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Gear Dive Special Edition: TaylorMade’s Tomo Bystedt on Dustin Johnson’s switch to the M6, and more

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Dustin Johnson switched from the TaylorMade M5 to M6 ahead of the Saudi International last week, as we reported. DJ wielded the more forgiving, non-adjustable of the company’s latest M-Series offerings to great success, winning the tournament with a dominant driving performance.

Johnny Wunder talked with TaylorMade’s Senior Director, Metalwoods Product Creation about the change.

Walk us through the change

TB: “With DJ, he always looks for an edge…in this case, he played the M5 first…he usually plays our adjustable club out of the gate, he likes that when he’s…learning the club, he likes to move the weights around a bit…and early in the season, we also don’t have the other driver ready for him. Last year, we didn’t have the M4 at quite the same time as the M3…this year we have the M5 ready before we had the M6.”

“A lot of times it comes down to that week and him testing and finding slightly different launch conditions. Sometimes, it’s the golf course, last year, the M4, he won at Kapalua with that, a lot of it was because of the golf course…he went from a 10.5 to a 9.5…wanted to hit the ball a little lower with those fairways running out…”

“This time around, the M6, he hadn’t spend a lot of time with it until he was out there. Spending time with the European Tour team…they walked him through some of the options, and he had good results with it that week. Sometimes, it’s just trying something different…for his high standards, he didn’t have his best driving the week before…obviously, switching to the M6 in Saudi Arabia was amazing off the tee…he was down the middle every time…”

“He doesn’t look for overly technical explanations of why things are working. He wants to know what his numbers are. He’s very Trackman-focused…making sure the ball speeds are up…but he doesn’t have a strong bias as to whether he wants a certain club or another one…so he’s a great guy to work with from that point of view.”

What’s DJ like from a numbers standpoint?

TB: “He’s pretty deep in the 180s ball speed-wise…and the thing about DJ is he’s not really hitting it full speed 95 percent of the time. You see once in a while that little recoil in his swing…those times he’s hitting it hard, but most of the time it’s an 85-90 percent swing…he gets it out there in the low 180s–182, 183 ball speed…but he can crank it up to pretty much 190 if he wants.”

“What he’s looking for week in, week out would be to land on a good ball speed number, to have the launch conditions such that he has a go-to, stock shot that’s going to be in the fairway…and really deep as well…”

“He’s kind of a low-spin guy. He hits up on it nicely, so he’s got great launch conditions…he can go to a fade and still keep the spin in the low 2000s…and that’s what really separates him from a lot of the other players…when a draw player wants to play a fade, that spin starts to creep up, but he’s obviously hitting it really far with the fade…that’s kind of where he’s at right now.”

Listen to the full interview for much more info on Dustin Johnson and more, below.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Ryan Michael

    Feb 9, 2019 at 11:22 am

    My friend Mark just switched from the 2016 M1 to the 2017 M2. I wonder if Tomo would elaborate on this story and the significance of this monumental club change!? Mark cited forgiveness and the $150 price tag for his switch but Tomo could give us the technological details!

  2. Tom

    Feb 8, 2019 at 7:34 pm

    The USGA equipment regulations make it IMPOSSIBLE for manufacturers to introduce any meaningful performance enhancements to the tour OR the general market. Don’t be fooled! Tour players switch to the latest model because they are paid to play them….so the consumer is mislead into thinking there is a difference in results…there can’t be!

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