The world No 1 has tucked his goals away in his back pocket after scribbling them down on a boarding pass during a flight from Dublin to Dubai ahead of this week???s Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.
The Northern Irishman performs the same ritual every year ahead of his first tournament of the season and he will not look at them again until his campaign is over in December.
“Every year, I’m flying here, I write my goals down in the back of my boarding pass, I put it in my wallet and I memorise them, but I don’t look at them until the end of the year,” McIlroy said in Abu Dhabi, where he has finished second in three of the past four seasons but is yet to win in the UAE capital.
“In my back pocket is a boarding pass with my goals for this year. I don’t want to share them. I’ll take that out at the end of the year and see how well I’ve done.”
McIlroy may find it tough to beat his efforts last year when he won two majors – The Open and the US PGA Championship ??? but he is aiming high.
“I didn’t achieve everything that I wanted to last year. I wanted to have six wins, I only had four, but still a good year,” he said as he revealed there are seven items on this year’s list, one of which will surely be winning the Masters.
The 25-year-old will play in Abu Dhabi, where he will partner Matteo Manassero and Rickie Fowler in the first round on Thursday, and then in Dubai two weeks later before flying to the USA for the Honda Classic and World Golf Championships in Florida in February and March.
He has yet to decide if he will play in the Houston Open, which takes place a week before the Masters starts on April 9.
“It really depends how I feel. If I feel I need more golf, I’ll play. If not, I’ll probably take it off,” said McIlroy.
“I’ve got a good routine and mental strategy going into majors now, where I try not to let too much affect me. I go into my own little world for those couple of weeks.”