Padraig Harrington’s Mike Dunaway Move

Thanks to W.C. for sending me the link to this – has anyone seen PGA TourEuropean Tour player and 3-time major winner Padraig Harrington’s interesting new swing move?

There are actually two things he’s doing here, one of which isn’t really necessary – on the back swing, he’s lifting his entire leading foot off the ground, when all he really has to do is lift the heel, but that’s how discombobulated the modern swingers are at this point.

It’s understandable – after an entire career of modern golf swing principles, modern swingers know they need to get more hip turn into the back swing, but it seems the art of the lifting heel back swing has been lost to many.

I couldn’t find any Youtube video showing this, so if you want to see the actual clip, you can watch the Euro Tour’s Facebook posting.

The second thing he’s doing is straight out of Mike Dunaway’s playbook – watch the trailing foot “step around” that Padraig performs on the follow-through:

Padraig Harrington’s “Mike Dunaway” Move

When you compare it to a clip of Mike Dunaway swinging, back in the day, you’ll see why I call it the “Dunaway Move…”

Harrington states in his post-round interview, regarding the move, that he’s trying to keep up with the young guns, but there’s only one thing, besides turning the lift-and-step leading foot to a simple heel-lift on the back swing.

That is, Harrington is delaying the follow-through step-around a little, because you’ll see that his leading foot actually twists, to accommodate the hip turn, before the actual step.

Another interesting thing is that he’s actually performing a teeny-tiny attempt at a “short-stop slide” at impact:

This just indicates, once again, a failure to transfer the weight to the leading foot through impact – he does it at the end, but by then, he’s already had to twist the leading foot to get through the follow.

If you watch closely, at the point where you see that right toe just about to slide but instead grabs the turf – there’s where the twist occurs with the leading foot.

It’s a mystery to me why so many players have this over-riding imperative to not let the right foot move during the down swing, preferring all sorts of compensating left foot action in order to accomplish it, when the natural lifting or sliding of the trailing foot is what anyone does naturally when walking or throwing.

So, the step-around, while looking like Dunaway’s move, the effort is negated by the failure to transfer to the leading foot on early enough – the answer of course would be the true “short-stop slide,”  or “step-around,” with the weight transferring properly, akin to what you see me doing here:

You see how quiet my lower body is, even though it’s what is driving the pivot and supplying the leverage power to the down swing.

I still commend Padraig for his efforts, and if he’s just begun to do this, perhaps he’ll work his way eventually to the proper action.

Refreshing to see a 3-time major winner actually trying mechanically-sound things with which to tinker on his swing, which I would prefer to doing the same damaging things, over and over again, as if repetition of a bad move somehow makes it better.

How long did Tiger Woods spend with Sean Foley trying to make that unworkable and back-breaking swing model work?

Five years?

All I can say is, Close, Padraig – very close! Keep it going!”


14 thoughts on “Padraig Harrington’s Mike Dunaway Move

  1. targettom

    Yeah that was interesting, kudos to WC for flagging you on that. The GC guys were pretty perplexed about his swing. They didn’t really understand it. Hopefully they will find this blog and get the correct info

    1. D Watts Post author

      I believe so, Jim. But he’s not timing the step properly, so he’ll have that happen. Still, he’s -8 through 3 rounds at the Irish Open, so… 😉

    1. D Watts Post author

      Hey Mike! Yes, I am hoping to have the video done in the coming week – just began the editing and it shouldn’t be too long now!

  2. jason

    Very interesting. I experimented with this baseball style swing (lifting the front foot) for bit a little while ago. You get the power and it should be ‘mechanically sound’ on the back, but I found, like you mentioned DJ, that it was unnecessary and potentially harder for accuracy.

    BTW, I’ll be in Toronto for several weeks in August and would love to get a round or hit some balls if you’re around DJ.

    1. jason

      The other thing that Dunaway does for the back foot is letting it drag and lift. Looking at Paddy’s swing, seems more like a pure lift of the back foot without the drag, which looks more unnatural?

      1. D Watts Post author

        Nope – Dunaway had a little drag at times, but he also had the step-around without the drag:

        1. jason

          Hi Dj,

          Fantastic DJ. Looking forward. Hoping for good weather!

          I think by ‘drag’, I was referring to the sequencing. After impact, in both your example and Dunaway’s, the back foot releases into the lift – it looks to me like a drag because it’s action seems to be a natural result of the movement after impact and letting the foot release.

          In Paddy’s example, the foot seems to release later somehow, making it look a little unnatural. He almost replants the front part of the back foot. I think you mentioned this as improper weight transfer as he almost looks like he re-grips that foot into a slightly strange turn before letting the back foot go.

          Don’t know if that makes sense ha.

          1. D Watts Post author

            Yes, that was my concern looking at his swing – he’s stepping around, but late, and well after the turning hip would require it.

            Still, I’m impressed that he’s trying it at all!

    2. D Watts Post author

      If you come to Toronto and don’t give me a shout, Jason – I’ll be very disappointed!

  3. Laser

    Gary Player was known for the “walk through.” This video doesn’t begin with a very good view, but there are other views later, even overhead.


    Will DJ be finished before we get an overhead view?

    1. D Watts Post author

      Sadly, I wasn’t able to get overhead drone footage – liability issues with the range, they don’t want that stuff around…

      However, the content of this video is so good, in my humble opinion, there is no need for something like that to spiff it up – I have a Go-Pro clip or two, and of course all of the various angles I’ve been compiling, but there will be little gimmickry here.

      Hope that’s a good thing.

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