Rory McIlroy was at Archerfield Links yesterday to officially open the brand’s new Nike Performance Fitting Centre. The two-time major champion spent the morning at the prestigious venue as Nike unveiled it’s first ever consumer Performance Fitting Centre in the world.
“Archerfield is an impressive facility and I can see how the relationship with Nike has blossomed since we had a day at the club about this time last year," said Rory McIlroy.
“I don’t think there’s any better place to have it than here. Scotland is the Home of Golf and Archerfield is just 25 minutes from Edinburgh so it’s very accessible, too.”
The centre is set to offer players of all levels the chance to get treated like the pros and get expertly fitted for every aspect of their golf equipment from driver, irons, wedges and putters through to shoes and clothing. bunkered.co.uk toured the facility in early May to get an idea of the set-up, and the end result is unlike anything else in the country.
Rory McIlroy was at Archerfield before heading to Royal Aberdeen where he will compete in the Scottish Open this week, and it appears the Northern Irishman is relishing the chance to get some competitive links preparation ahead of next week’s Open Championship at Royal Liverpool.
Rory McIlroy - I'd like more links golf
“I’d like to play more links golf during the year,” said Rory McIlroy. “The past week I’ve been playing a bit of it and getting used to hitting the links style shots that I’ll use over the next couple of weeks, but I think what I’ve missed in the last couple of years is not being able to play any competitive links golf in the build up to the Open.
"I know Portrush had the Irish Open in 2012, but I think it’s great that the Scottish Open has moved to a really great links course. It’ll be a great test and I’m really excited to go up to Royal Aberdeen.”
Rory McIlroy is playing in the Scottish Open for the first time since 2009, and is hoping it will stand him in good stead heading into the third major of the year at Royal Liverpool.
It’s the first time the Open has returned to Royal Liverpool since Tiger Woods romped to victory in 2006, and McIlroy expects it to play a lot differently to last time after spending the weekend at the course.
“It’s a lot greener and more lush. The ball wasn’t really running at all, it was stopping on the greens, too. I think they’re just trying to protect it a bit more so it doesn’t get quite as burnt out as it did in 2006.
“Even with it being lush, there’s still only about four or five drivers out there. The two-iron is going to be an important club there, but as long as you can avoid the bunkers off the tee and stay out of the rough as much as possible, it’s a very scoreable course.
“I probably hit too many drivers at Muirfield last year and that cost me. So I’ll be focusing much more this year on hitting the fairway. It’s much better hitting a six-iron on the fairway than hitting a driver in the rough.”
With a spot in the Ryder Cup effectively in the bag, McIlroy is expected to play a key role at Gleneagles in September, and he has revealed he’s already discussed pairings with captain Paul McGinley.
“I’ve already spoken to Paul about pairings for Gleneagles. I get on really well with G-Mac and I think we make a really good team, but I’ll happily play with anyone.”
Rory McIlroy was one of several high-profile players to publicly announce their support for McGinley before he was offered the role, and he believes his friend will make the perfect captain for the European team.
“I really like Paul as a captain. I played under him in the Seve Trophy and he has been a vice captain in the two Ryder Cup teams I’ve been part of.
“He’s very passionate, he’s very inspirational, and he’s trying to make sure everyone’s in the right frame of mind and is comfortable in what they’re trying to do.
“I think he’ll be great. He’s a great leader and he’s got lots of experience in terms of playing and being part of the captain’s team.
“He was the players' pick as well. The players wanted him to captain the team. I let my opinion be heard and I just wanted the best for the team. I felt Paul was the best guy to lead this team into the Ryder Cup in Scotland.”
Rory McIlroy heads to Scottish Open
Rory McIlroy will join several other high-profile names including Phil Mickelson and Justin Rose as the European Tour heads to Royal Aberdeen for the Scottish Open.