Balance 123 Drill

By | on October 8, 2023 | 29 Comments |


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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+

29 Responses to “Balance 123 Drill”

  1. Paul, Thank you for the great tip on balance! That is almost my most difficult function right now. Tim Kelly

  2. May 30, 2014


    Greetings Paul thanks for the advice Im getting there

  3. I still struggle with maintaining forward tilt, sometimes hitting the ball thin or fat. Is there something that can help me “feel” the forward tilt? I have seen instructors stick a short alignment type stick through belt buckle where upper end of stick is above the navel and lower end is between the legs. I suspect when you set up for the shot you feel the upper end of the stick press against your stomach/lower chest, through the back swing and through at least 3/4 follow through. I would assume in the finish position, the upper end would no longer be pressed against your stomach. During the swing I wonder if you would feel a difference in the upper end pressure if you start to come out of the tilt or dip down further.

    I try and envision sitting on the end of a bar stool or keeping my eye on the ball placement until 3/4 through, but still struggle. Just curious if there is anything physical in feel that might be of help.


    • Randy,

      This is what you need to be working on. Just do it in practice swings. Maybe do it towards a mirror or window. Be careful not to get too much angle.

      Topping and thin shots are you trying to hit it too hard so you need to slow down a little. Fat shots is you hitting the ball with too much weight on the back foot at impact. Again, you are hitting with arms. So the root of the problem is you still trying to hit the ball with your arms so make sure you are constantly working on coiling the shoulders and uncoiling the lower body to hit the ball.

    • Randy,

      This is what you need to be working on:

      Spine Angle Follow Through:

      Just do it in practice swings towards are mirror or window.

      Thin shots are you hitting too hard and coming out of you shots so slow down a little. Fat shots are you with too much weight on the back foot at impact. So make sure you are getting off this back foot a little better. Remember … coil and uncoil to hit the shot.

  4. Very sound lesson ,a gain ,Paul : I’ve been doing a similar drill ,which you’ve in fact shown already ,when I swing saying to myself ” COIL ,UNCOIL ” or “HINGE ,UNHINGE “,looking at myself in a training mirror .
    Where it b

  5. Hi Paul;
    At some point would you please in the beginner lessons, cover the misinformation of “keeping your head down” which is a phrase that’s told to beginners all the time, mostly by those having no teaching experience. I sometimes get the urge to mention it to the person but don’t feel it’s in my place. Thanks.

  6. HiPaul,

    This weekend I had a great round of 83 on a tough long course. I’m starting to get it. I had 3-5 shots that with zero input. The rest were with varing degrees of low arm input. With zero input it is a very odd out of control feeling. Clearly the club does not need to be steered. Also the more with less takes some getting used too. On one tee shot to a 175 par 3 I swung easy with zero arm input. The contact was crisp but the ball went very high. It almost looked like a sky shot. But when I got to the green it was pin high. Very odd indeed. Are these the proper results? Zero input provides higher shots, crisp contact and a slightly inside out divot. It takes a continious effort to make it happen. Also, for me, it is the key to using the lower body as the power source. Without arm input I automatically switch to the hips. If I use the arms, the hips are used in concert and this leads to bad results.

    Thanks for your help,

    Paul S

  7. Hey Paul,

    I spent about six hours on this drill and worked through every club in the bag including the driver. I concluded this had to be the best drill yet and noted how the pause at the top allowed my knees to touch and holding the finish was super.

    Problem is when I went out to play I found it impossible to play with the drill was all over the course?

    Should I not use the drill while playing? Was my attention to the drill taking away my swing?

    Best regards,

    Jay Jay

    • Jay Jay,

      For starters you should not be working on your swing on the course. Next, 6 hours is good but to gain perfect balance and be able to do this on the course is going to take you a lot longer than this. Balance is a huge fundamental. You need to keep working on this forever. Just do it every night in practice swings. Devote some time to it when you practice too. If you worked on it for that long you were obviously not doing the same swing every day for all clubs. So you need to keep working on it. As I keep saying, if you do a different swing you will get a different result. So now you have experienced the same swing which is a good thing. Just keep doing it until you can do it without thinking about it.

  8. Okay Coach,

    Going back to range tomorrow will spend another six hours or six weeks if necessary as do not have it. Felt it with the 123 drill but lost it on the course.

