Mike Austin (skeleton Man)

Once again, I was browsing thru different swings on youtube and came across Mike Austin.

I notice hes not in the vault (unless i overlooked it). Anyways, he happens to hold the longest driving record in History during a Professional event, which measured 515 yards using a persimmon driver. I found this really amazing, granted he had 30 MPH back wind, but for a 64 year old, its really impressive.

Does anyone know much about him? It appears he is a swinger type, i think (although he does maintain a bent right arm). Are hitters able to measure up to distances like this? I know distance is not always important, but its good to know you can rocket one down there if you need to. :smiley:

He appears to have some intriguing concepts about the golf swing as shown below. The demonstration by him by tying off his left arm is pretty cool. It shows you really need to use the body to swing that club thru. He then goes on to his clinic wearing a skeleton suit, so that you can see more in detail of what his body is doing. His ball striking is pretty solid i would say!


I was going over an old VHS tape a couple of days ago and decided to take some notes. Mike Austin and Mike Dunaway described their version of what a golf swing is. Some ABS ideas and some not so.

pivot by moving the belly button L and R
use PVC pipe to develop on plane shoulder turn
on backswing roll the upper portion of the L arm (Hogan did this)
get the R arm into a throwing position at the top of the backswing
airplane demonstration- plane never goes upside down on follow through (nose stays pointing skyward)
R arm drill- hit balls and never let the R arm get in front of the shoulder (the arm swings to the side of the body and never in front of the body)
Throw the clubhead at the ball (also involves a turning of the forearms but this is delayed to keep the clubface open as long as possible)
Pop the L wrist (break it down after impact)
Get the R leg/foot/knee into a Z position at impact (allows the R shoulder to move downward as the R leg has shortened)
Great golf swings try to hit the ball on the side of the body
Think about throwing the clubhead behind you with the clubface pointing to the sky to start the forward swing
hold the L arm against the chest as long as possible in the forward swing

Also some notes from the Hat
Gregg McHatton
Make your hip turn stronger (more forceful) not quicker
push your R foot into the ground to power into the shot
Push your R shoulder down
Swing down for as long as you can
Chipping let your back do the work (not your hands)
Drill- take the R hand off of the club immediately after you hit the chip

The things that struck me hardest were hitting the ball on the side of the body. Thus the R hip must rotate toward the ball. Throwing the clubhead behind you with the face pointing skyward and the idea of pressuring into the ground with the R foot. This automatically bends the R knee to start the downswing. Sam Byrd, Austin and Jimmy Ballard all talk about slinging or throwing the club from the top. If this is done with the proper rotation of the R hip into impact, the R elbow stays bent and connected to the R hip at impact and beyond. This creates the feeling of hitting from the side of the body


Austin was known more as a long driver, long drive contest winner, wrote books about the swing and so on. I personally tend to stay away from a long driving only focus and more upon accuracy oriented golf swings. I’ve talked to Barkow about him. Al knew him well and said he wasn’t much of a player, but did have some interesting ideas he put forth to some of the other players.

While it’s interesting to study guys like Austin, Evan “Big Cat” Williams and Saldowski, I think those types of swings can lead you down the wrong path for scoring. If your only objective is to win long driving contests, they would be a more relevant study. Long driving have their own competitions and are essentially a different sport.

Mayor difference of an Austin swing is you hit it longer with less effort with less timing issues than either a modern or classic swing.
Most of the concepts taught in the Austin camp are allowing you a better golf game and superb advanced ballstriking beyond anything you come across in either a modern or classic swing.
What people try to do is to use what they percive today about the modern/classic swing and apply that to what Austin did which dont work so well.

To say Mike Austin swing is for long driving and wont offer a golfer a better ballstriking is a mistake
That Mike wasnt a great golfer can be said for a lot of other people also as it isnt the swing that make people good or not.
However using such swing mechanics as Austin did will allow you a better ballstriking than any modern or classic swinger used in history.

This is Hans Andersson, green jacket day one with some of the concepts applied still using his old timing.
blue shirt day 2 with the concepts getting him into impact with new timing. Total time teaching 4 hours at minus 4 celsisus.
Average drive last competition, 300-330yards. He aint done yet technically, as I fully expect him to not only increase speed but also be as long or longer with half the effort. That allows him to have bigger margins playing and still have a lot extra if needed.

Here is he with those 2 days in a loop.

If you watch the Austin video, he clearly states that what he teaches is NOT effortless, and that the car does NOT drive itself.
So any suggestion that Austin is teaching a passive move is not accurate.

Austin also clarifies the difference between more and less lateral movement on the backswing. More lateral, more power, less lateral more accurate.

Austin’s swing had a lot of post impact clubface rotation, which I can’t see is going to create a swing with less timing elements than a swing with less clubface rotation post impact. I am not saying that one can’t learn to time that kind of release, but it is not going to make accuracy easier generally speaking.

Austin is dead dont teach anything anymore.
what happens after impact, who cares.

modern/classic swing balance two forces in its swing, Austin only one.
result, longer more accurate and also more fun with less timing, its a obvious difference and since its a built in difference in mechanics and physics it cant be altered in a modern/classic swing.
then rotation is active (must be) in a modern/classic swing vs passive and just happens as an affect in an Austin swing.
Major mehcanical difference.

Trevinos ex wives would care.

Austin did not say the swing is effortless… just the opposite.
It’s ok if you think that is what he said… and a more passive swing is helping you strike the ball better.
But there is always going to be more timing involved in that kind of release through impact.

Study some off centered strikes then tell me post impact clubface torquing doesn’t matter.

Haha. Liked the Trevino ex-wives comment. Nice discussion here. I think there is another Mike Austin thread on your site and I have commented there. For those interested in Mike Austin, I took lessons from him for years. He was also a close friend. I put clips up at www.mentoredbythelegend.com. Very intelligent guy and quite a character. Interestingly enough, and pertinent to your discussion, he eliminated intentional arm and club rotation in his later years - rotation resulted from the pivot and the consequent turning of the body. Luckily, I took lessons before and after that point, so I witnessed the entire progression. I can also tell you that he rarely mentioned power and distance in his lessons. He would say, “that’s a lot of power for the amount of effort you exerted.” He focus was on a powerful swing but he if you didn’t hit it straight or with a controlled flight, he’d be all over you. (And, Mike Austin was not bashful in dishing out public tongue lashings. You can see it on the clips.) We also spent a lot of time on short game and shaping shots. I think he was more of a player then people thought. He admitted to me on many occasions that he simply could not putt at the same level. Feel free to pose any questions. Best.

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