Your Own Swing, The Foundation, & How Low You Score

Could you learn from a machine? With maybe 50 to 60 shots per round (30 or so for putting) it would take 200 rounds of golf to achieve 10,000 repetitions. And these would not even be repetitions of the same shot. Fourteen of the 50 would be with the driver; five or so with fairway clubs; maybe 30 with irons; and different irons at that. Even more to consider is that the only positive feedback gained during a round is when the golfer hit the perfect shot. No other verbal or tactile feedback is given, unless the golfer was playing the round with his professional instructor.

Wanting to improve my game, I did considerable research on the golf swing and found much of it to be contradictory and arguable. Two aspects of the swing however emerged as being irrefutable. And they were pertinent to my flaws. Every pro will agree to: keep your head behind the ball through impact and maintain your spine angle. In fact it is difficult to do one without the other. By focusing on developing muscle memory with these two aspects of my swing, I was finally able to break 80 (shot a 78) for the first time in my life at age 65. I have shot in the 70’s several times since.

Another great benefit of the Mike Austin golf swing is that swing is designed to use the joints properly, and as a result it is much easier on your body. Mike was a testament to that himself hitting monster drives injury free well into his late seventies, when a stroke, suffered due to repercussions of a car accident he was in, left him partially paralyzed. Using his left hand (backhanded) and not being able to pivot he, could still hit a seven iron over 140 yards when demonstrating the swing. Check him out on Youtube, you can see his swings through the years. It is remarkable to see him using his technique over the years, and you can see how well his body held up.

A golfer whose game has a solid foundation is not disturbed by a bad shot. He is not deeply upset by a poor round or a bad tournament. He is willing to adjust his game plan on the day he is not hitting crisp shots, but he is not looking for a quick-fix swing change. This is fundamental to long-term good play. If your foundation is shaky, your scores over time will be erratic at best. The player who scores well one day, then scores poorly the next couple of days, then has a good day is one whose foundation is built on shifting sand.

By having a stable spine, you must limit hip rotation in your swing. While hips are meant to move in dancing and tennis and so many other sports and recreations in the golf swing they are best kept as a sort of resistant spring effect. If you get the hips turning they take the spin off center giving a swaying type motion in golf the backswing. When the spine is a true axis the hips act as a coiling spring and there is storage of power ready to be released through the hands to the clubhead and to the ball. Add to this a shortened backswing, which is not loopy or floppy or way past parallel and you have added control to the power of the swing.

If we imitate the ‘Iron Byron’ we would firstly have a stable spine for the golf swing to work around. The human cannot be as perfectly held as the mechanical apparatus but we can remember that if the spine is an axis for the body to rotate around rather than dipping and swaying and creating different rotating planes for the swing we will have the basic positioning right. When we do have the Spine moving off its plane there is wastage of not just consistency but also both mental and physical energy. So if the spine is stable we can focus upon the ball and hand release, which is the end result of the swing process.

And the wedge. Sometimes we miss a green, or in the case of a par 5, we need a third shot to get on. Hogan prided himself on being able to get his wedge shots close. He felt if you could, there was no way a pin could be hidden from you. In fact, he called his pitching wedge his “equalizer”, and Ben Hogan iron sets do not include a club marked P or PW. They all have an E. And as with putting, many players can drive the ball well for a limited period but few can maintain consistent excellence over the course of a career that lasts decades. No-one can do it well all the time – even the absolute best have their off days and weeks – but these golfers did it better for longer than anyone else who lived.

Jose Maria Olazabal: Often couldn’t find a fairway with GPS but such are his powers of recovery, and iron play, that it didn’t matter. Has a fast tempo but a great, simple, repetitive technique that gets the job done time and again. The greatest Major ever – 1977s duel in the sun with Nicklaus – was decided on the 72nd hole when he split the fairway to set up his winning birdie. Like many in this list the quality of his ball-striking never left him but the golfing gods decide that very few can have it all for too long, so his putting stroke headed south.

John Daly: The enormous backswing means that if his timing is just a fraction out – which it often is – then the ball could go anywhere. One of the Great Triumvirate, along with Vardon and Taylor, Braid was the longest driver of the three and found more than his fair share of fairways. Won his five Open Championships in a 10-year stretch and even at age 78 shot a gross 74. Went on to become a notable architect whose courses, not surprisingly, put a premium on good tee shots. If your golf ball consistently curves to the right it can make for a long day. Every once in a while when you see trouble right it makes you aim further left, and of course that is about the time that the golf ball doesn’t slice.

Hitting a good drive puts you on offense. It leaves the ball in the part of the fairway here the green can be attacked, and even the pin. You should have a plan at the outset of every hole, and getting the ball off the tee into the right place is the key to carrying out your plan. Body Rotation – The machine has a motorized drive cylinder which provides the power for the swing. Attached to this cylinder is a metal arm equipped to hold a golf club. The arm has no power itself but is dependent on the drive cylinder.

When we got to the lesson tee, I asked D.M. to take a few practice swings, and then I had him hit a half a dozen shots. Moe Norman; Golf’s greatest eccentric was famous for hitting drivers so straight that a caddie with a baseball glove could stand at the end of the range and catch them – supposedly without moving his feet. 3. The arms do not actually swing. The left arm travels at the same speed as the rotation of the body. This is deceptive in Mike’s swing because of the free fluid action. People think of it as an arm swing motion. Nothing is further from the truth. Once he is wound up at the top the left arm will not advance relative to the rotation of the body until after impact.

Hank Kuehne: Tall, pencil-thin American who, like Gerald Ford, doesn’t know which course he’s playing until after the first tee shot comes to rest. US Open winners cannot afford to be wild off the tee and, while not up there with the longest in the game, Furyk’s unorthodox style gives him the repeatability for which most golf pros would sell their grandmothers. Now recovered from wrist surgery he perpetually demonstrates that anyone who can hit fairways and greens will be tough to beat. I pointed out to D.M. that this combination of proper footwork for balance and proper body action for power was the basis of every good golfer’s game, and that how¬≠ever he had acquired that little forward press, it had made it possible for him to use his body correctly and gave him the basis of a real good golf game.

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