Shoulder Rotation – Learning To Coil

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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+

53 Responses to “Shoulder Rotation – Learning To Coil”

  1. April 20, 2014


    Great tip Paul! I liked that you used one of your students. Very helpful to see someone with the same challenges many of us have, and how you correct those challenges. I recently was wondering if I didn’t have enough bend at my hips because players like Luke Donald seemed to have way more than me. But now having seen this tip, I’ll continue to try to be more upright in my stance. Thanks!

    • April 21, 2014

      Paul Wilson


      Glad you liked it. Thanks.

      Yes, I like a taller set up. This promotes coiling based on torque. Not sure why they are tilting golfers too low these days. The best golfers of all time were tall.

  2. April 20, 2014

    Steven D

    Thanks to Robert for showing us that it’s not as easy as you make it look, Paul! Very worthwhile tip. I look forward to hearing how Robert’s game has improved. I know mine has since I discovered your teaching, Paul. -Steve

  3. April 21, 2014


    Paul, this is a great visual tip. It’s great watching you do something correct, but it was even better to watch a student struggle and improve with your guidance. Showing what the student is doing wrong and having you point it out is great for learning and it would be great if you and Peter could incorporate that into your vide lessons. Thank you for showing this to us, and thank Robert for participating.

    • April 21, 2014

      Paul Wilson


      Glad you liked it. Thanks.

      We don’t do this with video golf lessons because it takes too long. If we do we have to charge more. The way we do it now is exactly what you get in a real golf lesson plus is keeps the cost down. I used to do these many years ago. It would take me over an hour which is not cost effective for the end user.

      • April 24, 2014


        Thanks for the quick reply. I can certainly understand keeping ones cost in line. I wouldn’t want anyone to ever do anything in business without making it profitable and there is only so much time one has. Hopefully my next trip to LV will allow time for a lesson with you or Pete and I’ll be able to get a better understanding of what I’m not doing correctly. I really enjoy what you are teaching , and it isn’t as quick to learn as I hoped , but I am making progress and having more good effortless shots every time I play or get to the range.

        • April 24, 2014

          Paul Wilson


          Certainly look me up if you are coming to town.

          In the meantime you should do a video golf lesson. Then you will know exactly what to work on. Up to you.

  4. April 21, 2014


    I enjoy your instruction very much and have made considerable progress in my game since starting to adopt you method. I have a problem that I need help with and it may involve both you and the staff member who does the physical therapy.

    I learned some time ago from my chiropractor that my left leg is shorter than my right. So I have a bit of scoliosis. That causes me to set up incorrectly at address. Essentially it gives me a reverse spine angle at address. The top of my spine is closer to the target than the bottom of my spine. This causes a whole host of problems in my golf swing.

    This setup flaw causes one of the two following problems for my swing:

    (1) I sway going back, my hips essentially sliding out from under my upper body to the right causing me to just to turn very little and mostly lift my arms up. This gives me what I call a “windshield wiper swing” which has no power; or

    (2) I swing around my left leg creating a big time reverse weight shift and an over-the-top swing.

    Your setup routine, most notably the stronger left hand grip, has helped some. Trying to take the club back by turning my shoulders and upper body has also helped some but it is difficult to do with my left side low and my right side high.

    I hope that you can help me with this. I really like your system but I don’t think that I am going to make much more progress until I get this problem solved. I have considering switching over to playing left handed but I am 62 years old and don’t want to have to do that.

    • April 21, 2014

      Paul Wilson


      I did get this question a while back. I sent ti Jeremy and received a reply:

      I’ve dealt with this before. It’s not easy and there is really no same answer for each person. Dave you seem to have a very good understanding of the issue and your two swing flaws make complete sense. I’ve done a number of things.

      The most basic was to put a mild-moderate heel lift in just the left shoe. Walking long distances with anything significant may be less than desirable but might help for cart golf.

      The other is to laterally move your hips left until you see the hips become more level or maybe even left hip high. Not being able to see you do this makes it difficult as I’m sure you’ll understand. But, there are two ways to do this… slide your hips to the left first then hinge your hips into the set up or set up first then slide your hips to the left. Either way this artificial leveling will take some experimentation and mirror work.

      Good luck. Let me know how it goes.

      I would also add:

      You should visit an upper cervical chiropractor if you aren’t seeing one already. This should provide some huge relief and potentially fix he curvature. This is not like a regular chiropractor. This is different. Please do a search for it to understand the process.

      Also, if you can’t ever fix the left tilt you may have to play for a pull. To do so, simply aim a little right. I say this because tilting left in the downswing will cause you to hit it left. So you will have to compensate for it with your alignment. This should not stop you from releasing it.

