Dustin Johnson Revamps Putting Game, Leads After First Round At Players Championship

Dustin Johnson has never been accused of being the most cerebral player, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the No. 1 player in the world completely revamped his game on the greens and sits atop the leaderboard after one round at The Players Championship. 

Adopting the AimPoint style of reading greens and with a new putter in play, DJ gained 2.075 strokes gained: putting in a bogey-free round that featured six birdies. 


“(I) just (was) not making enough putts,” Johnson said after the round. “(AimPoint has) definitely helped because I’m a feel putter anyways and so the way you’re doing it really is you’re just feeling it, so it definitely, it works.”

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AimPoint is a technique utilized by a number of Tour pros in which you use your feet to read the slope in the green. From there, you use your fingers to measure how far outside of the hole you’d like to start your putt. As for the putter itself, Johnson switched to TaylorMade’s Spider Mini, a slight alteration to the Spider Tour he had been using. 

“I always liked putting with a blade, I putted with one forever, and then, but I’ve been using the Spider for the last year or so and this was kind of in between,” Johnson said. 

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He’s joined atop the leaderboard by five others, Webb Simpson, Alex Noren, Chesson Hadley, Matt Kuchar and Patrick Cantlay. There are 68 players within five shots of the lead heading into Friday at TPC Sawgrass, meaning it’s anyone’s tournament after the first day.