The Northern Irishman is among five players in the world’s top 10 teeing up in the abdrn Scottish Open starting at The Renaissance Club on Thursday and is aiming to use the week to get his game ready for the season’s final major in Kent the following week.
“I'm happy that I added the Scottish Open in just to get a feel for some links golf,” said McIlroy, who joined Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa and Xander Schauffele in the star-studded field just before the entries closed.
“I haven't played a links course in nearly two years. So it will be nice to get back on a links and get familiar with it again.
“There's nothing better than preparing for a major championship by getting into contention the week before.
“But I need to work pretty hard on my game the next few days before heading into the Scottish Open.”
McIlroy was speaking after signing off with a 74 to finish a disappointing 74 in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, having managed to break par just once in his four circuits at Mount Juliet.
“Not great,” said the 2016 winner of his closing effort. “I didn't drive the ball well at all. I didn't hit a fairway with my driver.
“The rest of the game actually feels okay, irons, but when you're not putting the ball in the fairway, it's hard to score.
“It's nice going to two links courses the next two weeks because there isn't as much of an emphasis as hitting driver as a course like here, so sort of looking forward to that.
“I feel like I've got a pretty good 2-iron that I can hit a lot the next couple of weeks and at least get the ball in play because I feel like when I get the ball in play, I can actually play from there.”