You’ll See Action So Much Better AFTER You Do It (Ben Hogan & Mike Dunaway)

That sounds very counter-intuitive, I know, and it’s a little like the conundrum of the chicken versus the egg, but it’s been my experience.

Do you want to know why so few people understand or even get Ben Hogan’s pivot action?

I would be that it’s because they never really looked at it, relying instead on others to tell them what they thought Hogan was doing.

The problem with that is, if what they’re telling you isn’t true, then you’re sunk.

Those of you who have been here since the early days of WAX Golf (after Smash Golf & DJ Watts Golf) will remember “The Ben Hogan Project,” where I simply by chance happened to look at Ben Hogan’s swing after not having done so in years:

“Hmm, Now Would You Look At THAT…”


That was the spring/summer of 2014, and it was when I discovered that Hogan’s pivot wasn’t anything like what anyone was describing on the Golf Channel or anywhere else.

When I looked at it myself and figured out what he was doing by pivoting repeatedly until I had it broken down, the MCS Golf Swing model changed forever.

That’s because, when you can perform the same action that you’re watching in someone else, you can see very clearly what they’re doing.

So, there is one way to figure something out.

Now, I discover something with Mike Dunaway – I’ve been looking at his down swing as the model of all optimal down swing actions…

Look At That Impact Position


… but while I’ve been fighting to duplicate that action, I neglected to look more closely at his back swing pivot.

I was saying all last winter, the back pivot sets up the top position, which then sets up the down swing.

Now, I fiddled with all manner of pivot actions over the winter to see which pivot and top position gave me the most pop with the SwingRite, and after looking at some swings I recorded last Sunday hitting a few balls with The Welshman, I said to myself, “too much pull and not enough push on the back pivot,” and there it was.

After practicing that action all week long, I happened to take a close look at Dunaway’s pivot from a certain angle:


Does anyone remember my obsession with trying to figure out the precise mechanical action of the pivot that gave me the most pop, instead of just trying to have “feels” about it?

Well, this is the reason – had I formalized in concrete terms that pivot action that gave me that highest speed and leverage, I would be able to do it every time.

Well, guess what? I was right. I look at that Dunaway pivot action from the front diagonal action and what he’s doing with his hips and legs with the leading arm just jump out at me – because I’ve been doing that all week.

And although I nearly accepted that what I got on video last week was possibly the best I’d be able to do… I don’t think it is, and I’m eager to get back out soon and see how correct I am.

So, in conclusion, there are 2 ways to figure out a proper action – the first is to figure it out by looking very closely at it and working to emulate it until you can. The second is to have someone who actually knows that action explain it – that’s where I come in.

I’ve had great success in getting people swinging with the generic or standard MCS Golf Swing model, and that’s just the model of a mechanically-correct swing action which includes the setup posture and spine tilt, the Hogan “Perfect Pivot” hip & leg action etc…

But I’m closing in on that optimal model action, and while I’ve been explaining it as best as I can, when I have the mechanics figured out precisely and can repeat them myself… you’ll all get to see that as well and my explanation!

Then, it’ll be up to you.

I wasn’t able to adequately describe Hogan’s pivot until I could do it myself.

I’ve been explaining Dunaway’s swing for some time, but I know I’ll be able to explain it a whole deal better when I can duplicate his back pivot action (minus the head shift, because I’ll be doing it from the MCS “Leaning A” setup).

More to come!


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7 thoughts on “You’ll See Action So Much Better AFTER You Do It (Ben Hogan & Mike Dunaway)

  1. D. Moriarty

    I’m glad you put it this way, because now that I feel I’m getting the swing right, I see so much more! I feel like I can analyze better because I know what I’m supposed to be doing and can feel when I’m out of position now, even with having some corrections a couple months back!

    I found myself thinking the other day that my swing is curiously single plane since I’ve changed to MCS.

    1. D Watts Post author

      This is the thing, DL – I have structured the way I present the MCS Golf Swing model and compared good mechanics to faulty mechanics in a certain way because I want those who are interested in swing mechanics to learn and know the difference between the two.

      Just as a musician who learns how to play an instrument should be able to tell good playing from bad.

      So, this is part of your journey and is a reason many readers here are more adept at analyzing swings than many of the “experts” on television – they are actually looking at and evaluating the mechanics rather than saying, “Fairway, good swing, rough, bad swing,…” which is much of today’s analysis.

      Keep up the good work! 🙂

    1. D Watts Post author

      Pretty good, Goose! Now, if he can get that leading heel freed up he’ll get more than halfway back…

  2. Goose

    I knew you would say that…if the little guy lifts his lead heel on the backswing he would tip over, the club weighs more than he does! HA HA!

  3. Walter

    It’s interesting to see that Hogan had a much wider stance than both Mikes, considering he is shorter too that’s odd and Hogan lifts his left heel a little higher than either Mike did. Hogan’s back swing is also a little flatter than either of the Mikes.

    1. D Watts Post author

      It’s actually not that wide, Walter. That gif. is compressed vertically for some reason, and it makes the stance look super-wide.

      I will try to find the un-altered version. But here is how Hogan really looked without the compression:

      And another swing without any distortion of his height and stance width:

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