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A little over a year ago, we got to spend some time with Dustin Johnson on our GolfBetter Podcast (Episode #182). We found out about how he got started playing the game, his equipment from TaylorMade and he answered our “5 Questions in 50 Seconds” wonderfully.
He also said that the drive he hit on #18 at the WGC at Doral in 2015 was probably the best shot he’s hit under pressure in his career.
Given his results of his second shots to #18 in the 2015 U.S. Open at Cambridge Bay and again this year at Oakmont, we wonder if he’d give us the same answer?
In any case, take a listen. It’s a great time we spent with the now U.S. Open Champion, courtesy of TaylorMade/adidas Golf.
Major Redemption, indeed.
Tom Brassell: Welcome to GolfBetter at Worldwide Golf Shops. Episode 182. Hello everyone. My name is Tom Brassell and thanks so much for joining us. Whether this is your rookie voyage or you’re a frequent flier on the Star Ship Golf Better or maybe just an occasional traveler with us. Either way it doesn’t matter. We’re just so glad you joined us, and we’re especially glad you joined us today because our special guest comes to us with 9 wins on the PGA tour. He’s 4th in Fed Ex cup points, and he won earlier this year at Trump Derrall. Joining us courtesy of our good friends at TaylorMade Adidas Golf, Mr. Dustin Johnson. Dustin, thanks so much for joining us. It’s great to have you.
Dustin Johnson: Yeah, no problem, Tom. I appreciate it. Appreciate you having me.
Tom Brassell: First and foremost, not only congratulates on the win at Derrall, but congratulations on the family. That is awesome. Everybody’s healthy and happy I’m sure, right?
Dustin Johnson: Yeah, everybody’s doing great, and it is awesome. I couldn’t be happier.
Tom Brassell: Hey, let me ask you what a lot of our listeners like to know this and maybe takes you back in time and maybe jogs your memory back a little bit. Everyone fell in love with this great game somehow somewhere. How did you fill in love with this great game of golf?
Dustin Johnson: I started when I was younger, probably around 7 or 8, but I played all the sports up until about 7th grade. I got started, my dad was a golf pro, so I would go to work with him int eh summer time and played golf. I only played golf in the summer, but that’s how I got started was just summer time, going and hanging out at the golf course with my dad.
Tom Brassell: When did you really dive into it and say hey, the other stuff’s over with. This is a game I’m going to concentrate in?
Dustin Johnson: Probably around 6, 7th grade. For sure 7th grade, because in 7th grade I tried out for the varsity team and mad the varsity team. That’s when I quit playing all the other sports when I could play varsity golf in 7th grade.
Tom Brassell: You’ve had a long relationship and you’re brought to us by our god friends and your good friends at TaylorMade Adidas Golf. Take a look back in the memory bank a little bit and how that all got started. Obviously they’ve been great to you and likewise you’ve been great to them.
Dustin Johnson: Coming out of college, I went and visited with all the major golf industry guys. I just liked the TaylorMade guys the best. I thought they were doing a great job with their equipment even at that point and just talking to those guys and trying out their equipment and understanding they were really focused at that point on taking the game and always improving on their brand. It was just a company that I wanted to be a part of.
Tom Brassell: You mentioned trying out their equipment Dustin. Tell us what goes on with that like when your tour rep comes along and says I’ve got this new driver, I’ve got these new irons I’d like for you to test out. How does that happen and how long is it between when that first time you it that club and maybe when it gets in your bag?
Dustin Johnson: It all depends. Sometimes I’ll hit a driver and it goes int he bag the same day I head it or vice versa with a 3 wood or if we have new woods or even new irons. When they come out they’ll go in the bag right away. Sometimes it takes longer. It just depends with me and their drivers. Drivers for me, as long as I can hit the shots that I want to hit with it, I’ll put it in the bag right away. Irons are a little more challenging, especially when you’re used to a set of irons, or you’ve been playing for a while. Now a days, the equipment they’re making’s so good, it’s pretty easy to get it right in the bag right away.
Tom Brassell: Yeah, when you look back and you think that Jack Nicklaus played a total, I think it was 3 drivers over his whole professional career, not 3 models. Just three clubs. It’s kind of a little different. You just changed, right?
Dustin Johnson: I’m playing the AeroBurner. It’s been really good. I really like it a lot. I’m hitting it further and I don’t feel like I have to swing at it to get it to go a long way. I hit for me it went longer than the R15. It was not contest there. I like the way the Arrow Burner looked a little bit better. Some guys are half and half out here on tour whether the guys play the Arrow Burner or the R15, but I just like the AeroBurner a lot.
Tom Brassell: Take us just a quick walk-through your bag as far as TaylorMade equipment that’s in your bag as of right now.
Dustin Johnson: I’ve got the AeroBurner driver, the R15 3 wood, and then I’m playing the TaylorMade tour preferred blades, 3 through pitching wedge. Then I have all the new wedges, 52, 56, and 60, the tour preferred. I guess they’re called the NPO’s. They’ve been really awesome.
