All right, a lot of members have asked us for a review of Mike Austin's golf swing. For those of you who don't know who Mike Austin is, he holds the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest drive in competition play at 515 yards. That's never been equaled today, even with our long massive long drive hitters on the long drive tour. I'm going to show you some things in his swing that actually are very, very congruent and consistent with what RST teaches. You're going to see a lot of great qualities in Mike's swing, that you would want to look at as a good model. If you like Mike's golf swing, you're going to see a lot of things that RST really likes in Mike's swing.
Let's start with the face-on view here. A couple things I'm going to point out. These are things that I do a lot of my lessons that you don't come across on the website because they're tiny little one-off things. One of the things I'm going to mention here that a lot of people struggle with is just getting comfortable shifting their way to the right a little bit, and loading up that right side properly. One of the things I get asked quite a bit is 'Can I just start with my weight more on the right side?' Of course, the answer is 'yes.' With a lot of golf instruction, it's confusing because you have a lot of golf swing models these days, or having your people keep their weight on the lead leg and not shift back. Of course, if you've watched a lot of video, you see how detrimental that can be to power. With ours, too, we focus on teaching people to shift the weight back and forth; just like you would in any athletic motion, throwing a ball, or hitting a ball in any other sport.
What Mike does here is he actually sets up with his weight predisposed on the right side. We got a line coming down from basically the top of his sternum, roughly, and you can see that his weight is basically centered more over his right foot. Which is perfectly fine, as long as you know to shift back to the left, it's not a big deal. That's a normal thing. It's a fine thing to do. I do that with my students quite a bit, who just find it easier to take that little weight shift to the right. They just want to take it out of the swing and start on the right, perfectly okay.
As we go back to the top, one of the things that you'll notice ... Of course, he's going to be really into that right side, he's going to get a little deeper into it. From here, it's pretty much a conventional looking RST, nearly textbook golf swing. If you look at the RST necktie video, that's a great drill for you guys that if you had a necktie on, it'd be hanging straight down, just to the inside of his right knee. All of these things, you've seen in the video.
Here's a perfect real world application of that from one of the longest hitters in the history of the game. The only thing that you might notice as you're lifting up the left heel here, just a rhythm and balance thing. It's nothing necessarily wrong with it, it just adds a little bit of extra movement. If you practice a lot, not a big deal; but of course we want to minimize that stuff. We keep the heel down, and it minimizes the hip turn a little bit. Just more of a more conventional modern thing that we do in golf. We just try to take out a lot of excess movement.
As you get to the top, one thing you're going to notice is that he's going to get just a little bit more elevation from his hands. We'll look at this a little bit more from the down the line section. This is the last frame before he starts back, starts to kind of fall back toward the target just a tiny, tiny bit; but it's minimal. He does a really, really great job of staying behind the ball here, for given how high his hands are that you're going to see in the down the line section. That's where I'm going to talk about one of the other videos that's on the website about how much elevation should you have in the backswing. How high should your arms go at the top, and why would you want them that high? When you look at it down the line, you're going to know exactly why.
Then, this is my favorite thing about Mike Austin's swing here. As he starts down, and again, I want to talk about this in down the line, this is his money move, right here. Notice how quiet his lower body is during these first few frames, key frames in the down swing. Nine times out of ten, an amateur gets to this position fully loaded up, and those shoulders and hips just rip open right away. Notice how he does that little tighter squat move that we talk about on the website. How his knees have a lot of spacing here, but he didn't just drive his right knee into the left, and spin his hips open, and create a ton of secondary til, and getting dropping in the club way from the inside. He balances and poises, and leverages the ground, without spinning out of it.
That is a great move to copy, and one of his keys to power; because now his arms are getting a chance to accelerate under control without his body ripping out of the way. When we look at the down the line move, you're going to be able to see this a little more obvious. It's a beautiful move, how he keeps his spacing here. He squats down. This is a great example of how that squat should look in a different golf swing, even though this is from the ... I believe this swing is from 70s, I believe. Don't hold me to that. Quite a while back, and a perfect squat move, Sam Snead-type squat.
Then, this position here really ... about as good as it gets. He's got lots of golf swing lag, great right arm position, and he's getting ready. He's got a lot of lag that he's getting ready to get rid of. Obviously we talk a lot about how to release the club on the website. This is you're about to see the release in full effect here. Great impact position. He gets just a hair outside of neutral joint alignment. Not much, but this is, again, one of those ... a slightly more old school thing, where they had a little bit more of the classical reverse C look. He's just minimally outside of neutral joint alignment here. Head stayed behind the ball. You can see because he got a little bit outside of neutral. He's got a little bit of extra secondary axis tilt. Not necessarily ideal thing in the world, but when you go down the line, you're going to see exactly why he did that.
The next frame is really awesome, because from here, he's in a great golf impact position. He just releases the snot out of the golf club. This is a big time release. Notice how much the club shaft is basically vertical here. I realize it's hard to see, because it's old camera work here. Club shaft is vertical. Wrists are basically already fully re-hinged at this point in the swing. That's of course because he's really releasing the club.
Now, let's take a look at his down the line move here on the right. You're going to see a lot of these other great things that I was talking about, just from a different perspective. I want to go back through. One of the things you'll notice ... Again, a lot of these more old school type swings had a lot of rhythm and flow, and foot work, and a little bit of extra movement. A little extra rotation, and those types of things. This led to a few things. One, he's going to tend to get the club drug a little bit to the inside; not necessarily the most efficient way to do things, obviously. He gets it to a good enough position at the top, but because he drug it to the inside going back with a little extra rotation and sweeping it back inside, he gets across the line at the top.
Now, to be across the line at the top, for most golfers, a little bit of a difficult position to recover from. He does a great job, again, because he doesn't just rip his hips open, and rip his shoulders open; which would drop the club way to the inside for most better players and for the higher handicap players who are going to really overuse their shoulders. They're going to end up coming way over the top from here. But, because he does that key little squat move from this high hands position ... Again, you're going to see, this is where I talk about how much elevation we want in the swing, in that video on the side. This is a very leveraged position. He's got a lot of time, a lot of potential energy here because of the height of his hands. Gravity is going to give him a lot of ability to accelerate his hands very, very fast. The trick is learning how to control it from this high hands position. The key to that is this squat move, the belt buckle drill on the website. These are all critical pieces for getting a lot of power out of your swing with a lot of control.
You're going to see, as he starts down, he gets into a really high hands position. This move is awesome. Relatively almost no hip movement and shoulder movement, compared to a lot of players that you would see getting into that position. His hips and shoulders are very quiet. His hands have moved a foot already. His body's going to continue to remain relatively quiet into this delivery area. He gets into a little bit of a side bent position here, which is a good thing. He needs to do that, otherwise he'd come over it a bit. Letting that right shoulder drop down allows the club to work back down from the inside, and then again, as I mentioned from face-on, just releasing the heck out of the golf club. Big time release there, and then gets into a little bit of the old school finish. A great, great swing. Tons of RST characteristics in it. If you're looking for a good swing to model after, Mike Austin's is a great RST example in many, many ways.
-Dr. Jeffrey Broker, Assoc. Prof. in Biomechanics at University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and Former Senior Biomechanist for U.S. Olympics Committee
-Hub Orr - Happy PREMIUM MEMBER of RotarySwing.com
-Sam Jarman, PGA Golf Instructor in the UK