Chicken Wing Logic

By | on November 30, 2017 | 25 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+

25 Responses to “Chicken Wing Logic”

  1. June 19, 2016


    GREETINGS COACH What a wonderful game golf, where else can you experience great satisfaction and crushing depression, and more often than not ,at least for me, on the same hole. I am now at the place in my game where the little mistakes show up,picking the wrong club,taking the club back too far for chips and pitches,lining up a one foot put and missing it,the list goes on. I think I have been with you for 4 years and for the most part I KNOW WHAT TO DO but I can’t always pull it off. Today at a dog leg par 4 with a small pond, not much bigger than a puddle, I usually hit an 8 to the 140 yard corner to take the puddle out of play,i get my target,and then hit the ball straight but 15 yards off my intended line into the water. I know what to do but can’t always make it happen. I am happy with my game over all thanks to you an your teaching, i’ll keep on learning THANKS COACH

    • John,

      You are right. This game can drive you crazy at times. This is why you need a good short game.

      A lot of what you are referring to is experience. As you keep getting better you will make the right choices. After a while you won’t even know what is there.

      Just keep up the practice swings at home making your swing perfect and try to keep doing lots of short game.

  2. June 19, 2016


    P S if I end my swing with the club in the ears position and knees touching can I be reasonably sure that I did not do the dreaded CHICKEN WING? My left arm is at 90 degrees

    • John,

      You can cure the chicken wing with the touching of the head position but you have to make sure the clubshaft is touching your head not the runner grip.

  3. It finally clicked! Practiced in my backyard, been focusing on straightening my arms, and finally got the weight shift at the right time. Took my first ever divot! Didn’t think about it. Combining straight loose arms with the shift first at top of back swing got the compression. Thanks so much!

    • Daniel,

      Good stuff. A lot of members are having stuff click right now. You never know when but once it does it is a great feeling as you now know. Keep at it.

  4. If you practice your swing in front OF a mirror or a Window pane ,you can’t miss seeing if you chickenwing your swing or not .
    A long Time ago ( 1945 ) a gentleman by THE name OF Ernest JONES showed how to swing with ” POWERLESS ARMS ” He just took a handkerchief ,tied a pocket knife to it and swung the pocket knife while keeping THE handkerchief taught .He went a step further and swung a golf club and THE handkerchief together with THE handkerchief Still staying taught .
    When I swing with your ” POWERLESS ARMS ” method ,I always have this image in my mind .
    I specially need it when I’m about to hit a long drive off THE TEE ,or a long fairway shot ,so m’y ARMS don’t buckle uglily in a ” chicken wing ” .It takes a lot OF Will to swing smoothly while keeping THE ARMS passive .It takes also and foremost thousands OF practice swings at home to get there .
    When I don’t Play ,i take 200 swings a DAY in front OF one OF m’y Window panes ,and I carefully monitor how I swing .

    • Raymond,

      It take that and knowing how to use the body to power the swing. I like the practice swings. This stuff takes work. You cannot take days off and expect to develop a great swing.

  5. Paul ,I watched with admiration and awe the US PGA at OAKMONT .
    All of those who played sub par had great swings ,each one different from the other .
    But all took two ,three or four practice swings before going into the final swing .
    I don’t do that ,I merely take one leisurely practice swing ,without touching the turf .
    Should I copy those great pro’s?

    • Raymond,

      You should do at least 2 practice swing before you hit your shot. I take 2 practice swings feeling the stretch in the lat muscle. Then I step up and replicate this stretch. You can find what works for you but if you are wanting power I would be holding the club at knee high and doing 2 practice swings feeling the legs and hips making the club swing. Then step up and apply this same feeling.

      • Paul ,After I sent you my last e-mail regarding the practise swings before hitting the real shot ,and before receiving your comment, I played yesterday 18 holes and I had in mind the “rehearsel “practise swings of DUSTIN JOHNSON which I looked at with great attention during his last USPGA which he won .
        I purposedly swung slowly AROUND MY BODY ,paying attention to the last part of the swing when you turn around the upper torso facing the target into the the “TOUCH YOUR HEAD “position .
        I took three swings ,like DUSTIN .
        Well it works :my “real “swings were more smooth and more consistent :my legs and hips participated fully to the swing and my shots were longer .
        So I”ll go on this way .