Tom Brassell: Oh, absolutely. Fantastic reviews on the wedges, right?
Dustin Johnson: Yeah, they’re great. They look awesome. I think by far the best wedge they’ve ever made.
Tom Brassell: Would you do anything different when you go to Augusta as far as what’s in your bag or do you think it might stay the same set up you are right now?
Dustin Johnson: I don’t ever change my bag no matter what course I’m playing. My bag stays the same. Just this year I just switched 4 wedges. I used to just play a 54 and 60, or 48, 54, and 60. Now I go 48, 52, 56, 60. I just switched that this year. I go driver, 3 wood, 3 iron, when before I went driver, 3 wood, 5 wood.
Tom Brassell: Yeah.
Dustin Johnson: I just was thinking back last year and the past couple years of how many times I really hit a 5 wood and it was very few over the last few years. I figured that extra wedge would help me more than a 5 wood.
Tom Brassell: Well with that extra wedge you’ve got all the gaps covered in the short game so you don’t have to gear down on anything. It’s pretty much the same swing each time. Is that right?
Dustin Johnson: Correct. That was an area where I need to improve a little bit is with wedge play, so that was another reason why I did that is to try to improve my wedge game.
Tom Brassell: One area that we couldn’t help but notice in Derrall that you improved and the announcers kept saying it over and over again, is my goodness your fitness. Holy cow. It’s like the new and improved Dustin Johnson 3.0 or something. Talk about what you’ve been doing as far as physical fitness and diet, because you’ve always looked good but now it just looks fantastic.
Dustin Johnson: Yeah. It’s just gotten a lot more … I’ve just really focused on the gym a lot more than I have in the past. I would work out but just not like on a consistent basis. Definitely, when I was at a tournament, I might work out on Monday, Tuesday, and then Wednesday through Sunday I would … I would go in the gym but just more warm ups in the morning and a little bit in the afternoon where now I’m working out every day except for Sunday. Sunday’s my only day off, but every other day I’m lifting, which I wasn’t doing that before. Doral, at Doral, we teed off late every day so it worked out that I lifted every morning before I teed off. I would lift early, like I’d go in and do a full workout and then about an hour and 15 minutes before I’d tee off I’d do a little warm up or ride the bike, stretch, do some band work.
Tom Brassell: How about your diet? What you put in the machine? Has that changed any or has it just been the fitness routine?
Dustin Johnson: I’ve always try to eat fairly healthy. I don’t always stick to a strict diet. I still like to go have a burger and fries, eat some pizza, ice cream, things like that. Mostly I try to eat healthy for the most part. I haven’t really changed much in the diet, just working gout a lot more.
Tom Brassell: As we close, we’ve got about a minute or so left, I want to do the 5 questions, 50 seconds with Dustin Johnson, first thing that comes to ind. Are you ready? We’ll put you on the clock.
Dustin Johnson: Sure.
Tom Brassell: Question number one for Dustin. Clemson or South Carolina?
Dustin Johnson: South Carolina. No doubt.
Tom Brassell: Question number 2. The major championship you would most want to win?
Dustin Johnson: Masters.
Tom Brassell: Questions number 3. You’re in the Ryder cup. You’ve got a 4 ball match. You look at your opponents, it’s Rory McIlroy and Henrik Stenson. Captain Davis Love comes over to you and says Dustin you get to pick your partner. Who’d you pick?
Dustin Johnson: Matt Kuchar.
Tom Brassell: Question number 4. Will Tiger win again?
Dustin Johnson: Yes.
Tom Brassell: Question number 5. At Doral on Sunday, the drive on number 18, was that probably the bets clutch shot you’ve ever hit under pressure that you can remember? If not, which one was?
Dustin Johnson: Yeah, that was pretty good drive. It’s a really tough one. Maybe one of the more clutch T shots for sure.
Tom Brassell: Dustin, thanks for joining us. Final words for our listeners here at Worldwide Golf Shops from Dustin Johnson as the masters closes in in a couple weeks?
Dustin Johnson: Thanks for having me.
Tom Brassell: Oh, we appreciate it. Thanks to you Dustin. Good luck to you this week, next week, and the rest of the year. Well be following you, man. Take care.
Dustin Johnson: All right. Thank you.
Tom Brassell: That was pretty special. Dustin Johnson joining us here on Golf Better courtesy of our good friends at TaylorMade Adidas Golf, and he works out every day before the round, except Sunday lifting weights. Boy, how the game is changed. Back in the early days, that was taboo and now it’s a necessity. Special thanks to our good friends at TaylorMade Adidas Golf for setting that up and to Dustin Johnson for joining us and to you our listeners. We’ll do it again next time. We’ll have another episode of Golf Better at Worldwidegolfshops.com. So long everyone.