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That one time Dustin Johnson got super protective over his M3 weight setup

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Recently, I recounted conversations with Dustin Johnson and Keith Sbarbaro (VP of tour relations at TaylorMade) regarding DJ’s switch into a TaylorMade P-790 long iron, DJ proto irons, and TaylorMade Hi-Toe wedges, including a 64-degree wedge.

At the time, TaylorMade’s M3 driver, which is currently in DJ’s bag, was off limits to write about. Given that TaylorMade has officially launched its new M3 and M4 products, however, I can now reveal some very interesting tidbits about DJ and his M3 driver.

As previously addressed, DJ does not like to change driver shafts and will likely continue to play a Fujikura Speeder 661 Evolution II Tour Spec for the remainder of his playing career — I joke, but he really might. So aside from the shaft, let’s get into 3 things I learned about DJ and his M3 driver based on discussions with Keith and DJ, and from a hitting clinic at The Kingdom last month in front of 50 or so media members.

1) Dustin’s thoughts on Twist Face

“Twist Face” is TaylorMade’s new design that makes the high-toe area of the face more open and more lofted, and the low heel portion more shut and lower lofted. The goal here is to reduce the slice off the low heel and reduce the hook off the high toe. For Dustin, he seemed most excited to get relief on his high-toe miss.

“Twist Face really helps my miss on the high toe that goes left,” Dustin told me. “So this will definitely help with that. It works, and it’s gonna help the consumer.”

You gotta love the world No. 1 golfer thinking about the consumer.

2) The Long Get Longer

In 2017, Dustin Johnson ranked 12th in ball speed on the PGA Tour, averaging 180.06 mph per drive, with his fastest recorded speed being 184.65 mph. If his early testing with the TaylorMade M3 is any indication, however, he may be picking up some speed this year.

Have a look at this Tweet from the driving clinic at the Kingdom. DJ says his ball speed is up 3 mph, and the 185.1 ball speed is higher than any of the drives he recorded in 2017.

That could partly be due to how DJ and his fitter Keith have the weights adjusted…

3) Do NOT touch DJ’s weight setup in his M3 driver

Since the clinic was put on by TaylorMade, of course the company wants to show how much influence the weights in the M3’s new Y-track have on trajectory. That’s a reasonable thing to expect from a company, especially with a new CG adjustable driver and arguably the world’s best driver of the golf ball to use as your experimenter.

As such, the speaking host of the clinic asked DJ’s fitter to adjust the weights in his M3 driver to showcase the different settings and how the golf ball would react.

DJ, however, did not want his weight settings to be touched. It seemed he was joking at first, but after he expressed his discomfort with adjusting his weight setup that had been dialed in based on testing, it was obvious he was dead serious.

I’m paraphrasing, but DJ said something to the effect of… “if you move the weights and then when we move em back and it’s not performing the same, I’m gonna be mad.”

So, in order for the show to go on and have DJ hit shots with different settings, the TaylorMade team had to fetch an entirely new driver to play around with. The M3 driver they used, however, didn’t even have his Fujikura Speeder shaft in it! While DJ didn’t mention anything about the wrong shaft, you know that hitting a different shaft probably didn’t sit well with him since he’s been “essentially playing the same shaft since coming out on Tour.”

Funny stuff, and lesson learned: Don’t touch Dustin’s adjustable weights, or you will have earned an enemy.

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He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. L BRANDT

    May 31, 2018 at 11:43 pm

    “if you move the weights and then when we move em back and it’s not performing the same, I’m gonna be mad.”

    LOL, I can totally relate to this…even if you think something is different, but really isn’t, it’s going to mess with your head

  2. Simms

    Feb 12, 2018 at 12:52 am

    Never had much luck moving the weights around with drivers (have had several with movable weights) then I read an article that made sense..It basically said a player with a firm grip will see very little difference with movable weights where a player with a lighter grip will be more likely to see results moving those few grams around….

  3. Kaven

    Jan 7, 2018 at 9:06 am

    Lolll it’s funny because Dustin uses a M4 for the Hawaii first tournament???

    • Jack

      Jan 10, 2018 at 3:43 am

      Yeah LOL> Guess he really didn’t want the weights adjusted so chose one that didn’t have adjustable weights!

