Drill: How to Feel Powerless Arms – Follow Up

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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+

26 Responses to “Drill: How to Feel Powerless Arms – Follow Up”

  1. December 12, 2012


    Paul, I think the average golfer is very prone to tightening the grip and using the arms as the main source of power because of a feeling of being IN CONTROL. Powerless arms requires giving up that sense of control and BELIEVING THE CLUB HEAD WILL FIND THE BALL. After watching your videos and practicing the techniques, I’m finally relaxing the arms and wrists and not forcibly steering the club head to the ball.

    Like many correct techniques, it’s somewhat counter-intuitive to give up your initial sense of control until the new sensations and habits take over. This explains why my practice swings, without a ball, have always looked much better than the real ones. There’s no need to control or steer when there’s no ball. I sure wish I had found your website 40 years ago when the “mind was weak” and the body was strong!

    Best Regards, Ron

    • December 13, 2012

      Paul Wilson


      Giving up control is a huge part of it. Plus, there is a ball sitting in front of people and human nature is telling people to hit it and hit it hard. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to get to give up this control. I’m glad you are starting to get it.

      This is one of the reasons I teach the follow through first. If you are thinking of the ending you are not thinking of hitting. Hope everyone is hearing this.

  2. December 12, 2012


    Ive been working on Powerless Arms&Axis Turn for about 2 months and slowly I’m starting to hit the ball online(wow)instead of 40yd pulls or block slices.I believed that the more I worked on this the more solidly my contact would become.Yesterday at the range I had a Major Setback.Irons were shanking low right or low bladed pulls.driver was slicing big time.I tried to fix this but the more I tried the more over the top I swung.depressing to say the least!Later i started to review the videos.The best I could figure I seemed to be swinging too hard w/a forward tilt?,maybe a little sway?Any thoughts?Its always frustrating when you think your improving and somthing like this happens

    • December 13, 2012

      Paul Wilson


      Glad you are getting it. 2 months is a good time frame. You should be seeing some great shots now and it becomes crystal clear that you must keep going and learning how to swing this way.

      Set backs are all part of it. Just when you think you’ve got it you will lose it. This is why I tell people to never say “they’ve got it.” This is you try to hit the ball too hard. As soon as this starts to happen you must immediately slow down. Get it back. Then speed up only the rotational speed of the lower body to get more power.


      Lose Your Swing: https://ignitiongolf.com/lose-your-golf-swing

      Once you slow down you will get it back in no time. Also, keep doing lots of practice swings working on the swing positions. This takes the ball out of the picture.


      Work On The Movement: https://ignitiongolf.com/work-on-the-movement/

  3. December 12, 2012


    hi paul. i was conversing with you a few months back about my incredibly flat back swing, but now i think i have corrected that, or at least, it is much better. when i watch my swing on video now, i am much higher, but i dont drop into the slot no matter how much i try. i’m not over the top, just on the same plane coming down. how can i fix this. thanks. ralph

  4. December 12, 2012



    You talk about the hips powering the powerless arm. Do the legs play a role in hip speed, or if if you use the downswing cue of straighting the left leg and actively turning the hips, is that suuficient? I feel like it’s mainly coming the hip turn and I’m making no effort to “drive” the legs


    • December 13, 2012

      Paul Wilson


      The legs and hips are powering your body rotation. Your arms are connected to your body so they will move when you use your legs and hips. You need to be using both the legs and hips. You should be working on loading into the right instep/heel going back. This will put you in a position to use the lower body properly. If there is no weight loaded you will not feel the legs.

  5. February 10, 2013


    Hi Paul

    I was playimg some great golf swinging with my hips now ive lost my swing my arms have started to take over the downsing

    • February 11, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      Everyone loses their swing at some point. This is due to wanting more and more power. Slow down. Swing easier. Take the power out of the arms then gradually build up the speed of the lower body.


