Mike Austin Reveals His Secret Release In the Golf Swing

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Mike Austin, Mr. 515, discusses his ‘secret' release method with pioneer long driver and creator of the 350 Club, Mike Dunaway.

Austin drove a golf ball 515 yards in the 1974 National Senior Open outside of Las Vegas with a persimmon driver and a soft balata ball. It was estimated his swing speed had to be over 150 mph to produce the drive. He was certainly using a different technique than most are teaching nowadays.

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James Town says:

Hand action in the video is a slap-hinge release. I understand you, like Jaacob Bowden advocate Mike’s earlier Scottish roll over for it’s perceived greater power.

Do you know if Mike Dunaway altered his action sometime after this video?

Also after 45 years of searching, my Frankenstein swing is mainly MA but to simplify and isolate backswing actions, I started to apply Joe Dante’s ‘Early Backward Wrist Break’ from the time I made my complete overhaul about 5 years ago. Though exaggerated, I believe it relates faithfully to the MA method.

Another 180 degree change was right hand control and power. There have been advocates from long ago but Tony Luczak (the power of internet) caught my attention and Mike’s instruction to throw the clubhead means to me right hand control for right handers.

I also don’t believe in swinging or flailing the arms side to side across the chest. Jim Waldron’s ‘arm swing illusion’ made it clear to me that the action was more like chopping wood with an axe. Then Bill Melhorn brought it home for me with his image of a long hammer and nail. Malaska’s tipping the club just didn’t resonate with my image of throwing the clubhead. (Someone mentioned Malaska in another comment…the Malaska Move worked well but it’s not for me.)

Otherwise my instruction, especially the compound pivot (wall drill- mind expanding,) is purely (I believe) Mike Austin, and a lot from you.

I must mention that Mike Maves’ comment about the extra spike on Hogan’s shoe (and the related instruction) solidified the diagonal left ( toe?) and posted right leg (“pull that knee cap back”) feeling. (From there I “kick a midget in the balls.”)

I’ve been between a 5 to 10 handicap for 43 years. If I knew at 30 what I know now, I’m sure I’d have made it to scratch but thanks to guys like you, my 7hc five years ago is back down to 5. Strength, flexibility and eyesight sadly deteriorate as wisdom and experience advances.

Do you find any inconsistencies in the construct of my swing with the MA method?


K D says:

So after all that we get to the secret he's had since he was a child in the last minute of the video but I'm still not clear on what exactly the secret is! Austin appeared to gripe at Dunaway when he was at the top of his backswing when club wasn't still square to the path? Was there the 'secret' there somewhere in the downswing for getting the club face back to square?

Adan Delamide says:

Hi Steve! Could you explain this video with this one https://youtu.be/VVx_Kz2iOs8 I’m confused. I’ve been following this previous video post and helped my swing a lot. But this new video you posted seem to advocate a different technique. Thanks!

Eric Takahashi says:

So my take on his release is that his wrists and forearms are coming thru square to the path kind of in a slapping position as opposed to a lot of teachers who say the 2 bones in the right forearm should be stacked in a knife or karate cop position, which makes the face open to the path and then must be closed as the club goes thru impact? I have always had a hard time swinging thru with my right forearm in this knife or elbow leading bones stacked position.

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