Mike Austin's "Big Picture Concepts"

When taking lessons from Mike I realized that it would have been helpful to grasp some of the big concepts first. Here are some big picture concepts that ring in my ears to this day.

1. The swing is a big circle!

2. There are two pendulums in the swing!

3. I am interested in mobility not stability!

4. The ankles, knees and hips are the engine of the swing!

5. I never spin the hips, they tilt!

6. I never raised the arms!

7. I never swing my arms!

8. Hit it with your “hunds”!

9. You are the “green”!

10. Don’t stop in Kansas City!

7 thoughts on “Mike Austin's "Big Picture Concepts"

  1. It’s coming along slowly Chuck, when I get it right it feels great, the term “in the slot” seems very apt. I have however hit more than usual fat shots, it feels like i’m not transferring my weight and at other times I over do the right side coming into the shot and I come over the top. There aren’t any Mike Austin teachers here in Australia so teaching my self leads me down a lot of blind alleys. That’s why i’m really appreciating your time and effort in this site.
    The swing thought i’m working on is , leading with my belly button on the downswing until the weight is on my front foot. Not even thinking about my hands and arms at the moment. Am I on the right track do you think ?

  2. No problem. The difference lies in the distinction between the arms and the hands. Let’s stay with the arms for now.

    First, hear this thunderous proclamation from Mike Austin:

    “I NEVER swing my arms !! They move because the body is moving!!!”

    Mike Austin did not swing his arms. The left (leading) arms was set at the side of his left pectoral muscle. It stayed there until after impact. The arms do not swing. They move because the body is moving. If you are taking the correct stance and making the correct pivot the ball will go straight. You would be hitting it out to the right if you did not complete the pivot (and thus the full circular movement of the arms.) At the end of the pivot, your right (trailing) shoulder will pointing almost at 9 o’clock (12 o’clock being at the ball at address, 9 o’clock being at the left hip for a right handed golfer.) You can actually hit it very straight and far just with the pivot. Start with an 7 or 8 iron and hit shots. Let me know how you do. Then we’ll add the “hunds”.

  3. Hi Chuck

    I’m a bit confused, hit with my hands but don’t swing the arms and
    throw from the top but the left arm stays attached to the pectoral muscle, aren’t those concepts contradictory ?
    whenever I try keeping the left arm attached I block it to the right.
    If we were 10 years back in time and MA was giving us a lesson at the driving range, “what would Mike say” ?
    what does Chuck say ?

  4. Thanks for the video and the input. I have it some place in my files.
    Here’s what I see, (though the principle purpose of this site will be to show what Mike taught and NOT what I see or what anyone else sees). In my humble opinion, MD’s heel is not “planted”. The left heel is, at the very least “unweighting” in the backswing. In fact, from the back side shot you get a nice shot of the unweighting.
    Not to get too detailed here, but that detachment of the left heel from the ground (or at least unweighting, at this time in MD’s career) allows the hips to tilt, left side of the body to shorten and then then the upper body to turn.
    The video also does a great job in illustrating how the right knee going from a flexed position in the stance to an extended position in the backswing.
    On the downswing I see a fantastic illustration of the the ankles, knees and hips initiating their role as the engine of the swing. I can tell you, and you will see, that Mike taught a step and a throw. At other times he describe the action of the legs as much like walking. Hope this helps. More to come.

  5. Chuck,

    I have also wondered about the step and throw concept that MA talks about in Austinologhy and GIMI. I have attached a clip of MD doing the MA swing with a planted heel. I don’t see him stepping to his left side. MA states that a journey of a 1000 miles begins with a step. ????


  6. Thanks for the comment and question SB.
    I’ll be getting into each in detail. I fear that commenting on each entry at this time will only serve to confuse.

    So as to not leave you hanging, I’ll touch on No. 10 (“Don’t stop in Kansas City”).
    Mike’s repeated refrain was that there is as much of the swing after the ball as there is before the ball. Think of the swing as a cross-county flight from NYC to LA. You want to swing coast-to-coast, not stop mid-way in Kansas City. This concept should prove valuable both as a physical swing concept and a mental image.

  7. Chuck,

    Can you explain each point 2,6,7,9 and 10 in further detail?

    Thanks In Advance

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