Dustin John­son

Kids, don’t try this swing at home

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Play Your Best -


John­son’s swing is among the big­gest and fastest on the PGA Tour, and it re­quires a foun­da­tion that can han­dle that ex­tra horse­power. “He’s very ath­letic at ad­dress in that nice, wide stance,” says his coach, Butch Harmon. “His up­per body is an­gled a lit­tle back, which sets his head be­hind the ball and gives his left shoul­der room to turn.”


One of John­son’s ten­den­cies is to leave his weight on his left side go­ing back – which can cause him to lift the club too abruptly. Harmon says bet­ter knee ac­tion will help any player make a good weight trans­fer. “When DJ gets that left knee mov­ing in and not to­wards the ball, his weight moves to his right side per­fectly.”


John­son’s bowed left wrist, which shuts the club­face, is his swing’s sig­na­ture. But no­tice his windup, Harmon says. “His hands are high, and his head has ro­tated away from the tar­get, which lets him make a mas­sive shoul­der turn. From there, he knows he has to move left and fully un­wind, or he risks hit­ting a hook.”


Copy­ing John­son’s swing isn’t easy, but there is one part you can steal for your game: his smooth tran­si­tion from back­swing to down­swing. “Look at how his left hip moves to­wards the tar­get,” Harmon says. “This shows he’s mak­ing his tran­si­tion from the ground up. Also, his foot­work is very quiet.”


There’s no lay­ing up with this swing, Harmon says. “His right heel is lead­ing his right toe at im­pact, so there’s no hang back. His head is ro­tat­ing to­wards the tar­get, which helps him keep turn­ing through with his body. And look at that firm left wrist. My dad used to say that wrist should feel like steel, not lin­guine, when you hit the ball.”


One in­di­ca­tor for Harmon that this se­quence is per­fect is John­son’s ideal fin­ish. “Dustin is straight up and down over his left foot. You can see there’s no weight scrunched down on the toe of his right foot,” Harmon says. “And his right shoul­der is closer to the tar­get than his left, prov­ing he made a great body ro­ta­tion.”

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