Why You Can’t Stop Hitting With Your Arms

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Paul Wilson

Paul Wilson is the creator of Swing Machine Golf and founder of Ignition Golf. Paul's golf swing technique is based on the Iron Byron swing machine. YouTube Channels: Paul Wilson Golf and Ignition Golf Tips. Please Join me on Google+

25 Responses to “Why You Can’t Stop Hitting With Your Arms”

  1. Hi Paul In the Drill swinging 50% ,can you swing too slow would swinging 25% stop the hitting with arms sooner. My swing is improving but still can feel myself tensining in arms at follow through position when on course.Stopped slicing ball , my big miss now is pull hook and on these shots i really feel my arms so i know how to fix it but arms creep in 5, 6 times a round so i was wondering practice at 25% might help any thoughts.

    • Barry,

      You need to swing at a level where you are not hitting. I get the feeling your 25% is my 50%. So go even slower. It can only help.

  2. Try just one round. Wow you’re asking a lot, but I think it will be worth it.

    • Gregory,

      Getting people to do something for one round is like pulling teeth. Glad you are going to try it.

  3. Paul ,I subscribe fully to your “POWERLESS ARMS “method ,and (I think but I’m not quite sure !)that’s how I play now .However ,I endeavor to utilize the most I can ,my “fingers ” and my “wrists to improve the whipping action .My wrists and fingers are very ,very loose at the takeaway up to the top of the backswing ,I try at that moment to feel in my right forefinger the weight of the club at the top of the backswing :then starting back in the downswing ,I “activate ” my fingers and my wrists fastest possible to get the clubhead to whip through ,without using the arms
    Is this consistent with your method ?
    I should add that I’m always very ,very straight ,no fading ,no slicing ,occasionally a slight draw ,so utilizing my wrists and fingers doesn’t create havoc to my game ,which is contrary to what most Golf Instructors say !
    This way of playing has added quite some distance to my shots !
    I’m curious to have your comments on this “unorthodox ” method !

    • Paul Wilson

      September 1, 2014

      Paul Wilson

      Raymond,

      So feel your hands, arms, fingers etc. to get the club whipping properly then turn them off again once you master it. Some things you may have to train to do the right movement. Just by turning them off it may take you forever to get it. If helping it helps you master it quicker I am all for it.

  4. August 30, 2014

    mikemooney

    when lining up a shot, be it iron or hybrid should my eyes be looking at the back of the ball, not the top, and if it is the back, is it at the bottom of the ball, when I’m lining up for a shot.

  5. Hi Paul;
    I’ve seen this tip numerous times before & try to work on it on the range. Why would it make a difference if you try t play that way? When I practice,I start with a lob wedge & move up thru the bag till I get to my driver. When I’m hitting the lob wedge I can do this perfectly & the feeling is amazing but I’m only trying to hit the ball 50 yds. so I’m just shortening my swing & swinging as easy as possible. That’s when I make my best swings. Then I start hitting the lob farther rather than changing clubs & my swing still feels great. After that I normally go to an 8 & that’s when the trouble starts. You’ve told me in the past that at that point I’m thinking “distance.” I’m hitting an 8 125,130 with my best swing. Then when I go to a 6, I don’t hit it any farther than the 8 & it’s driving me nuts. Even though I have a good deal of lag, but I can’t seem to be able to keep my wrists loose enough to give me more speed & no matter how hard I try, I can’t release the club properly by letting my wrists roll over but on the few occasions I do it, I hit a pull. I read, at some point you had a guy in his 80s hitting his driver 250. My carry distance is rarely more than 180 & I only occasionally feel like I’m using my arms. It feels like I’m turning my body faster but it makes no difference in my yardages. It’s gotten to the point that I moved to the senior tees to be able to reach greens in regulation. I’m 61 but you say that shouldn’t make much difference. I take a lesson when I have a specific issue but the pro never tells me I’m swinging to hard so I’m pretty much at a loss.

    • Paul Wilson

      September 1, 2014

      Paul Wilson

      Michael,

      You are thinking distance with longer clubs. I am thinking power my swing by driving my legs harder. I have said it in the past it an “unmistakable feeling” you are hitting that ball with your legs NOT your arms. I guarantee you cannot say this. You go for a little more power and you do so with (maybe) your legs but your arms as well.