        • Raymond,

          Sounds good. Copying pro is a good thing. They have the right fundamentals. Just need to know what you are looking at.

  6. Avatar photo

    June 23, 2016


    Paul, I’ve discovered that if I stay connected (my left armpit rubbing against my chest) on the downswing, that I do hit the ball crisper, further, and straighter. I don’t feel any chicken wing.

    • Ken,

      Connection is important. You won’t feel a chicken wing even if you are doing one. You need to video your swing to check it.

      You can have too much connection though too. This would cause too flat a backswing. Although connected, your lead arm need to ride up the left pec muscle as you near the top.


      Depth of Swing:

      Just because you hit a few good shot doesn’t mean you have it so keep that in mind. Let’s see how it progresses into the future. Also, because you are feeling this connection you still have to do the positions.

  7. Paul– I am a new member and enjoying all the videos tips etc.. I am 50 years old and making golf a new priority. I have played for several years but never worked on my game therefore had a crappy swing. Being an ex college athlete I can swing hard enough to hit the ball far BUT the consistency and accuracy is always a problem !! I do know that with video my arms collapse right at impact and I “short arm it ” in follow through. My practice swing is great– But when I get over that shot with a couple bucks on the line– I fold up– still hit far with slight pull— BUT cant stop it !!! Any other hot tips ? I have been told its the hardest thing to erase. Thanks for all the great videos– By far the best !!

    • Conroy,

      Glad you like the videos. Thanks.

      What you need to do is replace your current thoughts with new thoughts. Right now, you are hitting. Of course your practice swings are okay because there is nothing to hit. As you see, you put the ball there and it all changes. So with the ball you hit with arms. I teach powerless arms which means you are not hitting or helping it in any way with your arms. Also, I teach very specific positions (4) that all give you feedback so you know you are doing them exactly right. So whether you are doing a practice swing or its reality you are focused on doing the positions not hitting the ball.

      I think you should be starting here:

      These are the positions I teach everyone in the order I teach them. So you follow these and supplement them with the other tips in those areas. Don’t jump around.

      So now when you are at home doing practice swings (which I highly recommend) you are still doing the positions. Master the positions, you master the swing.

  8. Great– Thank you– You are right I am a big fan of jumping around in efforts to find the Quick fix !! I read your new book last night, the above is spelled out well…. I will go back to work– Thanks.

    • Conroy,

      Think like this and 20 years from now you will still be searching. Been there. This does not work. You need to follow a technique (preferably mine) step-by-step. It takes a little effort but you will have it for life. You are building a great swing. A great swing hits great shots.

      Glad you read the new book. I was definitely trying to drive home this point. Just follow it.

  9. December 2, 2017



    Feel like I had a breakthrough today – hit a full bucket at range, was furious that I still wasn’t feeling powerless arms so went for a second. I have been trying to master the full swing at 2/3 distance drill to ingrain the feeling of powerless arms, and it was just not happening consistently. I went back to the video of my swing and finally truthfully accepted that my backswing was way too long and over the line, something I’ve known forever but didn’t want to change for fear of losing distance. By mentally committing to a 65% backswing and starting the backswing with my shoulders coiling, I ‘pured’ an entire bucket of six irons and felt my legs hitting the ball. I wasn’t sure how much distance I was giving up, so I went to the golf store to hit on the simulator, and overall it’s less than 7 yards on average – barely noticeable, and certainly worth it.

    My question is: have you seen this take place with others? Whereby they shorten backswing length and it solves many problems? It has also solved ‘touch the head position’ (had issue with club running down back), reducing slide, and getting back heel off ground. Also shots were down the line, and very very slight draw, rather than my normal over-draw or pull-hook.

    You said in this video very few of the people who purchase your products and come for lessons ever ‘get it’… which I find saddeningly discouraging. Why do you think that is and what holds most people back? Right now becoming a scratch golfer is one of my primary ambitions in life and I practice and hit balls everyday – I believe it is possible for me in one year (currently a 7.1 HCP) but what should I be doing on a daily to make this happen?!

    Would be nowhere without you!



    • Avatar photo

      December 3, 2017

      Paul Wilson


      Glad you had a breakthrough. I love hearing it.

