How Powerful Is the Spine Engine in Your Golf Swing?

It’s gotten quite popular AGAIN lately – the idea of not sliding the hips but simply turning in a barrel.

If you’re watching videos and following certain instructors, here’s the summary:

Sliding…..BAD. 🙁

Turning….GOOD! XD

Why is this spinning hip move becoming so popular? Because it’s the only way they can get you out of the HORRIBLE position they put your hips in the backswing! You might as well only have one leg.

Imagine Jack Nicklaus being instructed like this. Or young Tiger Woods. Ask Nolan Ryan to pitch like this – stepping towards first base as he throws.

Check out 80+ year old Mike Austin (who was once called the longest hitter ever by Nicklaus) in the photo above standing on one leg like the lead singer of Jethro Tull. Did I mention that is his PARALYZED LEG?

The turning in a barrel concept has been around for decades, and only utilizes your spine as an axle. Sure rotation builds some speed, but you cannot throw the club as fast because you aren’t as braced.

There has got to be enough forward motion towards the target to counterbalance the force of the throw – otherwise you would get knocked backwards. Action, reaction.

But the spine can also be used as a lever. to throw your pelvis to and fro….windup and downswing. The left hip becomes a wrecking ball. The ground reaction forces go haywire as you step down onto your front heel!

Mike Austin and Mike Dunaway cover this hip style in this video which was filmed in around 1992 – that’s almost 30 years ago!

My favorite part is when Dunaway asks, what about the L4-L5 junction (in your lower back, the most common golf injury)? Austin replies, “You’ll shred it to pieces!”

We believe that science will bear out that the Austin pivot is the least injurious technique on your spine, and puts you in the most advantageous position mechanically. The pendulum is starting to swing back – just like it should in your golf swing!