Dunaway’s Action WAS Right-Dominant BUT Also Used Leading Side Leverage

Dunaway’s Action WAS Right-Dominant BUT Also Used Leading Side Leverage..

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!


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6 thoughts on “Dunaway’s Action WAS Right-Dominant BUT Also Used Leading Side Leverage

  1. Fluffy Theman

    Been thinking about this very thing a lot recently Sensei. One of the things Dunaway said was that when he hit the ball he was still accelerating. He was accelerating through the ball. That has me looking at his foot action even more.

    That action after impact which is something we don’t discuss that much because to get there you have to have a proper take away and down swing however if you know where you want to get to than i need to figure how to get there.

    This is a bit of a brain twister sorry and some horrible vocab and I’m not even drinking yet!!!

    1. D Watts Post author

      One of the things Dunaway said was that when he hit the ball he was still accelerating. He was accelerating through the ball.

      Absolutely correct, Fluffy! I wrote a post about this way back on the Smash Golf blog back in 2010, when I was really getting into swing theory rather than just hitting balls and looking at video.

      The formula for Force, if we remember our high school physics, is F = M x A (Force = Mass x Acceleration).

      For the optimal results in ball-striking, you should be accelerating the club into the ball, not just moving it at high velocity. That’s another equation – Momentum = Mass x Velocity.

      You want to apply both Force and Momentum to the ball, and only Acceleration provides the Force.

      Dunaway was so long because of not only his high club speed, but the fact that he was really driving the club head into that ball.

      Think about it this way – if it were just a pendulum swinging down, it would reach maximum velocity and cease to accelerate at the bottom, because there is only gravity at work – however, we can use not only gravity but also leverage and muscle power to swing that club head down and through the swing bottom!

      That is the basis of the “Drop & Pop,” and the action I’ve come to call the “3 to 9” phase – you don’t swing into the ball, but through it:

      I need to get some really top-notch analysis someday (that takes resources I don’t have at the moment), and I’d bet a dollar to a doughnut that when you swing optimally, the club head accelerates to a point somewhere between the swing bottom and the “9 O’Clock” position when you don’t actually hit a ball.

      Now, nothing you do after impact has any effect on the ball, but if you’re trying to accelerate into the ball to a point past it, you’re now adding Force to the club head and not just Momentum.

      This is also the reason you’re not at full extension with the power arm at impact. That would be inefficient – you want the arm extending through impact, which provides the accelerating force behind the club head.

      Good stuff Fluffy! 😀

  2. David

    Good stuff DJ!! Never a coincidence when we work on the same things at the same time 🙂 In reviewing my videos, I see just before impact a flipping motion that does the exact opposite of the intent of 3 to 9. As your swing above, past impact, the shaft is still inline with the left arm where mine is even past the right arm .. pure flip. The compression you impart on the ball is staggering compared to my wimp effort. Today saw great results and hope to get some data tomorrow to back up the visuals..

    also, the Dunaway aggressive move to the left has been missing. Whether it be the shoulder replacement or what, it has been missing. Also, that move with the shoulders is what enables one to stay behind the ball. That is the other piece I worked on today.

    All that after a day getting stretched. I am giving it my all my friend. Talk soon.
    David

    1. D Watts Post author

      Hello David! Good to see the new addition to the household…sounds like she’s a terror right now lol.

      As your swing above, past impact, the shaft is still inline with the left arm where mine is even past the right arm .. pure flip… also, the Dunaway aggressive move to the left has been missing…

      I would bet that the issue is that you’re not getting the aggressive move into the leading foot, as you mentioned above in your comment.

      The solution: Get that Kettle Bell device back out and do some “One Exercise” drills with it and get that aggressive transfer back. I would bet you that it’ll be just what the doctor ordered! 🙂

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