How To Get Powerless Arms

By | on December 29, 2017 | 37 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+

37 Responses to “How To Get Powerless Arms”

  1. April 10, 2013


    I have been a member for less than 2 weeks and I have already seen glimpses of the improvements in my game that I was hoping to find. However, I had a major setback this week because my left knee got very painful and inflamed probably due to the extra practice. I thought I was making some progress to “powerless arms”. Does this injury mean that I have obviously not grasped the method? This video (and my injury) gives me more motivation to make sure I truly apply your instructions after I recover. Thank you, John

    • April 10, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      In no way should my technique hurt your body. If it is you are doing it wrong. I would think you are driving the legs way too hard. You need to crawl before you can run. Get this stuff slowly first and just do it. Then get better at it. So take a break from hitting balls. Just do easy practice swings at home focusing on perfect movement not fast movement. Once you are comfortable then do it faster.

      You wouldn’t hurt your leg throwing a ball would you? The leg drive is the same move as throwing a ball. This would be a good thing for you to do to get the feeling. Just narrow your stance and act like you are throwing a ball over hand out in front of you. If you do you will see the forward leg will straighten and the other leg will come around and touch it. Keep doing this until you are used to it then do it in practice swings with the club. Once you get it in practice swings add the ball and hit easy shots.

      • April 12, 2013


        Thank you for the reply. I knew that it was all my fault, but I wasn’t sure how much “knee torque” is normal. The ball throwing analogy should be easy for me to incorporate since I am a former baseball player and might even balance out the negative tendencies I used to have from my baseball swing (like picking up the front leg with my hip turn).

        By the way, I already have convinced a friend to become a member also.

        • April 13, 2013

          Paul Wilson


          That’s great that you were a ball player. Just incorporate this move into your swing and be careful.

          Thank you for the promo. I truly appreciate everyone’s help.

  2. April 10, 2013


    Paul, I know the “powerless arms” does work because during competitive rounds when I focus on relaxing or rather not stiffening up the arms, then turn the hips as you advocate, the ball flight is good and the impact does feel sweet and solid.

    However I am coming across another sort of opposite problem. When the pressure comes on during competitions I try to do some slow smooth practice swings as you recommend to relax before making the stroke. But trying to maintain this relaxed approach during the stroke my arms approach a “floppiness” with the result that the hip turn doesn’t impart effective force and the result is a weak ball flight.

    Without trying to hit with the arms is there some guide as to how firm you should maintain the arms (and wrists) during the back swing before applying the hip turn? Is there some way (perhaps not grounding the club) at address of establishing the appropriate firmness in the arms?

    As always your comments and advice appreciated.

    Thanks Arthur

    • April 10, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      Powerless arms is not floppy arms. Powerless arms means you are not hitting or helping the shot in any way. Do my arms look floppy? No. I am just not trying to add any extra power once the club is coming down. In no way am I hitting or helping the shot.

      Into the backswing the lead arms is extended but not locked. You can extend the arms without it being locked up. Just try it. Stand up. Outstretch your arm. Then turn your body. When you do your arm will move. This is powerless arms.

      At address your arms are at zero out of 10. There is no need to hover the club. Your grip is at 2 out of 10. You turn your shoulders and the arms and club will move. Because your wrists are loose the club will hinge as it makes it to the top. You then turn your body to start the downswing. The powerless arms will follow.

      Again, they are not floppy. You are just not using them to hit or help the shot in any way. Feel the head go wherever it wants to go undisturbed.

      • “Powerless Arms” is amazing. I’ve been using it for only 4 sessions at the driving range and I’m seeing great results. I used to hit maybe 3 out of 10 flush. Now I’m hitting 8 of 10 flush. I love the Ernie Els quote that you shared and I’m using it now as I address the ball. I first shake out my arms while gripping the club (similar to what Els does) and then – right before I begin my backswing I think “mush” to remind me to keep my arms passive throughout the swing. Thanks!

        • Steve,

          It is amazing. It is also amazing that people keep telling people to hit with their arms.

          Nice thought. Never thought of that one. If it keep you relaxed keep doing it.

  3. April 10, 2013


    i can assure the two people with their comments above Paul’s method is the BEST for no injuries I use to swing like Lee Trevino yes i hit the ball straight BUT i had a really sore back!

  4. April 10, 2013

    Steven D

    I went to the range this morning after about 2 months without swinging a golf club. I just swung easily, turned my shoulders to get the club back and turned my lower body to whip it through. At first I was slightly pulling the ball but, after speeding up my lower body and making sure my shoulders, hands and wrists were relaxed, I started hitting it straight or even with a slight fade. Good distance. I quit after about 80 balls. In the past, I would have had sore arms at the very least. Today, nothing. Just a really good feeling about the next practice session. Your method may not be easy, but it’s really simple!

