Work On Separation Take Your Swing To the Next Level

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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+

57 Responses to “Work On Separation Take Your Swing To the Next Level”

  1. January 11, 2013

    RichardGentry

    Hi Paul,

    Enjoyed today’s lesson. I feel like I’ve mastered (on a good day) the hip turn and good separation with my driver off the T box. I’m hitting the ball straighter and farther than ever before. I’m not nearly as consistent with my fairway woods and middle irons. This seems odd to me since they are shorter clubs and one would think easier to be consistent with. Any suggestions or thought on why I would be having more issues with consistency with these clubs?

    • Paul Wilson

      January 14, 2013

      Paul Wilson

      Richard,

      If you do a different swing you will get a different result. So I would think the swings you are making with these clubs are not as consistent. This could be that you are not as comfortable with these clubs or you are just trying to hit down on them or trying to hit them too hard. Focus on repeating exactly the positions and movement with theses clubs. Keep the swing speed to about 80% or less focusing on repetition not distance.

      Also, keep working on prefect movement and positions into the future. When people come to me for lessons I don’t see too many of them doing perfect movement. So it would be highly unlikely if you were doing the exact swing I want you to do. In other words there is room for improvement and making your swing even better. Go through each swing position. See what is lacking and focus on making them even better. My next couple of tips are good ones that you would be working on.

      Give this a try and see if it gets you there.

  2. January 12, 2013

    MichaelBlock

    Hi Paul

    Separation seems the same thing as the X-Factor. Your separation is an objective maneuver in the golf downswing. The X-Factor is a measurement of a good swing.

    My second2nd Comment: In the Swing Machine where does separation occur? I purchased your e-book. I more specifically mean Iron Byron simulator and not an actual golfer as you just demonstrated.

    • Paul Wilson

      January 14, 2013

      Paul Wilson

      Michael,

      Separation is x-factor. You are not necessarily trying to make this x-factor wider at this point. You are trying to learn how to fire the hips so you get some x-factor in your swing as opposed to having none. Once you do it dramatically improves your ball striking.

      There is no separation in the machine. It is a machine made of metal. It does not have to separate.

  3. January 13, 2013

    BryanRhoades

    Hey Paul.. Quick question. I took video of a couple of my swings and found I’m actually on my right toe at/right before impact. It seems like I’m actually pushing off too soon and maybe getting too far ahead with my lower body. What should I do to correct this (but still get off my right side)?

    • Paul Wilson

      January 14, 2013

      Paul Wilson

      Bryan,

      Yes, you are coming off this foot too much. Hit 10 balls flat footed on the right foot through and past impact. This will slow it down. Once you do allow it to gently come off the ground and it will be fixed.

  4. January 15, 2013

    Ben

    G’day Paul,
    I said before that I liked your roll the right foot through onto the toe demonstration. Also I had used the return the belt buckle to the ball. Now I am using both, I return the belt buckle first, the right foot roll seems to follow on, then I push onto the right toe. I recall one of the early greats (possibly Henry Cotton) said he felt as if he was pushing through with his right foot. I think this combination works well for me. I found I could practice this action nicely watching my shadow on the ground. At the same time I became aware of generating lag or separation. The shadow indicates my lower body has turned and the club striking the ground is well behind.

    • Paul Wilson

      January 16, 2013

      Paul Wilson

      Ben,

      It was Ben Hogan who said that. This is what got me my power many years ago.

      I like your thoughts and what you are working on. Keep at it.

  5. January 15, 2013

    GeorgeLee

    Paul,
    For clarity…you mention by the time your ” left arm is parallel to the ground, your hips have rotated 45 degree’s….” I’m assuming you’re referencing, once you’ve triggered, the belt buckle is back facing the ball, and your arms at this point are parallel to the ground? Hope this question makes since.
    Thanks in advance.

    Kind Regards

    • Paul Wilson

      January 16, 2013

      Paul Wilson

      George,

      On the way down when your left arms is parallel to the ground your lower body would have already turned 45 degrees which means it would be facing the ball. This is after you have triggered your downswing with the hips. If the hips fire they would instantly be pointing at the ball. In doing so, they are ahead of the arms because at address they were both pointing at the ball. If the hips are already at the ball in the downswing while the hands and club are not they must be ahead of the arms. This is the missing link in the average person’s swing.

