The Rear Heel and the Pivot

In response to input and comments from our followers following the most recent post on refinements of the proper compound pivot, I re-post this video. It was first posted to counter assertions that Mike Austin’s teaching were cryptic (versus hands-on). But, it also shows the link between the heel and the pivot. Mike Austin is stepping on my rear heel. When he does so, I can’t even begin to make the pivot. Try the exercise yourself.

Note too the drill Mike used to get the student to feel the compound pivot. Grab your back pocket with and pull upward and forward with your lead arm. Raise that rear heel. (Raising the rear heel and flexing the rear knee also lowers the right hip.) The bottom 6 joints drive the upper 6 joints.

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17 thoughts on “The Rear Heel and the Pivot

  1. Love the MA method. I studied the peace river tape and that of m. dunaway,may he rest in peace.I’m. 64. 2 handicap. Want to increase my distance. Club speed a consistently 105. To 106.I live in Springfield ma. Have an athletic background martial arts. Would it be possible to take lessons from you in the MA method. Please respond I’ve been obsessed with this tecniques since I first heard of it. Thanks Bob

  2. Chuck

    To add more succinctly to the previous note. I assume you roll your hands as originally subscribed by MA rather than the curling hand action. But, what starts your swing and when do you begin and end the wrist cock

    Your website and comments have been very helpful in my better part of a year’s journey to learn and perfect the MA Swing Method. I am actually afraid to take a lesson from just any teaching professional for fear he’ll try to change what I am doing.


  3. Chuck

    Thanks for the tip on hitting the drives lower and prevent popping them up. I just saw it this evening and will check out lifting and lowering the head. I hit several buckets of balls today irons, hybrids, and woods all pretty solid off the turf until I teed the ball up for the driver. The tip should help. I wonder if swinging the belly button might help.

    What keys do you think about when initiating the start of the backswing and what do you do to maintain that excellent and consistent rhythm ?

    I seem to take the the club back more carefully and precisely slow to get into position and then come through the ball much too fast.

  4. Chuck – In an earlier post you talked about hitting the centre of the ball with the centre of the clubface .. and showed a picture of a 4 iron, I think.

    How do you define the centre of the ball .. I thought a good place to aim at was the rear, near, lower quadrant of the ball. Any guidance appreciated. Thanks.

  5. Tony,
    You can try the modern consensus of teeing it lower.
    Or, you can try the Mike Austin method and move the ball forward with the driver which makes you strike the middle to upper third of the ball – resulting in a lower flight.
    Generally, however, a pop-up would more likely be a mis-hit. Make sure you’re not raising or lowering your head (and thus the body). Make the movements in front of your reflection without and then with a club. See how the head reacts. Ideally it’s steady until after you hit the ball.

  6. Hey – How did my Johnny Cash comment go ‘Anonymous’ – I am a proud Irishman … as green as they come.

  7. Still at it trying to grove the Mike Austin swing at 79. The videos have been very helpful and appreateative. Any tips on hitting my drives consistently lower with more roll ? I sometimes pop them up and hit the ball high.

  8. Like Johnny Cash .. I’ll have to walk the line
    And keep a close watch on this ol’ swing of mine …

  9. (Typo in original comment)

    Chuck – I find it very difficult to get the feeling of the ankles being involved in the swing – but you have it as a fundamental .. could you give any tips to help with this? Thanks again.

  10. Tripp,
    Check out a prior post. “A Treasure Trove of Mike Austin Secrets” (or something close to that).
    The proper lower body motions get the shoulders on the correct angles/plane.
    The front shoulder dips down. (The left end of a club behind your back points down toward the ball.) At a point, the chest/shoulder then winds farther.
    On the downswing my left hip rises and then goes left. That helps produce the “under, out and up” move versus down, in and around.
    Appreciate the input.
    Hope that helps.

  11. Ok since this is the most recent post I’ll ask here. Is there any consideration to the shoulders turning in this swing? Or are they just a product of the lower body movements? I know if you pivot and turn your belly button to the target your shoulders must go to but is the rest of the swing just the throw? And I know you will be getting into that soon enough (can’t wait). Also it appears that Mikes left shoulder moves up and back where yours seem to go more around. Is that just am illusion to me or is it affected by body type and other variables.
    Thanks again

  12. Tripp,
    Welcome. Glad you found the site.
    The feet are splayed outward slightly.
    Mike Austin was adamant that he did not want a closed stance.
    He wanted it parallel to “flight line” if not slightly open. A closed stance blocked the hips and thus stalled the engine of the swing.
    See the prior post: “Misinformed About the Mike Austin Stance” with Mike Austin himself expressing his opinion on the matter in no uncertain terms.

  13. What are the angles of the feet as they relate to the target line? Maybe I missed some set up videos but I would think that’s important to the pivot. Thanks for doing this. I just recently stumbled on this site as I was searching for more Mike Austin info. It’s been great!


  14. Irishman,
    Thanks for the comments. No, the membership/premium video’s are in the works.
    I really want to make sure that it works for people with few technical snags as possible. Fortunately, I just met someone to help me through.
    When pulling on the back pocket, you will be pulling forward and upward. Why upward? Because your forward shoulder is raising.
    Here’s the deal (and here’s where everything is inter-related). At the same time you are flexing/bending your right knee and raising the right ankle. You are also allowing your forward leg to straighten. You will also feel your weight move gradually atop the femur of your forward leg. Your left shoulder and left hip will be raising. Thus your right hip will be lowering.
    Do it gradually. Do it in slow motion and really ingrain the motion and all of the feelings. Do it in front of a a mirror.
    Since the lower 6 joints drive the upper 6 joints, you need to get this down. It will also result in many additional beneficial movements without conscious thought.

  15. Much appreciated updates. Thanks.

    1) Is the membership site project abandoned?

    2) When pulling the back pocket forward, should you be pulling it in a downwards direction .. at least for the initial movement?

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