For people who are interested in learning the principals of the Mike Austin swing, long drive champion John Marshall will show them the way. People of all levels of experience and ability rave about this swing and attest to its superiority over conventional golf swing technique. Anyone who tries it discovers that it’s easier to learn and that it creates effortless power and accuracy without requiring endless practice time.
Mike Austin’s Swing Leads to Record-breaking Drive
At the 1974 US National Seniors Open Championship, at the age of 64, Mike Austin drove a golf ball 515 yards, on level ground, with a persimmon head driver. The shot was helped by a tail wind thought to be about 25 miles per hour. It occurred on a course in Las Vegas known then as the Winterwood Golf Course (now Desert Rose). The hole on which it was accomplished is a long flat slight dog leg right where the green is visible from the tee about 450 yards away. The tee shot landed just short of the green and rolled roughly 65 yards past it. It was listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest ever in a golf competition.
Austin, who passed away in 2005, was honored by the PGA of America in 2004, at the age of 94. He was one of the original members of the “350 Club” (America’s long driving team, exclusive to golfers who have surpassed 350 yards in competition). Austin’s life story includes many notable accomplishments outside of golf, among them victories in boxing and serious opera performance. With the salty mannerisms and other personal characteristics often found in geniuses, he taught for years in Studio City, California.
The Mike Austin Golf Swing
Austin’s unique and powerful swing is based upon principals that use leverage and the strengths of one’s arms and legs in ways that are not possible in the conventional swing. Because there is minimal clubface rotation, the swing also eliminates the problems of acute timing required by the conventional swing for producing precision accuracy and trajectory. It is a smooth, natural, rhythmic and athletic motion that is a pleasure to watch and easy to repeat.
Years ago, the common technique in high-jumping was a head-first “straddle” dive over the bar, with tummy facing the ground. The Olympic record using that method was 7’ 5 ¾”. In 1968 a young high school jumper by the name of Dick Fosbury, over the resistance of his coach, invented and employed a new method of jumping backwards over the bar, tummy facing the sky. He won the 1968 Olympic gold medal by clearing 7’ 4”. Since then, virtually all high jump competitors have utilized his method. Likewise, in the world of professional football in the United States, field goal kicking was radically changed when instead of using the legs in an on-line forward motion, Pete Gogolak employed a body-rotation style as is done in soccer. American style kickers lost their jobs to soccer-style kickers whose kicks were 15 to 25 yards longer and just as accurate. The point of these analogies is simply this: prior to knowing about, or even considering an alternative method of the high jump or of kicking, the whole world just accepted what was passed down and used without considering, or comparing it to, other methods. In the same way, all who have discovered and tried the Mike Austin golf swing agree that his swing method will be the standard golf swing of the future, given its inherent utilization of physical strength, leverage and control of direction that simply does not exist in a conventional swing method.
Austin was known for his great physical strength, but his prodigious drives were not the product of that great strength alone. His science-based mechanics (his expertise included kinesiology, anatomy and engineering) enabled him to develop a swing that applies maximum leverage in the most efficient way possible.
The principles of the Mike Austin golf swing are straightforward: they simplify the control of direction by dramatically reducing the opening and closing of the club face. It therefore requires a lot less practice to remain ‘tuned up.’ The tilting, as well as turning of the hips, creates significantly more club head speed. Using the Austin swing, John Marshall at age 55 and over was hitting drives in competition over 340 yards despite being just 5’11” and 180 pounds.