Mike Dunaway Used The KMCS “Switching Sides” Method

This is “deja-vu all over again,” as Yogi Berra would have said.

Those of you who have the “Kinesiology Of The MCS Golf Swing” video (Part 1 of the MCS Trilogy Series) will probably not be that surprised to know that, in the Peace River swing video, Mike Dunaway used a mechanically-correct version of the planted-heel swing I demonstrated in “Kinesiology.”

I am watching the Peace River video right now, where Dunaway is explaining his pivot action, and the problem is that he didn’t explain it very well in the leg and hip area – I was watching something else that he was explaining, the “Figure 7” concept of his left arm on the pivot.

But when I got up from the computer and grabbed swing stick to see what he was doing, I first did it using my standard “floating heel” pivot back swing, but when I took a closer look at what Dunaway was actually doing with his entire body – he was simply “switching sides” to get that full hip and shoulder turn.

Below is the swing I demo’d in the “Kinesiology” video with a planted-heel back swing pivot, and Dunaway’s below that:

Look Familiar?

The only difference is that Dunaway was the master – my version was mechanically-correct, but his was optimal – look at the right leg position at the top for us both, and the trailing heel at impact.

I’ve done enough research however and made enough pivots in the two years since “Kinesiology” began as the Jack Nicklaus Project back in the summer of 2015 to have seen Dunaway’s move instantly this morning as the same one I made in that video, just his was excellent.

Dunaway’s “Switching Sides” Pivot – 375 Yard Drives

The reason for that – he swung that way himself, whereas I was devising a method for people to swing with a planted-heel without killing themselves and before I had implemented the Ben Hogan “floating pivot” leg and hip action into the standard MCS model.

Dunaway had a shifting head, yes, but had he tried a right-biased stance, he would have done exactly the same thing he’s doing in Peace River – but without the head shift.

Now, isn’t it funny that what I said is mechanically-correct for a planted heel back swing (if you absolutely must do it that way) is the same way the club tester for Callaway’s Big Bertha club and the father of modern long drive actually swung himself – and I didn’t study Dunaway’s swing to develop the same move?

That should tell you something – athletic motion is universal, and if two people devise a method of moving or swinging with mechanical correctness – they will end up in the same place.

Or, they should… because there are people graduating from biomechanics and kinesiology programs who aren’t coming up with the same models.

So, it’s all coming full circle – I was of course correct two years ago in “Kinesiology” when I said it was possible to perform a mechanically-sound pivot with the leading heel planted (or minimally lifting, I said, and I’ve seen the same thing from Dunaway at various times in his life, swinging with a little heel to completely planted).

What I need to do, to avoid confusion, is to clarify – there is no mechanically-sound way to make a modern golf swing restricted-hip/twisting torso pivot, because you’re breaking the cardinal rule in twisting the lower back (the rule being, “don’t do that“), but some people may be able to perform a full hip turn with a planted heel and still be mechanically-correct – provided they set up and pivot in the MCS manner.

Now, Austin and Dunaway both swung from a center-biased stance, whereas the MCS model is right-biased (to eliminate the shifting head on the back swing), but the “kicked-in” right knee position is a natural athletic thing – I was doing various forms of address positions with the “kicked in” right leg before I ever even heard of Mike Austin, but I recognized that in his model instantly when I began to study his swing model.

Dunaway as well set up with the “kicked-in” right leg, and he increased the “kick-in” with his forward press before the takeaway:

So, ironically, all I’ve been doing since the “Kinesiology” video has been moving the standard MCS swing model closer and closer to optimal from just mechanically-sound.

“MCS – Perfect Pivot” (Part 2 of Trilogy) was the introduction of Ben Hogan’s pivot action to optimize the pivot action and “MCS – Dropping The Hammer” (Part 3) gave (along with the one-on-one work with David D. and some juicy concepts on the stance and pivot) more optimization in the setting up for the powerful down swing and lower-heel impact that was introduced in “Perfect Pivot.”

