WORLD number two Rory McIlroy begins the new year having not yet decided on what clubs he will play but insists the player rather than the equipment is more important.

The Northern Irishman is among a number of top stars who have been forced into a change following Nike’s withdrawal from the club manufacturing market.

McIlroy has been testing a number of options and will start this week’s BMW SA Open with Callaway woods and irons, Titleist wedges and balls and a Scotty Cameron putter.

He has been here before, however. In 2013 he struggled for form immediately after changing clubs as part of signing a multi-million pound deal with Nike.

However, the four-time major winner said his set-up could change on a regular basis until he settles on a favourite combination.

“They are picked for this week but that could change week to week,” he told a press conference.

“This is my first event with those clubs so we will see how it goes.

“You never really know and at the end of the day the person swinging the club is more important than the club itself.”

McIlroy is playing for the first time since finishing ninth at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai and even on his arrival in South Africa he chose to spend four days on safari before heading to the tournament, hosted by Ernie Els, at Glendower Golf Club in Gauteng.

However, he brushed aside suggestions – considering his equipment issues – he was underprepared.

“I spent a week in Dubai before Christmas testing a lot of equipment and hitting a lot of balls and training,” he added.

“I have been practising in the Middle East for the past week or so, although I have spent the last few days here on safari.

“I am here to play well and get my confidence up.”