      Lose Your Swing: https://ignitiongolf.com/lose-your-golf-swing

      I also get the feeling you are working on way too much at once. Stick to working on one thing at a time.

  6. February 12, 2013


    Hi Paul.
    You are correct I think I have been practicing way too much , if that makes sense I was just very keen to improve but quickly!
    I started shanking the ball with wedge again For some reason Paul I am finding it very difficult to hinge the wrists fully at top of backswing it is very stiff ( i normally was only hinging the wrists a wee bit and my grip was pointing at a angle to the ground not to my right ear)also my follow through feels very stiff and mechanical not easy and smoooth the way it used to be.
    I have become very disheartened with my progress I seem to have went backwards I havent shanked a ball in 2 years and then all of a sudden loads of them
    I think the reason im shanking them is as I start the downsing with my lower body i seem to sometimes spin out of the shot and the face is open on impact!
    Basically Paul I was doing fine working on my downswing with lower body
    As soon as i tried to incorporate the fully hinging of my wrists at the top of my backswing it all went pear shape.
    I have been not fully hinging my wrists for 20 years! Hence I find this very unstable and I lack confidence at top of backswing.
    Sorry for being a pain in the backside but i really want to improve once and for all

    • February 12, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      AS I said, you need to do lots of practice swings (preferably in a mirror) working on this position. Forget hitting balls. Just do practice swings every night until you feel you are getting it. Once you feel you are doing it, add the ball but tee it up to make it easy.

      Swing at 50% for a while focusing on the change not where the ball is going. If you are making a change it is not about the shot it is about the change. I don’t care if you top or shank every ball right now. I care if you are making the change. The logic is that you are working on one thing you are not working on the whole swing. If you are working on one thing how do you expect to hit perfect shots? So focus on the one thing. Make the change. Then go back to incorporating this change into your whole swing.

      Does it not make sense that you would be hitting some shanks if you are solely thinking about your hands and arm and how the are hinging and re-hinging? Yes, you could also be over-doing the lower body and trying to think of the hinging action at the same time. Once you start to focus on coiling and uncoiling with the arms powerless you will get it back. So do the practice swing for a few days. Stop playing and hitting balls. Work in a mirror and you will get it in no time.

  7. February 13, 2013


    Thanks Paul
    I noticed that i am not hinging my wrists early enough at waist height hence i couldnt hinge them fully at the top of my swing?
    what are your views on the Nick Faldo’s method in the 1980s of early wrist hinge?
    Thanks for all your hard work.

    • February 14, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      I don’t like the early wrists hinge. This activates the hands in the backswing and narrows the arc. I prefer a later set ala Tiger, Greg Norman, Jack Nicklaus etc. This way you get power and consistency.

      At waist high there is no wrists hinge yet. From the setup there is an angle between the shaft and your arms. If you turn the shoulders with no use of the arms this angle rotates to the halfway back position. This causes the hands to be about 1 foot from the right hip from the front view. If your hands are closer than this you have used the hands to take the club back.


      Halfway Back: https://ignitiongolf.com/halfway-back

      DRILL: Half back and up: https://ignitiongolf.com/half-back-and-up

  8. February 14, 2013



  9. Paul,
    I’m 69, my handicap is 20.5. I’m loosing distance.

    I’ve been practicing for the last three month with an easy swing, powerless arms and loose wrist.

    Practicing these things I’ve got more regularity, sometimes a little more distance, but the slice is more pronounced. I need to “commit” strongly and use a strong grip to avoid slice.


    • Milton,

      To gain more power you need to take the arms out of the swing (which are are doing). This stops you from hitting which will buckle your arms thus reducing the arc width. Next, you need to keep your wrists loose. This creates lag and the whipping action of the club. Once you get these these you need to turn your body way faster than you are currently turning it all while keeping the arms power and wrists loose. This is something you are not good at yet.

