That much should be pretty self-evident if you think about it, but it’s also something that can be overlooked.
In fact, it’s probably as easy to forget as someone who uses their leading side and arm as their dominant side and arm to swing might forget about or overlook the trailing side’s importance.
So, while I’ve been intensely studying Dunaway’s swing, especially his down swing action, for some time, I’ve been pre-occupied with his right side action, because he was definitely right-dominant, and whatever swing of his you watch, it’s superb:
However, if you watch his swing from the diagonal front angle, you can see the synced leading side action very clearly:
And here’s the thing – even if you swing right-dominant, you need to engage the leading side in conjunction with the power side, because the swing is a whole-body action, and when you don’t use both sides, that’s where things might fall apart.
I’ve talked about how, if you’re pulling too much with the leading side over the trailing side push or throw action, you’ll get an early turn and over-rotation of the hips, leading to a high trailing heel at impact:
However, even if you’re a right-dominant swinger, you can get into the high-heel at impact if you’re not swinging optimally with regards to mechanics.
It could be an improper ball position – too far back and you’ll end up “crunching” the trailing side to get to the ball squarely, leading to that leading heel coming up, or perhaps the ball is too far forward in the stance, leading to a lateral shift and aggressive turn, also causing the heel to come up, for two examples.
I will repeat that an early or high heel lift into impact isn’t a swing “flaw,” meaning you’re not doing something mechanically unsound – it’s just not optimal.
I personally don’t see how anyone can want to swing their best and not be looking for optimal, but that’s just how my mind works and it may not be an imperative for others.
Now, if you look at Dunaway’s trailing heel at impact:
… you can see how he was getting the most out of his swing. This is awesome – right arm nearly extended, shoulders square to the target line, most of his weight onto the leading foot but that trailing heel still low, allowing that foot and leg to keep exerting force from the ground up to power the action.
So, looking at my work the past few weeks, I can say that there are two things you must do in order to get your optimal action through impact, which will maximize your ball-striking – and they are the setup, including ball position and grip, and then the proper mechanical action, which includes leading side as well as power side action.
It’s not one or the other – if you’re making the proper mechanical action and the setup is off, you’re going to miss the shot or have to make compensating moves to save it.
Likewise, your setup could be perfect, but if the mechanical action is off, then you’re also going to miss the shot, or have to make compensating moves as well to save it.
Mike Dunaway, if you’ve watched his videos (and I believe I’ve got and have watched them all, with the exception of his last one, but the good stuff is in his younger days when he was actually swinging the way you want to):
I could just look at that swing all day – but if you see that big “drop” Dunaway has with the hands to start the down swing, you can’t do that without the aggressive move into the leading foot and requisite lifting of the leading shoulder – that is exactly what the leading side action is!
And if you think he’s not doing what I say he’s doing above, take a look at his impact position from a great angle:
Now, you might think it’s impossible to get a big hip turn into impact and still have the trailing heel down, but the picture doesn’t lie – Dunaway has a huge hip turn into impact and yet the trailing heel is still nearly flat!
This is why the Stack & Tilt guys, along with other teachers of similar models, have the swingers setting up over and staying over the leading side during the swing.
You can get a full hip turn on the back swing with the leading heel down if you’re over that foot (which is the whole reason for that setup), but now you’re doing something very unsound mechanically, because the proper and mechanically-sound or correct impact position is with the spine tilting away from the target, which means you must have the head over the trailing foot at impact.
Not to mention it’s nearly impossible to get proper impact with clubs longer than the 8 or 7 iron when you’re over the leading foot, which means you’re now trying to crunch yourself backwards over the trailing foot coming down from the top, which places great stress on the lower back and lower leading side joints.
And that’s why I called the Sean Foley swing model that Tiger Woods was using from 2010-13 the “back-breaker,” even before it happened.
I’ve solved two personal issues in the last few weeks – the first was, what was my absolute and optimal “tight” top position, and second, was I setting up properly and making the proper down swing action from that tight top position?
It’s not about changing anything in the MCS Golf Swing model, but rather adhering to the same setup procedures and principles I’ve laid out in the video series, based on the optimal swing model.
I’ll know soon enough if I’m finally there, when I get back to hitting balls.
More to come!
Back Pain or Back Injury Swinging a Golf Club?
Lacking Power, Speed, Distance and or Consistency?
Need A Swing That Is More Easily Maintained?
If You Answered “Yes” To Any Of The Above Questions, The Answer Is In The Formula For The Golf Swing: