After watching Dustin Johnson, I have decided to leave most of my clubs in the trunk of my car next time I hit the links. After watching him cruise to a win at the RBC Canadian Open on the weekend, I realized I was carrying too much stuff when I play. If Dustin Johnson can hit a driver / wedge on the 18th hole par 5, then I should be able too as well. Golf is simple if all we have to hit are those two clubs!
Of course I am over-simplifying the situation. I cannot bust drives 300+ yards, nor can I hit a wedge 150 yards, so my new strategy will not work for my game. However, watching Johnson tear up Glen Abbey, he accentuated the requirement of have a great game off the tee and a great short game. I have said this before and do try to build a strong game in these areas, yet I still struggle from time to time.
There is more to Johnson’s long game than just hitting it a country mile. He is extremely accurate. He hits the fairway most of the time and this alone is his greatest strength. He is playing his second shot (usually his approach shot) from the short grass. The value of consistently have a great lie to the green enables Johnson the opportunity to shot low.
Johnson’s wedge play was spectacular as well. He commanded his distance better than any other player last weekend. His accuracy was a bit off sometimes (by a few yards) but his distance control was stellar. Why was his control so dominant? He never over-swung his wedges. His tempo never change. When he wanted to hit different distances, he chose different wedges. What a novel concept I say! This lesson is not lost on me; I have tried to do the same thing for years and with better than average success. Not over-swinging our wedges is important to a consistent and accurate short game.
Dustin Johnson taught me a few things last weekend. Accuracy off the tee and consistent wedge play are critical to low golf scores. I realize as an amateur it is difficult to attain his level of mastery, but it is a goal I can strive to achieve. When it is time to practice again I will focus on these two areas for sure.
How about you?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!