The World two number gives Newstalk.com some insight into his technological life...
Golf is a quiet sport. Golfers take to the tee, line up their shot and swing the club. It’s possible to hear the connection between the club and the ball such is the silence.
It may be hard to imagine where technology fits in from a professional golfer’s point of view, but speaking to Newstalk.com, World number 2 Rory McIlroy said technology is everywhere within the sport.
“In short, technology helps with almost every aspect of my game and will inevitably play an even greater role. There must be a thousand apps out there to help with a golfer’s swing, alignment, driving, putting and everything else.”
“We’ve got golf radar technology giving every possible angle of the club and ball on impact, we can measure the energy transferred from the clubhead to the ball and amazing graphics to show every angle of our bodies through the swing. But, depending on a golfer’s ability, time and devotion, the available technology will be used to a greater or lesser extent.”
How does as professional golfer like McIlroy embrace the vast amount of technology on offer?
“There are so many benefits from modern golf technology when I’m gathering stats, testing equipment or analyzing my own swing over time. Yet, at the professional level, technology, whether in complex computer design, radar and even club manufacturer, will always be only one side of the coin.
The complete picture, today more than ever, is a physical angle and how the golfer’s body can be conditioned to hit the ball even greater distances. And, as with club and swing analyses, there’s technology just about everywhere to tell us how best to maximize the abilities and performance of our bodies.”
Aside from the gadgets and apps that improve his game, McIlroy has a significant presence online. His Twitter antics has made headlines in the past and the 28-year old has just unveiled his updated official website, RoryMcIlroy.com.
Despite a busy professional schedule and his recent wedding, McIlroy says he was hands-on with the process of revamping his official website.
"I sat down with my team and we decided that the older site, which we all believed was good for the earlier part of my career, was a little tired and in need of an overhaul. And I don’t mean that just the imagery was a little dated; there wasn’t much in the way of information about me, as a golfer and athlete, my brand or where I was next playing. In short, the older site didn’t offer the immediate information, updates, relevant links and everything we demand from today’s technology."
The premise of the site is simple, according to McIlroy. It's a place to engage with people, to keep his fans and followers informed of his golfing achievements, competitions, and Foundation.
It's apparent that the development of this website has been a passion project for McIlroy.
"We all have greater expectations today when we visit a web page. We want to be kept informed and involved and I think my new site offers a great backstory around my career, highs and lows included, a more in-depth life profile and links to my fitness story. Essentially, there’s a lot more of me on the site, past, and present."
How does McIlroy view social media - is it something he enjoys, or just another part of the job?
"A bit of both, really. For the most part, I like to think that social media is a great communication tool and, for me at least, a light-hearted glimpse into the lives of other golfers, friends, and family. And I’m happy to post occasionally, too, to give my followers a taste of life on Tour or snippets of new clubs I’m trying out or clothing I’ll wear during the next event."
"While I do post stuff and comment on pieces that humour me, or really rile me, it’s really hard to say if social media is actually important or just an accepted, integral addition to everybody’s daily life. My posts are usually golf related, sometimes involving me hitting balls as a warm-up before a tournament. With my new website now up and running, I hope to incorporate all the good aspects of social media into this and keep visitors, followers and fans updated on all that’s going on in my golfing world, with my equipment, fitness and the work of my Foundation."
It is easy to imagine how @mentions and comments from fans may be a distraction, particularly in the build up to a big tournament. Does McIlroy police his screen time?
"Whether I’m golfing or not, I’m usually disciplined enough to be selective with my online time. On Tour, I might download a box set to watch in my room or need to check for updates from the PGA or European Tour sites but I wouldn’t spend much time online. With very few exceptions, the time I spend time online during tournament weeks is usually golf or sponsor related. If I get the chance of a little downtime, I’d equally enjoy just reading a book or listening to some music."