Rory McIlroy speaks to the press at Augusta National on TuesdayRory McIlroy gave a revealing insight into his single-mindedness and his Masters strategy at Augusta National on Tuesday.

With the wisdom of his decision to change all 14 clubs in January seriously questioned by the likes of Nick Faldo, he explained why he opted to ditch the Titleist equipment completely rather that phasing it out.

“I wanted to do it all at the start of the year,” he said. “I didn’t want to leave it for a while and say, okay, I’ll put something in in dribs and drabs.  I just wanted to get it all in, get it all settled and have it over and done with, so eight, nine months down the line, I don’t have to say, okay, right, I need to try to get this in or that in.  

“I just wanted to get it all in straightaway.  I’m really comfortable with everything, and I feel like they are a part of me now and that’s the way a golf club should be.”

McIlroy’s decision gave Faldo chills but while they are clearly opposites when it comes to their equipment fetishes, the pair might have something in common when it comes to strategy.

Having leaned heavily on his driver since his debut in 2009, he’s decided to take a more conservative approach off the tee this week.

Two double bogyey sixes on the first are more than enough to put you off hitting driver, especially when you are not firing on all cylinders from the tee.

“I’m definitely not one to go and ask other players for advice,” McIlroy said on his approach to Augusta National. ” I would rather just try to figure stuff out for myself.  And I’m probably going to adopt a little different strategy off the tee this year than the previous years - try to hit it into the fat parts of the fairway.

“Because I’m confident with my iron play, so there’s no point in taking on too much off the tee.  So there’s generous fairways out there and you hit into the fat parts and you’re always going to give yourself a good chance to get it close to the pin.”

Asked if his tendency to throw in a bad nine hole stretch at least once every year had prompted this change of tactic, McIlroy said: “A little bit.  

“It’s more I guess, is there really a difference between hitting an 8‑iron or a 6‑iron into a par 4?  You just don’t want to, there’s certain holes on this golf course that if you play them the right way, you play them smart, you can make like a birdie every day or you can definitely limit the mistakes and not make a big number.

“But no, it’s more just, it suits my eye to hit a certain club off the tee and not force myself to hit a driver to try to get it down there as far as possible.  

“Of course you still have to be aggressive around this golf course, but I think there’s times where you have to, as I said, put it in play, put it in the middle of the fairway, and instead of trying to give yourself an 8‑ or a 9‑iron into the green, know that you’re going to have just as good of a chance hitting a 6‑ or 7‑iron.”