorks 58.06K) and it ends with a for Rory McIlroy.— Jonathan Wall (@jonathanrwall) January 30, 2023
“I think the way I managed my game [this] week, I think the short game display that I put on this week was as good as I can remember.” pic.twitter.com/l6idW8f5Pg
McIlroy, who was once a Titleist player, heavily relied on his WedgeWorks on the 72nd hole at the Emirates Golf Club last week as he sent his lob wedge into 20 feet behind the cup before draining the putt for a one-shot victory over Patrick Reed on Monday.
Judging by McIlroy's comments about his overall short game in Dubai, it would seem like the Titleist Vokey Wedges could remain in his bag for a while longer yet.
Another interesting observation from McIlroy's bag at the Dubai Desert Classic was that he has remained faithful to his TaylorMade Stealth Plus Driver (2022) to start the new year.
McIlroy is rightly considered one of the best all-time drivers of the golf ball, but it is something of a surprise to see him not yet upgrade to the company's new TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus Driver, especially given all the hype at launch about Fargiveness.
GolfMagic reached out to TaylorMade for comment on McIlroy's current driver situation and they replied: "Rory is very much still testing the new driver."
As for commenting about removing his TaylorMade MG3 Raw Wedges, TaylorMade said they had "no update."
McIlroy did upgrade one area of his bag and that was his fairway wood, replacing his TaylorMade SIM2 Titanium 3-wood in 15 degrees for the new TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus 3-wood, which features a heavy 50g sliding weight on the sole.
According to TaylorMade, this weight allows for three main settings, each with its own performance characteristics – creating three different fairway woods in one.
"Rory has his 3-wood sat in the middle setting which is the most versatile for optimal playability off the deck or off the tee," TaylorMade tells us.
"Shifting it to the front reduces spin and creates a piercing trajectory for added distance off the tee.
"Positioning the weight all the way back is the most forgiving setting. It adds spin and increases MOI for enhanced performance on off-centre strikes."
Check out our full review of the new TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus 3-wood below:
McIlroy has kept faith with his 5-wood though, sticking by his TaylorMade Stealth Plus in 19 degrees.
He's still using his trusty TaylorMade Rors Proto Irons, his TaylorMade Spider X Hydro Blast Putter and the TaylorMade TP5x Golf Ball.
Rory McIlroy: WITB Dubai Desert Classic 2023
Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus (9 degrees)
Fairways: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus (15 degrees), TaylorMade Stealth Plus (19 degrees)
Irons: TaylorMade Rors Proto Irons (3-PW)
Putter: TaylorMade Spider X Hydro Blast
Golf Ball: TaylorMade TP5x