Dustin Johnson, The Exception Proving The Rule?

dustin-johnson-topI have to say that, having always enjoyed watching Dustin Johnson play (I first wrote about his swing back in 2010, I believe), I am really enjoying his taking over the #1 World Ranking in golf.

Q: Why would I?  

After all, isn’t he a “modern golf swing” player with a planted heel, which violates the very tenets of a mechanically-sound swing?

Well, unless he suddenly breaks down, it seems that Dustin Johnson is the exception to the rule that you can’t make a full hip turn with a planted heel.

It’s either that or he actually could be even that much, much faster and long with his swing with a change, but whatever – the man can swing, and let’s take a look at something which I talked about with regards to planted heel swinging (you can do it in some cases) in the “Kinesiology of the MCS Golf Swing” video:


1 – You can see a huge shoulder turn and a very healthy hip turn here, which is what you want in a proper swing.

2 – His left thigh is actually past vertical here, pointing behind the ball, which is the indicator I use (the “swinging gate” concept) to assess whether or not a full hip turn has occurred.

3 – That left foot seems to be firmly planted!

So, when you take a 6’3″ swinger with the long levers and athleticism of Mr. Johnson, you will get a lot speed, and a lot of power, and DJ certainly has enough power, as he is currently 2nd (and really, basically tied for 1st) in driving distance average with 316.2 yards per drive to Scott Hend’s 316.8 yards per drive.

Dustin Sends It 377 Yards

He also doesn’t seem to have any physical ailments to speak of, which would mean he’s likely not doing anything to harm himself swinging, but here’s the thing – I don’t think he’s the exception to the rule, I just suggested that.

I think he could actually be longer and faster, but here’s the thing – if you’re not interested in hitting the ball as long as you could, and the way you swing is long enough to suit you, power-wise, then I don’t see a problem.

I have a very big problem, as you all know, with someone swinging in a way that is breaking their body down (Jason Day, for example), or I might say that a certain player’s swing model is killing them in the full swing while not actually causing them injury (Jordan Speith, let’s say).

But when it comes to Dustin Johnson, I might offer the theory that he’s swinging within his physical limits with a planted heel swing, and being 6’3″ and very athletic and strong as a bull, that allows him to drive it as long as he does, and to do very well for himself, thank you very much.

However, most people are not 6’3″ and built like a physical specimen fit for the biology lab, so results and mileage will vary.  And where people are harming themselves with the modern golf swing and the planted heel is in the area of trying to get more out of it than they are physically suited, by doing things like rubber-banding the lower back against restricted hips, among other things.

For example, Jason Day could probably drive the ball 275-285 yards all day long with an easier swing and the same model, and have no back problems – but then where would he be, especially if his irons lost yardage equivalent to his driving stats with that easier swing?

He’d be in Jordan Speith territory – see where it’s going?

So, he’s not going to do it, because part of JDay’s success comes from his power game.  And that means, sadly, he’ll either break down and retire, or have to change that swing model.  And we know what’s the likely outcome here.

Back to Dustin Johnson – I don’t post my ball and swing speed numbers to boast about them, because I’ve always been a long hitter, even before my swing research – so I’ve always expected to have high speed and distance numbers.

I post my numbers to show how a proper, mechanically-sound golf swing can take you places that even many pros don’t go, which is being able to drive the ball 350 yards and still be able to walk the next day.

So, you’ve seen the video clip where I hit 194 mph ball speed with a long drive type swing and a regular driver, but here’s what I did with a TaylorMade RBZ with a Tour stiff shaft and a “playing golf” swing, not a “swing out of my shoes” motion.

DJ Hits 183 MPH Ball Speed

Now, that was already two years ago, so it was when I was 45 (since I’m now 47), and I was fat and out of shape (still am, but that’s beside the point), and it is about where Dustin was at the same time with his own golf swing.

Dustin Johnson Hits 188 Ball Speed

So, this is why I post my numbers.

I’m no Dustin Johnson – I couldn’t even come close to his athleticism and power, and I certainly can’t grow any taller, so how do I do it?

With technique, and the numbers show you what technique can do.

I post my numbers because, while Dustin Johnson is a great physical specimen and, man, I love watching him play (a #1 Ranked player with no physical issues and who can hit fairways and greens? Call me, I’m there!), I say that Dustin Johnson is not the exception to the rule, and that he simply  gets more out of his model than the average person would, and that he is actually on the low side of what he can do.

I know what I can do with a planted-heel MCS swing versus a floating heel pivot.  He’s on the low side.

What would be the high side?

Only DJ knows, but like I said, he’s the #1 Ranked player in the world, he’s among the longest hitters in the game, and he doesn’t get hurt.

With all of that going for him, I certainly wouldn’t be telling him to change his swing to a more classic motion, until he gets a little older and creakier – then, he may find his distance and power dropping dramatically without changes if he’s still swinging within himself and not trying for more power.

‘Til then, I’m just going to enjoy watching him play!

Want to learn more about the MCS Golf Swing Theory? Try one of DJ’s “Secrets of the MCS” video shorts available via download.

“Dropping The Hammer!”


Or you can download the very latest MCS  video “MCS – Dropping The Hammer , Part 3 of the MCS Golf Swing Trilogy**

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4 thoughts on “Dustin Johnson, The Exception Proving The Rule?

  1. Robert Thaler

    I watched this guy a while back in person. He swings easy. He does not swing hard. He could hit 350-370 easily if he floated his front heel. He swings easy to insure accuracy and consistency which he does have if you watched him last year.

    If he started floating and on occasion swung hard you would get Mike Austin in his prime. Look out. I do not think the big turn he has now will last actually many more years. Eventually it will shorten and lead to problems I suspect unless he is doing flexibility exercise or yoga with much diligence which I doubt. He is a good ole boy with a hot wife, I doubt he is spending much time ‘stretching’.

    In truth its silly that he plays with a standard length shaft. He could easily accommodate a 48 inch shaft adding ten or fifteen yards automatically but he plays this way due to the social engineering of modern coaching. The driver looks like a toy stick in his hands now.

    Also note that his elbows are double jointed giving him more length in his swing automatically, see how the elbows over extend? Bodies like this also have hyperextension in the spine as well which could account for the large shoulder turn. He would probably have a very deep back bend in yoga. This is genetic and is more frequent in women than in men.

    But students like this can develop problems from hyperflexibility later on, not always but who knows.Most of all I love this cats demeanor. Cool as a cucumber. When a guy like that starts winning, look out.

    1. D Watts Post author

      He’s a physical anomaly. Anyone how thinks that a tip is going to help them to “hit it like Dustin” is dreaming. The only way is to be Dustin…

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