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Mike Austin’s 515-Yard Long Drive

Stan Sutherland
Stan Sutherland
Mike Austin

Commenting on the feat which got him into the Guinness Book of Sports Records.

Mike Austin said, “It was like God hit it…Who can hit a ball that far? No one. I feel like I got some assistance from God.”

James Achenbach at is talking to Walter (Smiley) Jones and reminiscing about Mike, who died in 2005 but his 515-yard drive is still the longest drive in competitive golf.

Achenbach writes, ‘Austin was 64 at the time. He used a Wilson 43.5-inch, steel-shafted persimmon driver and a 100-compression Titleist balata golf ball.’

A persimmon driver-So much for today’s tinny-sounding technology!

And lest you think he must’ve got lots of run on the dry Las Vegas course, Mike’s ball flew over 400 yards before hitting the deck and ended up 65 yards past the flagstick.
It was a dead-level fairway (no downhill slopes) and only about a 30 mph tailwind.

According to James Achenbach, 'Mike Austin received a doctorate in kinesiology from the National Academy of Applied Science in 1946. And applied this scientific study of human movement to the golf swing.'

Wikipedia records that, ‘Mike’s teaching-gym was, ‘Covered with mirrors which he said sped up the learning process. When he gave lectures about golf he dressed in a tight-fitting black leotard with white outlines of the skeleton. He wanted students to see how the bones were positioned in the correct golf swing.’

Looks like I’ll have to go out and get that full-length mirror I’ve been promising to buy for years. Especially when I foolishly asked my daughter over Xmas to video my golf swing-Not a pretty sight.

Mike’s DVD ‘Golf is Mental Imagery and Austinology’ doesn’t get rave notices on web forums. However here’s a couple of links about Mike’s great feat and his swing.

Mike Austin 1 and Mike Austin 2

My immediate reaction to his swing is; It’s kinda like the 8mm film I’ve seen of the young Jack Nicklaus practicing for the Walker Cup at Muirfield-Flying right elbow and all.

Thought for the day. Consult your physician before attempting to emulate Mike’s swing.



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