      So, if you want more power start working on turning faster. Way faster. Do these drills constantly:

      DRILL: Swing Off Ground: https://ignitiongolf.com/drill-swing-off-ground
      DRILL: Listen to Club Swinging: https://ignitiongolf.com/drill-listen-to-club
      Drill: Swing Off Ground Variation: https://ignitiongolf.com/drill-variation-favorite-drill/
      Drill: My Favorite Drill

  10. When I feel I’m getting tight on THE golf course ,I do a variationof your exercise ,except it’s motionless .
    Holding my club ,I tighten all my body and m’y grip to THE utmost ,hold five seconds ,then let go ,and immediately go,in my golf swing .

  11. March 29, 2014


    What do you think about larger size grips. I don’t know if one would hang on the club tighter or looser. It appears your grips are larger, but hard to tell.


    • March 30, 2014

      Paul Wilson


      I use normal standard grips. The grip size is relative to the size of your hands. If you put your hands on the club (doing the proper grip) and your fingertips are hitting the fleshy portion of your thumbs then your grips are too small. A professional clubfitter can check this for you. If you do got to larger grips it does slow down your hands action. So you would need to work on your release a little until you got used to them.

  12. Paul ,Do you pr

    • March 30, 2014

      Paul Wilson


      I prefer the body to tell tell the arms how fast to swing. Anyone with a fast swing (Tiger included) is using their arms because your their body cannot physically make the club swing that fast. So Ernie or Snead would be preferred swings. You body in a golf swing only rotates at approx. 2.5 mph so if this was making the arms swing, the swing would not look all that fast.

  13. March 31, 2014


    Hi Paul,

    When you are speaking about powerless arms and the importance of the rollover with your hands, will this rollover also create clubheadspeed when it roll 180 degrees from backswing to the strechout when the club is pointing to the target? Or is this only a way to square the clubhead at impact ?

    • March 31, 2014

      Paul Wilson


      The roll over is all part of releasing it so yes it will create clubhead speed. If you lock up your wrists you will be slowing the club down. Keep in mind that when doing my roll over drill you are manually rolling it. This means you will feel your arms. Once you are consistently hooking it you turn them off making them powerless.

  14. March 31, 2014



    I’ve been following your technique for almost two years.
    I have more enjoyment playing golf now and my game has improved (14 handicap) based on your instructions.

    However, I

    • March 31, 2014

      Paul Wilson


      Glad you are a loyal follower. I would think you should be close if you have been following me for 2 years. At this stage I would be definitely trying to make the swing positions perfect. Remember, it is about developing a great swing not about hitting great shots. A great swing will hit great shots. So make sure you are going 1 by 1 through each of the positions I teach.

      If you are thinking of this hand position I am worried that you are thinking impact instead of getting through to my follow through positions. The hands with be approximately the same distance from your body as when you first started although it will appear they are closer because the right hip will be more rotated than where you were at address.

      If you arms are too far behind your body this is telling me that you are working on driving your hips. If your hands are timed for your normal release and you drive only your hips harder of course they would be behind your body. If you are going to increase your hip rotating you need to increase your release first. In doing so you get it hooking then striaghten it out with our body.


      Driving Hips Too Hard – Release Progression: https://ignitiongolf.com/release-progression/

      The pain is coming from hitting the ground taking divots now. I would think you are or have hit some shots fat. This shock is radiating into your arm and shoulder. To remedy this you need to get the back heel coming off the ground more through impact. In doing so you will not over tilt in the downswing and the new arc will clear.


      Fat: https://ignitiongolf.com/fat-shots-cure

      Also, to increase your speed make sure you are doing drills nightly holding the club off the ground. I just get the feeling you are trying to increase while hitting balls. In working on it this way you are not going to be good at it so I would think you are going to hit the odd shot fat etc. Make sure you are doing these drills at home:

      DRILL: Listen to Club Swinging: https://ignitiongolf.com/drill-listen-to-club
      DRILL: Swing Off Ground Variation: https://ignitiongolf.com/drill-variation-favorite-drill/
      DRILL: My Favorite Drill

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