Who Is He?
If you could choose the physical attributes for a golfer that you were designing to hit the ball a long way, Dustin Johnson would come pretty close to ticking most of the boxes. At 6 feet 4 inches tall, strong, lean and with superb flexibility, it is with little surprise that Dustin Johnson often leads the driving distance statistics at many golf tournaments.
What He Does?
Having worked with Butch Harmon over the previous few seasons, Dustin Johnson is trying hard to maintain a taller spine angle at set up and throughout his golf swing. This allows him to effortlessly deliver his fast uncoiling body into a powerful impact position to drive the ball over 308 yards on average.
From his athletic set up position, Dustin Johnson's superb flexibility sometimes gets him into trouble by allowing him to over swing the golf club, well beyond the horizontal position, at the top of the backswing. This is particularly noticeable with his longer clubs and his driver.
The most prominent and noticeable action in the Johnson golf swing is the bowed nature of his left wrist at the top of the swing. This produces a very closed club face and Johnson has to work excessively hard during the downswing phase to ensure that the face does not return closed to impact and produce a hooked or pulled golf shot.
What Can You Learn?
Even if you are not naturally gifted with Johnson's physical attributes, you should endeavour to make the most of what you have by assuming a confident and athletic set up position. Making a full backswing to the top of your swing, you should work hard to maintain the correct spine angle, and for maximum distance like Johnson you should release aggressively in your downswing with your hips, and focus on extending your hands and arms as far towards the target as possible. Johnson is noticeably extending his hands down the ball to target line in the early part of his follow through.
What Should You Avoid?
Having a bowed left wrist at the top of the backswing as Johnson does would cause most golfers to pull or hook the golf ball due to the closed nature of the club face. Work hard to maintain a flat left wrist in the second half of your backswing motion, so that at the top of the swing the badge on the back of your golf glove points in front of you rather than straight up to the sky. This should maintain a more neutral club face which in turn should result in straighter more accurate golf shots.