Mike Austin Swing

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The Mike Austin Swing, as shown by a sequence of high-speed photographs.

The Mike Austin Swing is a golf swing. Golf instructor John Marshall believes that this method is a more efficient and more accurate way of hitting a golf ball. The swing was developed by Mike Austin. Based on the principle of leverage, Austin, an engineer, demonstrated the power of the swing by hitting the longest recorded drive in a professional tour event, with a 515 yard shot while playing in the U.S. National Seniors Open in 1974. He was 64 years old at the time and was using a Balata ball and a 43 inch Persimmon driver. Guinness Book of World Records has confirmed this feat.

The Austin swing breaks from standard Professional Golfers Association teaching in a number of ways:

  1. The hips slide and tilt laterally rather than turning.
  2. The club head is thrown from the top of the swing, not released at the last moment.
  3. The golfer bends forward from the hips rather than bending with the knees.

Late in his career, Austin changed his hand motion to a counter-rotation of the forearms that keeps the club facing the target throughout the swing, making misses nearly impossible, although Mike never did this move during his playing career.

Austin designed his golf swing to use the joints of the body in the way they are designed. He claimed that his swing did not cause back injuries which are so common among professional golfers.

It is very similar to Ben Hogan's swing in that the transition from backswing to downswing is initiated from the hips. Most tour pros (Right-handed) come through impact with left elbow facing the target, and don't let it fold next to their left ribs as the right hand takes over to carry the club up and around the body for correct follow through. they instead let the left elbow point skyward as they come through the follow through until the club finishes.

With some tour pros generating clubhead speeds of 115 mph+, the reason for the back injuries is that their backs are absorbing all of that speed, rather than coming through impact with their forward elbows pointing at the forward hip. This allows the forward arm to fold around the body, transfer the maximum amount of energy through the ball, and produce a true mirror follow through of the proper backswing. Ben Hogan noted the rolling of the hands and the cup of the forward elbow pointing skyward rather than toward the target in his book "the five fundamentals..." and finished by describing the folding of the forward arm after impact while the rear arm straightens out to produce a mirror position of the backswing.

If you watch Mike Austin and Ben Hogan they both generate a huge amount of clubhead speed with very little "muscling" of the clubhead through the ball. Ben Hogan noted that done the right way, the golf swing should feel like a physical pleasure, which is far from anything that would injure you. He was a long hitter, and incredible ball striker, and Mike Austin was as well, not because they were gym roving juggernauts that could put more muscle behind the ball, but because they both understood how to achieve a TRULY efficient golf swing.

John Marshall has won numerous long drive events using the Austin golf swing.