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6 things that make Dustin Johnson one of the biggest stars on the PGA Tour

Dustin Johnson had his career best season in 2016
Sameer Bahl
FEATURED WRITER
Modified 01 Feb 2017, 13:46 IST
Top 5 / Top 10
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Athleticism

Dustin Johnson currently ranks first on the PGA TOUR in driving distance, averaging 319 yards off the tee. You’ll appreciate his talent through these power analytics: His driving distance in 2016 was 310.1 yards, second on the US PGA Tour; ball speed at 181.40 mph, sixth-best on tour; clubhead speed at 122.08, ranking eighth.

He is known for being one of the best athletes on the PGA TOUR. DJ follows an intense workout routine which is responsible for his unbelievable strength and flexibility. He often cross-trains by swimming. He grew up playing basketball and was a pitcher and shortstop in Little League baseball before deciding to concentrate on golf at age 13.

He can do a 360-degree spinning basketball dunk and could palm a basketball in the seventh grade. He even beat NBA player Shane Battier in a three-point contest this past March at the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship.


Family man 

He is engaged to Paulina Gretzky, the daughter of Wayne Gretzky, a Canadian National Hockey League (NHL) legend and Hockey Hall of Fame member. Gretzky has set more than 25 records, including most career points, most career goals and most career assists.

He and Paulina have one son, Tatum, who was born in January 2015. Paulina is a model, pop singer and celebrity figure. She also appeared on the May 2014 cover of Golf Digest Magazine.

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Love you both so much. So thankful for my family @paulinagretzky Merry Christmas to all!

A photo posted by Dustin Johnson (@djohnsonpga) on

 

His younger brother, Austin, started caddying for him at the 2013 HSBC Champions. Austin played basketball at Charleston Southern and later transferred to the College of Charleston.

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Unbelievable golfer

He played golf at Coastal Carolina University from 2003-2007 and turned professional in late 2007.

He was a member of the 2007 Walker Cup and Palmer Cup teams, alongside many other PGA TOUR pros, including Rickie Fowler, Billy Horschel, Chris Kirk, Webb Simpson, Kyle Stanley, Brian Harman and Jamie Lovemark.

Also Read: 5 things you didn't know about golf's fashion icon, Rickie Fowler

His first PGA TOUR victory was at the 2008 Turning Stone Resort Championship in upstate New York. He was a member of the 2010 and 2012 Ryder Cup teams as well as The Presidents Cup 2011 team.

He has nine PGA TOUR wins and two amateur wins. Johnson has a win in nine straight seasons; Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer are the only other players to do so. Not bad company. 

Johnson’s only the fourth player ever to finish runner-up at the US Open and win it the next year; After his three-putt on the 72nd hole last year at Chambers Bay, DJ followed up the second-place finish with a win at Oakmont. He joins only Bobby Jones, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods as the only other players to follow up a second-place at a US Open with a win the next year.

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Dustin’s coach is Butch Harmon’s son, Claude Harmon III

His swing isn’t completely homegrown. DJ worked a lot on his posture, setup and balance in college. He worked a lot on making his swing more efficient with Butch Harmon, and now works with Butch’s son, Claude Harmon III.

He has a bowed left wrist at the top of his backswing, a move that increases the speed of his downswing significantly.


OFF the course

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Johnson took a leave of absence from golf in 2014. He announced his decision was “To seek professional help for personal challenges.” Golf.com cited unnamed sources that Johnson had been suspended for failing a third drug test. Johnson denies those reports and cites off-course stress perpetuated his excessive drinking and partying.

Johnson had his share of off-the-course trouble when he was younger. At age 16, DJ was convicted of second-degree burglary of a handgun in a 2001 incident. He was later pardoned. In 2009, he was arrested for DUI, which was dismissed when he pleaded guilty to reckless driving.

Also Read: 5 core Rules of Golf to undergo radical changes

Dustin is a big suits guy: DJ estimates he has some 30 Prada and Dolce & Gabbana suits and he says half of them still have tags on them!

 

Merry Christmas!!

A photo posted by Dustin Johnson (@djohnsonpga) on


Charitable efforts

He owns a golf school in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, at TPC Myrtle Beach, which offers instructions for golfers of all ages and skill levels. He formed the Dustin Johnson Foundation in 2010 to support youth initiatives, animals and the military.

Published 25 Jan 2017, 12:18 IST
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