Taking Powerless Arms to the Course

By | on June 5, 2014 | 29 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+

29 Responses to “Taking Powerless Arms to the Course”

  1. Thanks for this Paul. Timely!

    Working hard (and having fun) on being “tall.”

    Best-Craig Smith

    • Craig,

      Very good. Just understand the taller you are the more coil you will be able to do. This is what you are basing your swing on. Coil … uncoil.

  2. You’re right Paul, it is so hard to not swing hard with your arms on the course. Everything in you is telling you to swing hard.
    It does take a lot of practice and discipline. I am finding that when I can turn down the swing I am hitting the ball much better.

    • Steve,

      It’s funny that people experience a few shots with no arms yet insist on going back to whacking away at it. If you whacked at it and got double the result I could see doing it but the pay off is nill or minimum yet the chance of error goes through the roof.

  3. Paul,

    Have been studying and practicing your philosophy for about 8 months. A great series for teaching technique and I have enjoyed trying to follow it.

    My chipping, bunker and pitching have improved dramatically. My irons also have improved. My driver has not. I video myself and see a number of flaws that come and go – sway going back, casting, need more hip turn, rise up at contact, ugly chicken wing and my finish does not touch the back of my head.

    One of my most frustrating issues is that when I am successful at making a good swing – powerless arms, good hip turn, head behind ball, extended arms after contact, in balance and finish with club touching back of head – it’s because I have reduced my grip pressure significantly to the point of letting go of the club during the transition from back swing to down swing. It looks good on tape but I leave the club open and slice or snap hook it horribly. It’s a fine balance to combine sufficient grip pressure and powerless arms and loose wrists that I have not mastered. I have tried the tee wedged in the left hand but so far unsuccessful. Drop tee when I feel powerless and tee remains when I grip harder, tighten up and chicken wing from hitting with arms.

    Having reviewed your tips a number of times and can’t seem to find one that helps me with the issue of finding the balance between grip pressure and powerless arms – loose wrists.

    Well that’s enough venting for now – more later – time to get back to practice. Thanks again.

    • Matthew,

      Glad you like the tips.

      Powerless arms is you not hitting it or helping it in any way with your arms. If you let go of the club you have to re-grip. In doing so, you will activate your arms. You need to start with the grip at 2 out of 10. The grip increases to 8 out of 10 by the time you hit the top of the backswing yet your wrists are loose.

      Secure Grip Loose Wrists: https://ignitiongolf.com/secure-grip-loose-wrists/

      It sounds like you are working on things out of order. Focus on the grip, set up and follow through ONLY. Master touching the legs and touching the head (splitting the ears). Only when you master these should you even be thinking about the backswing. So stay focused on this and hold on to the club.

      Once you get his you work on stabilizing the back foot as you coil:

      How To Cure A Sway: https://ignitiongolf.com/cure-sway/

      Then you work on the backswing hinge.

  4. June 7, 2014


    You are the best golf instructor. Followed your tip about hitting at 50% and along with a proper swing, my game continues to improve.
    I have decided to buy your series as a graduation gift for my son.
    Congratulations on my success. I owe it all to you.


    Thanks for keeping us lefties in mind

    • Rick,

      Thanks for the kinds words. I appreciate it.

      I also thank you for the support. Just make sure he follows the lesson carefully and does lots of practice swings.

      Keep up the good work.

  5. With THE rotation around THE lead leg ,powered by THE hips ,THE “POWERLESS ARMS ” and THE “LOOSE WRISTS “are THE basics OF YOUR fine golf instruction . But it takes a lot OF Time to ingrain it ,especially when playing on THE golf course .
    I started One year ago with you ,I’ve worked hard to make th

    • Raymond,

      Glad you like the tips. I appreciate the feedback.

      The choice is yours not to practice. I don’t know any pros who work on their swing this way. I hope you are at least doing practice swings at home on a nightly basis.

      Playing brings out the beast in everyone. This is why you should be trying new things on the range … ingraining them … then bringing them to the course.

  6. Hi Paul,
    I find that I tend to hook the ball when swinging at 50 percent, is this because I’m still using my arms? Also, I have noticed quite an improvement in my golf game because of your teachings and as a result a number of people have told me that I have a nice swing. I have told them it’s because of Paul Wilson and Ignition golf. I still get pretty nervous over tough holes and tighten up as a result. However, I know it’s just a matter of getting rid of that old swing and trusting the new one.
    Thank you for your time.

    • Chris,

      You are not seeing the good in the shot. The hook is telling you that your wrists and release are working but your body is not. At this point you can take it up a notch. Start driving the lower body a little harder to straighten it out. If you drive the lower body harder and start slicing the back if off a little.

      I like where you are at. You should see some great results shortly. The other evidence is people commenting on your swing. This is all good stuff. Thanks for the promo. I really appreciate it.

  7. Paul, you have brought back the joy of playing this great game with powerless arms. Best handicap 12 but drifted out to a slicing embarrassment as an older player.
    You are the greatest original thinker but still behind Bob Dylan as a genius, sorry.

    • Simon,

      You are not alone. This has happened to so many people. You just got the arms activated in your swing. You probably took a break from golf or just tried to hit harder. When people take a break they come back to golf trying to hit it with arms alone. This is disastrous. Glad you are getting it back. Just keep the arms turned off and try to use your body to hit the ball.