      Keep in mind you are not good at using your legs. Unless you are constantly working on them you will NEVER get it. This is because you have had a lifetime of hitting with your arms. You need to be working on using your legs EVERY night until you are good at it. If you have ever thrown a ball you have done the correct leg action before. In throwing a ball you would drive your legs HARD. In golf you have he ball sitting there. If it is sitting there you will try to hit it. This is natural. The golf swing is unnatural because you have to go against human nature and YOU wanting to hit the object. To master this you need to be CONSTANTLY working on it. Every day. You can just do this in your back yard. Do my favorite drill every night until you are god at it.

      I have tons of drills on this. Make a list and start doing them immediately. Forget where the ball is going and get the distance increased. You can get it in the fairway later. Watch this tip first:

      It’s An Unmistakable Feeling In Your Legs: http://ignitiongolf.com/unmistakable-feeling-legs/

      DRILLS YOU NEED TO BE DOING EVERY NIGHT (focus on these 3 for now):

      DRILL: Listen to Club Swinging: http://ignitiongolf.com/drill-listen-to-club
      DRILL: Swing Up with Driver: http://ignitiongolf.com/drill-swing-up-driver/
      DRILL Lift Heel For 2 Weeks: http://ignitiongolf.com/drill-lift-heel-2-weeks/

      Also, why don’t you just do a Skype lesson with us so we can tell you what you are doing? It is mind boggling to me why people are not using this service. I would be all over it.

  6. August 30, 2014

    KennethMoffat

    I agree with the above comment. The powerless arms work great on wedges, but the longer clubs are not carrying. The driver is just impossible. I have longer shots with my 3 wood. I’m sure it’s just my arms activating since I’m probably mentally trying too hard to get distance rather than letting the club do the work. Also still having trouble taking it to the course. The range I use has mats. When I get on the course I have gotten worse. This spring I was hitting very well with irons, scored a 34 on a par 27 executive course, but now for some reason I’m back up to around 40! Ach, mental block. I must go out on the course and take your suggestion of shooting an entire round at slow speed.

    • Paul Wilson

      September 1, 2014

      Paul Wilson

      Kenneth,

      It is not impossible. You are jut not working on it the right way or working on the right things enough to master it.

      First things first, you MUST MUST MUST get the driver hooking. If you do you are fixing one of the 2 things. If it is hooking you are releasing it. If you are releasing it you are taking one side of the course out of play. Okay, this is at least something that is now happening consistently. How long does this take? No idea. I can get people to release it consistently in 3 balls. Others 300 balls or 3 months. It doesn’t matter how long it takes. What matters is if you are CONSTANTLY AND CONSISTENTLY working on it until you MASTER it. Once you do you are focused ONLY on your body rotation.

      I guarantee right now you are hitting it left, right, left, right and so on. So you have not mastered releasing it which means you have to keep working on both the hands and arms AND the body. Because you are working on 2 things you never master anything so you just spin your wheels. MASTER 1 thing then work on the other.

      So many people out there keep caring about how they are playing. This is truly mind boggling to me. Who cares where you hit it on the course if you are trying to make changes. Watch the ball and it will tell you if you are doing things right or not. Be patient and understand that if you are working on 1 thing you are not going to play well. You will hit some good shots but not all of them will be good. These good shots are telling you what it to come in the future if you keep working on it.

      So focus on the release. Get the hardest club in your bag to release … releasing. Once you can do this. THEN and ONLY THEN start working on body rotation to straighten it out.

      You know you can do this because you did it. Once people do it they think they’ve got it. If you think like this you will go right back to your old swing. You need to be CONSTANTLY working on all of this stuff. Even then you NEVER get it 100% of the time.

  7. August 30, 2014

    PaulSacchetti

    Hi Paul,

    Well I’m getting it but it is amazing how hard it is to stop wanting to hit the ball. First I loosened my wrists and really swung without hand input. That took a while. Now I’m working on using my body to drive the arms. That’s going pretty well. Lastly, I’m working on the lower body as the motor. I could not make the leap from lower body driving powerless arms directly. Apparentely, that was too much for my brain to process. Perhaps this is why a lot of folks have so much trouble. Unless your a very good athelete like a pro golfer, it is impossible for the rest of us to get our bodies to do it in one shot. I tell my brain what to do but instinct takes over. It’s like learning a new language. Your asking for us to write an essay and we can barely speak a word. At least for me I need to crawl before I can walk and I’m a decent athlete.

