Dustin Johnson has a shut clubface and strong grip yet repeatedly produces a power fade off the tee. Dan Whittaker explains how
Let’s have a look at the Dustin Johnson driver swing, which produces an average of 315 yards off the tee.
DJ has quite a strong grip but he does a phenomenal job of matching up the patterns in his swing. Everybody talks about the bowed wrist at the top of the swing and the clubface being closed but one of the big things that he’s got that gives him so much power is that he’s completely uninhibited in his rotation going back.
He gets massive shoulder turn and has really good hip rotation and from there he gets incredible separation on the downswing where the lower body is starting down.
But the thing that enables him to hit it so straight, with all this power in his body, is the fact that he matches up the release at impact with the clubface condition is at the top.
Dustin Johnson's golf swing. 💪 pic.twitter.com/GRmB15sf2J
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) July 30, 2017
He doesn’t really let the hands release at impact; he’s got quite a bent right elbow with the hands relatively forward which means the clubface is quiet through impact.
Those things are really what enable him to hit it so straight with all the power that he’s got.
If you didn’t have DJ’s power you would struggle to be able to have a clubface that is that closed because you wouldn’t be able to get the body rotation to get the ball up in the air.
But, because he’s got so much speed, it’s a great match for him having that bowed left wrist and closed clubface but then rotating hard with the body and maintaining the flex in the right elbow. And when the flex is maintained in the elbow, he has more right-side bend, as in the right shoulder, hip and elbow are all coming in together.
Then because he does that and nothing with the hands, the clubface is super passive through impact and that’s what’s giving him so much accuracy as well as power.
Without the speed, you couldn’t play with it. That’s why it’s a bit more unique to him.
Let's just take a moment to admire Dustin Johnson's swing… 💯 💯 💯 pic.twitter.com/tMW5euTdpM
— GOLF.com (@GOLF_com) July 29, 2018
These days he hits a fade off the tee and if you have a closed clubface, as long as you get the path left of the face, you’re going to hit little cuts. When you look at when he played the high draw, the mechanics of the swing really weren’t that different.
His swing doesn’t really look any different from when he was at college and he came out of college hitting a high draw. For me, it’s just that he’s learnt to shift the path left.
Brooks Koepka has a closed clubface and plays with a cut, they just do it in different ways. Where they both are at the top of the backswing lends itself, because they’ve got the body speed, to being able to get as open and as left as they want and the ball’s never going to go there.
The closed clubface will always want the ball to start left of target. So, if you’ve got a closed clubface and are playing with a draw, if you get the path right and the clubface comes through a bit left, its going way left.
Whereas if you’re playing a cut and you know the ball is going to start up that left side, all you have to do ensure that the path is more left than the face.
Dustin Johnson driver swing: What you can take from this
This is not a move that you could teach many people. The thing to take away is if you have certain things in your swing DNA then stick with it.
If you’ve got a shut face with a strong grip, for example, just make sure you’re matching your styles.
Also he doesn’t swing any differently with any club in the bag, they are just his mechanics and he has total trust in them.