Back in May, at the 2022 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.
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. He still keeps a TaylorMade P730 “DJ Proto” blade 3-iron around for certain conditions and courses, but the 9-wood is a first-string starter in his gamer setup, and he has it in play this week at the U.S. Open.
Interestingly, TaylorMade has also confirmed that Johnson doesn’t have a 3 wood in the bag this week, instead opting for a driver-5 wood-7 wood-9 wood 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): 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.
Lydia Ko WITB 2023 (September)
- Lydia Ko what’s in the bag accurate as of the the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship.
Driver: Ping G430 LST (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana GT 50 S
3-wood: Ping G430 Max (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana PD 60 S
5-wood: Ping G430 Max (18 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana GT 60 S
Hybrid: Ping G430 (22 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD HY 65 S
Irons: Titleist T200 (5), ProtoConcept CO5 (6-9)
Shafts: AeroTech SteelFiber fc 70
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM9 (46-10F, 48-10F @49, 54-10F, 58-08F @59)
Shafts: AeroTech SteelFiber fc 70 (46), AeroTech SteelFiber fc 80 (48-58)
Putter: Scotty Cameron TG6
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Spotted: Amy Yang’s T.P. Mills Fleetwood putter
This week, we spotted Amy Yang with a rare putter in her bag at the 2023 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. The putter was made by legendary putter maker T.P. Mills and the head shape is called “Fleetwood.” If you are not familiar with T.P. Mills, the company was founded in 1963 by Truett P. Mills, Sr. who wanted to make a better putter than what was available. His original putters were crafted with basic hand tools in his garage out of of carbon steel. His son David is now crafting the handmade putters after many years learning and working with his father. The company still offers the classic Softtail, Huey, Ming, 8802, and many more putters from his shop in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
The Fleetwood is considered heel-shafted and has a wide flange that blurs the line between blade and mallet. Amy’s Fleetwood features a single sightline on the wide flange and some “snow” stamping on the top of the bumpers. Those bumpers flare up at the toe and heel, pushing weight to the outside for added stability and a balanced feel throughout the stroke. The large back cavity has some snow stamping above “My Wand” text that is stamped and filled with white paint. The topline looks slightly rounded for a softer look and blends in nicely with the width of the putter. A half-shaft offset flow neck is welded to the head while the face features a shallow milling pattern and unique “Mills” stamping near the heel.
The “Super Bullet” sole contains a large oval cavity where material is removed to dial in the desired head weight of the putter. This main cavity is in combination with two additional round cavities out at the toe and heel area. Yang’s Fleetwood is milled from Swiss-German stainless steel, as that is what is stamped into the center of the sole.
A traditional chrome steel shaft is installed and the putter is finished off with a Rosemark 1.52 MFS (microfiber silicone) putter grip in a white and teal.
- Check out the rest of our photos from the 2023 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship (LPGA)
Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (9/27/23): National Custom Works wedges (Don White hand ground)
At GolfWRX, we are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment of the game in many ways.
It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball. It even allows us to share another thing we all love – buying and selling equipment.
Currently, in our GolfWRX buy/sell/trade (BST) forum, there is a listing for a set of National Custom Works wedges (Don White hand ground).
From the seller (@cronejt): “Wedges: 50, 54, 60. Wedge heads. Don White Hand Ground. Raw finish, rust can be removed if desired. Highly Custom 1 of 1 stamping. Paid $1200 ($400 per head) for the heads alone. Took same time as iron set 1. Club build was done by Mike at TXG in Toronto. Asking $1000.”
To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: National Custom Works wedges (Don White hand ground)
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