  6. February 2, 2013

    WadeThames

    Paul,
    I was wondering are you familiar with Zeroline Golf app called “Golf MTRx”. It runs on a IPhone or IPod and measures your hip speed in your golf swing. It seems very cool. check it out:

    http://youtu.be/wbLt0-McqLA?t=45s
    http://www.zerolinegolf.com

    It has a graph that shows how your hips accurate and decelerate in the downswing and then recommends drill based on your performance.

    Thanks!

    • Paul Wilson

      February 3, 2013

      Paul Wilson

      Wade,

      I have it just haven’t used it yet. I will try it at some point in the future. I think it will be good though.

  7. February 14, 2013

    LenKoblenz

    Hi Paul,

    Tell me if I’m wrong. It seems to me that this move is the key to developing the swing that you are teaching. A bi-product of learning this move is that it takes supreme concentration to master it. While one is mastering this move, one CANNOT think about the hands and arms. I’m still at the beginning stages of your tutelage. It is going to be an interesting year. BTW, I’m still telling total strangers about you and your tips.

    Thanks,
    Len

    • Paul Wilson

      February 15, 2013

      Paul Wilson

      Len,

      This is the key move. Yes, it takes focus and concentration. Think about it while at the top of the swing. If you do you will be thinking of something totally different than what you have thought of in the past. If you keep thinking of the same things you will keep doing what you are doing.

      Thank you for the promo. I truly appreciate the help.

  8. February 27, 2013

    RaymondCHASTEL

    I have two questions:
    1 I try to let my right elbow fall in the slot close to
    my right hip ,then fire the left hip ,as if it was turning a sharp corner to the left .Does this contadict your firing the left knee first ?
    2 BEN HOGAN and others ( TIGER WOODS )adopt the ” barstool ” position before firing the hips .When I manage (pretty difficult to assimilate ! )I am definitely longer off the TEE .You don’ t teach this move .Is there a reason why ?

  9. March 8, 2013

    CraigSmith

    Hi Paul-

    Working on this separation seems to have caused me to get way ahead of the ball-I am hitting a large number of shots low, hard right and w slice. Seems like I’m possible pushing my hips to the left or swaying forward instead of uncoiling. However when I use my shadow to try to correct this and eliminate the sway I top the ball. I’ve gone from several weeks shooting in the low 80s to not being able to finish a hole. Everything, from 4i to SW, is shanking right. THis is about the 4th round in a row of it happening. Terribly frustrating. Is it normal to overdo or wrongly do the uncoil and turn it into a sway-and then end p push slicing everything ? Maybe it’s something else? I’ve never had anything like this happen in my game or swing.

    • Craig,

      Immediately slow down. You running before you can crawl. This is very difficult and needs to be done very precisely. I would be doing this stuff hard at home in practice swing then at the range you don’t think about doing it hard. This way you will gradually speed up instead of going full out all the time.

      So slow down. Relax the arms and wrists. Tee the ball up if you have to to get some confidence then lower the tee. Focus on the Follow Through positions and making them perfect at a slower rate of speed of course.

      Into the future you now know that you need to gradually increase the lower body rotation.

      Watch:

      How Much To Use Your Legs: http://ignitiongolf.com/downswing-how-much-legs

  10. August 9, 2013

    CameornWolff

    Paul,

    Spent the majority of this week doing drills to separate my hips from my shoulders. Followed your drills and the drills for flexibility. Went to the range last night. Started with your 3/4 drill. Before each shot I would hold my swing at the top and turn my hips to face the ball. I would also hold my lag.

    My sense was that by holding back my arms (my feeling) it helped with separation. I also felt that I was holding as much lag as I could until my hands reached my back leg.

    I worked myself through 70 balls over an hour and was very pleased with the results. About half way through the bucket and took a fuller swing. My ball flight was much straighter and longer.

    Per my other posts, I had little to no separation between my legs/hips and my upper body and arms. In essences although I started my swing with my hips, the force immediately traveled up my spine to my shoulders, arms and club head. Thus, the club would loose its lag and reach the ball before I could get my hips through. My arms were powerless but because I had little to no separation the club head was reaching the ball prematurely resulting in loss of power.

