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 thing twice about most of what you have been taught. It is definitely an eye opener.
Mike Austin still sits in the Guinness Book of World Records for hitting the longest drive in a sanctioned golf event. For Guinness to consider it, the drive obviously was verified by many witnesses. So this is no wives tale. Amazingly he hit the shot way back in 1974 at what was the call the U.S. Senior Open (now the US Seniors Championship, a major event on the Champions Tour). Yes, at 64 years young Mike was a senior player at the time. His drive travelled an incredible 515 yards! The shot was hit on the fourteenth hole at the Wintergreen Golf Course (now the 5th hole and the course is now named the Desert Rose) in Las Vegas Nevada. The fourteenth hole is a 450 yard par 4. Mike had been bombing the ball all day hitting some drives 400 yards plus already. One of his playing partners, Chandler Harper (winner of the 1950 PGA Championship) said to Mike upon stepping up to the fourteenth tee, something to the effect of, “Mike, let’s see you really let one go”. Mike unleashed his epic drive which carried all the way to the front edge of the green on the 450 yard hole.
When they finally found his ball it was on the next tee box, having bounded through the green, a full 65 yards past the green, a 515 yard smash. Yes, it was down wind, estimated between 27 and 35 mph according to the weather reports of that day, and Las Vegas has some altitude (app 2,000 feet). But come on! That is insane! Also consider the fact that he was using a persimmon headed (wood) driver with 10 degree loft and 43 ½ inch extra stiff steel shaft, and a 100 compression balata golf ball. These tools are quite inferior to the longer and lighter graphite shafts of today with the high tech driver heads and long flying balls. So the bottom line is that his drive was simply a monster shot. It has been estimated that with proper impact and trajectory a swing speed of between 155 and 160 mph could produce such a shot. Mike claims to have been measured at such speeds swinging in the late 1930’s under strobe light photography, which can measure speeds precisely. At 75 years old, his swing was measured at 133 mph, that is still faster that any tour player, Bubba Watson, John Daly, Jack Nicklaus in the past, anyone. Hmmm. For example: So far this year (April of 2011) the fastest recorded club head speed is 128 mph by J.B. Holmes (his average is 125 mph this year). So Mike was out swinging all current PGA Tour players at 75 years old! Another stat on Mike Austin. As a member of the 350 club (a group of long drivers) back in the 1988 Mike competed in about 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 GRID! Long AND accurate.
In a sense the story only begins with this record drive. Mike Austin was not a just strong guy with a knack for hitting a golf ball. Although he was certainly those things too, 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 motion). He applied all of this knowledge to his study of the golf swing, learning how every part of the body should work in order to produce the most efficient and powerful swing. This swing will also not be hard on the joints or the spine, as you will be using the joints in the ways in which they were designed. What makes things more perplexing is that what Mike teaches is quite contrary to what most golf instructors currently teach (a.k.a. the modern swing).
What convinced me that his swing method was worth looking into was twofold. First, once you watch his swing (Mike Austin golf swing – Young Mike Austin) you will see the elegance, grace and balance. It is not the type of swing normally associated with long driving. Second, when you consider how differently he understood the swing than most golf instructors it becomes clear, at least to me, that he was on to something others simply did not understand.
So, if you too want to hit the ball long and straight, learn all you can about the Mike Austin golf swing. There are a few pros teaching his method but there is much debate about how some of them go about it. People always try to reinvent the wheel. Regardless, Mike had it right. Do yourself a favor and look into the Mike Austin golf swing. Happy golfing everyone!