The transition is a critical moment in your golf swing. You need the right thoughts before you start down so you can use your body not your arms to hit the ball.
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.
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September 29, 2016
This is not new. We’ve seen good players like Ernie Els or Adam Scott do this. At the PGA in Rochester, I saw Scott hit a 9 iron about 170 yards; he looked like he was barely moving – as though he was doing stretching exercises in his bedroom.
Tour players, good players, teaching pros know this. Even high handicap golfers know this from watching it. Teachers try to instruct this, and can’t. Because it’s the hardest thing to teach and they can’t teach it. (Like Stan Musial on hitting: “Pick out a pitch you can drive and hit it.” Impressive but not very instructive.) Teaching golf is harder than teaching law, piano, wealth accumulation, woodworking – anything. Other instructors can do it, but they can’t teach it.
Ask me. I know. I’ve had all the bad and, at best, lukewarm golf instructors out there. Ready to quit, I saw a Paul Wilson YouTube video in a motel room in Morristown, NJ. Finally, in about 40 seconds, there was the answer.
Here’s what’s new here – Wilson knows how to explain it. And he knows he needs to repeat it because he also knows that human nature fights us when we try to do this. He has methods for the human nature part too, because without them we’ll eventually drift back to trying to “hit.” Most instructors, if they even know how critical this powerless arms factor is, mention it once. Then you drift. Wilson knows that tendency. He seems to know every tendency if fact. And he’ll get you past all of them. He knows not just the absolute proper golf swing (other pros know that), but he understands completely what it’s like to be a student who doesn’t know. That’s the revelation; that’s what’s “new” here.
Once we get to the point where the powerless arms idea requires no thought, then we strike the ball repeatably well, and with ease. Ball striking gets wonderfully consistent, it’s almost miraculous. Then we can work on power – and too, by then power isn’t such a big deal because we’re not continuously frustrated with ball striking anymore. After a bad shot or two? – practice swings, then the top of backswing thought “touch the legs, touch the head”. The next strike is true – with that full heavy easy “click” and the ball rockets off, on target.
This guy can do it. But you have to work his method. Success is a doing; you have to actually do it. It’s not so difficult, not as boring as piano scales, but you have to do it. You can’t shortcut. But if you follow this process, you’ll get satisfaction and enjoyment from golf that you’ve never had before. (I played 9 quick holes the other night, completely enjoying it; that hasn’t happened in far too many years.)
Hats off to Paul Wilson. Finally, a golf instructor that knows as much about teaching as he does about the golf swing; finally, finally . . .
Thank you for the kind words. That about summed it up.
July 3, 2017
I agree with Anthony 100% I had studied the “Keys to the Effortless Swing” by Mcteague for several years. I knew it was the correct swing. However, 2 things kept me from sticking with the swing. First, there was no “touch the legs” and no “touch the head” and secondly, despite all of the study, I could not overcome that instinct to hit at the ball. After playing since I was 12 on and off, now more than 40 years ago, I could not beat the impulse to swing hard at the ball with my arms. Now I work on just how smooth and on plane I can keep the clubhead. Whereas before I dreaded par 3’s because I would always be tense and tight and often shank the ball, they are now my favorite hole. Touch the legs, tough the head, and you can be on the green feeling like you barely swung the club. Easy, straight-forward swing. Instant feedback. I can only think I will be dropping my handicap, and am already shooting better scores more consistently after only 3 weeks of working on this swing. But that was 160 balls yesterday, and a bucket every lunch. Just trying to hit the positions, finally finishing the swing convincingly. Thank you Paul for really driving your keys points home. You are a fantastic teacher and communicator.
Glad you like The Body Swing and see how it can dramatically change your golf swing. You seem to be working on it the right way. Just stay focused on the positions and building a great swing. As a final step just keep the arms turned off by not hitting or helping the shot in any way and you will be amazed at how well you will hit it (you are starting to see it already).
Thank you also for the kind words. I truly appreciate it.
January 10, 2018
So grateful to Paul for this. I have never felt more in control of my golf and the ability to hit consistently straight drives removes so much frustration.
Thank you. I appreciate the feedback. Keep up the good work. Frustration is not good. Brings back bad memories for me. Golf should be fun.
January 31, 2018
This was really a good and supportive tip for those of us who learned the “one piece takeaway” so many years ago. Others have always said that I have such a nice rhythm. What they have meant is a slow swing. What I didn’t learn was the turn back through the ball.
Glad you liked it. Glad you have that look to your swing too. This would mean you have to be close mine in that we are using the body not the arms. Keep this backswing and focus on powering with the legs and hips. This will allow you to fee a lot of effort but this effort is in the legs not the arms. Watch this one too:
Taking Out Your Frustrations: https://ignitiongolf.com/taking-out-frustrations/
March 12, 2018
Hi Paul. I’m a recent convertee to the body swing and I think it’s fantastic, especially so with the way you explain it, the best golf instruction I’ve ever heard!!. I’m a UK 7 handicap and want to be lower. My question is – I work hard on setup and alignment and I understand head position, but where do you actually look/ rest your eyes when you prepare to swing? Top of ball, back of ball in front of ball ?…… I ask as sometimes I can struggle with wandering eyes! Thanks.
