Mike Austin Swing

[youtube]Young Mike Austin - YouTube

Mike Austin holds the record of the longest drive in tournament play, a 515 yard rocket with persimmon and balata.
I personally have experimented with his “spin the wheel” type release and found that feel to be extremely effective when combined with a properly functioning pivot as we are taught here.


He loved the inside takeaway like so many great strikers… including George Knudson.
Quick to feel our 4:30 line right on takeaway…

Shows some good intentions.

Check out this video with the accompanying advice, quite interesting stuff about Austin’s release, angled hinge and post impact pivot.



I have been waiting for rover to post this.
The first part of the lesson is the last part. Watch the bucket get fuller as the tape goes on.
John Edited it backwards, for what reason I don’t Know.

This is what I have been trying to say about the throw all along.

Sometimes Believing is seeing.


Watch what mike is doing a 0.45 → 0.53 with just the left hand.

A 6 inch left arm ,36 inch right arm through impact.
This Is Mikes Secret.

You have to build up forearm strength through the fingers to do it, with both hands.
It’s worth 20-30 yds.

The accuracy increases because your focus will be on the (what will feel like the slow speed) of the club head.
You get the feeling of following the club head, and extension.

As for the lashing, 5:12->5:15 it’s a full body lash, utlizing the entire left side, foot to shoulder.
Powered by leveraging the feet against the ground using your spikes, to snap the hips.
Hogan did this “The secret is in the dirt”.

The release
“I don’t want the toe that way, I want it this way”
Watch the way John adjusts the face to face the sky, through swing.

Ulnar deviation

“If I’m gonna aim a gun I want a straight line from my eye to the ball”.
Don’t point the butt at the knees.

“Out” The centrifugal force will pull my arms out.

John: centripetal
Mike: Not centripetal! cen-tri-fu-gal.

We need a transcript, it’s hard to hear above the backround noise.


The above post was made by someone called Squish who appears to be very knowledgeable about the MA swing and golf in general.

He also has a wonderful analogy of the MA swing essentially consisting of a vicious uppercut punch ( Bolo punch ) which I find interesting for a number of reasons…MA was also a boxer and won several heavyweight fights ( he claims this on one video I have ) and apparently also said ‘put some fight in the club’!

This is all really very suggestive of very serious post impact intentions! While his advice regarding release of the club appears to suggest a swinger’s dump, he clearly advocates post impact intentions more akin to the hitting protocol that Lag teaches.

Sadly, much of what Mike taught is being mischaracterized.
A lot of the “gurus” never even met the man or met him very late in his life.
I had the good fortune of working intensely with him for years.
MIke was a real hands-on instructor whose techniques brought effortless power and accuracy.
For what it’s worth, here’s my swing under Mike’s watchful eye:

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Us rats live in the dark…never heard of MA before! Can’t believe all the stuff out there on the web…simply amazing.

Looks like a “hand cross-over dump” using reciprocity as the vehicle… like swinging up a hill. Still a timing gamble…and if the lie is awkward, or downhill?

Hey Aiguille…who’s Squish? :laughing: RR


As is the case with so many instructors who try to describe the greats who are no longer with us, all they can do is use any and all bits of info available to them.It’s a daunting task and some are better at it than others.

I don’t think anyone at ABS is reviewing MA’s swing and saying it’s the “model”. You’re video is certainly not what I would characterize as effortless power, but then I don’t think Lag views his hitting model as effortless either. Rather, you look like you’re trying to hit a 6-iron 250 yards… I see a LOT of effort. I have no idea how accurate you are.

Just my opinion. I have no dog in a Mike Austin fight.


Nope. I was going about 75%.
That’s the beauty. The club is coming through fast, the body is not coming hard.
That technique, for me, provided dead straight shots with very little effort. Mike called it “supple quickness versus rigid slowness”.
Not here to argue however. People raised the Austin swing and I was lucky enough to have worked for years with the gentleman.
I thought that some might enjoy some insights from what he taught and enjoy seeing actual swings which he thought were commendable.
Not that it is better or worse than any other technique.
Unfortunately, many alleged gurus are out there teaching his swing who never met Mike or who met him only in the late years.
All the best . . .

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I don’t know a lot about Austin’s theories, but I do know he was a very long hitter, and I think still holds the record for the longest drive ever hit… even using persimmon.

No doubt that precision shot making, and long driving contests are both valid sports in their own respected arenas. Very different final objectives however.

If your goal is to create as much clubhead speed as possible, void of acceleration through impact, there are a lot of ways to go about this.

This is the age of 7600 yard golf courses favoring more wide open landing areas than ever before… so it would not be surprising to see Austin’s theories gaining in popularity as we move deeper into the titanium age.

From the little I have seen, Austin would be teaching more of what we would call a “swingers protocol”. I used this for years, in college, and finished 7th in the NCAA long drive contest at Burmuda Run in 1986 with a 297 yard drive using persimmon and balata slightly up a hill. However, I was not in the top ten in the tournament. Good ball control was what won the tournament… Scott Verplank if I remember right.

Would love to hear some things you learned from Austin…
welcome, and please feel free to post.

