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Here’s why Dustin Johnson is using a 9-wood at the 2022 PGA Championship

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If you tuned into Friday’s coverage of the 2022 PGA Championship, you may have noticed that Dustin Johnson hit a 9-wood at the par-3 8th hole at Southern Hills Country Club.

Wait, a 9-wood?

Yes, a 9-wood. And he made birdie on the hole after hitting his tee shot to 33 feet 5 inches.

While Johnson has been using a TaylorMade Stealth 21-degree 7-wood throughout this season, he typically transitions into either a TaylorMade Stealth Rescue 22-degree club or a TaylorMade DJ Proto 3-iron. This week, however, at the lengthy Southern Hills setup, Johnson opted to put a TaylorMade Stealth 24-degree 9 wood in the bag.

A TaylorMade rep commented on Johnson’s switch this week:

“In our testing, DJ consistently hit his 9-wood 245 yards, which is nearly the exact same distance he produces with his 3-iron. With the 9 wood, however, he hits it much higher and gets more spin, living around 4200 rpm.”

Below are the specs for Johnson’s new club:

Model: TaylorMade Stealth (24 degrees)
Lie angle: 60 degrees
Shaft: LA Golf prototype (tipped 2 inches)
Swing weight: D4

In case you missed it, Johnson also switched into a new TaylorMade Spider GT Splitback putter this week. For more on that switch, click here!

Check out all of our photos from the 2022 PGA Championship this week.

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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.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Dustin Johnson explains why he’s using a 9-wood at the 2022 U.S. Open – GolfWRX

  2. Pingback: Details on Dustin Johnson’s PGA Championship putter change – GolfWRX

  3. Benny

    May 22, 2022 at 7:57 pm

    Dang 245?! Thats ridiculous and loved seeing him hut it.

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Equipment

Dustin Johnson explains why he’s using a 9-wood at the 2022 U.S. Open

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Back in May, at the PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club, it was revealed on the telecast that Dustin Johnson was using a 9-wood for his tee shot on the par-3 8th hole. More specifically, as GolfWRX learned shortly after, the club was a TaylorMade Stealth 9-wood with a whopping 24 degrees of loft (roughly the same amount as a standard 4-iron these days).

In the past several years, 7-woods and 9-woods have become widespread on Tour, and they’ve even started sneaking into the bags of some of the game’s longest hitters and best ball strikers. Back in the day, such high-lofted fairway woods may have been cause for ridicule among playing partners, or at least a snarky comment, but those days are far in the rearview. If major champions aren’t “too good” to use them, then your buddy who’s better with an eraser than a sand wedge certainly isn’t one to talk.

Prior to the 2022 PGA Championship, Johnson had already made the leap into the realm of high-lofted fairways, having used a TaylorMade SIM 7-wood and a TaylorMade Stealth 7-wood over the past few years.

But the 9-wood was new for him at the time.

Flash forward to Wednesday at the 2022 U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., and Johnson still has the 9-wood in his bag. Of course, it was hovering over a TaylorMade P730 “DJ Proto” blade 3-iron, which he still keeps around depending on conditions, but the 9-wood remains a first-string starter in his gamer setup.

Curious about his thoughts on the 9-wood, and what benefits he sees from such a high-lofted wood, I asked Johnson himself on Wednesday at the 2022 U.S. Open.

Here’s everything he had to say:

“I like my 7-wood so much that I asked Keith (Sbarbaro, the VP of Tour Operations at TaylorMade), ‘Do we have a 9-wood?’

“He’s like, ‘Yeah, we got one.’

“So he got me one and he built it up.

“I started hitting it and it’s…I hit it a lot better than I can hit a 3-iron. More so if I have to hit it into a green; it’s a little bit easier to stop it. I still bring my 3-iron with me for golf courses where I need it off the tee. Probably at like the Open Championship I’ll use a 3 iron instead of [the 9 wood]. It just takes the place of my 3 iron, which honestly…there’s not much difference between a 3 and a 4 iron as far as carry wise. I think a 4 iron is a little easier to get up in the air. So, for me, it just fit really nicely in the bag.