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Forum Thread of the Day: “Best 3-wood of the newest releases?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from Kaexo, who asks fellow GolfWRX members for their opinion on what they feel is the best 3 wood of the recent releases. Described as the “hardest spot in the bag to settle on” by one of our members, an array of different 3 woods get a mention in Kaexo’s thread.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • Phil6380: “Cobra F8 is the best I’ve hit. Something about those rails when hitting it out of the turf. I have no fear of hitting down when needed. It’s also my most consistent club off the tee BY FAR! I give up a little distance, but when I need to hit a tight fairway, or I’m not hitting my best, that’s the club I’m grabbing.”
  • calfan36: “King LTD is great if you have some speed/launch. Very low spin, very forgiving, and an amazing feel. Also, I love that I can play it shorter and easily add weight via the space port.”
  • aussieb: “The two best fairways of recent releases are the G400 and Epic SZ for different reasons. G400 for forgiveness and great launch conditions from just about any lie, plus it sounds extremely solid.  Might still make my bag if I can find the right shaft combo, the Epic SZ is better for me than the Rogue for adjustability, ball speeds and head shape.  I found it worked off the short grass better than anything, and if I miss the fairway, it’s more likely to be the hybrid or a layup.”
  • ChipNRun: “Reality check: for many golfers, the best 3W is a 4W – slightly shorter shaft for better control, and extra loft to enhance launch.”

Entire Thread: “Best 3 wood of the newest releases?”

 

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Bargain Challenge 2: Putting together a $500 set of clubs for a mid-handicapper

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Last week, I posted about what clubs you can get with $500. I built a set that I would use myself to show that even golfers with particular specs can find what they want for a decent price. Overall the feedback on the post was good, but I did want to follow up since one of the commenters put me up to a challenge. See below.

Well alright James, challenge accepted.

Challenge: A set of mid-handicap clubs with stiff shafts for less than $500.

Driver

Since I was going to be building a set of a mid-handicapper, my goal was to find a driver that got solid distance, but was also forgiving. I found this R9 460 in 10.5 degrees for $65. While the paint has seen better days, this should perform exactly how we want it to. Plus it is adjustable.

Wood

The 3-wood search stumped me for a bit. I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to go with. I knew I didn’t want a strong three wood and I knew I needed something with forgiveness. After some searching I found a Ping K15 16 degree with a stiff shaft. While the loft is higher, I have found that many higher handicap amateurs can find good use out of a higher lofted 3-wood. On top of that, the K15 is an incredibly easy to hit and forgiving head.

Hybrid

I knew what most mid-handicappers would have a hard time hitting a 2 or 3-iron, so my mind immediately went to a 3-iron hybrid. After some searching, I stumbled on this Ping Rapture V2 with a stiff shaft. Historically, the Raptures have been really easy to hit which makes this a great addition to the bag.

Irons

I had the hardest time in this entire process finding irons. There were just too many to choose from. You had great player irons like the Ping S57 and you also had the super game improvement Adams irons. To find something slightly more in the middle, but still easy to hit, I went with the 2012 TaylorMade CBs. A great year for TaylorMade irons and easy to hit with the irons only going down to the 4. This is where someone can have some fun with their choices if they want.

Wedges

Wedge shopping was still hard this time around. Since the PW in the iron set was strong, I knew I needed a stronger gap wedge. I found a Callaway X-Jaws 50-degree for $24. Really, the entire point of the 50 is to have another iron and bridge the gap to the sand wedge. Speaking of the sand wedge, I went with the 56-degree Ping Gorge SS wedge. It has good grooves and will get the job done around the greens. For the lob wedge, I went with the Cleveland RTX 2.0 60 degree: A really solid wedge with good groves to give you the zip you need around the greens.

Putter

And finally, I went with another great blade putter for $55. Honestly, there were a lot of different options in the range from mallets to blades, so don’t be afraid to search around.

Total

In summary, anyone and any skill level and swing speed can find something in the used market. In fact, it was even easier to find clubs in stiff than X-stiff because most X-stiff clubs are custom and are in less demand making, them more rare and expensive than stiff clubs. Take a look, you never know what you may find.

Related: Bargain Challenge: Putting together a set of clubs for $500

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Forum Thread of the Day: “What’s the best budget wedge?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from bamagator, who asks fellow GolfWRX members what wedges they feel offer the best bang for your buck. As always, our members display their diverse taste, however, Maltby wedges prove to be a particularly popular choice.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • BIG STU: “Depending on the fine line of how you really want to do it and the budget Maltby is a good bet. Their stuff is as good of quality as any. If you are able to build your own clubs, you can do the shafts, and grips like you want them. You can also mix bounces and even style of heads within the set.”
  • Orlandogolfguru: “Rock bottom t7 for 69. Dicks – gg rtx 3 for 69. Or Maltby for like 39. I have all of them and can’t decide which I like best. They are all great, depends in the shape you like really. Can’t go wrong.”
  • Lefty431: “Don’t sleep on Wilson FG tour pmp wedges…  especially tour grind!  They seem to be readily available and super affordable!!”
  • kiw1982: “Wilson PMP. You are welcome.”

Entire Thread: “Best Budget Wedge”

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