      Next, definitely check that you are not too tilted at address. Usually, the sway and lack of shoulder turn indicates the person is too tilted at address. If so it is difficult to turn properly. By standing tall the coil should be easier.

      Taller Setup:

      DRILL: Start High Then Gradually Lower:

      I would be doing this constantly:

      Drill: Swing Up with Driver:

      Also, work on this:

      How To Cure A Sway:

      • Avatar photo

        April 23, 2014


        Paul, great advice about seeing an Upper Cervical Chiropractor, as I happen to be one.

        • April 23, 2014

          Paul Wilson


          I tell everyone I can. I have been seeing for about 10 years. Without this, I would have been in agony. No pain anymore though.

  5. April 21, 2014


    Paul, Great Great LESSON!(this is a lesson not a tip)It reminds me of your Virtual Golf School(on RV before they removed it)I just started Video lessons w/Pete and this will help with the setup(I know now I wasn’t torquing enough from the drill)Lets see more of you working w/students I believe it’s adds even a better visual

    • April 21, 2014

      Paul Wilson


      Glad you liked it. Thanks.

      I think they are all lessons not tips.

      I will do more stuff like this in the future. It’s just getting people who don’t mind being on camera. Plus, it does take the person’s time to shoot the additional footage. I’m sure I will get some who want to do it.

  6. April 21, 2014


    Paul, this was a great lesson and like having semi- private instruction on the proper swing sequence. The illustrator, which I don’t remember you using, was particularly helpful.

    Thanks, Ron

    • April 21, 2014

      Paul Wilson


      I just got that software. I was looking for one like this. It just came out so I will use it more in the future.

  7. April 21, 2014


    Paul, this is a great lesson as Robert could be me. This video gave me the opportunity to double check several of the problems that were fixed here. In my case, slide comes very often which I tried to fix using you cure, however this video is more graphical. Thanks so much to both for sharing this.

  8. Fine lesson :however two things seem to be missing :
    – how do you position your Chin vs your left shoulder :should the Chin ” brush” the shirt ? BEN HOGAN had a hole made there so not to restrict THE shoulder Turn .
    – what about the hips and the ” X Factor ” advocated by Jim Mc L

    • April 24, 2014

      Paul Wilson


      These things are not missing. This tip was not about this. It was talking about coiling circular.

      I don’t known anyone who would have their chin down when standing vertically. This would not happen.

      I will talk about X factor in the future.

      You should see every club above your head. Driver is just above your head. All other clubs are up even higher. I will shoot this one next week just for you.

  9. April 29, 2014


    Simply amazing. Prior comments have said everything that I wanted to say. Just another opportunity to thank you and marvel at your approach to golf instruction.


  10. Paul,

    I’ve been following your teachings for about a year, but the I must say, the dashboard has really helped take me through all your methods and teachings. Anyway, just wanted to let you know I think the powerless arms has finally sunk in, as yesterday I only had one swing thought before each shot, and that was “no arms.” I shot a 89,(no disaster holes) not great, but it seemed so easy with that one swing thought. Even if my shots were off a little, the ball striking was solid, and I knew right away what the issue was. I expect my 18 handicap to go lower this season. Thanks!

    • Ted,

      Glad you like the Dashboard. We will make it better and better in the future.

      Glad you are getting powerless arms. Funny how people want to turn their arms off bu in doing so they keep trying to feel what they have felt forever. Powerless arms is a totally different feeling which people have to get used to. If it feels remotely the same you are not doing it. I feel my legs powering the swing not the arms. Until you get this same feeling you are not doing it.

      Sounds like you are making the switch. I like when people say it to themselves as a reminder. Keep doing it in future rounds. Sounds like you are really close.

  11. May be your best video in awhile Paul. Please consider more of these student lessons to illustrate key elements of your method. Thanks.


    • Tim,

      Will do. It’s just getting people who want to be on camera and setting everything up.

  12. Hi Paul,

    Thanks for the tip. I am having trouble keeping my head still while shifting the weight from right foot to the left. When I try to uncoil while shifting the weight at the same time, my center shifts and I hit the ball all over the place. I can uncoil without shifting weight and hit it straight but not very far. Anything I need to work on to fix this? Thanks!

  13. Am I the only person who could barely hear the video and when Paul came on to talk beside his student, there was no sound at all. I have the sound turned up all the way on the computer, is there another place to turn up the sound?

    • Caroline,

      I think there were times where the audio was low because we weren’t mic’d up. There are audio controls on the video itself. Hover your mouse over the video. When the controls come up to the right you will see some bars. They should be lit up blue for maximum volume.