I hit a nice high cut with it, but I can turn it over if I need to. It’s a little bit easier for me to turn it over if I need, especially getting it up in the air and turning it over if I have to. I mean, I can hit a low draw with a 3 iron. It’s gonna roll forever. But to hit one and stop it on the green is a little bit difficult.”

With that being said, I pose a related question to amateur golfers (regardless of handicap, really): If Dustin Johnson says a 9-wood is easier to hit than a 3-iron, and that his 3-iron carries about the same distance as his 4-iron, then why would any of us still willingly use a 3-iron? I’ll leave that up to the comment section.

DJ’s full WITB setup at the 2022 U.S. Open

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Whats in the Bag

Kalle Samooja WITB June (2022)

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Driver: Callaway Epic Max LS (10.5 degrees @9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 6 X

3-wood: Callaway Rogue ST Triple Diamond (15 degrees @16 degrees), Titleist TSi2 (15 degrees @16 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Red 7 X

 

Hybrid: Titleist 818 H1 (19 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI Hybrid 95 X

Irons: Callaway X Forged UT (25 degrees), Callaway Apex Pro Forged (4-PW)
Shafts: Project X Rifle 125 6.5

Wedges: Callaway Jaws Forged (50-10, 60-10), Callaways Jaws MD5 (54-12X, 60-12X)
Shafts: Project X Rifle 125 6.5 (50), Project X LZ 125 6.5 (54, 60-12X), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S300 (60-10)

Putter: Callaway Toulon Design Daytona Beach
Shaft: Odyssey Stroke Lab
Grip: Super Stroke CounterCore Flatso

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Grips: Golf Pride MCC

 

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Equipment

Never bagging a hybrid? – GolfWRXers discuss

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2019-ping-hybrid

In our forums, our members have been talking about hybrid-less setups. WRXer ‘A.Princey’ has never found a hybrid that he would put in the bag, kicking off the thread saying:

“Just curious here is all, but how many folks have never truly played a hybrid on the course? I’ve hit plenty of large irons in the past, but long irons/woods in general aren’t an area of struggle for me, so I’ve sort of bucked the hybrid trend. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve hit several shots with one once, but they’ve never really appealed to me, or at least not yet. 

I’m not anti-hybrid, it’s just that I haven’t gotten on with one enough to justify it, considering I can still hit low lofted irons consistently high/well. I absolutely hate seeing the sole/rear of the club at address, save for woods. How many others?”

And our members have been sharing their thoughts in our forum, with a surprising amount of WRXers also not using a hybrid.

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.

  • eric61: “I have in the past, but don’t now. I go D, 3W, 5W, 4 iron, and so on. If I could have a 15th club, it would be a hybrid. But for now, I’ve found there’s just nothing I’d take out. My 5W is super reliable and easy to hit, and my 4 iron is a safety club off the tee, plus one I need on the long par 3s at a couple of courses I play a lot. The gapping works out fine. There are moments when I’m in the rough or a fairway bunker and have a long way to go, and I wish that 4 iron was a 4 hybrid or that the 5 wood was a 3 hybrid … but those moments come much less often than the moments I’m glad I have my 5W and 4 iron.”
  • jligon: “Never even hit one before. 1 iron has consistently been one of my favorite clubs, and I rarely use my 2 or 3. I’ll likely try one someday, but I much prefer the shape of an iron and have never been a very good fairway wood player, so I’m somewhat hesitant to think one would help my game.”
  • xkilgorextroutx: “I tried many, many hybrids over the years and never found one I could get along with and not hook off the face of the planet. So I had 5w and 7w instead. Then this year, I put the Hy-Wood in the bag and hit it extremely well. It’s probably more on the wood side of things than hybrid, but it gave me enough confidence to put a Launcher 5h in the bag, which I have surprisingly got along with. So far, anyways…”
  • Roody: “Before last season, I had a 2-iron and 3-iron in the bag. But ditched them in favor of a 3w and my first hybrid. Started to have trouble getting the 2-iron up in the air off the fairway. Father Time is catching up with me.”

Entire Thread: “Never bagging a hybrid? – GolfWRXers discuss

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