Mike Dunaway’s Address/Impact Shaft Planes

As I get deeper into Mike Dunaway’s entire swing, I would love you all to see something that blows away all of the stuff you hear about the best swingers having the same shaft plane at both address & impact.

This could have huge ramifications for MCS the swing model, which is why I want to point it out, besides showing yet another example of Modern Golf Swing instructions focusing on things that have little relevance to proper mechanics.

I’ve never bought into this because of what motion knowledge I already had from the time I saw and heard this concept (and I’ll get into other stuff like tush lines another time).

Let’s take a look at the man who is nicknamed “Father of modern long driving,” as well as the man whom Greg Norman called the longest driver on the planet – Greg Norman, incidentally, is also considered to be the best driver of the ball ever, with persimmon and balata.


He has three different planes going on with his swing:

  1. The plane of his driver shaft at address (cream),
  2. The plane of his left arm at the top of the back swing (blue) and
  3. The shaft plane at impact (green).

 


Simply, we are not robots or machines – we use muscles and weight shift to generate leverage, not hydraulics or gear-driven parts.

That means we cannot hope to maintain positions the way machines do – the Iron Byron can certainly begin a swing with the club exactly on the same plane that it will be on at impact, because it is a machine made from inflexible parts and is moved through gear action.

But people are not inflexible, nor do we move through gear action, so the body will flex and change while in motion – if it doesn’t, you are looking at purely manipulated motion that takes repetition upon repetition to perform consistently.

Two famous example are Moe Norman and Ben Hogan who, while possessing a repeatability to their swings that leave people in awe, couldn’t do it without hitting millions of balls and swinging nearly all day, every day.

If they took even a day off, all bets were as well.  I can’t remember the exact phrase, but Ben Hogan once said something along the lines of, “If I don’t practice for a day, I notice. Two days, my competitors notice. Three, the spectators notice.”

Not exactly a ringing endorsement for a swing model, is it?  Just one of many reasons I have only ever looked at Hogan’s setup and pivot action.

The rest of his swing, I wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole because it was unique to him.

Same with Moe.

In other words, their swings from A-Z were not what you’d call “natural,” or mechanically-optimal, and their work ethic is proof – you’d never have to spend your life grooving a motion that you perform every day, with millions of reps, if it were the optimal way to do it.

Now, if that’s what you want to do, then go ahead and good luck, but you’ll notice that there hasn’t been another Ben Hogan or Moe Norman since both gents moved on from earthly existence.

At the end of the day, certain things will happen with in motion, especially when swinging or throwing objects, and doubly so at high speed.

The body will flex and change aspect to preserve balance and motion, just as no one can run or walk with a perfectly level head position.

I saw a clip of someone sprint training the other day on Twitter, with the caption that the training was to run with a level head – the runner’s head was changing levels at least 4″ or 10 cm from high to low.

I get the concept behind trying to run with a level head – but in reality, it’s a concept (perhaps like the stable head on the pivot, where you want it as stable as possible but some motion may be acceptable?), and in practice, it may not match theory.

That’s the way the body works.  You want stability in some places, but in motion, things will happen to the body that should.

We are not machines.

Quotes About Mike Dunaway’s Swing

“Two guys back home can hit it past me – Mike Dunaway and Bobby Wilson.”John Daly (after winning the PGA Championship)

“Combines power and accuracy with a driver better than anyone I have ever seen.” – Ken Venturi

“There is no reason to doubt that he is indeed the longest driver in golf.” George Pepper (Editor of Golf Mag.)

“He is the longest living human on Earth.” – Greg Norman

“He his the longest drive I personally have ever seen. On the 485 par 5 9th hole at Jeremy Ranch, his drive came to rest 15 yards from the green which I was on.” – Gary Player

“He is the longest most accurate power-driver I have ever seen.” – Bruce Crampton

“Mike Dunaway is the purest swing of all the long-drives I have ever seen and he doesn’t use a gimmick club.” – Davis Love III

“Mike Dunaway’s presentation of the golf swing on DVD is the best I have ever seen” – Tiger Wood’s author, John Andrisani

“If Iron-Byron breaks down, they can replace it with Mike Dunaway.” – Tommy Aaron

“Mike Dunaway has the best golf swing in the history of long driving.” Art Sellinger, 2 time NLDC, President of Long Drivers of America


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