This Dustin Johnson quality is the one pros are most jealous of
When Dustin Johnson is in the zone, there are few players who can compete. He crushes drives with freakish athleticism, his wedges seem to be hand-placed on the green within feet of the hole, and when his putter is working everyone else is essentially playing for second place.
It’s the type of zone that is hard to achieve — much less sustain — for most players. But Johnson isn’t most players. He’s been in that peak form several times in his career, and perhaps the most impressive zone came in the back half of 2020.
From the PGA Tour’s restart through the November Masters, Johnson was dominant. He picked up a win in Connecticut in June, followed it up with an 11-shot victory in Boston later in the summer and then picked up a win at the Tour Championship to finish the season. The exclamation point was an emphatic win at the Masters as he cruised around Augusta National in complete control to claim the green jacket by five shots.
He made it look easy. And, as most golf fans know, golf is anything but easy.
Johnson’s tear through the Tour in 2020 is the kind that gets people talking — especially his peers. In a game where knowledge is happily shared between competitors, everyone is looking for that secret or skill that will push them over the edge. But what’s the Johnson’s thing that everyone wants?
“Can I take more than one?” Adam Scott joked with reporters prior to the Sentry Tournament of Champions. “I think his attitude is just so good, so conducive to good scoring. And there’s way more that goes into it than we see, but he’s got such an easygoing attitude on the golf course. But I think that’s just confidence because he’s done all the work and he knows it’s going to be a good result.”
Scott added that Johnson’s run last year was Tiger-esque. Quite the ringing endorsement to be compared to one of the best players of all time.
Rory McIlroy was similarly in awe of Johnson’s game late last year. The two were paired together for two rounds at the Masters, and Johnson’s game left a definite impression on McIlroy.
“I think he’s got one of the best attitudes towards the game of golf in the history of the game,” McIlroy said at the time. “I don’t know if I can compare him to anyone else, but the way he approaches the game is awesome.”
It just goes to prove how important the mental game is to the game. Johnson has an abundance of elite talents in his game, but the mental side is where he separates himself from his peers.
“See ball, hit ball, see putt, hole putt, go to the next,” McIlroy said of Johnson’s game. “(He) makes it look so simple at times.”
In golf, simple is good.