Dustin Johnson wins U.S. Open after switching back into some older clubs

Dustin Johnson wins U.S. Open after switching back into some older clubs

Equipment

Dustin Johnson wins U.S. Open after switching back into some older clubs

In the run-up to this season’s Masters, Dustin Johnson changed his driver and irons. His solid results included a fourth-place showing at the Northern Trust Open and a tie for 14th in defense of his title at the WGC-Cadillac Championship.

Johnson then put his old driver and irons back in the bag, and he has earned five top-10 finishes in seven events, including his first major championship, since changing back.

Here are the clubs Johnson used at the U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club, and how they found their way into his bag:

DRIVER: TaylorMade M1 (10.5 degrees), with Fujikura Speeder Evolution 2.0 Tour Spec 661X shaft

Johnson was among the PGA Tour players who switched into the TaylorMade M1 driver at the first event where it was made available, the 2015 BMW Championship in September. He used the M1 for five months, then tested the TaylorMade M2 driver at Pebble Beach in February and switched to it before the Northern Trust Open. He switched back into the M1 at the WGC-Dell Match Play Championship in March.

Johnson’s M1 and M2 drivers have all had 10.5 degrees of loft and been fitted with the same Fujikura Speeder Evolution 2.0 Tour Spec 661X shaft.

Johnson averaged 316.75 yards off the tee at Oakmont, and hit 57 percent of the fairways. Several times during the broadcast, Fox Sports used TrackMan data to show Johnson’s performance off the tee. On the 12th hole Sunday, after being told he might incur a penalty after his round, Johnson generated a clubhead speed of 127 mph that produced 185 mph of ball speed. The shot had a 9.6-degree launch angle, 2,510 rpm of spin and carried 328 yards before rolling approximately 20 yards farther down the fairway.

FAIRWAY WOOD: TaylorMade M1 (17 degrees), with Aldila RIP Alpha 90X shafts

With thick rough lining the fairways, several players took out their 5-woods at Oakmont and added a driving iron. Johnson, who often carries both 16-degree and 19-degree fairway woods, was one of them.

According to TaylorMade, his M1 fairway wood is a 16.5 degree HL 3-wood that has been adjusted to 17 degrees. Keith Sbarbaro, TaylorMade’s vice president of tour operations and a close friend of Johnson’s, told Golfweek in February that Johnson hits his 19-degree M1 5-wood about 260 yards, so going with a 17-degree model likely gave Johnson a club that he could hit high in the air and carry approximately 280 yards.

TaylorMade said Johnson has both sole weights positioned toward the toe to help him hit shots that work from left to right more easily.

IRONS: TaylorMade UDI (2), with Project X HZRDUS Black 105 X shaft; Tour Preferred MB (3-PW), with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts

Johnson added a TaylorMade UDI 2-iron specifically to handle the firm and fast fairways expected at Oakmont. With soft conditions for much of the event, he did not hit it as often as expected. The Project X HZRDUS Black shaft is stiff through its entire length and designed for fast-swinging players who want to lower their launch angle and spin rate.

 

At the 2016 Northern Trust Open, Johnson put a set of TaylorMade PSi Tour irons into play, but like his M1 driver, his Tour Preferred MB irons returned at the WGC-Dell Match Play in March. They are a classic muscleback blade with minimal offset, a thin topline and a narrow sole.

WEDGES: TaylorMade Tour Preferred EF (52, 60 degrees), with KBS Tour Wedge 130X Black Nickel shafts

Sbarbaro said there are times Johnson will opt for a four-wedge setup that includes his pitching wedge with 52-, 56- and 60-degree wedges, but typically he uses just three. He added that Johnson’s wedges are standard and do not have special or unique grinds on the soles.

PUTTER: Titleist Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS prototype

The GSS stands for German stainless steel, which is a very soft, very expensive material that Cameron uses in some putters made for professionals. It is not in any putters designed for retail. Johnson has played several Scotty Cameron heel-toe weight blade putters over the years, with the difference between many of them being weight. During the West Coast Swing in 2016, he asked for a slightly heavier putter to handle the bumpy poa annua greens.

BALL: TaylorMade Tour Preferred X

Johnson switched to the 2015 version of the Tour Preferred X ball when it was made available. It is a five-piece ball with an 87 compression. TaylorMade gave it a thicker cast urethane cover that the company says creates more greenside spin.

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