I studied Dunaway’s swing for some time in the early days of my Mike Austin research (’09-’12), but because the two swings were different (Austin had the high-heel back swing to Dunaway’s low or planted heel, and Austin had a high-heel impact where Dunaway’s had a low or delayed heel lift through impact, for two things), I had to pick one and went with Austin.

The same thing happened with Ben Hogan – I studied him very intensely in the beginning of my swing research through ’05-’06, but I didn’t know enough about mechanics at the time to figure out his leg and hip action.

Not to mention, I was looking at his post-wreck and 50 year old swing, compared to the classic pivot and late-30’s swing he had before the wreck immobilized his lower body to some extent.

Then, when I relied on the Golf Channel analysts who described Hogan’s swing (horribly incorrectly), I gave up on Hogan and moved on, only coming back to him in ’14 and seeing for myself what he was doing with his pivot.

So, if you’re a Mike Austin/Dunaway devotee, I’m sure you have some of the videos of his swing from Youtube – if you have the “Kinesiology” video, listen to how I describe the planted-heel pivot and watch Dunaway do it in his swing clips… and you’ll be in good shape!



7 thoughts on “Mike Dunaway Used The KMCS “Switching Sides” Method

  1. D Watts Post author

    PS – What I would say was Dunaway’s only swing flaw, which didn’t affect his long drive swing as much as it would have hampered his attempt to play the Senior Tour – that head shift… other than that, he was flawless in his model.

  2. Laser

    “with his entire body – he was simply ‘“switching sides'”

    That’s really good. For one thing, the push and pull are reversed.

    1. D Watts Post author

      It’s really that simple, Laser – I keep having this happen to me, where I go back and look at something after a few years have passed, and what I couldn’t figure out then, just jumps out at me.

      They say it takes 10,000 hrs to really become a master at something, so the more hours I have put into swing research, the more things jump out at me when I previously scratched my head and was stumped.

      Funny how that works.

      Now, how long have some of these gurus been teaching the same, flawed and unworkable swing models?

  3. The Welshman

    Yesterday I hit consecutively three of the sweetest 5 woods. All long, racking, straight, draws. I’m a high handicapper so hitting a straight 5 wood with a 210 yard carry is exceptional.

    I was using a 20 year old Callaway Big Bertha which, by modern standards, is minute Bertha

    The ‘feeling’ I had was rotating the whole body and coming in from behind the ball–without breaking the line of scrimage.

    It ‘felt’ like frame 3 of DJ and Dunaway sequence above.

    I lost the ‘feeling’ and couldn’t quite replicate it but I definitely had it—which it was keeps you going!

    The pro at the range commented on the strikes and noted the raised left heel. He told me that Nicklaus used to snap his left heel down to initiate his downswing.

    I seen that Byron Nelson and Mike Austin seem to use a lateral shift to the left with their hips to initiate their downswing.

    Interestingly, with best shots yesterday, it felt like my right foot was involved with my downswing initiation, almost if it was a ‘pushing off’ or starting a sprint.

    Very interesting

    1. D Watts Post author

      Two points, Welshman:

      Byron Nelson was a legendary ball-striker and is considered to have been the first “modern” swinger after the switch from hickory shafts to steel – I would think that sway in his swing came from his hickory days, when you kind of swayed with the club due to the whippy shafts.

      At any rate, he was one of the best ever, but should be considered the exception proving the rule that you don’t want to shift laterally with the swing. And yes, he had the same press into the left side that Austin and Dunaway had:

      Aside from the shifting, his swing is exactly what the MCS model entails, right down to his right foot slide through impact.


      Second, there is a concept I’ve called “hitting the ball with the right knee,” which is what you’re experiencing in feel on the transition. Good stuff! 🙂

  4. Welshie

    And yet another example of a fine classic swing.

    Front foot flaired.
    Back foot slightly back.
    Hip turn.
    Floating left heel on pivot
    Hips cleared at impact
    Balanced follow through

    Dean Martin @ 3 mins!

    1. D Watts Post author

      Sam Snead, one of the original Big 3, with Hogan and Nelson. Can you believe they were all born the same year and played the Tour the same time? Doesn’t get any better than that.

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