WITH natural talent, effortless power and a laidback attitude that makes Fred Couples look like he actually cares, big-hitting American Dustin Johnson has all the physical and mental attributes to become one of the game’s greats.
Despite falling agonisingly short in the majors in recent years, most notably when grounding his club in a bunker on the 72nd hole to surrender his chances of winning the 2011 PGA, you have to believe 2014 is the year Johnson finally realises his major potential.
And there was no greater indicator that the TaylorMade staffer is ready for the season ahead given the manner of his eighth PGA Tour title at the WGC-HSBC Champions in China following a three-shot romp over Ian Poulter on Sunday.
When all aspects of his game are in sync, the 29-year-old American is a joy to watch, particularly when it comes to unleashing his new TaylorMade SLDR driver.
Johnson, who finished second in the 2013 PGA Tour driving distance stats on 305 yards, possesses one of the most athletic swings on Tour.
Dustin, like many of the TaylorMade staff players this season, has lofted up to 10.5-degree with his new SLDR due to the lower spinning performance. It appeared to work in Shanghai last week with one particular drive running out to 361 yards. Not bad.
The newly-promoted World No.12 commence his swing with a strong, upright stance and nice knee flex before quickly taking the club back parallel to his toe line while hinging the wrists to store his power.
At the top, Dustin bows his left wrist as he reaches the top of the swing and this contributes to an extremely shut clubface that looks straight up at the sky.
From there, he clears the hips as hard as he can, holds the clubface square, and then makes a full extension as he drives through into impact while keeping his head down.
Let’s take a closer look…