Cameron Champ vs Mike Dunaway – Leverage

I said I would give everyone a chance to just look at the down the line swing action of Mike Dunaway’s superb mechanics, so let’s take a look at the longest driver of the ball on Tour, young Cameron Champ.

Now, there are more differences in their swings than similarities, which is why Dunaway never hurt himself swinging the club while Cameron’s had back issues since his teens.

Now, I have spent so much time working on and comparing my Post-Modern pivot action to Dunaway’s, I noticed something in Cameron Champ’s swing when I looked at it recently that compared favorably to Dunaway’s.

For example, how does a slender-built Champ out-drive by miles the bigger and stronger players on Tour? 

Of course, it comes down to technique and here, let’s look at the two swingers at the top:

Cameron Champ vs Mike Dunaway

You’ll see they both have a tilted hip position at the top, although Dunaway gets there flawlessly with the straightening right post in the Compound Pivot action.

The dual flexed-knee of Champ indicates that, while the hips have turned, there is still some lower back twisting.

Cameron also cheats slightly to get the hip turn with the planted leading heel, as you can see the hips shift slightly to the target on the back pivot:

… now coming down from the top:

There is that leverage producing all the speed and power for both swingers – as the hands drop with the shift into the down swing, you’d see almost the same club shaft position from Dunaway if the film quality had been better.

You have the elbow having dropped to the right hip with the shaft lagging well behind and more on the right forearm than intersecting the triangle of the hands and forearms.

This is not something you can create artificially – you have to have had the top position being what it was to get to here from the top, and Dunaway again has the advantage – his heel is still very low, almost flat as he faces the ball, where Champ has already begun to turn the body, which will raise the heel higher at impact, but two very powerful and leveraged positions here.

There similarities are what gave them their power, and the differences are what kept Dunaway from injuring his back swinging while Cameron has already had to miss tournaments and chunks of his early career to managing back pain and injuries.

Mike Dunaway Swings Down The Line (Sybervision)

And before anyone suggests that it’s the difference in physiques, remember, the golf swing is not supposed to hurt your back if you are swinging with mechanical correctness.

Cameron Champ is a prodigiously long player and unfortunately, that’s the meat on the bone of his game.  If he dialed it down to save his back, he’d be at a disadvantage unless he improves the other parts of his game to account for the lost distance.

Kind of like Tony Finau type of swing:

Finau’s swing is a modern swing but he’s escaped major injury to this point in his career from swinging (all bets are off with twisting ankles dancing on the fairways), however with the dialing-back, he’s leaving a lot yards on the table with dialing it down.

So, the solution, and the easiest way to improve, is to improve the swing mechanics so as to preserve or increase his power (yes, CC could be longer, and Finau could be much, much longer) thereby keeping his advantage and staying on Tour playing rather than rehabbing.

Technique trumps all, folks.  As in every other sport.


2 thoughts on “Cameron Champ vs Mike Dunaway – Leverage

  1. Chief Cowpie

    Cameron uses his body like a sling shot. Ok for a sling shot but not everything part of our body was meant to be torqued and stretched. Of course the brain is meant to be stretched but not many know that else DJ would be leading the lemmings away from the cliff.

    1. D Watts Post author

      He does it all so nearly perfectly, Chief – but for that torsion of the lower back, which he could eliminate with the proper leg action (keeping that right supporting leg flexed to the top means he has to twist the lower back even a bit, which is murder on the back and why he’s always hurting), he’d be right there.

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