A 64-degree wedge, DJ?! But why…
To answer this question, and others about his equipment changes heading into 2018, I recently spoke with Dustin Johnson and his fitter, Keith Sbarbaro (VP of Tour Operations at TaylorMade). Since DJ currently has some unreleased TaylorMade drivers and woods in the bag, we discussed his long-awaited official switch from his Tour Preferred MB 2014 irons into the new P-730 DJ Proto irons, his decision to put in a P-790 3 iron, and his new 64-degree TaylorMade Hi-Toe wedge — a club he plans to use throughout 2018. I also asked if he has any plans to switch out his Fujikura Speeder 661 Evolution 2.0 shaft in the near future.
See what Dustin and his fitter had to say about each of the changes below. Also, if you’re interested in hearing more from DJ, tune into our 19th hole podcast this week where he makes a guest appearance (or listen to the embed below).
The driver shaft
DJ says: “I don’t change driver shafts. I’ve had this shaft since I came out on Tour basically. I just like it.”
Keith says: “We mess around sometimes, but there’s just nothing better for him. And if it’s not broke… So when we do driver testing, we basically just have one variable to deal with.”
P-790 3 iron
DJ says: “I’m probably gonna go 4 thru pitching wedge [this year], then have a P-790 3 iron in the bag too. I got four wedges in the bag now, so I gotta get rid of either the [P-730] 3-iron or the 5 wood.”
Keith says: “He hits the P-790 3-iron about 260 yards, so it fills that yardage gap of his 5 wood.”
DJ says: “I just got these blades in; they’re prototypes that are more like my Tour Preferreds. [The original DJ protos] were actually raw, but I waited for them to plate it. I’ve always played a chrome iron, and I prefer to look at that. But yea, these are gonna be in the bag (for 2018).”
Keith says: “The original [DJ protos] were milled and raw, and he was spinning them too much. With the chrome plating, he likes em way better.”
64 degree Hi-Toe TaylorMade wedge
DJ says: “I put this 64-degree wedge in play, and the 60-degree Hi-Toe too. I really like them. I just have a different face and grind than the normal ones. I like the more raw finish and can get more spin. The soles sit a bit closer to the ground… I’ve always had to manipulate my technique in the bunker, so the extra loft [on the 64-degree wedge] helps.”
Keith says: “The 64-degree helps because he’s a shut-face player. He’s had to manipulate his wrist to open the face [in the past]. Now, he can use a natural backswing… Rose was liking the 62-degree [Hi-Toe wedge] and was able to spin it so we kinda copied it for Dustin. He was hitting it from 50 yards and spinning it back 10 feet. I compare the Hi-Toe wedge to the Spider putter; it’s the one putter that everyone loved and it’s one of our best putters. This wedge reminds me of the Spider putters in that way. I think it’s the high CG. We could never get [the launch] low with spin because the ball would always shoot up the face. Now it doesn’t. I think it’s the high CG… [the face of his wedge] is more blasted.”