They say numbers don’t lie but in the case of the driving distance stat at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, there was a little fibbing going on.
The stat revealed Dustin Johnson with a distance average of just 270.9 metres (296.3 yards) for the week and 272 metres (297 yards) in the final round. But when the world No.1 stepped to the 12th tee today at Kapalua’s Plantation course, he took out his frustration from a bogey on the previous hole by blasting a tee shot with his TaylorMade M4 driver some 390 metres to within tap-in distance on the par-4 12th. The eagle started Johnson on a run where he extended his lead by going five-under par for five holes, eventually winning by eight shots with a 24-under-par 268. In the final round Johnson hit six drives in excess of 340 metres with two longer than 365.
The driver (as well as its sister M3 model) features a technology called Twist Face, where the face curves more open as it moves towards the toe and curves more closed as it moves towards the heel. Although it isn’t really detectable at address, the idea is to help off-centre hits fly straighter than they would with conventional bulge and roll.
Johnson tried both the M3 and M4 in practice early in the week and after noticing he wasn’t getting the fade off the tee he prefers with the M4, the driver was adjusted one click open, back to the standard setting. Although Johnson might use the M3 at some point, he felt the M4 was straighter, putting it in play.
Johnson also had the company’s Spider Tour Black mallet putter as well as DJ Prototype muscleback blade irons as well as a 64-degree Milled Grind Hi-Toe wedge where the grooves extend all the way across the face.
Dustin Johnson’s clubs at the Sentry Tournament of Champions:
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
Driver: TaylorMade M4 (Fujikura Speeder Evolution X), 9.5 degrees
3-wood: TaylorMade M4, 16.5 degrees
Irons (3): TaylorMade P790; (4-PW): TaylorMade DJ Prototype
Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 60 degrees); TaylorMade Milled Grind Hi-Toe (64 degrees)
Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour