Thursday, September 15, 2011

To Dustin Johnson, A 'Long-Iron' is An 8 or 9-Iron


Earlier this year I had the opportunity to head to Southern California and interview Dustin Johnson about the then-new r11 driver. I met him at the Kingdom, TaylorMade's driving range mecca, as he was pounding r11 after r11 down the fairway at incredible lengths.

To be totally honest, length is one of the few things with pro golfers that doesn't impress me. All those guys can hit it far, and I've played in enough events with dudes that can pound it 340 that I'm basically numb to the idea of a long hitter. But the consistency of Dustin's bombs were something I took away. They all were landing in basically the same area, somewhere upwards of 315 yards down the uphill range. Drive after drive after drive.

But you don't totally get how long certain people are until they say things that make you understand they aren't being arrogant, they're just being honest. Johnson was asked about the controversial course changes at Cog Hill, and he said he was a fan.

And then he said this.

"There's a few long par 4s where I hit a lot of 6-, 7- and 8-irons, 9-irons," he said. "Those are long irons to me."

Funny? Yes. Honest? Well, yes. Think about it. When is the last time Dustin Johnson has hit a 3-iron into a par-4? Or even a 4-iron? This is a long guy that hits his irons even further, and I'm sure it's a shock when he has 8-iron or more into something that isn't a par-3 or par-5.

I like that he says this, because I'm sure he isn't being cocky, just honest. Also, I bet that makes you feel better about yourself. Maybe that Tee It Forward thing had it right all along.

Getty Images

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