    Paul

    • Paul Wilson

      September 1, 2014

      Paul Wilson

      Paul,

      Think about this from now on … In the past have you not hit that one shot that went 30-50 yards farther than any other shot? I ask this to most of my students. They all answer “yes.” Next, what did you feel when you hit this shot? The all answer “nothing” “effortless””easy”. I am sure you are nodding your head right now. If you are why would you want to swing any other way than this? You hit your best shot with nothing. It was effortless. This is powerless arms!

      So if you are not thinking easy, effortless, nothing on every shot you are doing he opposite to what made you hit the best shot of your life. If you are thinking of the opposite how do you ever think you are going replicate it in the future?

      So, I like what you are saying in your comment. I like how you are working on the lower body. You need to be working on this EVERY night until you are good at it. Use what I just said above as your NEW mental thought when you go to play. You do not care if you hit your best shot. You care if every shot felt easy, like nothing and effortless because these are the feelings associated with your best shot. If you keep saying and feeling this you will keep them turned off and power your shots with your legs and hips.

      Watch:

      Have Good Thoughts: http://ignitiongolf.com/have-good-thoughts/

      And:

      It’s An Unmistakable Feeling In Your Legs: http://ignitiongolf.com/unmistakable-feeling-legs/

      Constantly do these drills (every night):

      DRILL: Listen to Club Swinging: http://ignitiongolf.com/drill-listen-to-club
      DRILL: Swing Up with Driver: http://ignitiongolf.com/drill-swing-up-driver/
      DRILL Lift Heel For 2 Weeks: http://ignitiongolf.com/drill-lift-heel-2-weeks/

  8. August 31, 2014

    LouisBond

    Paul I watched a segment on Golf Channel with Fred Couples & according to him his swing is all lower body.
    He stated that his body was going as hard as he could & he still hits the driver around 300 yards, so you must have something here.
    When I tske the arms out I do get effortless power.
    Unfortunately I also hit the ball dead right which causes me to go back to the arm swing.
    Any ideas?????

    Louis

    • Paul Wilson

      September 1, 2014

      Paul Wilson

      Louis,

      Yes, Freddy would be a great example of what I teach. See how he is in his 50′s and still hits it a mile?

      If you are hitting it right YOU are not releasing it. Have you not watched these tips?

      DRILL: Smooth Wrist Release: http://ignitiongolf.com/smooth-wrist-release/

      Please Learn How to Hook It: http://ignitiongolf.com/please-learn-hook/

      You need to immediately start hooking it until it never goes right. If so, your release is working and you DO NOT have to keep working on it. You would then be working on using your lower body to power your swing.

      As you add body you may blow it right again. If so, slow down or roll it again to get the wrists unlocked.

      Here is the release progression:

      Driving Hips Too Hard – Release Progression: http://ignitiongolf.com/release-progression/

  9. September 2, 2014

    RobertWalker Jr

    Hi Paul: I’ll be 69 this Nov and if I haven’t broken 90 yet, I probably never will.
    With that said I feel my game is in transition; the older group I play with comments on my feet moving around when I try to kill it [hitting with my arms] then I show them a perfect practice swing. I have hit several long and correctly hit balls this summer, so I know I can do it. I now realize that because I make a few practice swings at home that feel correct; I’ve never listened to your instruction to use a mirror [which I did purchase] until it become instinctive. I’ve taken to many short cuts and it hasn’t paid off.
    Thanks
    Bob

    • Paul Wilson

      September 2, 2014

      Paul Wilson

      Bob,

      Age has nothing to do with your learning my swing. As you have seen I can swing easy and develop a lot of power. So you have felt it so you know you can o it. Use the mirror and focus on the positions. I keep telling people this but they insist on hitting balls and caring about where the balls go on when they play.

      We are now offering Skype lessons to so we can see people swing yet people are not doing these either. I am teaching everyone how to fish yet they continue to starve. Stay focused on exactly what I teach and you will get it.

      I have replied to your other part of this comment to your personal email.