    • April 11, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      I love hearing this. I keep telling people to do practice swings yet the great majority look at me like I have 2 heads. For the sake of getting rid of the ball for a couple of months you can make the changes super fast and have a lifetime of great golf.

      Keep at it. When you continue going to the range in the future just make sure you don’t fall into the trap of hitting ball after ball. Hit a few then back up and do some practice swings working on the positions. I think you get it.

  5. Finally I have been out on the course…Just four holes due to cold weather, but those four holes made promises for the season….The last hole of those four is a par 5. I have always had trouble with the tee shot on this hole. This time…long and straight and made a fairway hit! Two more shots with my 28 hybrid took me to a position ON the green!! Never made that before. Three putts made a bogey. On the only par 3 of those four holes manage to have the ball in the hole on three! I

    • April 11, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      That’s great news. I love hearing it.

      Just keep doing the practice swings along with hitting balls. You should see dramatic improvement in no time.

      I think Tiger will win. I hope it is Fred Couples though. I have money on him.

      • I also think Tiger will win, but I have my hopes for Rory….not looking good though…
        I will keep doing practice swings! 🙂

  6. I do -at least I think so-utilize your technique of “powerless arms “.However I consciously try to imagine I am going to skip a flat stone on a lake ,this to accelerate the hands!Is this wrong in your opinion?
    I don’t manipulate the club head in any way,and my shots are always very ,very straight !

  7. Paul, I am A 5 Handicap golfer from the Uk. I am working to get more upper lower body separation into my golf swing and have been working on this for some time now. When I am striking the ball best and when it travels the furthest, is when I lead the downswing with the lower body (having passive/ powerless arms) and the CLUB FEELS HEAVY in my hands (like its lagging behind). I have tried to speed up the learning process with certain swing trainers ie, swing fan, the assist by Matzie, the weighted momentus club (normal size) and lastly I recently purchased the small version of the orange whip. The problem I have encountered is after using these training devices when i go back to a normal club it feels too light making it harder to feel the lower body working correctly and harder to keep the arms out of the downswing, thus defeating the object. I also have tried turning the club upsidedown and swinging it, then turn it back the rightway. Unfortunately doing this the “heavy” feeling goes quickly . Is there any other drills or aids that you feel could help accelerate the learning process. Incidently my line of swing is fine. Ps Your general beliefs about the golfswing in my humble opinion are spot on. keep up the good work.

  8. Hi Paul:

    I thought I had achieved powerless arms but stiff shoulders, forearms and pre-golfer’s elbow told me otherwise.

    After watching this tip I decided to try letting my arms go limp at the top of the backswing with no lower body movement. My arms fell in a rudimentary arc to a point where my 7 iron hit the ground about 10 inches behind the point of set-up. I did this several times and then added just a little lower body rotation. I was surprised to see how even the smallest rotation moved the club on plane. I then added a bit more until I achieved a speed where the club was fully extended. I then began the doing practice swings with this sensation in mind until I was consistently executing the swing. It took a lot of concentration to let the shoulders and arms go limp at the top of the back swing.

    When I had swung several hundred practice swings, I started hitting some balls. With a medium rotation, I have a club head speed of 55 to 60 mph with my 7 iron. With this swing 85 out of 100 golf balls were within 6 degrees of the target and (53 were within 3 degrees)! Those were the immediate results. I can’t wait to see what further practice will produce. Now, the only truly errant shots are those where I allow my arms to sneak into the swing.

    Paul, your instructional technique and approach have achieved more progress and hope in a few short months than 9 months and $1200+ of video lessons at (another outfit). In fact, they were critiquing the fact that my right heel came off the ground so early in the swing. I actually quit with 4 unused lessons.

    At age 65, I was beginning to think improvement was impossible. Now I am wondering how far this will take me. I simply could not be more pleased and encouraged. Now, on to the driver……………..

    • Bruce,

      Golfer’s elbow is a tell-tale sign you are using your arms. You should not be feeling anything in the arms after every shot you hit regardless if you are hitting sand wedge or driver.

      Glad you are working on it and seeing results. If you are slicing driver make sure you follow these tips:

      Manually Square the Clubface:

      Manually Square the Clubface (Follow Up):

      Get the ball hooking first (you will feel arms when you do the drills in the videos above). Once you do, you turn them back off and power the swing with the lower body. If you do it will straighten back out.

  9. March 27, 2015


    Hi Paul
    After practicing this tip on range for couple of weeks, today I played 9 holes with with powerless arms and easy swing. I hit some of the best shots specially with the driver with very little effort. However still my mid iron shots are not good.

