*This is a posting from the DJ Watts Golf blog back on January 31, 2012.
I have edited it because in the original posting, I alluded to the claims of Payne having taken lessons from Mike Austin, which of course is another one of the Austin mythical tales – however, the swing as performed by Payne Stewart is so obviously a “pulling/hybrid” swing of the MCS family type – what a swing! /update
Brandon wanted me to take a look at Payne Stewart’s swing with regards to how it compares to Mike Austin’s technical theory. (edit: Instead, let’s look at it from the current MCS swing theory).
Payne Stewart – Hitting Iron
You can see a lot of MCS in this swing. If it weren’t for the fact that Payne’s left foot was a little too squared at address (you can see how it rolls through impact because of this stance flaw), it would be nearly a carbon copy of an MCS model swing.**
**Edit Note: In fact, anyone who downloaded the last video from Wax Golf, the “UMCS,” is likely thinking exactly that as they watch his swing now. And if you’ve reserved the upcoming “Kinesiology of the MCS Golf Swing” video – you’ll see exactly how Payne swung.
- You have the classic address position with the ball just behind the left heel with this long iron,
- The full-body pivot around the spine to the top with the “floating heel” (Payne had a very pronounced wrist set at the top even with irons, as I find I do as well),
- The strong hip shift and lower leg action leading the down swing,
- And watch that short-stop slide through the finish! That’s as big a slide as I’ve seen any PGA Tour player perform – like, that’s as big a slide as I have myself!
The only other thing I’d say that differed from MCS would be the outside take-away with slow right elbow bend, which you can see in the swing clip below. I don’t like the outside takeaway because it tends to pull lesser-skilled players out of position.
I once saw Payne on TV drop-kick a tee shot with a metal-wood once, and it wasn’t pretty seeing that fat and hacked-up divot from a major champion… I blame that outside takeaway…
Most people, with a back swing action like this (Colin Montgomerie), hit a fade, or if they’re lower skilled, a big ol’ pull-slice. Payne obviously was able to get away with, largely because of his big hip shift and lower leg action that turned this move into a soft draw by being able to still come into impact from inside.
Payne Stewart – Down the Line
This swing won three majors in a decade, which by today’s standards is about as good as you’re going to get if you’re not Tiger Woods… and I’d have to say that Payne’s swing was an MCS swing in many more ways than it wasn’t…