Dustin Johnson plans to keep things simple and take some tips from his fiancée’s dad Wayne Gretzky.
One of golf’s most athletic tour players, Johnson has spent the last few months getting his head together, sharpening his golf game, and preparing for fatherhood. Paulina Gretzky is expecting a child with Johnson around the first week in February. Johnson indicated that, depending on when Paulina gave birth, he would return to the Tour either at Torrey Pines on Feb. 5 or the following week at Pebble Beach.
Rumors abounded in August that the 16th-ranked golfer in the world at that time was suspended for failing his third PGA-administered drug test. Golf.com reported that in two of the tests he popped positive for cocaine use. Johnson, 30, denied that the PGA suspended him and maintained that he took the time off on his own volition. Yet, Golf.com reported in August that according to their sources, DJ had been suspended for six months.
The eight-time winner and recipient of $25 million in tour earnings claims that the time off has been beneficial. Johnson explained that the respite was needed to address “personal challenges.” He added, “Over these past four or five months I’ve really grown up… and I am starting to become the person I want my kids to look up to.”
Johnson told Golf.com that he did not attend any rehab or outside assistance programs for drugs. “I did not have a problem,” he stated when asked specifically about cocaine use. “It’s just something I’m not going to get into. I have issues. But that’s not the issue.”
DJ has been studying his soon to be father-in-law and is impressed at how “The Great One” carries on in life. Johnson admires how Wayne acts graciously with fans and sustained a marriage for 26 years, raising five children all the while in the limelight from being one of the most famous athletes in the world.
Gretzky stated, “People ask me now, ‘What do you do to replace hockey?’” He replies, “I don’t. I can’t. And I tell Dustin, ‘You can’t replace golf or what you do and bring to the sport. Make sure you understand that, and don’t mess that up.’”