It was December of 1996. A magazine article entitled, “Mike Austin: Longest of the Long. Golf’s Venerable Big Hitter Talks About Taking It Deep” led me cross-country to Studio City, California to meet the legendary golf instructor. During my first lesson I was tongue-lashed, twisted, pushed and pulled. But within an hour, I was hitting golf balls farther, more accurately and with less effort than ever before. That evening I headed back to the Studio City golf range and launched 4 large buckets of balls into the California night. Onlookers gathered around my stall. I woke up with absolutely no pain or stiffness. I jumped out of bed and headed to my second lesson. So began my golfing odyssey and friendship with Mike Austin.
Mike Austin holds the record for the longest drive ever in a sanctioned tournament – a shot recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records – a mind-numbing, 515-yard blast during the 1974 National Seniors Open. He was 64 years of age. A student of medicine, engineering and kinesiology, Mike was a pioneer in the study of muscle movement as it related to the golf swing. “If you practice kinesiology, the science of muscle movement, you don’t need to play often to play well”, he once told the L.A. Times.
Mike’s life was the stuff of legend. He recounted practicing golf at East Lake Country Club, the pro at the time being Stewart Maiden of Bobby Jones fame. Mike was a member of the PGA and played the likes of Lloyd Mangrum and Sam Snead. His golfing exploits as a hustler earned him the nickname, “The Golfing Bandit”. Mike roomed with Errol Flynn and gave lessons to Howard Hughes. He sang in operas, spoke several language and appeared in Hollywood movies. In 1984, at the age of 74 Mike was named Southern California’s PGA Golf Professional of the Year. He was known for prodigious drives and fantastic ball striking.
Mike shared his passion for golf and brilliant teaching with thousands of students, including legendary long-driver Mike Dunaway. Mike Austin gave golf lessons in Studio City, California well into his late 80’s. His revolutionary teaching tenets run counter to much of the modern swing approach. Mike continued to provide golf instruction from his home well into his 90’s. Mike passed on in November of 2005 at the age 95.
While the golfing world lost a legend, you now have the opportunity to witness, first-hand, actual lessons with Mike Austin via mentoredbythelegend.com. You will learn the true secrets of this legendary instructor and re-live his passion. Welcome!
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