    Do I stop thinking about my 123 drill when playing if so where do I send my mind as I cannot just swing with no thought

    Best JayJay

    • Gerald,

      Yes, you stop thinking about the drill on the course. You could think of swinging easy enough that you are not falling out of balance. You could also be thinking about swinging through and going to my follow through position and holding it for 2-3 seconds as you watch your ball. While holding it you are recognizing if you feel the pressure of your legs touching and the club perfectly splitting your ears. Do the drill when you are doing practice swings or doing a practice session.

  9. April 18, 2017


    Hey Paul:
    Was using this during recent warm up for a round which turned out to be a 1 over round (par 71)! Heard my partners exclaim on many shots, “he’s posing again” during which I was actually doing the 123 hold count after impact. What a great feeling of balance yesterday during play. It’s taken about a year, but I’m starting to “get it”. Working diligently on AtoB with swing thought of “hold the Y, hinge wrists, hips lead”. Love when a plan comes together!

    • Avatar photo

      April 18, 2017

      Paul Wilson


      That’s great. I love hearing it. Ricky Fowler and Sergio were posing too. They can play a little.

      Definitely sounds like you are there. Just make the tiny things perfect now and keep repeating the movement precisely. This is how you’ll keep it.

      Good job!

      You would think your friends would want to follow me too after a round like that!

  10. Hi Paul, I bought the Carbon fiber inserts and just have to say they are everything you say they are. Thankyou

    • Paul,

      Glad you like them. I only promote products that work. Just so happens one of our members owned the company and told me about them. They take a while to get used to but once you do they are great.

  11. Hi Paul
    Thank you for all your great tips, after 35 years of playing to an OK standard, I am now at 70 years of age striking the ball far better than I have ever done with greater distance. I have had many lessons but not one of them have been able to simplify the swing as you have done. I am now swinging with the turn of my body and not my arms and wrists and not trying to hit the ball. I am attending a 3D Bio mechanical assessment which was given to me on my 70th birthday, this my Nieces husband Mark Bull runs. Whether it will do me any good I don’t know? This guy teaches all over the world so he is supposed to be good!
    I started with your tips when you were with Peak Performance Golf then I lost touch after Revolution Golf but now reunited a year ago at Ignition Golf.
    Many thanks
    Graham Brown

    • Graham,

      Glad you are doing well. I love hearing it.

      Not sure about the Bio Mechanical assessment. Not sure what they are checking. It can’t hurt to have the info. It is just what you are going to do with the info that is a question.

      Give me more info on what they do? website?

  12. Paul, Mark’s Website is

    It will be interesting to see what you make of it?



    • Graham,

      Interesting. Shows some great info. Can’t see how it would hurt. Wish it was the full skeletal body.

      • Thank you Paul for taking a look, as you say it cannot hurt but not sure if it will be any good to me? It hasn’t cost me anything as it was a present from my sister who is Marks mother-in- law. I don’t really know him that well, so it will be a good chance to do that! A Pro that I know said that Mark was the best in the business and known Internationally.
        Many thanks

        • Graham,

          You can have all of the info in the world but if you don’t do anything with it what good is it.

          When people come for lessons I only shoot them on my ipad in the beginning and as need throughout the lesson. I have always felt that the person is there for me to fix tehir swing not to go over a bunch of numbers. If I make changes the numbers will change anyway. Why not build a great swing then look at the numbers in the future for final tweaking. Too many people are analyzing and over-analyzing everything which never fixes anything.

          So I like what they are doing and the info they provide but you need to take that info and use it to help you build a great swing. Just stick to my positions and turning the arms off and your numbers will be great.

  13. Paul ,I call this swing the “HIDEKI MATSUYAMA “swing ,with the slight pause at the top he displays .It helps you to keep a sound tempo and of course a good balance as you show .
    Again ,looking at yesterday’s OPEN with JORDAN’s SPIETH at the end of his throughswing with his left foot rolled over to the outside ,is this sound balance ?

    • Raymond,

      I definitely do not like this rolling. Could and should be way more stable on this foot. He has done it many many times though and probably never working on it. He does tend to hit the ball all over the place these days.

  14. January 10, 2019


    How is the best way to strike the ball in the proper spot and not on top or dirt behind ?

    • Avatar photo

      January 10, 2019

      Paul Wilson


      You would do this by building a great swing. A great swing hits great shots. So you work on the positions and try to make them perfect.

      Here are the lessons to follow:

      Then for fat shots you go to the red navigation bar to the far right and type in fat or thin to see the cures. If for some reason you cannot find them then let me know and I will post the tips. You can find everything you are looking for on the site. Just type in some keywords and every tip on that topic will come up.

      So ideally your swing is based on coiling and uncoiling and powerless arms. You can get and you will hit it amazingly well.

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