Thank you very much. Glad you like it.
Here is what I do:
What To Look At: https://ignitiongolf.com/looking-at-golf-ball
When I had a reverse pivot many years ago I did this:
Watch Back of The Golf Ball: https://ignitiongolf.com/watch-backside-golf-ball/
Once I go it I moved to the first tip I posted.
September 23, 2018
I have always been amazed how someone like Tiger or Ariya Jutanugarn get that snapping recoil at the end of a swing they have obviously ramped up. It looks slow like you say until the recoil happens. It’s probably because we focus on the body movement, not the club.
I like the concept of the body “telling” the arms how fast to swing. It seems like a good mental approach. Tell the arms and hands to “shut up” and let the body do the talking.
September 24, 2018
Yes, but so many people don’t use the body at all. So that is really the first step. Learn the coil and uncoil. Once you get this you have another power source so you can turn the arms off. Without the body working you only have one other way to swing and that’s with the arms.
Yes, Tiger can really move. Not sure I like that. I’ve always said he should be swinging no more than 80%. If so, he would be unbeatable. Kind of tough though with thousands of people watching you hit every shot.
I tried something I’ve been thinking about. I flexed my knees a little more and distributed my weight over the middle of my feet which made me kind of “sit” down a little. This made me a little more upright with the upper body which always looked like I was bent over too much before. It’s definitely a new feeling but I feel more mobile as a result and can turn better. I’ll need to practice it to obtain my balance and gain some strength in my quads which are burning right now. My old setup supported an arm swing so I was somewhat stiff legged and just shifted to my left side. With my knees bent some I feel more fluid.
September 25, 2018
Very good. Taller people think they can’t do the setup I suggest then I prove to them they can. A feeling of sitting down is required but not so much you are squatty. Sounds like you get it. To check it just setup with a mirror off your hip. Think you are in a cylinder and you are going down inside it not hitting your head against the side of it. This should get you there. Longer clubs bend up right would be advisable too. This taller setup will definitely get you coiling and uncoiling better. Keep at it.
June 30, 2019
What Are the options to trigger the down swing body turn I seem to really struggle with That especially with driver Can’t maintain wide arc and wind up either chicken wing or over the top
July 3, 2019
Here are all of the triggers I teach:
All Downswing Triggers: https://ignitiongolf.com/all-downswing-triggers/
Try The Triggers: https://ignitiongolf.com/try-the-triggers/
Say Yes – Downswing Triggers: https://ignitiongolf.com/yes-downswing-triggers/
Chicken wing and over the top are you hitting with arms. Learn the coil and uncoil then turn the arms off.
Use Your Spring To Turn Off Your Arms: https://ignitiongolf.com/use-spring-turn-off-arms/
Pros Know Its A Tight Coil: https://ignitiongolf.com/pros-know-tight-coil/
Coil Moves The Head: https://ignitiongolf.com/coil-moves-the-head/
July 23, 2020
Thanks for this extra tip! Really feel like I’m making progress with your teaching, thanks so much for your wonderful endeavour to help us better enjoy this game. I’m a decent golfer who has gotten down to a 10 and really wanted to be more consistent and finding I really connect with your approach. Had a 5 over round this week while feeling much more effortless so making progress!
In terms of powerless arms, I notice from the “butt of the club to ground drill” compared to my full swing, that my right hand and arm are especially tight, and when I focus on keeping that right grip extra loose, my arms stay with the upper body more, staying back until pulled around from the hips, as you are describing here. It all then catches up past the ball and I get more of that arms stretching past impact feel you talk about.
The issue is I then get a bit lost in the relaxed arms feeling and don’t always touch my legs! Appreciate any recommendations you have on if the right side should feel especially loose, and how to sequence in that relaxed arms feeling with the positions (touch legs, touch head, coil, hinge)?
October 15, 2021
I’ve been working on body swing mainly around house for a month. I played golf for first time in 15 years and was real surprised how well I hit the ball. Hit a seven iron within 2 feet at 155 yards. But I went to range a few days later and started working on hinging more at the top to get more distance and pulled just about every ball. I kept telling myself to turn and it finally straightened out some. If you hinge more do u have to turn faster?
In relation to your post, if everyone turns at 2.5 mph then why if mortals like me that turn as fast as pros not hit the ball nearly as far? Just watched Justin Thomas hit a 9 iron 165 yards from the sand!
Thx for providing all of your insights. Golf is getting fun again.Super glad I found you.
October 19, 2021
You are probably turning as fast as your body can turn, but still not as fast as somebody like Thomas. Just film your swing and compare impact positions and you will see his hips have turned way more through impact vs yours. He has been turning very fast for a long time. There are some other factors involved, like backswing position, lag angles and release speed. Keep working on things like swing positions, using your body to hit the golf ball and your short game and you will continue to see your scores get lower. There have been plenty of golfers that do not hit the ball a long way that shoot very low scores. If distance was the only factor then long drivers would be winning every tour event.
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