Mickey Wright’s Classic Golf Swing

*Originally published January 2nd, 2012 on the DJ Watts Golf blog.  Still relevant today…update at bottom

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Ben Hogan once remarked that Mickey Wright had the best swing he’d ever seen.  Looking at her swing myself, I can see why he would have said this.

Mickey was of course a classic swinger from the ’50’s era, where proper mechanical swings were not as rare as they are today.  The golfers from that era just swung so much better than the players today.

If you gave the average pro golfer from today a 50’s era persimmon driver and old forged irons, how ugly would it get as far as fairways hit and distances? I’m betting it wouldn’t be a pretty sight.

I didn’t invent the MCS swing.  There are proper athletic principles in any sound motion and all I’ve done with the MCS is look at how the best swingers did it and try to explain the same principles in my own words.

Mickey Wright’s Classic Swing

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That said, Mickey Wright has what you’d have to call an MCS swing, meaning it was mechanically-correct.  Look at what she did in her swing that my MCS method would call for:

1. The upright, bending-at-the-hips posture at address,

2. The full body turn around the spine on the back swing, with the classic heel-lift,

3. The “left-foot stomp” action of leading with the weight and hip shift to the left rather than turning into impact.

This third aspect is what I love the most about Mickey’s swing.  You can really see that aggressive weight shift and “stomping” action with the left leg and foot as she transitioned into the downswing.  Awesome left-side leverage to the swing, leaving her completely relaxed at the finish with the high hand position.

A great swing from one of the most prolific winners in the history of the LPGA, with 82 wins, second only to Kathy Whitworth’s 88.

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Update: I thought I’d re-post this today as yesterday was Mickey’s 80th birthday.  And what a timeless swing.  This appears to be nearly completely 100% MCS, and from over 50 years ago.

Mickey Wrights Show Some Awesome MCS Principles

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Not only, take a look at that first Youtube swing in the original posting – her flexibility allowed her to finish without a “short-stop slide,” but if she had performed it – what would she have looked exactly like, swinging?

Her swing puts every male player on the PGA Tour today to shame.

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4 thoughts on “Mickey Wright’s Classic Golf Swing

  1. john1brady

    “If you gave the average pro golfer from today a 50′s era persimmon driver and old forged irons, how ugly would it get as far as fairways hit and distances? I’m betting it wouldn’t be a pretty sight”

    Let’s add the ball to this comparison. Jack Nicklaus estimates the modern ball adding 50 yards to the average drive. Additionally, the wound ball was much more prone to slicing and hooking. BTW, Jack won the 1963 long driving contest with a 341 yard blast. No small feat.

  2. Buddhabob

    I think Wright would win everything nowadays, what an athlete. And everybody was taught to swing that way back then, freely and powerfully. I hate to say it but JohnBrady is right imo, using the old equipment would definitely winnow many from the field today. And accuracy was maybe even more important then because you could really slice or hook the old ball easily and accidentally.

    I don’t think the ball makes 50 yards difference though nowadays, thats an exaggeration though with a 400 yard drive Jack could be right. I would say around 10% neighborhood of difference with the ball. Keep in mind that time is no friend to objectivity or truth either.

    The oldtimers exaggerated when they referred to Ben Hogan’s swing speed in 1953 as approximately 132mph. That was a gulper. I would think Mickey Wright out drove him consistently and was a bigger specimen. I would say he swung at 105mph, maybe. And Mike Austin’s 155mph swing? A complete hoax that worshipful followers still try to sell. He probably swung 115-120mph in his prime, the clubs were short and made of stiff steel and no one had any good means to measure their speed.

    In fact I would think that with the modern equipment Austin would have a longer swing with a wider stance and probably make other modifications as well.

    1. D Watts Post author

      “The oldtimers exaggerated when they referred to Ben Hogan’s swing speed in 1953 as approximately 132mph. That was a gulper.”

      I saw that as well… and I’m sure Mickey would have out-driven the post-wreck Hogan.

    2. john1brady

      BuddhaB, why do you hate to agree 😉
      Mickey was beautiful to watch. Beautiful swing and beautiful lady.
      Austin’s swing speed along with many of his claims have to be considered with suspicion.
      Hard to argue that he transferred incredible energy to the ball and did so consistently.
      Would he change with modern equipment? I doubt it.

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