Mike Dunaway’s Leverage

If you think think that being a right-dominant swinger doesn’t require you to use the left or leading side equally, think again.

I took a super slo mo of the Mike Dunaway “stick-man” swing to show his down swing transition and the “drop” that he made into the “3 O’Clock” position.

This is where I have recently mentioned that this is where gravity will give the down swing a turbo-boost if one’s action doesn’t interfere with it.

Keep an eye on Dunaway’s leading hip while the down swing begins, and you’ll see what I’m talking about:


There is no missing it if you’ve been reading along, especially if you know that the leading arm is part of the 1st or Primary Lever in the 3 Levers of the swing – and guess what is powering that Primary Lever?

You got it – it’s the legs and hips. That leading hip pulls the leading arm and shoulder, and that is what powers the “Drop” action to the “3 O’clock” position, at which point you continue to leverage the swing into the “Pop” with the 2nd and 3rd Levers, aided by gravity.

It’s a pure leverage move – the body and weight shift are powering that drive through the leg and hip action, and you don’t feel any “effort” whatsoever when you get it right.

That’s the “pull” in the “pull-push” of the down swing of course, and by the time you get to “3 O’Clock,” you are engaging the active phase of the “push” (or, for the old crew, “throw”) with the aid of gravity.


Notice as well, Dunaway has no need for the “flying foot” to leverage his swing – that leading foot is as stable through impact as it can be, and that’s because of two things:

  • He has adequate leverage with the hip turn because of the proper pivot action using the hips & legs instead of the lower back twist and,
  • He releases the trailing foot when the hip turn makes it necessary, rather than hanging back on that foot and flipping/twisting that leading foot around

There, in a nutshell, is an awesome swing action for the down swing, and the better you get at it (through proper address setup & then mechanical action) the less effort you will feel.


I actually have quite a bit more to say about all of this, but I’m waiting until I’ve confirmed through some swinging and analysis that I (really and truly) have got my optimal action through the down swing.

Once I have that, then…

2019 and the fun will truly begin!


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4 thoughts on “Mike Dunaway’s Leverage

  1. targettom

    how close is the Dunaway Drop move to Cameron Champ’s move? I see that CC has his hands over his lead leg with driver and the shaft is still parallel to the ground at that point of the DSW just before impact.

    BTW do you have any Dunaway swings with lines on his lead shoulder and lead hip + head box?

    1. D Watts Post author

      Hi Tom – I wouldn’t try to compare Cameron Champ with anyone. I don’t like some of the things I see in his swing, and am wondering how long before he hurts something in a big way. Dunaway was completely mechanically-sound, so I’d compare other swings to his, not to Cameron Champ’s.

      The impact pic of Dunaway above is pretty good – you can see a line through the lead arm, hip and shaft without having to draw one, if that’s what you’re asking about. Doesn’t get any better than that!

  2. targettom

    Ok. Well I’d still like to see the overlays, is there a program that does that so I can do it at home? I notice that some pros like CC don’t have their hip move towards the target to start the DSW whereas MD does. I find that interesting, wonder which is more efficient?

    BTW they had a great face-on slomo of Rory at Kapalua #13 yesterday. He does bump his hip, but also he rolls to the inside of his lead foot on the BSW now. So, a slight heel lift.

    1. D Watts Post author

      Champ doesn’t have his hips move to the target because his swing is not mechanically-proper, to be brutally honest – he does the old Stack & Tilt type of thing where his hips at address are where they should be at impact, in order to get more hip turn with the planted leading heel.

      They turn there in place on both the back and down swings, which at best, is very hard to do consistently and at worst, can be very dangerous to the lower back and legs:

      Look at how “busy” that swing looks coming down and through. Tiger Woods leg snap and all… not good… You want “quiet,” not “busy.”

      The hips should “turn in a barrel” on the back pivot and then shift to the target just as would occur if one were to step and throw.

      Again, Cameron Champ is not someone to be watching to emulate. He hits the ball far & he has great athletic talent, which is obvious – but the swing is not mechanically-proper.

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