Wayne Gretzky pushing future son-in-law Dustin Johnson to greatness
Dustin Johnson is of course engaged to Paulina Gretzky, the daughter of “The Great One” himself, Wayne. While marrying into a sports royal family obviously has its merits, the fact that Johnson’s success on the course cannot come closing to matching his future father-in-law’s legendary exploits on the ice could be considered something of a drawback.
On the other hand, the opportunity to pick the brain of one of sport’s all-time greats can’t be all that bad for Johnson, either.
Johnson enjoyed a breakthrough season on the PGA Tour this past year, finally clinching a long-awaited and much-coveted major victory at the U.S. Open along with winning two other tournaments. Johnson on Tuesday was named GOLF Magazine’s Player of the Year and none other than Gretzky himself weighed in on how his one-day son-in-law can improve upon a phenomenal 2016.
In essence, Gretzky says Johnson should never allow success to provide a breeding ground for complacency. Oh, and trying to more like Tiger Woods wouldn’t hurt, either.
“If I scored 50 goals in a season, I wanted 70 the next year,” Gretzky told GOLF.com, via the New York Post. “If I got 70, I wanted 90. Never, ever settle. I’ve told Dustin he has to be more like Tiger.
“I don’t mean he has to be Tiger — you only get a few athletes like that a century. But part of what made Tiger Tiger was relentlessness. Dustin just won three tournaments and a major. That’s a great year. Now go win five tournaments and two majors. I want him to see that only he can put limits on himself.”
Gretzky on previous occasions has hailed Johnson as “a wonderful person” so it’s no surprise he remains firmly entrenched in the golfer’s corner.
Johnson, after battling off-the-course demons a few years back, appears to have gotten his life straightened out thanks in large part to his engagement to Gretzky and the birth of son Tatum in 2015. The stabilization of his personal life undoubtedly has had a huge impact on his play on the course, as evidenced by his tremendous success.
But Johnson still has a long, long way to go to match his future father-in-law’s exploits. And no one would blame him if the arguably impossible task of measuring up to “The Great One” — at least in career successes — doesn’t pan out.