Checkpoints – Top – Upper Body

By | on February 10, 2022 | 14 Comments | Array


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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+

14 Responses to “Checkpoints – Top – Upper Body”

  1. Avatar photo

    February 17, 2016


    Boy! Has the clarity of camera work come a long way since the earlier videos. Very clear and crisp now. The blue sky background is spectacular as well. This all helps get the message content across much better. Nice!

    • February 17, 2016

      Paul Wilson


      Nothing changed with the camera except for the first year. There is an HD button on the player. Just hover over any tip and you will see it in the bottom right.

  2. February 17, 2016


    Hi Paul,

    At the top of the backswing my left thumb is supporting the pressure of the club and in fact governs the amount of angle between club and forearm. This has become very much more noticeable as I develop lag to the point where , on bad arthtritic days it can be painful .

    If I take the club pressure equally between between the thumb and left forefinger ie in the v it relieves the pressure and also results in more lag angle . However I may be cupping the left wrist too much .

    I hope I have properly explained this .

    What do you think?


    • February 17, 2016

      Paul Wilson


      With arthritis you have to do what works. You need the wrists hinging. Whatever takes the pressure off you may have to do it. Just realize this may affect your shots. Just experiment and see what works. I don’t see how what you are doing is going to greatly affect it. Just make sure you are not trying to hit the ball hard with the arms.

  3. February 17, 2016


    Well, it may be easy to say but it is difficult to hold/extend arms and still have loose wrists with a grip pressure of 80%…almost like patting your head with one hand and rotating the other on your belly…difficult to do! That said, it is nonetheless, the goal.

    Later, Ken

  4. February 17, 2016


    Do you physically push your left arm up above the shoulder plane to get it between the ear and the shoulder. It seems to no go that high for me unless I use effort.

    • February 17, 2016

      Paul Wilson


      I do not because I have done this millions of times and it goes there on its own. If you are too flat and you want it more upright you need to physically lift the arms up. After repeating it for a while it too will go up there on its own. Make sure you are doing my taller set up. The only way you can get the club up there is to level out the shoulders first. Once you do, you can get it up there. If your shoulders are too steep you will never do it. If you did the club would be above you head which you would never do. So you will go right back to flat. I fix people all of the time doing this steep flat swing. Shoulders leveled out first then lift it up.

  5. March 3, 2016



    With regards to the shoulder plane of rotation, if I am too steep in the shoulder rotation, does that tend to produce the position of crossing the line at the top and hence results in left of target ball flight all other things being equal/correct? Am asking as I know I cross the line at top from years of bad habits and I have fixed much with my takeaway now in one piece much better, but sometimes during play I still get those left of target results. Thanks.


    • Kim,

      It may do that depending on how deep your arms go behind you and if you are pushing the club across the line with your right hand or even a severely inside takeaway. There are a few reasons people cross the line so fix the shoulder plane first. Then go to halfway back and stop. Then lift the club up into position. I have dealt with fixing the severely tilted shoulder plane for many years and this is the only way to fix it.

      The shots going left are not necessarily you crossing the line. It is you hitting with your arms. You may be getting tried or just not feeling the leg drive. Try this:

      Coming Down The Stretch:

  6. I know this is a tip from earlier in this series but on a recent short video of my swing, my back elbow is well away from my body and I could probably drop a basketball from it never mind a grapefruit.
    If this is a flaw, what fault in the shot would it promote and should I work on rectifying it.
    It should be easy to remedy.

  7. Paul,

    In the written, bulleted summary at the end of the video it notes: “Back Elbow Loosely Tucked.” Wasn’t this meant to say (per the video at about the 9:11 mark) that it is the back armpit that is loosely tucked?

    Your swing has a relatively out and free right elbow (as opposed to the occasional bad instruction we see advocating a tucked in right elbow – leading to a very flat swing). 70s kind of stuff. I do remember when Nicklaus was criticized for his “flying right elbow.” The man was ahead of his time.

    Just wanted to clarify. I love this Checkpoints series as it allows me to take some frame-by-frame of my own swing videos and spot weaknesses that need to be fixed once I have the positions nailed down.


    • Avatar photo

      March 23, 2019

      Paul Wilson


      Elbow/armpit same thing. If the eblow was too tucked you would untuck it. Untuck the armpit and the elbow would be untucked too.

      I did the tucked elbow many years ago. I hit the ball way shorter and right so I went back to the elbow coming away. No long driver does this tucked flatter swing (I say them in a competition here in Vegas). So if the longest hitters don’t do this swing I don’t want students doing this swing not that you are going to be a long driver but they know how to hit it long. So we should be doing what they are doing.

      Here is another one on the back armpit:

      Back Elbow Position At The Top (grapefruit):

      Yes, the checkpoints are good ones. Everything you need to know throughout the whole swing.

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