    I suspect I will continue to feel like I am holding my lag till the ball reaches my back leg and holding back my shoulders as long as I can while my hips fire. Eventually this will feel normal and not like I am holding back. In any case, I like the results. Thanks for your help, I have been struggling with this for a long time.

  11. August 11, 2013

    CameornWolff

    Paul,

    Continued to work on separation of hips from upper torso. While “holding back my shoulders and arms and lag” was a start, it is hard to repeat reliably. What I learned today is that I have to start my downswing my moving my back knee to my front knee more slowly all the while focusing on a relaxed spine, shoulder and arm muscles. It is surprising how far the ball goes. I by no means have this mastered. Will need to see if I can do the same today.

    Swing thought for today is to wind up with my shoulders, then relax my spine, shoulder and arms while I smoothly accelerate my back knee to my front knee. I need to move my legs and hips more slowly at first so I don’t tense up my upper torso. Will let you know how it goes.

    • Paul Wilson

      August 11, 2013

      Paul Wilson

      Cameron,

      This will take you a long time to perfect so you need to be constantly working on it. I like your thoughts so as I said you need to keep working on it.

  12. August 11, 2013

    CameornWolff

    Paul,

    I watched your full swing DVD. I put up both the front view and down the line full swing in slow motion and watched them over and over again. It is clear your belt buckle (lower body) leads your shoulders (upper body). they only catch up with one another past impact.

    Based on my experience, I believe it is human nature to want to turn the hips and shoulders together. In other words, lock the spine so both turn together. This may be “human nature” and designed to protect ones spine as the twisting of the spine is not comfortable.

    Nonetheless, this is a key move I must master if my swing is to get to the next level. I will start slow till it is comfortable. I keep reminding myself “if I can’t do it slow I certainly can’t do it fast”.

    • Paul Wilson

      August 11, 2013

      Paul Wilson

      Cameron,

      It is natural to try to hit the ball sitting on front of you. In doing so, the upper and lower moves together. Kids do not have this choice because they have no arm strength. Keep your arms as loose as a child’s and have strong legs and you will get it.

  13. August 12, 2013

    CameornWolff

    Arrrrgh, frustrating day. Hit lots of fairways but my ball had a weak fade and was 20 yards shorter than normal. Believe my separation was OK but I believe I was falling towards the ball (on my toes from the top during the downswing) cause me to swipe the ball. Will keep working at it. Can’t expect to rid myself of a lifetime of faults in a few weeks. Need to keep upright, keep over my laces and turn my lower body while keeping my upper body relaxed.

    • Paul Wilson

      August 13, 2013

      Paul Wilson

      Cameron,

      You are going to have many frustrating days on your road to becoming a better player. Look for good shots and have a great short game to make up for the days when things aren’t going your way.

  14. August 12, 2013

    CameornWolff

    I am wondering if I fall towards the ball when I turn my hips on the downswing is because my hips are not setup properly? If there a feedback mechanism I can use to verify if my setup is correct? I noticed from my video that as soon as I start to turn my hips during the downswing my first move is towards the ball. Need to figure out how to stop this. Very frustrating.

    • Paul Wilson

      August 13, 2013

      Paul Wilson

      Cameron,

      You check your setup by watching yourself in a mirror. Match up the middle of your shoulder with the tip of your knee and your laces. These should make a straight line. If you are overhanging it will not match up. Also, you are working on separation so you are probably going at it quite hard. You are not good at it so you will be off balance for the while. Keep doing the swings off the ground then you will get used to it.

  15. August 14, 2013

    CameornWolff

    Paul,

    I found a kinematic sequence graph that reflects what i am doing. I used to perform the fanning sequence. In the last couple of years I have moved to the riding sequence. Now, I am attempting via your program to learn the stretching sequence.

    See the graph here http://www.philcheetham.com/variations-in-the-downswing-kinematic-sequence-of-golf-stretching-riding-fanning. I will continue to work the separation drills.

    • Paul Wilson

      August 14, 2013

      Paul Wilson

      Cameron,

      This is what I have been showing everyone to do. Keep at it. Coil then uncoil and let the arms go along for the ride. You are not good at it. As you keep doing it you will get better. Patience grasshopper.

