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Dustin Johnson Hits Jack's Old Clubs

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https://golfweek.com/2018/08/29/dustin-johnson-hits-jack-nicklaus-old-persimmon-driver-1-iron/

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Before Dustin Johnson hops on a plane and jets up to TPC Boston for this week’s Dell Technologies Championship, he got in some work back home in South Florida.

During his prep at The Bear’s Club in Jupiter, Fla., he had some fun with 18-time major winner Jack Nicklaus.

Nicklaus gave Johnson an old persimmon driver and 1-iron of his to hit. Johnson responded by carrying the driver 290 yards and the 1-iron 232 yards, according to a tweet by DJ.

 

 

So much for some people's idea that the older generation had some mythical ballstriking abilities to hit the golf ball that today's pros can't match.

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13 minutes ago, billchao said:

https://golfweek.com/2018/08/29/dustin-johnson-hits-jack-nicklaus-old-persimmon-driver-1-iron/

 

 

So much for some people's idea that the older generation had some mythical ballstriking abilities to hit the golf ball that today's pros can't match.

Won’t make them budge an inch. ‘Jack once hit a persimmon 320yds!’ See! Lol. Oh! And what ball was DJ using? Ya can’t win with those guys ....at least not to them.

Edited by Vinsk

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1 minute ago, Vinsk said:

Won’t make them budge an inch. ‘Jack once hit a persimmon 320yds!’ See! Lol.

But he didn't average 320, he averaged 276. DJ averages 290 with persimmon ;-)

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1 minute ago, billchao said:

But he didn't average 320, he averaged 276. DJ averages 290 with persimmon ;-)

Beautiful. And the ball? Just preparing for some comments to come......

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If the most atheletic, physical ball striker of today’s generation is hitting a proV a little bit further than Jack hit the ball of 40 years ago, that’s not saying a whole heck of a lot and shouldn’t surprise anyone. I know this board constantly likes to diminish Jack- and that’s fine- but I don’t think this is the post to add to that thesis. 

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31 minutes ago, skydog said:

If the most atheletic, physical ball striker of today’s generation is hitting a proV a little bit further than Jack hit the ball of 40 years ago

He would average 15-20 yards farther than Jack did in his Prime.

Jack averaged in the mid 270's.

DJ would average in the 290's.

I would like to see DJ hit about 50 golf balls with the driver. Just to see what would happen when he gets a better timing for it.

31 minutes ago, skydog said:

I know this board constantly likes to diminish Jack

More like correctly assess Jack's ability. You forget, we like to romanticize the past to the point that we defend them against any information opposite to that.

Edited by saevel25

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So what did anyone expect?

Did anyone really think that DJ was going to chunk the shots just because he was using old clubs?

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1 hour ago, skydog said:

If the most atheletic, physical ball striker of today’s generation is hitting a proV a little bit further than Jack hit the ball of 40 years ago, that’s not saying a whole heck of a lot

It does, though. It supports what I've always stated, that the top golfers of any previous generation are going to be near the top in any generation. That's just kind of how human athletics works: through trial and error, a very small number reach the limit of human ability. With modern coaching and analysis, people are able to identify what is important in the swing so more people today bit that upper echelon than ever before.

I tried to look up the difference between balata and a Pro v1 and this is what I found: http://0to300golf.blogspot.com/2013/03/titleist-tour-balata-90-v-titleist-pro.html?m=1

The guy hit the balata roughly 7% shorter. Small sample size, but if you extrapolate to DJ's shot, you can assume he hits it 270, which is about on par with Jack. It's likely the number goes up slightly if he spends more time with the equipment and adjusts to it.

1 hour ago, skydog said:

and shouldn’t surprise anyone.

Youd be surprised. There are many people, on this site included, who will claim that the old equipment was so difficult to use that today's pros couldn't hit them and the pros of yesteryear were ballstrikers of a different level.

1 hour ago, saevel25 said:

He would average 15-20 yards farther than Jack did in his Prime.

Jack averaged in the mid 270's.

DJ would average in the 290's.

