Why Mike Dunaway’s Down Swing

mike dunaway impact

I have some personal matters arise which require attending-to this morning, so I thought I’d dash this quick post off before doing so, and when I return home in the afternoon, it’ll be back to work on the video, which is now nearly complete.

Touch and go and day to day!  But before I head out, here’s my thought on MD.

Of course, Mike Dunaway was a great swinger and long driver, but why am I focusing only on his down swing and not other things like his stance or back swing pivot?

The reason, and the only one you’ll need, is because MD’s stance and back swing pivot were not optimal – they were great for him, but remember that he had difficulty playing regular golf over just belting the ball a mile, and that had to do with those two things.

dunaway ds

First, Dunaway was a former football player and had size and bear-like strength, so he could stand with a narrower stance than optimal, because of that.

So, his stance worked for him in achieving what he wanted, but I have always looked for the optimal from which to work.

Most of us need a proper width for our stance in order to achieve maximum results in leverage and power production, so like Jack Nicklaus or Ben Hogan or any other swinger who did something out of the optimal, you take that out.

Same thing with the center-biased stance and the shifting head on the back swing – it’s not optimal, so take it out.

Dunaway’s down swing however was sublime, and if you could perform that same down swing from the optimal at-the-top position (which you achieve with the stance and the back swing pivot), then you are off to the races.

I am not attacking Dunaway in any way, shape or form, only pointing out that his narrowish stance came from his not floating his leading heel, and the centered bias in his stance caused the head shift that caused him problems trying to play scoring golf.

So, if you’re not going to insist on having a planted or very low floating heel on the back swing, and just swing according to optimal mechanics (with a regular width stance and right bias for a stable head), you’ll be at the proper position coming to the top, at which point, if you can perform a “Dunaway” down swing, you’re going to kill that ball, and do so with repeatability and consistency (and of course, accuracy).

So, while you may not look exactly like Dunaway on the motion, you’ll achieve the results you want – an almost-extended right arm into the swing bottom without having to twist the hips violently (thereby raising the right heel into impact) to clear the left shoulder and arm.


Basically, what both Dunaway and I are doing above, are the optimal way to come into the swing bottom- extending through the bottom with a low trailing heel that shows an optimal transference of the weight to the left side without “pushing off” with the right foot to turn the hips.

Any difference in our foot action (post-impact, Dunaway’s heel comes up and then he performs the “step-around,” while in my iron swing, with the wider stance, I have the toe-drag, both of which serve the same purpose of not restricting the hip turn through impact, but neither of us is “forcing” the hip turn by raising the heel into impact) – is merely that, a slight difference of action based on our stance widths and weight shift.

I’ve got to run, but I have to say, this video has been the most fun upon which to work, due to the research having concluded and my being able to get down to the nitty-gritty of certain things while working with David D.

More to come!

Want to learn more about the MCS Golf Swing Theory? Try one of DJ’s “Secrets of the MCS”video shorts available via download.

hogan pivot

Or you can download the very latest MCS Golf Swing video “MCS – Perfect Pivot based on the flawless pivot action of Ben Hogan.**

**”MCS – Perfect Pivot” is Part 3 of the “MCS Golf Swing Trilogy,” now available for download!

wax shirts2


4 thoughts on “Why Mike Dunaway’s Down Swing

  1. Laser

    “look exactly like Dunaway”

    –Maybe it’s just me, but as my eyes shift from Dunaway’s still photo at the top, to DJ’s photo with the message “WAX GOLF FORUM”…they kinda look almost exactly the same.

    1. D Watts Post author

      Almost but not quite, Laser – that impact picture of mine is from 2013, and you can see the high right heel that I have, compared to Dunaway’s low heel impact. I’ve of course since then figured out the importance of (and better yet, how to swing to produce) a low-heel impact (efficiency of motion, ergo, of the swing in total), so the resemblance would be closer today.

      And once you’re there, you’ve taken care of the address position, the back swing pivot and now the down swing into impact.

      Over the years, I have taken this same standard MCS swing model (which goes back to ’14 and the Ben Hogan Project) and merely worked on optimizing each and every part of the model.

      Relieved to say, I’m there! 🙂

      PS – but my best swings are still ahead of me, because I barely swung last year and didn’t have a chance to really get after it. This year..l will be doing so!

  2. Jonas

    I would think that two people swinging with mechanical correct motions and who put a lot of power on the ball would tend to look somewhat similar just as you would expect with other things we observe in sports. Thoughts DJ?

    1. D Watts Post author

      Absolutely, Jonas – I’m no long driver like Dunaway was, but I have driven the ball 350-375 yards on the golf course, so I guess you could call me long-ish… and if you get two or more fellows driving the ball 350+ yards with, as you say, mechanically-correct swings, you’re likely going to see a whole lot of similarity in the swings in certain points.

      The point however is that I was not studying Dunaway’s swing model when I made the swing in the above impact photo – that was the “New MCS” model from the summer of 2013 and I had decided to just build my own model that year rather than studying other swings – but look how similar the impact positions.

      I found the secret to Dunaway’s down swing, actually, not by studying his action minutely, but after I had performed a swing or two with the proper positioning and mechanical action from the top.

      I felt my right foot staying down rather than pushing up to turn the hips, with a few swings, and then I knew I’d found it.

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