@fredcloss - This series of photos depicts Mike Austin using a swing training device of his own invention; "The Flammer". The device attached to the end of a club and encouraged "connection" (a key tenet of the Jimmy Ballard swing philosophy) between the body pivoting and the club swinging. Mike's swing does have movements that differed from Hogan's swing. Most importantly, Mike advocated a "compound pivot" - moving back into the right side (right handed golfer) straightening the right leg while moving the left knee in towards the ball. The move back moves the upper torso back and to the right with no conscious effort of the part of the golfer to "turn". the downside motion is the mirror motion - left leg straightens and right leg folds in toward the ball.
His pupil and partner is promoting the Austin method Mike Dunaway demonstrated this move using a length of rope looped around stake anchored in the ground and wrapped around each hand. Using a pulling motion, he would pivot to the right pulling the rope with his right hand and then move laterally a bit back towards the left and pivot around his left leg by pulling the rope in towards his body with his left hand. The compound pivot works with lateral movement, perhaps more so than Mr. Hogan's pivot and downswing.
For what I understand, Mike Austin's swing path was linear, i.e., followed a circular path back as the club, arm, and shoulders moved together in one piece. the club remained in front of his chest - as opposed to a straight line back from the ball. The idea I think is that the club attached to the arms attached to the shoulders are powered by the body moving back and pivoting on the right leg and then forward pivoting on the left leg - This action generates the power in the swing and is very powerful IF the hands, arms, shoulders all work together as one unit. Add in Austin's uncocking of the wrists as he starts his downswing and you generate lots of club head speed.
The Flammer kept the triangle intact throughout the swing and gave users a sense of Austin's linear motion swing path and the power transmission capabilities inherent in keeping, as Jimmy Ballard would state, the "triangle intact".
Is this swing radically different from Hogans? I cannot adequately opine since I haven't mastered either the Hogan motion or the Austin method. Clearly, Ben Hogan's swing worked wonders for him and many other golfers. His record in tournament golfer stands as testament to the efficacy of his method as does the swing of Sam Snead, Bobby Jones, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Tiger Woods, etc...
What I can say is that Mike Austin's swing has been used by thousands of students over the years to great effect with minimal strain put on the body by torquing and twisting.
Other experts teaching the Mike Austin method readers may want to check out are Steve Pratt www.hititlonger.com - Dan Shauger www.aperfectswing.com - John Marshall - www.jmlongdrive.com - www.swingmangolf.com Messrs. Pratt and Shauger offer DVDs, downloads and a monthly subscription (Steve Pratt as well as Jaacob Bowden). Mr. Marshall is an instructor in the Atlanta, GA area.
I find it absolutely fascinating that this pursuit of a good golf swing can take so many varied and different routes. The constant remains there are as many ways to swing a club effectively as there are different people. It is truly a fascinating journey!