I think they'd be about even, if they were hitting the same era ball. Jack's measured distance average was from the later years of his career, not his prime AFAIK. The modern day player whose swing is reminiscent of Jack's is Bubba so that's about where I'd put Jack.

Balata is an inferior ball.

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2 hours ago, skydog said:

If the most atheletic, physical ball striker of today’s generation is hitting a proV a little bit further than Jack hit the ball of 40 years ago, that’s not saying a whole heck of a lot and shouldn’t surprise anyone.

To be fair, it was probably only a few swings, too, and I don't think Dustin was going at it fully (lest he break the club or something).

We also don't know what the agronomy was truly like when Jack averaged 276, or how far he used to hit it when he was 32, or whatever…

Jack was one of the best ever. DJ is one of the best of the modern era. That they are similar shouldn't be much of a surprise to anyone. What might surprise some is when a middle of the pack player, given a new balata ball and Jack's driver, hits it 276 on average. Which, given a club they're not afraid of breaking and a few days to get used to it, I think we'd see pretty regularly.

2 hours ago, skydog said:

I know this board constantly likes to diminish Jack- and that’s fine- but I don’t think this is the post to add to that thesis. 

I don't think we do that at all. I think we attempt to place what he achieved in the proper context.

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The guys that argue the old persimmon woods and balata balls weren't more difficult to use tend to be those that have never played with them.

I've played since the 80s.  I know that I hit it much further now with less effort than I did then.  Today's 290 is easily 1988's 276.   

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13 hours ago, Vinsk said:

Won’t make them budge an inch. ‘Jack once hit a persimmon 320yds!’ See! Lol. Oh! And what ball was DJ using? Ya can’t win with those guys ....at least not to them.

https://ftw.usatoday.com/2014/08/jack-nicklaus-long-drive-pga-championship-louis-oosthuizen-bubba-watson

341yds to be exact.🤪

Edited by Keep It Simple
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13 hours ago, billchao said:

https://golfweek.com/2018/08/29/dustin-johnson-hits-jack-nicklaus-old-persimmon-driver-1-iron/

 

 

So much for some people's idea that the older generation had some mythical ballstriking abilities to hit the golf ball that today's pros can't match.

I wouldn't think anyone would believe that today's players are as accomplished at ball striking as those of decades ago players.   But worth of note here is that DJ's drive with Jack's driver is 100 yards less than with his own driver.  That with a modern ball I assume.

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19 minutes ago, ghalfaire said:

I wouldn't think anyone would believe that today's players are as accomplished at ball striking as those of decades ago players.   But worth of note here is that DJ's drive with Jack's driver is 100 yards less than with his own driver.  That with a modern ball I assume.

So, DJ hits his modern driver 390?

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22 minutes ago, ghalfaire said:

I wouldn't think anyone would believe that today's players are as accomplished at ball striking as those of decades ago players.   But worth of note here is that DJ's drive with Jack's driver is 100 yards less than with his own driver.  That with a modern ball I assume.

Not really. DJ only hit a few balls and wasn’t going at it. DJ’s average currently can’t be accurately compared to what he did with another driver over a few casual swings. There was another thread where players actually played some holes with hickory clubs....they did just fine. The point has been made. It’s not bashing the old guys I.e. Jack. It’s just putting a bit more realistic perspective on the talent and putting the accomplishments into proper context as @iacas said.

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Does it matter as long as everyone in the age someone is playing is also using the same equipment? Jack's competitors used persimmon and balata. DJ's competitors uses graphite and todays high end balls.

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56 minutes ago, Zeph said:

Does it matter as long as everyone in the age someone is playing is also using the same equipment? Jack's competitors used persimmon and balata. DJ's competitors uses graphite and todays high end balls.

 

If anything the modern equipment makes it harder to separate from the field, which makes Tiger’s accomplishments pretty jawdropping. 

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58 minutes ago, Zeph said:

Does it matter as long as everyone in the age someone is playing is also using the same equipment? Jack's competitors used persimmon and balata. DJ's competitors uses graphite and todays high end balls.

You are correct. But this was referring to the fact that some people have literally said ‘The players of today don’t have the talent the old guys had...they couldn’t break par with the clubs from those days.’ Which of course simply isn’t true.

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