At the onset of this little project I decided I would try to use as much information available to me out on the net. My previous post indicated some of the things I had tried and been tempted to try. Well, this go around I decided to do some more searching and ran across a pretty serious current of thought about Mike Austin – the guy that holds the world record for longest drive in PGA competition. Read an article about it here. I found several sites on Austin and as I began to dig into it a little bit more I got more and more intrigued by what I was reading. 3 things stood out:
Simplicity – Mike Austin’s swing theories provide a foundation for a swing that is easier for an amateur (read “hacker” in my case) t0 maintain. See this clip from a guy named John Marshall who is a long drive competitor and teacher down in Georgia.
He seems like a sweetheart of a guy, but the comment that got me was when he said it was an easier swing for an amateur to maintain. BINGO!
The next intriguing bit of info about the Austin Swing was the Throw release and wrist motion. In concert with the way the club is taken back and the way the body moves in the Austin swing your wrists do not have to turn over at the right instant of contact. Jaacob Bowden was a name that came up in the search and he has a great video that describes what I’m talking about.
Okay, so I don’t really dig the spin the meatballs analogy, but the idea of having the club perpendicular to the swing path longer made sense to me. And the fact that I have trouble rolling my wrists over at impact made it easier to consider a different approach.
The third thing was the idea of using your body to create club head speed. DJ Watt’s site is dedicated to the theory and mechanics of this notion.
These things, and of course the siren song of a reaching par and hitting long straight drives have me completely revamping my swing. So now I’m digging into the Mike Austin swing and trying to emulate some of his principles. I spent tonight working on the Compound Pivot which is effectively demonstrated in this video by Dan Shauger, another Mike Austin preacher.