Dustin Johnson isn’t all about golf. He fishes, too. And he knows when he needs to take a break.

Dustin Johnson, who decidedly is not an average golfer, has keyed in on something that could help average golfers.

If you’re not playing well, take some time off.

The 2021 season was far from Johnson’s finest. No victories. Missed cuts at the Masters (where he shot 74-75) and the PGA Championship (76-74). 

In response, did he play golf twice a day and hit the driving range every night during the break? Uh, no.

“Just a lot of time at home with the family,” Johnson said. “Did some fishing – pretty much anything but golf. 

“After last year I was frustrated with everything, so a break was what I needed. And one thing that I was really frustrated with was my driver, and we got a new driver this year, the new Stealth driver, and I really like it.”

Taking some time away from the game will have benefits in several ways, Johnson said.

“It’s a long year, so I think I’ll get more benefit, especially when it comes down toward the end of the year when we have a lot of big tournaments all in a row,” he said. “I’ll still feel fresh and rested. I just needed a reset with mind, body, everything. I was really frustrated with how I played last year.”

On the golf course, there is rarely any indication that Johnson is extremely happy or crazily frustrated. He leads the tour in his ability to contain his emotions, moving from shot to shot as if he’s on a casual afternoon stroll. But he admitted that his inability to put together four consecutive rounds of solid golf last year ate at him.

“It was frustrating to me just because I wasn’t consistent,” he said. “Obviously, I put a lot of good rounds together, but I just couldn’t put four rounds together. It felt like when I was hitting the driver good, I wasn’t hitting my irons very well. If I was hitting my irons well, I wasn’t driving it good. Just nothing was matching up. It gets frustrating when you do it for eight months straight.”

So the fishing was better? Does he have a good fishing handicap?

“I mean it’s fishing, it’s not catching,” he said. “Some days I’m a plus six, some days I’m an 18. It just all depends.”

Mike Hembree

Mike Hembree is a veteran journalist who has covered a variety of sports for numerous publications and websites, including USA Today, Fox Sports, TV Guide and The Greenville (S.C.) News. He has written 14 books and has won numerous writing awards at the national, regional and state levels. He is a seven-time winner of the National Motorsports Press Association Writer of the Year Award.