The level of debate in the former Mike Austin thread was somewhat apalling. The debate was filled with logical fallacies e.g. "red herring" on both sides of the argment.
Anyhow, here's some differences and similarities that I've learned from Steve Pratt, a Mike Austin-golf teacher based in California. I don't claim to be the Mike Austin swing expert but here's some thoughts about the swing principles.
I don't claim to know the mastery of the golf swing, or whatever, but because it was the topic that was discussed earlier, albeit somewhat rudely, I wanted to clear some issues.
I can say personally that I've experienced slight distance gain with my irons, with the Mike Austin style swing. I would estimate about 10 yards improvement thusfar with my irons. I still have a lot of progress to make with this new golf swing. Especially to get the woods dialled in, and get more consistency overall.
The downside of the Mike Austin swing is realistically its usefulness to the short game shots. What you quite simply have to do, is to make partial swings with short game shots, bunker, pitch, lob and chip. It's not easy to make partial swings with consistency as a beginner.
Also, it's not exactly an easy swing to learn properly it seems. It's a complicated motion or so it seems to be, when described in words. Compared to more simpler mechanic of the conventional swing e.g. Adam Scott (he is thought to represent conventional golf swing quite well)
-steady head is a common feature of Mike Austin swing, same or similar to the theory behind 5sk. Keep the head steady between the feet (at an imaginary vertical line, between the feet)
-Weight is shifted to the backleg. The center of mass is moving towards the backleg. Left leg flexes, right leg straightens, just like Bubba does it for example. From my understanding the weight distribution should be about 20% on the left leg, and 80% on the right leg at the top of the backswing.
- at the downswing, you have to slide the hips forward to the left leg. The left leg must straighten, and the right leg must flex. This leg action is quite symmetrical movement compared to the backswing leg action.
- The way to set the club at address is similar to what Sam Snead used to do. Slight kick in of the right knee, and slight forward slide of the left hip at the start of the backswing. This prevents the shoulders from being open at adress.
- The idea of the golf swing is to let the inertia of the club work towards your goal of fast swing speed. The idea is NOT to strain your muscles against the inertia of the club (the chicken wing effect is a very bad thing in this swing). The idea is to promote "centrifugal force" in the golf swing.
pga golfers who seemingly incorporated Mike Austin- style principles in the swing include : Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus and Fred Couples.