Mike Dunaway’s Left Arm Swing & Proper Release

I’ve been talking about the difference between a “flippy” or “casting” release and a proper, powerful and mechanically-correct release action.

Let’s take a look at the late great Mike Dunaway, the “Father of Modern Long Drive,” demonstrate and and explain what I’ve been saying about the release action, more specifically with the left or leading head release.

First, the video, the same one from yesterday but at a different spot:


If you then look at what he does during a swing demonstration with his left arm, Dunaway is doing exactly that:


I want you to see as well what I’ve been saying about the proper top position and how it allows you to use the leading arm and the chest as a pry-bar to leverage the hands and club down instead of trying to turn through the down swing with the shoulders.

When Dunaway gets to impact swinging down with the left arm only, you can see that he’s nowhere near open with the shoulders, merely returning to impact with the shoulders square to the target line:


You can see that beautiful “drop” action with the left hand and club butt with the shifting of the weight to the leading foot, and the turning hips, not the the shoulders, are what provide the leverage action:


The bottom line is that if you try to create speed and force by turning the upper body and shoulders in the down swing, you will never get the true power and leverage that you need for an effortlessly powerful swing, and you will always be at the mercy of how good your timing and hand-eye coordination are that given day.

Far easier to let the legs and hips do the work and have the arms and hand come along for the ride!


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4 thoughts on “Mike Dunaway’s Left Arm Swing & Proper Release

  1. Mr. McJohn

    Off topic question.

    I’m experimenting with swinging harder. My swing is mechanically correct for the most part so I don’t feel like I’ll injure myself.

    The ball seems to go, to my surprise, straighter, the harder I swing. It doesn’t go crooked much, and when it does, it’s only off by a few yards.

    No idea why this happens. But curious why it does.

    1. D Watts Post author

      Shouldn’t be any mystery at all, actually! The more mechanically-sound your swing is, the more you can just swing away and not worry about really bad things happening.

      You’ll never strike every ball perfectly every time, but just as with anything based on technique – the better the technique, the better the results on average.

    1. D Watts Post author

      Hey Goose – I found something on Youtube, Dunaway himself explaining it:

      I’m looking at this right now, and everything I’ve said about how the hips & legs power the swing, Dunaway demonstrates excellently here!

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