In the past, I’ve always looked at golf swing models that already existed, like Mike Austin’s swing model or the Classic Golf Swings of various legends, and tried to determine first, if they were viable models and second, if they were “optimal,” lastly if there was something to improve upon them.
I did exactly that with the Classic Golf Swing, taking the most successful Classic swingers & building a model based on the commonalities (stance, pivot action, etc) of these players.
Once I determined that Ben Hogan’s pivot action was the one to emulate, the MCS Classic Golf Swing model was born & I made various small adjustments to it over the years based on performance feedback.
While I can say that I got the MCS Classic Golf Swing model as “good” or “optimal” as I could get it theoretically, I have never been satisfied with the overall results of swinging with this model, even though it’s the best model I’ve used in hitting balls & playing golf.
I just didn’t feel that this was as good as I could get hitting balls with a model, and I don’t mean by practice, because you can be a world-class player & ball striker with even an iffy model, provided you spend enough hours per day for years grooving the motion.
What I’ve always been after is the model that is like the basketball free-throw, or the standard baseball pitching action, or the high jump technique – we’re talking about the proper motion mechanically from the proper set position, and that can not be improved upon theoretically, because it is the exact way the body is designed to move.
Some may argue, “you can swing well with any number of models, provided you put in the work,” and to that I say, “there are those models out there right now, feel free to ruin your knees, back, whatever body parts you wish to sacrifice to the notion of “anything goes if it works.”
I’m not talking to those people anyways. I’m talking to those people who wish to maximize their game and swing performance by swinging in the manner that one would use to compete in the high jump, or to shoot 95% from the free throw line… you know, the highest level of performance one can attain.
It’s no mystery why Jack Nicklaus is the holder of the most majors in a career – he had a very mechanically-sound and therefore powerful & accurate golf swing, and his career was not interrupted by long layoffs or shortened seasons (other than those caused by his fishing pursuits) dealing with injuries caused by swinging in the “anything goes” mentality – like the 2nd ranked person in majors won.
One barely worked on his swing, other than bringing it back to basics if he strayed, past a certain age, yet kept winning events & majors, while the other practiced sunup to sundown 7 days a week and still couldn’t win the same amount of majors… which swinger do you think was better?
The one that never changed, or the one that kept changing and fiddling either to improve or due to having to change because of injuries to various body regions?
Back to my title – having determined that there’s no much else to be done to the Classic Golf Swing models, I of course turned my eye back to Mike Dunaway, years after having abandoned it for the CGS model.
I broke down the various parts and yet was still unable to duplicate the exact action, so in frustration, I decided to simply go back to basics and rebuild the golf swing from the ground up.
As if I’d never heard of of Mike Dunaway or the Classic Golf Swing. Just see what I could do with my acquired knowledge of mechanically-correct motion and the optimal impact position.
That’s actually where I began – at the impact position.
Once I was there, I went back to the top of the backswing pivot, and then from there established the setup over the ball.
And guess what happened?
Not only did I find what I’d been doing incorrectly in the setup all along (has to do with being left-handed and swinging right-handed, what Mike Austin called the “too-long left arm”)…
I came back right back full-circle to the Mike Dunaway swing with the step-around finish:
So I’m now in the process of dotting i’s and crossing t’s because I hate going to the range to waste my time hitting balls when I’m not even conforming to the model I’ve been working on at home.
I’ve said before, you don’t get better on the range, but in the work you do before you hit the range, then the golf course.
Trying to improve one’s swing on the range is an exercise in futility, if you aren’t proper to the model to begin with. It didn’t matter how many balls I hit and how many trips to the range I made when I was still committing the cardinal sin of the too-long left arm in my setup.
I’ve gone over the model I “built,” which is nothing more than Mike Dunaway’s swing with the step-around finish, and am drilling the setup with the change in it to make sure I don’t back-slide when I stick a tee into the ground.
So, I’ll be out again for another test drive soon, and I’ll see what I have from there.