Do you know who Mike Austin was? Have you ever heard of the Mike Austin Golf swing? If not, and you want to learn how to hit a golf ball well, then you are in for a real treat. This golf swing method will make you think twice about most of what you have been taught. It is definitely a revelation.
Mike Austin is still in the Guinness Book of World Records for hitting the longest drive in a sanctioned golf event. For Guinness to consider, the driving was obviously verified by many witnesses. So this is not a wives tale. Amazingly, he hit the shot back in 1974 at what was called the US Senior Open (now the US Seniors Championship, a major event on the Champions Tour). Yes, at 64 years old, young Mike was a senior player at the time. His drive from him went an incredible 515 yards! The shot was made on the 14th hole of the Wintergreen Golf Course (now the 5th hole and the course is now called Desert Rose) in Las Vegas, Nevada. The fourteenth hole is a par 4 of 450 yards. Mike had been bombing the ball all day and had already hit a few 400+ yard drives. One of his playing partners, Chandler Harper (winner of the 1950 PGA Championship) said to Mike on the fourteenth tee, something like, “Mike, let’s see if you really drop one.” Mike unleashed his epic shot that went all the way to the front edge of the green at the 450-yard hole.
When they finally found his ball, he was on the next tee, having skipped across the green, a full 65 yards beyond the green, a 515-yard smash. Yes, it was downwind, estimated 27-35mph based on weather reports for that day, and Las Vegas has some altitude (approx 2000ft). But we go! That’s crazy! Also consider the fact that I was using a persimmon head (wood) driver with a 10 degree loft and 43 ½ inch extra stiff steel shaft, and a 100 compression balata golf ball. These tools are pretty inferior to today’s longer, lighter graphite shafts with high-tech driver heads and long fly balls. So the bottom line is that his drive was just a monster shot. It has been estimated that with the right impact and trajectory, a twist rate of between 155 and 160 mph could produce such a shot. Mike claims to have been measured at such oscillating speeds in the late 1930’s under strobe photography, that he can measure speeds accurately. At 75 years old, his swing was measured at 133 mph, which is still faster than any player on tour, Bubba Watson, John Daly, Jack Nicklaus in the past, anyone. Hmm. For example: So far this year (April 2011), the fastest recorded clubhead speed is 128 mph by JB Holmes (his average is 125 mph this year). So Mike was playing with every current player on the PGA Tour at age 75! Another stat on Mike Austin. As a member of the 350 club (a group of long drivers) in 1988, Mike competed in approximately 12 long drive events when he was 78 years old. At that age he averaged an impressive 307 yards per drive, and even more impressive, he NEVER MISSED THE NET! Long and precise.
In a sense, the story only begins with this drive. Mike Austin wasn’t just a strong guy with a punch for hitting a golf ball. Although he certainly was those things as well, he was a complete student of the golf swing. He had a background in science and was a student of kinesiology (the study of human movement). He applied all of this knowledge to his study of the golf swing, learning how each part of the body should work to produce the most efficient and powerful swing. This swing won’t be hard on your joints or spine either, as it will use your joints the way they were designed. What makes things more perplexing is that what Mike teaches is quite contrary to what most golf instructors currently teach (aka the modern swing).
What convinced me that his swing method was worth investigating was twofold. First of all, once you look at his swing (Mike Austin golf swing-Young Mike Austin) you will see the elegance, grace and balance. It’s not the kind of swing you’d normally associate with prolonged driving. Second, when you consider how differently he understood the swing than most golf instructors, it becomes clear, to me at least, that he was onto something that others just didn’t understand.
So if you too want to hit the ball long and straight, learn all you can about Mike Austin’s golf swing. There are some professionals who teach their method, but there is a lot of debate about how some of them do it. People always try to reinvent the wheel. Regardless, Mike was right. Do yourself a favor and check out Mike Austin’s golf swing. Happy golf everyone!