McIlroy home on the range

Rory McIlroy is hoping to get value for money from his first practice session on his megabucks driving range this week.

The Holywood hotshot, 21, has spent thousands on a luxury practice facility at his Moneyreagh hideaway near Belfast.

And he’s hoping it will help him get his swing back into the groove after struggling to a share of 12th place in the Challenge Tour’s Egyptian Open last week.

Confessing that his first round performance in Cairo was “the worst I have ever hit the ball as a professional”, the world No 9 can’t wait to get stuck in with coach Michael Bannon.

McIlroy said: “I’ll be properly working from home this week because the range is finally ready.

“This will be the first time that I have used it for a proper practice session so you could say it’s the official opening.

“There are three tee boxes now ready and the long game area, which is 330 yards, is ready to use. I’ll be able to hit balls from there so it will be pretty cool to work on my game there.

“The short game area is 180 yards at its longest but there are four greens, which are not quite ready but I’ll be able to hit shots and work on everything else.”

McIlroy has spent a fortune building the range on a 13-acre plot behind his luxury home.

And while he hasn’t revealed how much he’s spent, he confessed following his breakthrough PGA Tour win at Quail Hollow that his $1.17m winnings would come in handy.

“You know, the money is great,” he said back in May. “Obviously it can go a long way. I’m building a range at the minute at home, so that will pay for the trees. Trees are pretty expensive.

“I’m buying eucalyptus trees, leyland cypress, basically these big like evergreens, because there’s a little part of it that’s visible from the road, so I’m trying to put trees up there just so people can’t see in and it’s a bit more sheltered because it’s where my short game area is going to be.”

McIlroy is keen to get his game in shape ahead of five, season-ending events.

He returns to action for next week’s WGC – HSBC Champions in China next week before the Barclays Singapore Open, the UBS Hong Kong Open, the Dubai World Championship and Tiger Woods’ Chevron World Challenge.