I went back to my mission statement and recalled that I started the blog because I was quite upset at those who were espousing incorrect versions of what Mike Austin taught and claiming that they had figured it out or had taken lessons from Mike (more likely one lesson) and consequently could enlighten Mike Austin fans as to what the great man taught.
Prime example – Here is a student shifting his weight by rolling between the insides of the ankles.
Mike Austin’s response? “Pick up the heel! Pick up the heel!”
To teach otherwise and call it Mike Austin, is, as Mike would say, “A bunch of crap”. Note too, Mike explaining the benefit of a narrow stance enabling you to work with the hips. With a wide stance you are working “against the hips”.
People have asked if Mike Austin mentioned the QL in my lessons. The answer is “yes”. The QL is the quadratus lumborum, the muscles which attached the pelvic bone to each side of the spine.
There’s been much study and some dispute of late as to the precise function of the QL. Some argue that it aids in lateral flexion, as in a side bend. Others say that it has little to do with that motion. What is intriguing is the studies generally agree with how Mike Austin told me to utilize the QL. Namely, when one side is activated it brings the lowest rib (the 12th rib) down toward the hip.
To get a feel, stand erect and act as if you are going to raise your left heel but don’t allow the foot to raise. You are activating the left QL.
What does that mean to us as golfers? At address the right knee (for a right hander) is flexed. You then straighten it which bumps the right hip to 4 o’clock. At the same time you utilize the QL to crimp in (concave as Mike would say) your left side. That lowers the left hip and shoulder and sets the plane upward. Now your swing can move on the previously discussed “in curve” and the path of the club will naturally move up as it travels along the upward plane set by the left hip and shoulder. But remember our past lesson. You don’t move your head. (You’re not a dinosaur!) How is that possible? You start raising you left heel which allows the turn. Gray’s Anatomy FIG. 389– Deep muscles of the back.
To start the New Year with a bang I am going to give you a big secret of the Mike Austin swing.
It’s your belly button. Yes, your navel. Probably haven’t thought about it that much lately, have you? Unless, it relates to a New Year’s resolution.
However, it’s a major source of power. And yet, you will rarely hear about it. If you swing your belly button back and through you are activating and/or energizing many of the muscles that Mike Austin wanted you to utilize in the swing, including the internal and external obliques, the transverse abdominis, the glutes and the sartorius, just to name a few. The good news is that you don’t have to think about those muscles, if you don’t want to.
Just swing that belly button. The further and faster you move it (albeit smoothly) the further that ball will go.
Ok guys and gals. Let’s get going on the backswing and the path of the hands and arms.
I am pretty sure this is my second day with Mike Austin. As you can hear, he gave me a hefty dose of his “enthusiasm”.
I took the heat, now you can learn from the comfort of your home.
The bottom line here is that unlike a lot of teachings (and many incorrectly teaching Mike Austin’s swing), the clubhead and arms do NOT go straight back on a line from the ball. They move on an “in curve”. This is crucial to a circular motion.
Hope this helps.
Happy New Year and thanks for all of your support this year. We’ve got some great things in store for your game next year.
Copyright December 2010 llenroc enterprises LLC
Check out all the information contained in this short clip:
The name of the game is a fast clubhead – created by the hands, not the body.
As Mike Austin adamantly pointed out to me, “I don’t feel power in the shoulder! You can’t throw [with the shoulder]. You can shot put with power in the shoulder. You can throw with your hands.”
Note also, the “in curve” on the backswing. The Mike Austin swing is circular.
Listen to the difference in the sound of the hit when done correctly.
Finally, check out how Mike Austin used intonations to reinforce key facets of a lesson. Keep reviewing the clips and I guarantee you that you will hear that voice during your practice.
Hope this helps!
Enjoy and Happy Holidays!!
It frustrates me to no end to hear people speak of Mike Austin’s instruction as if it was devoted only to power.
Note the effortlessness and accuracy (check out the barrel) of these partial shots utilizing the same motions and technique.
Also, note how Mike Austin had me practice – picking targets at various distances.
Get your game on and go practice these partial shots. You’ll be amazed at the effortless power and accuracy.
Here Mike Austin and I are working on the lower 6 joints – the ankles, knees and hips.
The body shifts via the first part of the pivot, then turns. Note the complete turn. I found that I often did not complete the turn, so check yours. Also, note how Mike is interested in the resultant lively “click” at impact – not a dull thud.
Finally, check out Mike giving grief to a buddy of his in the next stall who is hitting the ball with only his upper six joints.
That’s the banter common to one of Mike’s lessons (along with his devious laugh). Hopefully, this gives you a sense of being there.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Copyright llenroc enterprises LLC November 23, 2010
I decided to do a quick clip on my own in response to questions about the pivot and on the lack of precision hitting experienced by some viewers. If you don’t take the proper measurements at address and don’t keep the head steady, problems with precision may creep in. Actual clips from Mike are to come but this will provide you with some critical foundation.
Hope that helps!
Copyright llenroc enterprises LLC November 3, 2010
Many have commented that they have enjoyed learning and/or reliving the feats of Mike Austin.
One of my prized possessions is a poetry book that Mike gave me that he authored. Included were several great photo’s of Mike including those taken in movie roles. If you look closely at the cover of the 20th Century Fox movie dvd pictured below you’ll see a distinguished gentlemen at the right front of the table.
Yup, you’ve guessed it. That’s Mike Austin as Judge Lange in “The Star Chamber” (1983) starring Michael Douglas.
Wow! I have received a lot of emails concerning Mike Austin’s stance. Apparently, there’s been much internet banter asserting that Mike Austin advocated a closed stance.
Sorry, but this is simply not accurate. From what I can discern the advocates of a closed stance are doing so in order to address additional wrong moves such as coming over the top. Unfortunately, building on an incorrect foundation is only going to impede your progress.
Let’s roll the tape. Mike Austin’s instruction to me quite clearly discredits the assertion that he advocated a closed stance:
This is an important point as it builds on Mike Austin’s swing principles.
Remember, the ankles, knees and hips are the engine of the Mike Austin swing. A closed (aka blocked) stance will impede the hips and reduce your power!
Moreover, Mike Austin was adamant that you had to build the proper foundation (which includes the stance) before you put the roof on your swing.
“I am interested in Mobility, Not Stability!”, Mike Austin would growl, forever imprinting a new golf secret into your psyche. Mike didn’t agree with most of modern golf instruction including: taking a wide stance, anchoring your feet to the ground and torquing the upper body against the lower body.
Mike advocated supple quickness, not rigid slowness. It started with the stance, including the width of stance.
To promote mobility, Mike advocated a narrow stance. A wide stance causes the knees to work against the hips. A narrow stance, on the other hand, enables the ankles, knees and hips to work in unison as the engine of the golf swing.
Further, a narrow stance promotes balance. The narrow stance allows a shift to the back leg during the backswing, and then a shift to the front leg on the through swing.