Mike Dunaway’s Swing Mechanics

Mike-DunawayThose of you who have been around for the past few years might remember my constant harping on my view that Mike Dunaway’s swing was not the same model as Mike Austin’s.

If you aren’t familiar with Mike Dunaway, he is largely regarded as the father of modern long driving and who passed away last year around this time.

Well, I was right after all Mike Dunaway’s planted-heel swing was performed along the same lines as how I’ve been describing to those of you at DJ’s Watering Hole, as pertains to the MCS planted-heel “throwing” model.

So, it was definitely different from Austin’s floating heel swing in more than just aesthetics.  It was a different pivot and down swing action from Austin’s.

md swing


I’ve been performing this same swing of Dunaway’s above after taking a good and close look at the differences between his planted-heel move and mine, but the difference is subtle.

If I stand the way he did, I’ll swing exactly the same way.

But of course I stand a little different than MD did, so our swings, while using the same principles, would look different.

I think that the “Kinesiology of the MCS Golf Swing” video project, a look at Dunaway’s swing would be some autumn fun over at the Watering Hole



8 thoughts on “Mike Dunaway’s Swing Mechanics

  1. Laser

    You’re the expert, I’m just a hobbyist.

    What I see with Dunaway is that he’s doing something–with other things reacting to it. (Not trying to direct arms somewhere–like George Knudson said.)

    With the downswing, Dunaway is doing the same process, but initiating from the opposite side. Most modern pros seem to be doing this too.

    Two things are missing from the classic swing: the takeaway and the floating heel. I wonder if it’s a coincidence that they both disappeared together.

  2. D Watts Post author

    Laser, you wrote:

    What I see with Dunaway is that he’s doing something–with other things reacting to it. (Not trying to direct arms somewhere–like George Knudson said.)

    Right on the money, Laser. Dunaways swing was lower-body driven, and you can’t even begin to try copying his move without the lower body action. The right arm is driving the down swing on the upper body part, for sure, but is synced with the lower body action.

    And yes, the takeaway and the floating heel disappeared at the same time… let’s hope they come back together 😉

  3. buddhabob

    simple smooth swing. It wass the extra 40 to 60 lbs of hip and girth power that gave him his uncommon distance imo.

    1. D Watts Post author

      I have to agree, buddhabob – the planted heel swing, even Dunaway’s model or MCS, is not as leveraged or powerful as the floating pivot when leveraged properly.

      It’s just the truth.

    2. peterallenby2013

      Hmmm. I have Dunaway instructional DVDs from his first foray into teaching a swing with Mike Austin (the so-called Peace River video) and then later in his life when he had dropped a ton of weight – no difference in power or length o f shots that I can discern! Whether as powerful or not, Dunaway LIT IT UP with uncanny accuracy

      1. D Watts Post author

        Size and strength, Peter – he was a strong man, as was Austin.

        When I was a lad, I remember helping the old man collect some firewood for the coming winter, around age ten.

        He was cutting windfalls with the chainsaw and I lugged the pieces back to the pickup truck.

        A couple of times, he told me “that one’s too heavy, I’ll take it,” only to watch me grab the lumber and hoist it away – later, I heard him telling our neighbor who had come along, “That kid is strong as a horse!”

        I was rail-thin at the time, so…

        Point being, Dunaway was a football linebacker, and whatever his weight at any time, I would suggest that he was just extraordinarily strong.

        There is a reason no one swings planted heel and hits it really long, except for the big and tall guys I’ve mentioned.

        We mortals will make do with a floating heel, and be better off for it.

          1. D Watts Post author

            I beg your pardon, Brandon – I’m only 6’1″, and that is doubtful as I was desperate to be as tall as I could be, playing high school basketball. I’m likely between 6′ & 6’1″ but I certainly not 6’2″!

            Does that return me to mortal status? 😉

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