While his fellow top golfers are trying to win a major at the PGA championship, Dustin Johnson is on “a leave of absence.” Opinions seem to differ about whether this is just a personal decision or a Tour-mandated suspension, possibly for drug use. Johnson’s own statement that he was taking a break to “seek professional help for personal challenges” fueled speculation that he was using standard Hollywood-style code for “I’m going to rehab.”
However, Johnson apparently is not at a rehab facility. According to the Golf Channel’s Tim Rosaforte, Johnson has “been up in Northern Idaho at Gozzer Ranch [Golf and Lake Club], hanging out with the Gretzky family, caddying for Paulina in the club’s ladies’ member-guest, and playing a lot of golf, playing almost every day.”
Well, at least he’s trying to keep his game sharp. But is it actually a good thing that he’s not currently in rehab?
It is a possibility, of course, that the rumors of his drug use are nothing more than that, and Johnson’s stated need to attend to his “mental health, physical well-being and emotional foundation” can be addressed by getting some R&R with his fiancee. The PGA certainly isn’t giving us a whole lot of information, which is its (and Johnson’s) right.
On the other hand — rumor-time again — we have a recent report that Wayne Gretzky told Johnson to straighten up and fly right or forget about marrying his daughter (Gretzky probably threw an ‘eh?’ in there somewhere, too). So perhaps Johnson feels that his first priority is to prove to the Great One that he can be a good family man around Paulina and the Gretzky clan.
Either way, it appears that Johnson hasn’t stepped away from playing golf, just playing professional golf. And while it’s cute that he’s reportedly caddying for Paulina, there’s little doubt that her dad would prefer that his advice to her on club selection not involve which nightclubs to hit.