  16. August 18, 2013

    CameornWolff

    Paul,

    OK, this grasshopper has been working it hard. Yesterday I shot a 101, today I shot an 83.

    What I learned: (I am left handed)
    - I thought I was turning my right hip back … I was really sliding my right hip causing me to pull my right arm and club, it caused my club to go off plan for a nasty pull
    - Eventually I learned to take my right hip back by taking my right knee back, I knew I was doing this right when taking my hip back did not pull on my right arm and club as I was able to keep my shoulders back (the separation I was looking for)
    - By starting my right hip back, when I moved my left knee to my right knee it had room to make the move. The left knee would pull my upper body, arms then club for a long clean hit, I felt I was keeping my lag

    Other thing I did was stand taller. I kept my shoulders over my knees which were over my laces. In this position I could keep my balance as my right leg and hip moved back and my left knee moved to my right knee. I actually took less effort to turn than the slide and it resulted in a well struck ball.

    One of the struggles I had initially with standing tall was shanking the ball. When I was bent over more, the club traveled closer to my body. When standing taller I needed to be further from the ball. Once I adjusted my setup I was striking the ball well minus the shank.

    Now, I have to go out and do it again … only better

    • Paul Wilson

      August 18, 2013

      Paul Wilson

      Cameron,

      For the next round just swing easy. Once you have a good round, most people think they’ve “got it” so they go all out plus their expectations are too high. Just swing easy. This will lower the expectations and keep your loose. Think hit the fairway not hit 300 down the fairway. Think hit the green not I am going to put it close etc.

  17. August 19, 2013

    CameornWolff

    Paul,

    You know the golfer’s mind all too well. Good advice. I will follow it.

  18. August 25, 2013

    CameornWolff

    Paul,

    Initially, in order to achieve separation of hips and shoulders, I would intentionally hold my should back as my hips begin to turn. I no longer need to do this. Instead, the feeling is, as I stand tall and stacked over my hips, knees and laces and my hips begin to turn, I am “leaving” my shoulders behind. As my hips turn the elasticity of my muscles and tendons eventually pull my shoulder through pulling my arms and the club. I am also gaining a sense for when my club is on plane. When it all comes together the ball flies long and in the faraway.

    I continue to do this in a slow deliberate manner. I by no means have this mastered but am gaining more of of a feeling how to obtain separation. I like it.

    • Paul Wilson

      August 26, 2013

      Paul Wilson

      Cameron,

      Okay, this sounds good plus you are seeing results by doing it. Now, latch on to it and keep doing it for a while. We need you working consistently on some key elements of the swing until they are mastered. No jumping around.

  19. August 31, 2013

    CameornWolff

    Paul,

    Question about push vs pull. I noticed as I have been working on separation how my hands feel on the club from the top at the start of the downswing. In the past, I would feel pressure in my hand as if I was “pushing” the shaft of the club. Lately, I have noticed that I am now feeling the shaft in my fingers as my hips pull everything through.

    When pushing the club it was hard to get separation between my hips and my shoulders. I was also more over the top and cutting across the ball. With the feeling of my hands pulling on the shaft It is a much more effortless feeling and the ball goes further. Am I on the right track?

    • Paul Wilson

      September 2, 2013

      Paul Wilson

      Cameron,

      No idea. I feel neither pushing or pulling. If you feel it is working then keep the feeling of pulling. Remember though, I want the arms powerless. You really should be feeling nothing.

  20. September 2, 2013

    CameornWolff

    Paul,

    OK, ball is now going 30 to 50 yards farther. It is a fantastic feeling.

    This hitting thing has been so engrained in my swing. Even though I was unwinding with my hips, my upper body was still doing the hitting thing. As my upper body would unwind it would want to “push” the club shaft as in a hit. The part of my hand that would feel the pressure from the club shaft was in my hands between my thumb and forefinger, especially my back hand. Now I am making a fuller backswing and actually feeling the stretch in my front shoulder. When my hips unwinds it eventually pulls my arms and thus I feel the shaft pressure in my fingers (pull not a push).

    I am discovering that powerless arms also include a powerless upper body. I have to visualize as my lower body unwinds, it will unwind my upper body and then pull my arms and my hands which will then pull the club. When this happens I feel the club shaft more in my fingers and not in my hands.

