Rory McIlroy revealed he has been working on adding more speed to his driver in a bid to "keep up" with the way that golf is changing, with Bryson DeChambeau proving that distance leads to success.
The World No.4 is part of a stellar field for the CJ Cup on the PGA Tour this week, with McIlroy making his debut in the tournament, playing alongside Sergio Garcia and Si Woo Kim.
McIlroy has been one of the PGA Tour's biggest hitters for years, but DeChambeau's recent transformation has seen him fall down the pecking order slightly and it's made the four-time major champion try a few new things out with his swing.
“Yeah, for the last couple weeks I was working on some stuff,” McIlroy said ahead of this week's action at Shadow Creek. “I think as a golfer, we're so ingrained to trying to hit the ball where you're looking, and I think with – I think that's one of the great things that Bryson's done.
“Bryson, when he speed-trains, he just hits the ball into a net, so he doesn't really know where it's going. He's just trying to move as fast as he can and sort of making the target irrelevant for the time being and then you can sort of try to bring it in from there. From what I've done and what I've been trying – you know, sort of experimenting with the last couple weeks – it's the fastest I've ever moved the club, the fastest my body has ever moved.
“At least I know that if I need to do it, I can do it."
Many players including McIlroy have praised DeChambeau for what he has achieved over the past few months, but some believe that technology needs to be limited in terms of distance to stop tournaments becoming a long drive contest.
McIlroy believes that there is nothing wrong with taking advantage of modern-day technology that golf has to offer and DeChambeau is doing just that.
“I called what Bryson did brilliant, and I think my comments maybe got taken out of context,” he said. “I said he's taking advantage of everything we have in the game right now. I didn't mean that in a bad way. I meant he has went to the nth degree of everything we have available to us: science, TrackMan, biomechanics, everything, all the knowledge that we have nowadays that golfers 20 years ago didn't have access to because there just wasn't enough knowledge out there.
“He's worked his ass off to do that and it's paying off hugely."
The Northern Irishman is undoubtedly one of the most talented golfers we have ever seen and he possesses a lot more than just a long drive, but McIlroy went on to say that he needs to adapt his game slightly to keep up with the direction the sport is taking.
“I think it's the way the game's going,” McIlroy added. “I got sent a really good article last weekend, it was in the Wall Street Journal, just about every single sport becoming faster, longer, stronger, and I don't think golf's any different. I'm just trying to keep up with the way it's going.”