If you’re going for raw power in your golf game, the driver’s the club for you. “The driver’s always the most fun to hit,” seasoned golf pro Dustin Johnson told Men’s Journal in an exclusive interview. “Everybody likes hitting the driver.”
Driver prowess has allowed Johnson to dominate the game for the decade he’s been professional—he won the 2016 U.S. Open, and he has six World Golf Championships victories under his belt. As of this February’s WGC-Mexico Championship, Johnson’s gotten Tour titles for 12 straight years, as long as he’s been in the game.
His driver work is most apparent in his hitting distance. He’s got some of the highest long-drive records in Tour history, including a hotly contested 489-yard miracle drive in 2018. But as of late, he’s begun honing his wedges.
“That was one area in the game where I really felt like I could improve,” he says, crediting his wedge work with letting him play at such high levels for so long. The accuracy is what draws him to the wedges, but to get the ball close to the fairway, that’s where the driver comes in. Both are instrumental to golfing.
As an amateur, DJ’s first set of irons was Lynx Black Cats, then he switched to Ping. In college, he graduated to Mizuno blades, and he’s been working with TaylorMade for 10 years, since he’s been on tour. “They definitely make the best drivers, but they do a great job with everything,” he says. He’s particularly fond of their golf balls.
His favorite perk of working with TaylorMade is the customization. “I’m actually playing M6, where, you know, you can adjust the loft,” he says. That adjustability helps the driver be lenient with players, but the M6 also has a “speed-injected” face that keeps hits fast and accurate. “The M5, you can… you can do a lot more adjusting to because it has the movable weights,” he says. “I feel like I’ve had more success with [the M6].” This year, DJ’s been between M5 and M6 models. In the past, he’s stocked up on M3 and M4 irons.
When it comes to short-range clubs, though, the golfer’s less consistent. In fact, every golf tournament has seemed an opportunity to test new putters. February’s Genesis Open saw him experiment with a TaylorMade Spider Tour mallet and a TP Black Copper Juno blade. Later, he switched to a SuperStroke CounterCore Pistol GT 1.0, then back to TaylorMade for the Spider X. But with his putter changing game to game, at least he’s found two great standbys in the M5 and M6.
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