Regarding Mike Dunaway’s Shoulders At Impact

Someone from Wax Nation (JS) asked some good questions in a comment on my posting about Mike Dunaway and his superb syncing of his 3 Levers.

I know that many people don’t wade into the comments on sites (which is understandable when you see the level of discourse at times in many sites’ comments sections, but a shame if you’re not following the discussions here at WAX), so I’ll just post on the subject as I think many people might wish to read the clarification.

JS had two points which I addressed at length but for which I’ll just make a proper posting, and the discussion would go thusly:

JS: On his video about the clock drill explaining the compound pivot he states that when his right hip is going from 4:00 to 10:00, at impact his shoulders are lined up on 1:00 and 7:00 this is well open…

Your shoulders look like that also.  The question I have is on your video about coming in at 45 degrees you say that your shoulders should be parallel with the target line at impact. I’m not sure if you figured something out or if like you say “what you feel isn’t real”

Let’s look at the 45 degree issue and the shoulders at impact.

The whole “45 Degree Angle” concept is only that – the swing is an arc, but the visual perception you get is that the hands either move back on the take-away on a straight line or one that goes inside the target line – since the swing is an arc, there can only be one proper way to swing back, and that is what everyone calls “inside.”

There are no straight lines in a circular arc, so if the club is swinging away from the the ball, it should be following an arc that curves inward.

Conversely, on the down swing, if you’re coming into the ball from the top and not coming across the line at impact, there’s only one direction from which to come, and that’s from the inside curve:


This isn’t me creating a new theory, it’s established geometry – I just chose the “45 Degree” number for the concept because if you watch your hands when you swing back, the visual perception is that the hands are moving away from the ball on an angle similar to that.

As for Mr. Dunaway, I believe JS answered his own question about feel not being real at times – looking straight downward at Dunaway’s shoulders at address and impact in the Sybervision video clip, I would say that his shoulders are pretty well aligned on the same angle in both pics, so his feeling that the shoulders were more open at impact was exactly that, in my humble opinion:



As for this point:

I thought I remembered one of your articles that said you believe your knees,hips, and shoulders should be more in line with each other but well open at impact

I don’t recall ever writing that – I do say in “E = MCS” that there is the natural separation of the shoulders from the hips that you get (but not enough to try swinging by just separating the shoulders from restricted hips, which is disastrous and what we call the “Modern Golf Swing”), so the hips will be more open at impact than at address, while the shoulders return to square.

If you look at Dunaway above and myself below, we have the weight into the left leg and side more at impact than address, but the shoulders have returned to square:


The whole nature of the leveraged swing means that the hip & leg action pull the shoulders on the down swing, and you should have more open hips at impact than address, but not so much that the shoulders are open.

This which would mean the arms and club head would be moving left or inside at impact, causing a pull or slice depending on the face.

Even if one wanted to play a fade, I would advise swinging squarely on a set target line and having a slightly open face so that the ball starts down the target line and then fades to an actual target right of the line – that’s a power fade, and it’s how Nicklaus played and swung.

For a draw, you’d do the same thing but with a slightly closed face to start the ball down the line and curve or draw left to an actual intended spot. This way, you’re always swinging the same, whether you’re trying to shape a shot or not.


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2 thoughts on “Regarding Mike Dunaway’s Shoulders At Impact

  1. JS

    Ok DJ, you are right as far as this depth of discussion, it is priceless. And what a great explanation of shoulder alignment. I Thank you for that. My game has improved when I feel I have square shoulders at impact so I’m glad you agree. We are all looking for the pieces of this puzzle. I found another one with this video of MD illuminair/stick figure.

    I noticed how his left arm after impact breaks at the elbow which allows him to throw the club up over his left shoulder in a higher position. Unfortunately when I was grooving my swing it was winter and my basement ceiling hight was 10 ft 6 in. Not enough for sure. So not knowingly I ingrained a slightly lower follow through. Not good plus a real swing speed brake it feels like to me.

    I think a number of golfers might hang on to this idea of a straight left arm too long. So I was wondering if your travels crossed any of these paths? Thanks again DJ for providing this forum. JS

    1. D Watts Post author

      Very welcome JS, thanks for the support!

      And this:

      I noticed how his left arm after impact breaks at the elbow which allows him to throw the club up over his left shoulder in a higher position… I think a number of golfers might hang on to this idea of a straight left arm too long. So I was wondering if your travels crossed any of these paths?

      Absolutely – In fact, I mention the left arm and elbow post-impact in the EMCS videos (3 To 9 concept), so you’re right on the money again 🙂

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