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Mike Austin golf swing vs conventional golf swing, any thoughts?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

What are your thoughts on this late-American golfer and his ideas for the ideal golf swing?

 

Mike Austin, the infamous golf instructor and golfer, studied engineering and kinesiology as part of his education and claimed to have figured out a powerful but also accurate golf swing. He passed away in 2005.

 

Mike Austin also used to hold the world's longest golf drive recorded in a professional golf tournament. That drive went over 500 yards, and it was struck with steel shafted persimmons driver in Nevada, in 1974 American senior golf tournament. And it seems that there was no asphalt cart path involved either in the result. Although warm weather and downwind conditions did help him somewhat.

 

 

post #2 of 9
There's a thread about him that was pretty entertaining a while back.
http://thesandtrap.com/t/20674/the-mike-austin-method
post #3 of 9

I was there when Austin hit that longest drive. It happened at what is now the Desert Rose Golf Course on what is now the 14th, par 4 hole. It was called Winterwood GC back then. The hole is much different now, and they are presently digging the place up for storm drain channel. It was my home course until they closed it down. 

 

As I recall he almost flew the green, and with the roll the ball stopped about 50+ yards on the other side of a berm, past the pin. It was a monster shot even with the wind. Heck even with the equipment they were playing with during that era makes it even more amazing. The ball was actually closer to the 15th tee box than it was to the 14th pin when it stopped. There were other golfers in his group and a couple of them had been hitting some very long drives themselves. Now, a part of the story that is not reported is that on the 13th hole which was into the wind, all the players in Austin's group had a hard time reaching the 250 yard marker. I am not sure, but I believe he did par the hole.   

 

At the time he hit that ball there was 30+ mph wind at his back. People were losing their hats, and the women were having trouble keeping their dresses from ballooning up. Dust was also big problem, and the wind had dried out the fairways, and greens considerably. It was late summer in the area. I was youngster of 22 who had taken up golf a few years prior. 

 

Thanks for the memories..........:beer:

post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patch View Post

I was there when Austin hit that longest drive. It happened at what is now the Desert Rose Golf Course on what is now the 14th, par 4 hole. It was called Winterwood GC back then. The hole is much different now, and they are presently digging the place up for storm drain channel. It was my home course until they closed it down. 

As I recall he almost flew the green, and with the roll the ball stopped about 50+ yards on the other side of a berm, past the pin. It was a monster shot even with the wind. Heck even with the equipment they were playing with during that era makes it even more amazing. The ball was actually closer to the 15th tee box than it was to the 14th pin when it stopped. There were other golfers in his group and a couple of them had been hitting some very long drives themselves. Now, a part of the story that is not reported is that on the 13th hole which was into the wind, all the players in Austin's group had a hard time reaching the 250 yard marker. I am not sure, but I believe he did par the hole.   

At the time he hit that ball there was 30+ mph wind at his back. People were losing their hats, and the women were having trouble keeping their dresses from ballooning up. Dust was also big problem, and the wind had dried out the fairways, and greens considerably. It was late summer in the area. I was youngster of 22 who had taken up golf a few years prior. 

Thanks for the memories..........c2_beer.gif

And thank you for the history!
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abu3baid View Post

And thank you for the history!
+1

I had read that Mike Austin's record drive was done in some pretty favorable conditions, but that's ridiculous. In track, they wouldn't have counted the record in conditions like that. Thank you for sharing, @Patch.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by billchao View Post


+1

I had read that Mike Austin's record drive was done in some pretty favorable conditions, but that's ridiculous. In track, they wouldn't have counted the record in conditions like that. Thank you for sharing, @Patch.


that being said, I think the drive was still quite well hit, I don't think the effect of wind diminishes that fact!

 

I think without so much wind, it would still definitely have been bubba long drive (about 350 yards)

 

the overall distance was measured at 515 yards. No cartpath bounces, though it was a summer golf fairway. All of these facts would point towards a long carry distance for this particular drive.

 

I guess it would depend on the physics involved, quite simply you would have to know how much does wind actually affect positively the golf ball when its aided by a downwind.

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

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.

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

Mike Dunaway was taught by Mike Austin himself, and has a  somewhat modified version of his swing. That is to say, that Mike Dunaway personalized the swing principles into his own swing.

 

But the basic fundamentals seem to be the same. Here's a video of Dunaway hitting some drives to the green and beyond.

 

.

post #9 of 9

I recently saw a youtube of someone opening a piece of carry-on luggage, and a woman climbed out. Does that mean it's possible for everyone to bend themselves into enough of a pretzel to fit into a piece of luggage? No, she obviously has unique combination of body build and freakish flexibility.

 

If Austin's swing could have been reduced to to a set of rules and reproduced consistently, then by now it would have been. But, it hasn't. That leads me to the conclusion that Austin had some unique physical attributes that allowed him to make this swing work. The few people who have managed to reproduce his swing probably share those unique physical attributes.

 

Mike Austin is like the suitcase girl. Unless you share their unique physical traits, you won't be able to reproduce their physical accomplishments.

 

In other words, Austin's swing is a great model...for those handful of people that share Austin's physical traits. For everyone else, trying to implement the Austin swing will be like beating your head against a brick wall.

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