Sam Snead Proves Mike Dunaway’s Flat/Low Impact Heel

I sometimes struggle with finding ways to prove things about Mike Dunaway, because he never played competitive golf and his long drive days (of the sort that inspired Art Sellinger, founder of Long Drivers Of America) were long before the advent of YouTube.

Therefore, you don’t see a lot of “proof” of how powerful and long Dunaway was other than things like LDOA naming him the Father of Modern Long Drive and awarding him a lifetime achievement prize for his pioneering work.

So when I reference a part of proper swinging with Jack Nicklaus or Ben Hogan, even Byron Nelson, people get it and if what I’m showing proves my point, they tend to take it as more credible than someone whose name they don’t really run across much, like Dunaway’s.

However, I’m sure the name Sam Snead will ring a bell, and if it doesn’t, then I don’t know what to tell you, because Sam was one of the triumvirate of Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson and himself, all born in the same year and all greats of the game – he won more events than anyone in history and more majors than Nelson, in addition to being the oldest ever winner on the PGA Tour at 52.

Even more incredibly, he was self-taught, and that should tell you something when you see that his swing model was probably 90% of what MCS is.

Someone who learns a swing and who has a great swing – is going to be mechanically-correct in their action because they weren’t taught by voodoo witch-doctors, with all due respect to voodoo witch-doctors.

Dunaway At Impact


So. when I say that the flat-trailing-foot impact shows maximum leveraging and use Mike Dunaway, you might grimace and say, “Eh, not too familiar with that guy…”

OK then, you can look at Slammin’ Sam Snead,” (and why do people think he was nicknamed “Slammin'”???), who was the longest-hitting great golfer in his day, and probably only second to the long-bombing Jimmy Thomson, and Snead looked like this through the ball:


That trailing heel would actually be perfectly flat even with the driver impact but for the fact that Snead had an angled stance with the driver – the shoulders are square, and compare them to the foot-line, the angle causing the tiny heel lift.


I’ve been looking at clips of Snead, and he indeed was not only the longest driver of the greats, he was a flat/low trailing heel at impact guy:


So, one of the longest-hitting players eve on Tour, with a self-taught swing, swung about exactly the way my research has told me you want to swing for leverage and power… had a flat-to-low impact heel, even with the Driver as he slammed that ball past everyone else…

snead drv imp dtl.jpg


It’s the optimal way to leverage the club down, folks – you can have a high impact trailing heel, that won’t make your swing mechanically-unsound or bad – it just isn’t the optimal way, and the optimal way beats every other way, because it’s optimal.


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6 thoughts on “Sam Snead Proves Mike Dunaway’s Flat/Low Impact Heel

  1. Chief Cowpie

    I used to have a tendency for a pull to sneak into my round and keeping the trailing foot flat through impact has eliminated that.

    Thanks DJ, great stuff!

  2. Mr. McJohn

    I have a completely flat trailing heel at impact, and usually only after I release the club fully does it come up. I release the club so freely (since I’ve kept that heel down) that it’s hard to not generate leverage. I’ve always told people to keep the heel down through the ball, and they’re like, “that’s not what JT is doing, or Tiger…” and I kept reminding them how terrible both of them drive it.

    How do you think Sam kept a stable head without much right bias? Out of curiosity…

    1. D Watts Post author

      How do you think Sam kept a stable head without much right bias? Out of curiosity…

      He actually didn’t, MMJ – if you watch closely, Snead’s head drifts slightly forward on the transition then drops down and back into the impact, and that was an iron.

      With driver, it would likely be even more pronounced. It’s not much, you have to really watch to see it, but that’s the result of just not quite enough right bias. I had the same little drift on the transition and down swing last year for a different reason:

      As I said previously, I wouldn’t have touched Snead’s swing with a ten-foot pole, it was nearly perfect – but I do look at technique and motion, and the only real critique I would have of Snead’s swing above if confronted in a court of law, would be that he could have had a touch more right bias. If he had asked…

  3. Brandon

    aside from his setup, Deej, how does his move down differ from Dunaway, you or Nicklaus? Because it looks like he came slightly over the top on the way down

    1. D Watts Post author

      Good eye, BR – Snead played a pull-fade, so it looks to you exactly what he was doing. I actually used to play a huge pull-fade because of my own OTT move. I would aim dead at the target, ball would start left and fade back to the target.

      Of course, I was just a liable to hit a dead-pull, quick-hook or screaming slice depending on how I came into the ball, so Snead had a little more success than I did with that shot shape! 😉

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