    Thanks for your tips.


    • March 27, 2015

      Paul Wilson


      You have just started. This is going to take time. Keep working on mastering the positions. Grip, setup and follow through. Get this alone and you will be hitting it great. Watch for good shots. This is how you will be hitting it in the future.

  10. Hello Paul

    You are amazing!!! I have been playing for over 50 years and thought I was a pretty good player. I did not realize I knew nothing about the real golf swing. After learning to swing without using my arms and learning to hinge and re hinge I have developed an effortless swing. People stop and watch me on the range and will ask how I can hit it so far without swinging hard…..I send them to your website….I cannot thank you enough….best Rocco

    • Rocco,

      Thanks for the kind words. I truly appreciate it.

      As I have told everyone, you get my swing and people will ask where you learned how to swing like that. You are further proof. This has happened to my students for years. It’s a great feeling. How do you know you are not doing it right? When no one asks you where you learned how to swing.

      Thanks for the promo. I truly appreciate it.

      Keep up the good work.

      How To Tell If You Have An Ugly Swing:

  11. September 26, 2015


    Thanks Paul. I have always tried to just let my arms fall from the top with zero effort in them. Is this basically the same as powerless arms? This has always produced the most solid and longest shots. I am a 2 handicap and just signed on with Swing Machine Golf and Ignition Golf.
    I would like to know your thoughts on my comments. Thanks

  12. July 14, 2017

    Jim Allen

    Working on the powerless arms …has me taking the club to far inside …my swing has gotten really flat…is that normal

  13. December 30, 2017


    Paul, For those who have difficulties in implementing your “POWERLESS ARMS “technique,I have a tip which works every time :when you get at the top of the backswing ,easily and smooth as yous suggest ,take a deep breath and count out (loudly or under your breath so your playing partners don’t know about it !)ONE ,TWO THREE (slowly ) ,while you do so ,start moving your hips in a rotation forwards ,then let go and exhale .
    I do this also when I train my putting stroke ,so it’s not jerky and it’s smooth (I don’t move my hips or lower body though )
    This is s a “perfected “HIDEKI MATSUYAMA “swing !
    For the loose wrists part ,just look at this fantastic (overweight !) player from THAILAND with a terribly difficult name to remember: KIRADECH APHIBARNRAT ,he is the king of the loose wrists technique ! And he does send the ball quite a long way without any visible effort!

    • Avatar photo

      January 1, 2018

      Paul Wilson


      I do have a tip about doing a 2 count in the backswing and 1 count in the downswing. Definitely keeps you slower and relaxed going back which sets you up coming down. A lot oof people have trouble slowing down so this is a good way to get it.

  14. January 2, 2018


    Just hit balls into net using swing speed radar that I received yesterday. Speed started out at 83 to 85. Then up to 88 and 89. Then I hit 100 once. Tried to do the same swing and dropped back to 84 and 86. Then back to 88 and 89. I thought I would think about only my follow through as I did my swing and hit it 105! I am 75 years old. So my question is how accurate is the swing speed radar?? After the 105 back to 88 89. Thanks, Jim

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      January 3, 2018

      Paul Wilson


      Trackman says it is 6mph slower than Trackman. The owner of SSR disputes that. He stands by his product 100%. It does seem 6mph faster though. He said you want to replicate Trackman numbers move it 14″ away instead of 8″. Any increase in the numbers is a good thing. So keep swinging the way you were to get it to 105. This is a huge increase to what you were doing.

  15. February 14, 2019


    I’m having trouble keeping the tension out of my arms at the top of my backswing. It’s a struggle to keep the arms “turned off” and let the body initiate the downswing

    • Avatar photo

      February 16, 2019

      Paul Wilson


      This is tricky for most people. I got it in 3 practice swings. I just told myself to not hit or help the shot in any way with my arms but for me this was the last step. I had worked on all of the positions. I knew how to use my legs and hips to power the swing. So think like that. Get the positions and learn how to use your legs and hips first. When you turn your arms off you need another power source to take over (legs an hips). You learn my positions so you can repeat it every time.

      The best drill you can be doing is hitting it 2/3 of your normal distance with a full swing and get used to the feeling of not hitting. Then once you can do this with all clubs you get more power with the legs and hips.

      2/3 distance drill here:
      DRILL: This Is The Best Drill You Should Be Doing Right Now:

  16. August 30, 2019


    My problem is getting my shoulders and my arms in synch with my hips. I turn my lower body and my upper body is hanging back and the result is the ball going way to the right. Is there something I should be doing to the right side of my body to keep the arms and lower body in closer coordination?
    – ter

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