  14. February 14, 2017


    Hi Paul, I’m working on a better turn and had a question related to a D Leadbetter drill I saw. I’d like your opinion if this drill is consistent with your coaching. Thanks in advance.

  15. Hi Paul, dipping has been an issue for me in the past. I have been practicing the helicopter drill. For me, it is easier to stand tall and feel the coil with woods but the shorter clubs, it’s difficult as I feel I can’t stand tall and make contact with the ball. Any suggestions? Thank you

    • Steve,

      The helicopter drill is good to get the feeling of going around. The problem is the tilt when you setup to the ball. Watch the next tip. It will show you what to look for so you will know you are doing it right.

      You need to stand taller with shorter clubs. Maybe you are standing too tall or your knees are not flexed enough. You can send me a picture of your setup with a short iron and I will check it.

  16. Great video.

  17. Great video. Is it correct to think that initially in doing the one piece takeaway -has one arrive -or is a slight lateral move to a vertical point at about the right shoulder (for a righty)at which you complete the coil?
    Thanks for great instructional books and videos.

    • George,

      Not exactly sure what you are asking here. I am one piece to the right leg then you keep turning. At halfway back your head would have moves about an inch. So be careful with to much lateral. It is a gradual coil and you go back. Not sure if this is what you are asking but the lateral is due to coiling and it will continue all the way to the top.

  18. Played 18 yesterday and towards end of decent round, concentrated on making the “touch the head” position. Previously, I’ve found that getting to this position has been really, really hard to do repeatedly – especially with a ball in front of me. Yesterday, however, I found that getting to this “touch the head” position produced a major, major reduction in use of the arms, i.e., producing an “arm less” golf swing. Paul, does this make sense??

    • Dan,

      This is what I keep saying. If you are too tight you cannot do this position. This indicates if the wrists are re-hinging, if the club is swinging on plane, if your arms are tight or not. Keep in mind that pro after pro does this position. I am the only one in the world that teaches this so how are they getting there? They have to be doing something the same. So yes, loosen up or swing easier to get the position manually and perfectly. This is a very important position if you want distance and consistency. Glad you got it. If it were me I would just be doing it nightly in a mirror until I got it.

  19. Hi, Paul
    This was a great lesson. Seeing you work with someone really brings the idea home.
    I have suffered from having a disconnected swing and using my arms. My swing always felt upright in this way. Now I am trying these drills and it feels like the swing is shorter and more rotational. My concern is that my swing becomes really flat with these changes. Is my concern warranted?

  20. lately i noticed I’m feeling a better lat stretch when I make a full wrist hinge at the top, that and getting the left shoulder well turned beneath my chin. more torque. more turn than ever before. this video really helps!

    • Joel,

      That’s great. Maybe the hinge is getting the club to go back just that little bit more to get you the stretch. Whatever it is doing I like what I am hearing. This is a huge part of the swing so definitely keep feeling it.

  21. Hello Paul,
    Watching your student, he seemed to be struggling to get tall, and be able to setup correctly. I seem to be the same way. My clubs were ordered using the measurement from wrist to ground. Could they be to short as I’m bent over quite a bit.

    • Michael,

      A lot struggle at first but in about 5-10 mins. they accept it and keep doing it. How tall are you? That student was way taller than me and I am 5’10”. If you are tall you would need longer club bent upright. If you need me to check it send me a picture from the side with a 7 iron.

  22. July 25, 2018


    Hi Paul, thanks for this clear illustration video…. I realized I can only go to eleven o’clock position!! I will work on my flexibility.

  23. August 16, 2018


    Hi, Paul

    I have an issue with rotation in the takeaway. It really has to do with whether to think left shoulder to start, or left arm pushing back, as I saw in one of your drills? Either way, they both seems to lead to the arms being parallel at the half way position.



    • Avatar photo

      August 16, 2018

      Paul Wilson


      You can choose whichever you like. The idea is that as you do the takeaway you are not moving your hips. If you are trying to get the spring-like effect as you coil the hips would not move in the early stages of the backswing.

      I like the left shoulder. This way I am not thinking arms in the early stages. I coil back the shoulder. My arms are connected to my body so they will move. Not sure what else you are asking. Just pick what works but as I said earlier keep the lower body stable.

  24. Hi Paul. I think I might be over-coiling. I got so obsessed with trying to create torque that I’m twisting myself up like a pretzel. As a result, I hit inconsistent shots. I notice in your videos it looks like you’re barely coiling at all. I know you’re doing it, but it doesn’t look extreme, just enough to enable you to leverage the ground/lower body. Seems like too much coil can cause as many problems as not enough. Is it possible to overdo it? Is this something to watch out for?

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