Not One “Feel” Or “Visual” Clue From Dunaway/Austin

I have to conclude that the real reason no one has ever mastered the true intricacies of the swing model known as the “Austin/Dunaway” is not because it’s too complicated or difficult to learn.

It is simply, in my view, that it wasn’t explained in a way that people could relate to it.

I wrote last year about how the Dunaway explanations hadn’t worked for me while I was developing my own model that literally copies his (you can be the judge in a couple of months if I arrived at the same destination as he but via a different route).

I can now say with finality that I haven’t used one single “feel” or “visual” cue from either gent in developing the model, even though I am as close to certain that I’ve nailed Dunaway’s model in terms of action and leveraging.

I also wrote in ’20 that everything they talked about with regards to the mechanics being correct – and before you conclude that I’m having it both ways, let me say that I agree with the swing model 100% in terms of how it’s performed – I just had to find my own way of building it because the explanations didn’t work for me personally.

Of course, I had to find the pieces and put them all together before concluding that last part, but I disagree with the explanations.


  • I don’t see a swing angle in my swing model – and when I tried to explain how to swing in this manner years ago in the “Finding Mike Austin” video, I certainly had a swing angle visual in mind.  Now, I don’t.
  • I don’t think the analogy of “ringing the bell” works either in the hip and leg action – it’s more a sensation than anything, but that could be due to the fact that my swing model is (of course) right-biased at address with the “Tilting A” setup.
  • The “hitting a rug” visual on the release into and through impact as well, which could be compared to the visual of swinging into a wall that isn’t really there – nada.
  • The “throw release,” which was one of my favorite visuals over the years – sadly, didn’t make the cut while building this latest and likely last model of mine.

These are but 4 of them, and I have an idea as to why these concepts sound great but ultimately didn’t help the majority of people master the principles.

I would theorize that if there is one standout reason, it’s due to the fact that if you don’t have the setup absolutely nailed, you then have to “steer” your swing mechanics along certain feels and visuals in order to keep the train on the tracks.

In my humble opinion, if you’ve got that setup nailed – stance, ball position, grip on the club – you just swing and let the ball get in the way.

I will hold off on saying that I have for sure “nailed it,” because the proof is in the pudding.

What I do feel very confident about it that I’ve got the basic model and that I will have a pretty good iteration of it on my first day back out of doors this spring.

What I’ll probably spend the first few sessions on with my swinging and video’ing will be seeing exactly which visuals and “feels” work best for me.

There are a few different ones that seem to be the charm, but of course some will work better than others for other people and I want to explore them all to see how I swing using various visuals.

What I can say is that with myself personally, everything is vertical. Everything for me is either up or down, if that makes any sense.

No swing angles, no throw release, just getting into that optimal setup, swinging up and then down and through to the finish.

Like this, basically:

Mike Dunaway

I would have endeavored to get some swings on camera indoors this winter but it simply isn’t feasible with all of the Covid protocols in place in this part of the world.

If my luck holds, winter is usually gone by mid-March in these parts, so we’re looking at two months before I can get back out and verify my findings or go back to the drawing board.

I was so close when I had to shut things down last autumn however that, as I’ve said above, I’m expecting to have it on the first session, more or less.

This would also prove my assertion that one doesn’t fix or improve one’s swing action on the range.  One does it with work on the setup and the various mechanics of the swing, without hitting balls.

Then, you see how it goes on the range, then the course.  But trying to make swing changes on the fly at the range or on the course will only lead to grief, if only because some little “tinker” change in the swing at the range usually only lasts a day or so before another problem in the swing arises.

Liken it to working on your racecar – you don’t tinker and fix things while speeding around the track in practice or during a race – you do it in the garage, and then you take the car out on the strip to give it a go.

If you’re musically inclined, you’ll also know that you practice playing with drills, scales and other boring (to the non-musician) things – you don’t book a lesson or step out on the stage for a performance looking to “improve my playing.”

I’m so set on this that I’ve actually enjoyed this down time from actual hitting balls or playing, because every time I’ve figured something new out, I would immediately think with satisfaction how it’s a good thing I wasn’t hitting balls before that moment, because I would have been wasting my time.

So, I’ve made far more progress in my swing modeling work at home with a swing stick and then taking it to the range or links than sitting on the range all day hammering balls with essentially the same swing at the end as at the beginning.  That is tiring, frustrating and futile, in my humble opinion.

More to come.