I don’t know anything about Mike Austins technique. But I did read a book about him, very interesting fellow.

In the book Austin claimed to have have evidence (photographic swinging in front of a grid) that he had a club head speed of 150mph at impact and 155mph after.

I do know one of the tenets from Dan Shauger’s book about Mike’s methods is to maintain the angle between the left arm and shaft similiar to what we do here with ABS/hitting approach.


Is Dan’s book anything like what Mike taught you? What is the biggest misconception? Did Mike ever hit any balls in front of you and what was that like?


Thanks for the welcome. I appreciate it.
I agree that there’s many ways to do it. Had the pleasure of taking lessons from many top pro’s.
Mike’s techniques and results were special. I’d have to say a lot more resultant accuracy than people would give it credit for.
I will be glad to provide input where it might be helpful.
Thanks again.

By the mid-1990’s Mike had suffered a stroke. He had 80+% loss of locomotion in his right side (right arm and right leg).
He gave full lessons until his late 80’s, early 90’s.
He did hit it one-handed and flushed it. Pretty heady stuff.
Mike released the club right from the top. He never tried to hold the angle between the wrist and the club head.
It was a free flowing motion. In Mike’s opinion, holding the angle put a brake on a swinging club head.
I realize that’s different than much instruction, but I can tell you that’s what he taught.

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and I can tell you that’s not what he did…

Well, here Austin has a late release, hits the 4:30 line nicely, big shoulder turn, spine tilt, weight over the right ankle, good ground pressures…

All stuff we work on here at ABS.

I’m not buying the throw the hands from the top. Not even as a feeling. What do you think he was really trying to say or communicate with that?

I have a feeling that Austin was trying to work against a common teaching theme of the time. Every magazine had at least one picture of a golfer posed at the “moment before impact”, full 90 degree angle between the left arm and the club and the arm was perpendicular to the ground. There is a clip on YouTube of Austin explaining that you can’t think about reaching that position and that the action to create the release should come sooner. I know that the subject of “real vs. feel” has been discussed in other forum topics.

I have noticed a marked increase in the ability of many of the younger instructors of today in using both language and video/photo tools to communicate their message. Several of the posters on this site have very strong communication skill. I joined this community because of the quality of information provided by Lag and Twomasters and a lot of earlier misconceptions have been clarified over the past twelve months.

Here is a link to the Austin video:

If you knew Mike, I can you he said what he believed. It didn’t matter if it was with the grain or against it.
I can also tell you that he threw the club head from the top and never tried to hold the club off. It was a step and throw. What you see in photo’s is simple the result of that action- much like a pitcher throwing a ball. The wrists and handed acted like a flail at the end of the arms. As he said in the video (portions of which you have produced) he was trying to whirl the club head.

Please note that I am not trying to discredit lag pressure. I personally have taken lessons with Ben Doyle with great results.
For people that want to know what Mike taught however (and this was a MIke Austin thread), I simply wanted to educate those interested that he taught a throwing action from the top.
I have hours of tape and barely healed wounds from 5 years of tongue lashings to prove it.
If I was next to you at a range I could also show you how far you and accurately you can hit it with just your hands.
Again, it doesn’t mean you could not show me the same results utilizing lag pressure. Thanks!

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I certainly welcome this thread… and I agree that the hands can be very powerful…
It sounds like he teaches active use of the hands… I certainly do… but not from the top of the backswing…

The only way I can fathom that concept would be if you took a very short backswing, and then had a very quick change in direction with the torso creating a lot of inward loading of the shaft…(moving toward the body)… then I can see where you might want to feel the hands actively resisting that inward pressure with a hand throw sensation very early… but you would need to line up your other ducks before you could entertain such intentions.

Please feel free to shed more light on what you learned from Austin.

These forums are the place to kick around such ideas…

Throwing it from the top with the hands is not something I could imagine teaching a student… but with other very advanced mechanics in place, then I suppose you could suggest that as I mentioned above… but that kind of concept would only be for very, very advanced ball strikers.

Doesn’t Mike Maves say something similar to Mike Austin, that from the top of the swing he’s not trying to hold onto any angles, but rather is trying to release them as quickly as possible, in a race to get the club-head in position for impact?

I suspect a lot of “lost in translation” here.

Dropping the club into the slot, or how the lower body sets up transition will have a lot to do with what you are going to be feeling in your hands…

I am with Maves, in that I am not trying to hold shaft angles all the way to and beyond impact. Firing actively with the hands is good technique and good science if done correctly. It’s learning to fire hard with the hands at the bottom that can allow a player to feel passivity in the hands at transition.

I am sure Austin had an excellent teaching platform, as he was a quality player.

Snead talked often about firing the hands at the bottom… Hogan talked about the “free ride down” but then also talked about firing both hands hard, and reaching maximum velocity post impact.

I cannot think however about throwing the hands from the top… because I could do that easily, and the results would be horrific.

There must be more to the story…

Surely consciously having to hold wrist angles would indicate the start down is too violent? I definitely haven’t considered any part of your philosophy Lag about consciously holding wrist angles.Sounds like a recipe for wrist tension, and one that is working against the later firing of the wrists.