  10. September 2, 2014

    MatthewBryk

    Paul,

    I have been struggling with the powerless arm concept. Recently I began to focus on my left side more(LT hip and straightening of the LT leg) starting the downswing rotation. Sometimes I feel like I’m slightly pulling with my left arm. This focus on the left side has had a positive affect on my swing. I feel less arms, no slicing at all, sometimes I pull it a little left. Ball is going lower and a little further. Club path is from inside. And my worse fault the dreaded chicken wing has decreased a little. Anything wrong with the left side focus. I feel it negates any over the top movement.

    Thanks.

    Mitch

    • Paul Wilson

      September 2, 2014

      Paul Wilson

      Mitch,

      I hear this all the time. People struggle because they have hit for many years and they equate power with hitting.

      Thinking of the left side is one of the downswing triggers I teach so I am perfectly fine with you thinking about. It is called a trigger. This means you do not do anything in your downswing without doing this move first.

      Watch:

      Choose The Right Power Source: http://ignitiongolf.com/choose-the-right-power-source/

      Watch this one too:

      It’s a Turn Not A Jump: http://ignitiongolf.com/turn-not-jump/

      The chicken wing is the tell-tale sign you are still hitting. If your arms were turned off the weight of the club set in motion would be stretching them out fully. So keep focusing on loosening them up. The tell-tale sign your arms are powerless is the club will feel heavy. If it feels light you’re too tight.

      Watch

      The Club Should Feel Heavy: http://ignitiongolf.com/club-feel-heavy/

  11. September 3, 2014

    AndrewScanlon

    Hey Paul,

    In short, I’ve been playing a long time, poorly. This past month, I am determined to play better, so now, I am reinventing my swing. Through your tips, I’ve changed my backswing, follow-through, and I’ve learned the touching of the knees and placing of the club between my ears. After watching this tip, I took the suggestion of “letting my arms go for the ride” to the range. I did it for two large buckets.

    Here is what I noticed. I used my arms, shoulders, and hips to coil. Once I was at the top of my backswing, I turned off my shoulders and arms, and I used my hips and legs to uncoil. The feeling I got was my arms AND shoulders were going along for the ride. As a matter of fact, I was definitely using my hips and legs to do almost all the work. Admittedly, my stomach muscles are sore after this exercise. Most of the shots were straight and went a country mile (I didn’t use the driver much, but the results with the driver were only mediocre).

    Is the soreness of my stomach muscles an indication that I am doing this right?

    Also, sometimes I get the feeling that during my follow-through, I am tucking my lead elbow into my ribs. I don’t think this is right. What should I do?

    Respectfully,

    Andy

    • Paul Wilson

      September 3, 2014

      Paul Wilson

      Andrew,

      The first step to improving is admitting you have a problem. Ha Ha.

      Now that you have done that I like the determination to finally improve. You have come to the right place.

      It seems like a lot of things you are working on. If you are just starting to make changes you should only be working on grip, setup, touch legs, touch head in the follow through. You get that alone and you will hit it better than you ever have in you life. I have proven his thousands of times. Working on the follow through first starts to fix the backswing. Once you master the follow through and you move to the backswing the changes are less difficult if you did it my way.

      Backswing – you should be only coiling your shoulders back. They move the most. If you turn them back they will pull the hips into perfect position every time.

      Hips and Legs – use them to uncoil. In the backswing they are stable and the shoulders pull them around as I just mentioned.

      I don’t hear sore stomach muscles. I usually hear sore legs if they have never used them before. Just be careful. Maybe in trying to drive the lower boy in the dowswing you were activating these muscles.

      Through Swing – You need to allow the club to extend fully into the follow through creating a wider arc. I have ever heard anyone say they hit their lead elbow into the ribs. This would indicate it is folding too soon into the follow through.

      Watch these tips:

      DRILL: Extend the Back Arm for Power and Consistency: http://ignitiongolf.com/drill-extend-back-arm/
      Three Quarters Through – Lead Arm Position: http://ignitiongolf.com/follow-through-lead-arm-bending/
      Wide Arc: http://ignitiongolf.com/wide-arc/
      DRILL: Another Way To Widen The Arc: http://ignitiongolf.com/drill-widen-arc/

      So be careful. Work on less things and master them. I know it is exciting but if you never master anything you will continue to spin your wheels.