      The long backswing is a serious problem. It gets you hitting because you have to pull the club down to catch back up to your body in the downswing. So I can see how as much as you tried to turn your arms off you wouldn’t get it because you were always hitting. I can’t remember if others made a breakthrough due to this shortening but I have had a lot of people mention much better shots when shortening it.

      Right now you see a 7 yard decrease. I would think this will be a 7-10 yard increase in the near future as you will be hitting it with your body not your arms and this is what always happens as the person gets better at it.

      More In the Tank

      I didn’t say that. I said they come to me for lessons. They have been followers and they are not doing it. Once they come to me the DO get it. To me I create products that I would have liked to have had when I was growing up trying to learn the swing. I searched and searched but no one had a step by step format. No one gave you ways to check it on your own to make sure you are doing it 100% right. This is what I provide. It is up to the person to follow it precisely.

      Problem is, people keep wanting to whack golf balls and get a good result. This is not how it works. I keep saying it is about the movement. You get the movement … you get the shot. This is a different way to think so until the person thinks like this they will not make the changes exactly as I suggest.

      I became scratch in 4 years self taught so you can certainly do it. If I would have had my products I would have developed an amazing swing in no time. I would have coupled this with my short game and I would have had it even faster. Not having a great swing back then I relied on an uncanny short game. I once hit 2 greens and shot even par. I don’t like relying on my short game though. So I wanted a great swing and more importantly I wanted to know what caused the bad shots I hit so I could instantly fix them instead of guessing. I now do this.

      So to get to this level you need to first understand exactly how the golf swing works, how to fix your flaws, how to work on it on your swing.

      Next, you need to make every swing or movement from now on count. You are never just whacking golf balls.

      You need to be constantly checking your swing in video or in a mirror making sure the movement is precise.

      You do way more practice swing than hitting balls.

      You always practice with an alignment stick so you know when you are hitting it well or if you have any flaws.

      You constantly video your swing to check what you are doing.

      You master one (maybe 2) things at a time understanding you are building a great swing. Some things can take a day or two. Others can take months. The smaller the change, the longer it will take to master it (because small changes are hard to feel the difference).

      If you want it super-fast I would be doing swing analysis with my assistant Pete weekly. Small fee but now you will not be guessing. I wish I had this when I was learning it. Instead, I had to keep going back for lessons (expensive) and I had to go back home to Canada for 6 months with no one checking me. This to me was wasting time because I knew I was not doing it perfectly (and you get lazy).

      Only work on 1 method. If that doesn’t work find another that you like.

      Stop reading instruction in magazines and watching instruction on TV.

      You need an amazing short game. Look at it like this … to be scratch you need to make 1-3 birdies per round and you need to get it up and down 1 to 3 times per round (make up for your mistakes). To go deeper you need to make more birdies/eagles while still getting up and down consistently (few mistakes, few high numbers). You also need to rarely make double bogeys or higher. So this is on your mind when ever you are in trouble or if there is any doubt in your mind about a certain shot. We all make mistakes. You need be careful those mistakes don’t lead to high numbers.

      So that is just off the top of my head.

      • December 4, 2017


        Thanks so much for the inspiration. I’ve been in contact with Pete and am going to get him some new video tmrw. Let’s see where it goes from here! Still feeling ‘raw’ with this new swing, but the video to my untrained eye looks much much better, I’m excited to see what Pete has to say and work to keep improving. I’ll keep you posted!

  10. Paul, I am an 8 year fan of yours, and love most of your tips…but you make advice on the chicken wing more complicated than necessary…for a right handed golfer, all you need to do is to ensure that your left elbow points toward your gut at release…bingo, no chicken wings and a sweet shot.

    • All of these chicken wing tips and for different golfers. I am trying to say the same thing in multiple different ways, having the elbow point at you might work great for you but telling somebody else it might not work for them. Ideally you should just relax your arms and the centrifugal forces should cure the chicken wing. There are many ways to say the same thing.

  11. Avatar photo

    July 16, 2021


    Hi Paul,

    Hope things are better in the USA. I had a problem with the chicken wing, but got it sorted with your method but it came back, and I realised I was not actually doing a chicken wing, but shrugging my shoulders upwards. Once I realised my error and a friend spotting it, I am hitting it crisper now. Great videos and I watch nearly every day. Wife permitting

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