Dustin Johnson holed a 9-iron from 156 metres at the last hole with his TaylorMade P730 DJ Proto irons, but that was just piling on. The real damage was done during the course of the week with his driver and putter. In winning the FedEx St Jude Classic. Johnson used his TaylorMade M4 driver to average 292.9 metres (320.3 yards) for the week, including an impressive 302.2 metres (330.5 yards) in the final round.
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, who will sometimes use the company’s M3 model, also used the M4 when he earlier this year at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
Johnson also returned to his TaylorMade Spider Tour Black putter after a brief trial with the company’s new Spider Mini model. Johnson posted a very respectable 0.965 strokes gained mark for the week after reuniting with the putter.
Interestingly, Johnson went back to a Spider Tour Black with no sightline on the crown. Earlier this year he used one with a T-shaped alignment line after visiting the company’s putter lab in Carlsbad, California, where the tour team built him 12 identical Spider Tour putters. Each of the putters had a different sight line and Johnson hit five putts with each (flat, 15-footers) and found the one with a T-line alignment was aimed nearly centre on every putt, prompting Johnson to put the club in the bag at the start of the new year.
Johnson’s win continues a strong run at TPC Southwind as he now has four top-10s in five starts (not counting a withdrawal), including wins in 2012 and 2018.
What Dustin Johnson had in the bag at the FedEx St Jude Classic
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
Driver: TaylorMade M4 (Fujikura Speeder Evolution 661X), 10.5 degrees
3-wood: TaylorMade M4, 16.5 degrees
Irons (3-PW): TaylorMade P730 DJ Proto
Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 60 degrees); TaylorMade Milled Grind Hi-Toe (64 degrees)
Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Black