  12. September 10, 2014

    DonaldPugsley

    Hi Paul
    This is my first post here.
    I have been following you for about a year now. I have improved a lot. I am in my 60′s and started golfing last year (wish I started 40 years ago).
    I am in pretty good shape and have the same issues as MichaelRodrick. I can hit all my wedges well with powerless arms (I think) My 7 Iron goes straight to about 150 yds 6 iron about 160. The driver 180 or so. My 4 rescue goes the same 180 or more. I will try and follow the suggestions you have made to others and see how it goes. Maybe I should just use my 3 wood for a while
    I thank you for the help and appreciate your genuine concern for our improvement.

    • Paul Wilson

      September 10, 2014

      Paul Wilson

      Donald,

      Glad you have you on board. I truly appreciate the support.

      I’m also glad you have improved. I love hearing it.

      Hitting Drive is tough. I really had a hard time with this when I was growing up. It was so bad I used to tee off with a 3 iron for a while. After many years of being terribly inconsistent I finally got it in 1999 when I stopped trying to hit or help the ball in any way. The thing is no one ever told me to not try and hit the ball. When I say I got it, I got it instantly the moment I turned them off.

      For you, I would go with the 3 wood when playing for a little while. I say this because from your comment above you are not confident with it. If you keep playing without confidence I don’t see how you improve. So tee off with 3 wood for now.

      Now, when you are at the range and at home you need to break this swing down into 2 parts. SPIN an DIRECTION. First you work on the spin. This means you goal is not perfect drives. You goal is too hook everything. You do this with my roll over drill. Swing easy. Do it at the range and every night at home.

      Please Learn How to Hook It: http://ignitiongolf.com/please-learn-hook/
      How to Release the Golf Club: http://ignitiongolf.com/impact-wrist-release
      DRILL: 3 Ways To Roll It Over: http://ignitiongolf.com/3-ways-to-roll/
      Still Slicing Even After Rolling?: http://ignitiongolf.com/slicing-after-rolling/
      DRILL: Smooth Wrist Release: http://ignitiongolf.com/smooth-wrist-release/

      IF you work on it this way first you are mastering the spin. If mastered you never have to think or work on it in the future. This early release is de-lofting the club so you will get a proper launch angle into the future. To start with they will most likely go low left. This will also work on unlocking your wrists as well. Looser wrists = more clubhead speed.

      Okay lets fast forward a week or two down the road. Now you can easily hook it. At this point you start switching to the leg drive. With the release mastered you can now have clear focus on using your legs and hips to hit the ball. If you are not working on it this way you are bouncing around between spin an direction. If you are bouncing around you will never improve.

      Hopefully, you know my touch the legs position and can do it. As you hit the top of the backswing your sole thought is applying your downswing trigger to power the swing.

      At home every night you need to b doing these drills (ONLY WHEN YOU MASTER THE RELEASE):

      DRILL: Swing Off Ground: http://ignitiongolf.com/drill-swing-off-ground

      DRILL: Listen to Club Swinging: http://ignitiongolf.com/drill-listen-to-club

      DRILL: How To Get Faster Hip Rotation: http://ignitiongolf.com/drill-faster-hip-rotation/

      Hips To Target Feeling: http://ignitiongolf.com/hips-to-target-feeling/

      DRILL: Swing Off Ground Variation: http://ignitiongolf.com/drill-variation-favorite-drill/

      DRILL: My Favorite Drill – Variation 2: http://ignitiongolf.com/favorite-drill-variation-2/

      DRILL Lift Then Hit: http://ignitiongolf.com/drill-lift-hit/

      DRILL Lift Heel For 2 Weeks: http://ignitiongolf.com/drill-lift-heel-2-weeks/

      I get the feeling that people trying to do powerless arms either get me wrong, let their arms flop all over the place or don’t release it.

      When you are working on things you may be feeling the arms. This is because you are training them to do certain positions or moves in your swing. By just turning them off you may never get it so by doing positions and drills you are manually working on it. Once you get it, you then turn your arms back off.

  13. September 11, 2014

    DonaldPugsley

    Thank you Paul
    Just a follow up should I apply these tips to my irons as well? My irons seem to be good.
    Don

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