    I also have to wind up from the top (feel the stretch in my front shoulder and extended front arm). There can’t be any slack when I turn back at the top. If there is slack the unwinding from the bottom (hips) will lose its effect.

    I now feel I can power my swing from turning my back knee towards my front knee. I am no longer unwinding form the bottom and hitting from the top. This always felt like I was racing myself to the ball. It was a race between my hips unwinding and my upper body hitting. I was one confused golfer :)

    • Paul Wilson

      September 2, 2013

      Paul Wilson

      Cameron,

      I really sounds like you are understanding it and getting the right feelings. Just stick to this for now. So many people want more and more they end up hitting again. Repeat is your new word.

  21. September 3, 2013

    CameornWolff

    Paul,

    You are correct. Us hitters, as you well know, are always thinking how to make the ball go further. The drill I will focus on is the 75% drill at the range. I need to “repeat” until the swing replaces the hit in my head.

    • Paul Wilson

      September 3, 2013

      Paul Wilson

      Cameron,

      Exactly, just keep doing it. It shouldn’t take that long if you are focused on it. Only do it a few times and you will never get it.

  22. September 9, 2013

    CameornWolff

    Paul,

    Had a good week with powerless arms. Instead of just turning my hips and having my arms relaxed, I am now developing a sense of timing with my hips. Goal is to turn and have my back arm fold than release towards the target. Almost feels as if I am throwing something, however there is no force being applied to my arms by my arms.

    • Paul Wilson

      September 10, 2013

      Paul Wilson

      Cameron,

      That’s great. You just need to latch on to the feeling and keep doing it until you are good at it. Sounds like you are on your way.

  23. January 27, 2014

    HarveyKirk

    Paul, another great video. I understand that you want to move your hips on the downswing when your lead arm is parrallel to the ground, but it looks like you are actually moving your hips as soon as you get to the top of the backwswing. I realize this all happen very fast and maybe a swing you use should also be in shown slow motion so we can see what is happening. In watching the video it looks like you are totally uncoiled before your club starts swinging towards the ball and is end position. Thank you.

    • Paul Wilson

      January 28, 2014

      Paul Wilson

      Harvey,

      I was exaggerating it in that video as I swung the club. I thought I said that.

      Just work on uncoiling the lower body faster so you get some separation.

  24. Paul,As you say ,it takes a lot OF Time to master this ” s

    • Raymond,

      This is one of the hardest moves. It is when separates the men from the boys (pun intended).

      I think you do need to work on lag. Again, you need to do this daily until it is mastered.

  25. Paul, great tip. It seems like this is 95% of the total swing.

    • Kenneth,

      Pros do this. Average players do not. To take your game to a whole new level you need this in your swing. If you feel you are ready to make the jump to a higher level then work on it. If not, save it for the future. Once you get separtaion, you will have more power than you could imagine.

  26. Many golfers are coming into the game later in life, and just aren’t athletic to begin with. That coupled with wanting to master everything in one month keeps most golfers staying at hacker status.

    • David,

      Learning golf late is certainly a disadvantage. I just have to get people to understand how and why you should not be just trying to hit at the ball with the arms. I think if people understand it and feel a few shots with a feeling of nothing they will be more inclined to wanting to keep doing it. People just have to realize doing it this way does take a little time but if they stick with it it’s a whole new world.

  27. I AM A SENIOR GOLFER. SINCE DOING YOUR METHOD MY GOLF HAS IMPROVED. THANKS SO MUCH. PEG

  28. Hey Paul,

    You can tell just from the number of comments on this drill that most of us do not yet have this move completed and I am not giving up on it.

    Had a great practice session yesterday started with a few dozen 123 drills, then added a dozen coil and uncoils and finished with the separation drills and it worked. WOW! What a feeling I walk around the house snapping my hips at night wife thinks I am learning how to dance the Rumba.

    Best regards,

    Jay Jay

    • Jay Jay,

      Yes, this is what separates the men from the boys. If you get this you will hit it like a pro. This is why I keep telling everyone to do my favorite drill holding the club off the ground. If so, you can feel the legs and hips powering the swing. If you can’t feel them you will never use them. Just keep doing that you are doing and this drill and you will get it.

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

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