Golf Digest Schools

Dustin Johnson’s windproof wedge shot

March 30, 2021

Reigning Masters champion Dustin Johnson has spent more than 30 consecutive weeks atop the Official World Golf Ranking. Some say it’s because of his massive tee shots, but others credit his improved wedge play. Once thought to be the weak link in his game, Johnson’s wedges have become perhaps his best scoring weapons.

“I wasn’t bad [with wedges], I just didn’t know how far it was going,” Johnson says to his coach, Claude Harmon III, in the latest “Undercover Lessons” episode from Golf Digest Schools. “I practiced a little, just not the right way.”

Now, Johnson uses a three-swing system with his wedges: half, three-quarter and full. And he keeps close tabs on his distances, often calling out after impact how far each ball is going and then comparing to results on a launch monitor. (Fun fact: D.J. cleans the face of his wedges after just about every practice shot. His rationale: “I never hit a dirty shot on the course.”)

In this video, Johnson demonstrates how to keep the ball down on wedge shots into the wind. The key, he says, is reducing backspin. He accomplishes that by playing the ball farther back in his stance and turning the clubface over “just a hair” through impact, promoting a right-to-left draw flight. When asked how often he hits a draw at the other end of his bag, with the driver, Johnson replies quickly, “Never on purpose.”

Watch D.J. show how he hits his trap wedge:

In “Undercover Lessons: Dustin Johnson,” now available in Golf Digest Schools, D.J. also explains why it helps to warm up with the wedges before you start pounding tee shots. In this 24-minute, mic’d-up range session with the two-time major champion and Claude Harmon III, No. 6 on Golf Digest’s 50 Best Teachers ranking, you’ll learn all about what makes Johnson a complete player from tee to green.

“Undercover Lessons: Dustin Johnson” is one of more than 100 video programs in Golf Digest Schools. Take your game to the next level with instruction from the top teachers and players. And with the new Golf Digest Schools app, you can bring it all with you anywhere you go. Check out Golf Digest Schools, a revolutionary experience in golf instruction.