I don’t get why GolfDigest is so breathless about Dustin Johnson’s driver numbers when they are largely the same as they were over a year and a half ago.
If you were around at the beginnning of 2015, you’ll remember that TaylorMade had a commercial out showing that Dustin was getting really good numbers with his Aero Burner driver, and let’s compare the numbers on two drives from then, and now.
First, you can see the commercial from early 2015 below, and there is also the April 2015 posting I wrote comparing his ball speed to mine (around the same on a good drive)…
2015 – Dustin Johnson Hits 187 mph Ball Speed
I have to tell you, TaylorMade does make excellent drivers, but you didn’t have to replace them every cycle, because I’m still crushing my TaylorMade Rocketballz driver which is a 2012 TM product – why would I replace a driver that gets me the same numbers as DJ does in the above commercial?
2017 – DJ Hits 187 mph Ball Speed
So, now GolfDigest is making a big deal about Dustin Johnson doing… the same thing, basically, that he was doing two years ago, as I’m assuming he didn’t just start getting those numbers in early 2015…
The TM commercial has Dustin hitting these numbers on a drive:
Club Speed – 127.3 MPH
Ball Speed – 187.9 MPH
Total Distance – 347.0 Yards
Dustin – 2014/15
And O.K., back to the GolfDigest article on Johnson’s “ridiculous” numbers:
We’ll have to wait and see if Dustin Johnson can maintain the torrid golf that made him the 2016 PGA Tour Player of the Year. In the meantime, we know one thing: He’s not getting any shorter off the tee.
So on this drive, we get:
Club Speed – 123.9 MPH (nearly 4 mph lower than the commercial)
Ball Speed – 186.5 MPH (about 1 mph lower than the commercial)
Total Distance – 355.4 Yards (8 yards higher than the commercial)
And here, you can see that from two years ago, although Johnson’s numbers were actually higher than they are now in club and ball speed, his total distance 8 yards longer.
So, nearly a club longer with reduced club and ball speed – it could simply be different conditions, but if you’re taking algorithm-produced numbers, it would indicate that Johnson is enjoying some increased ball technology (you can’t increase the numbers with the club itself, as they are regulated and have been for some time).
And of course, not to boast (actually, I guess I am), I was getting nearly 10 mph higher ball speed than Dustin, in the fall of 2015, with my standard length Geek Dot-Com This Driver, in the mid-190’s, goofing around near the end of the season and when I wasn’t even swinging regularly:
DJ Hits 194 MPH Ball Speed – 2015
Just goes to show you that the “ridiculous” numbers of the longest hitting player on the PGA Tour are around those of a 45 year old couch potato who drinks more beers than he hits balls – the difference, of course, is that DJ swings MCS!
I’m sure, in fact I know that Dustin Johnson is a better athlete than I am. The difference in power and distance is not in athletic ability – it’s in the technique that we use.
Johnson is an awesome athlete, but he swings modern planted-heel style, and that lets an older, out of shape and lesser athletically inclined guy like myself outdo him in raw speed numbers because I use a classic, free-hip technique – that of MCS.
And it shows you the difference it can make, even at the top levels – imagine Dustin Johnson or Rory McIlroy or Jason Day swinging in the pure classic form – that would ridiculous, my friends!