      Damn that Bob Dylan. I will not be outdone. Thinking cap … back on.

  8. Thumbs to the Target
    I love you

  9. Hi Paul,

    I keep rolling my hands and using powerless arms. As a lefty, I am starting to have a draw, hook. It starts out straight and cuts to the right.
    Should I slow the swing?


    • Harold,

      You are not rolling it soon enough. You need to roll it from the top until you are good at it and never slice it ever again. Slow down and roll it.

  10. Hi Paul,

    I have hit a few duck hooks now in comp. you know it’s no worse than a severe slice. I also have hit allot of straight and slight draws. Powerless arms are happening for me. Hitting the occasional fat shot as well. I respect your instruction and keep a smile on my face.

    Just would like to ask what do you do when people insist on being in the way of ones shot. I have experienced the holding of the pin/flag and the person saying “go ahead-go ahead” to people walking up like I don’t exist but they are in harms way, because I am still capable of some very bad shots.

    When someone’s in the way it plays on ones performance. I’ve never seen a pro come close to being in another’s way.

    Should I pick the ball up and scratch the hole? Or should I just say okay, it’ll hurt the person in the way more than me if I miss hitting.

    I’m not trying to be silly, it’s very hard to figure what to do.



    • Harold,

      You need to forcefully tell them to move. Just say, Can you please move. I have no idea where this is going to go. You may get hit. Rule of them is the should be behind the ball. If not they run the risk of getting hit. I have seen golf balls go sideways so it is no laughing matter. If they ignore your request hit your shot anyway. You can’t say you didn’t warn them.

      Don’t let other people affect your game. I know this is tough but you have to focus on you and not them.

  11. Hey Paul

    Starting to get it on course now. 12 of 14 fairways yesterday all with Driver……..amazing stuff …..never close to anything like this before …..perhaps 5 or 7/12……. anything up on a tee or up in the rough seems to be working well .But I am having a major Issue when the ball is not sitting up , especially tight lies or even on a short cut fairway. I Just can’t seem to keep arms powerless in this situation, therefore I chop with the arms, particular with longer irons, pull slice generally it’s like the old swing turning up again………

    what specific drill or habits should I be working on that might assist here?



  12. December 15, 2015



    Would swinging a tennis ball on the end of a rope back and forth from shoulder to shoulder give a feeling of powerless arms?

    • December 16, 2015

      Paul Wilson


      I highly doubt it. Powerless arms is you not trying to hit the ball with your arms. If you are still trying to get this feeling, you are still trying to hit the ball. I told myself 1999 not to hit the ball in any way with my arms. I got it by doing 3 practice swings thinking of my arms and not swinging them down. Instead of moving my arms, I turned my body (legs and hips) and voila my arms came down. That is because they are connected to my body. Move my body and my arms move. This is the thought you need too. Do practice swings moving your arms with your body.

      You should also be doing easy swings and constantly hitting balls at 2/3 power until you are good at it. If you cannot do this you will never get it. So keep hitting ball after ball after ball until you can. Once you can then you speed back up with your legs and hips.

      Also, you should be doing my favorite drill off the ground nightly. I keep telling people this and the do not do it yet they want powerless arms. If you turn your arms off you need another power source. This other power source is your legs and hips. If I have a drill that allows you to get good at using your legs and hips doesn’t it make sense to repeat it thousands of times?

      Finally, make sure you watch these tips on powerless arms. You might be missing something:

      What Is Powerless Arms?: https://ignitiongolf.com/what-is-powerless-arms/

      Powerless Arms Test: https://ignitiongolf.com/powerless-arms-test/

      Powerless Arms – The Trust Factor: https://ignitiongolf.com/the-trust-factor/

      How To Get Powerless Arms: https://ignitiongolf.com/how-to-get-powerless-arms/

      Taking Powerless Arms to the Course: https://ignitiongolf.com/powerless-arms-when-playing/

  13. December 16, 2015



    Okay, I think I’m beginning to “get it”.
    But I have a comment and a question: When I turn my legs and hips my right shoulder also turns with them and I come “over the top”. I presume that this means that I’m failing to have powerless arms, otherwise my club shaft would be flattening and the club head would be approaching the ball inside out. Right?
    PS: For what it’s worth, I wanted to mention that I learned to play golf decades ago using a lot of lower body action. A couple of pros have recently told me to eliminate my excessive lower body action and concentrate on swinging the club with my arms.

    • December 16, 2015

      Paul Wilson


      Firing your lower body is like hitting the accelerator on a car. You fire the hips and the upper body hangs back creating the tilt in the downswing. You are not good at doing this. I would think you are also shifting immediately to the left leg which is causing you to not get the tilt and send it over the top.

      So you need to manually tilt. I did a tip on this here:

      Cures – Manually Tilt To Stop Pulling: https://ignitiongolf.com/manually-tilt-cure-pull/
      Body Tilt – Left Right: https://ignitiongolf.com/cure-pulling
      Remember Series – Tilt and Turn: https://ignitiongolf.com/remember-series-tilt-turn/
      Remember Series – Tilt and Lift: https://ignitiongolf.com/remember-tilt-lift/
      Remember Series – Tilt and Roll: https://ignitiongolf.com/remember-tilt-roll/

      So get the tilt first then get off the back foot.

      The downswing move is a shift and turn. Also, throw a few balls overhand. In doing so your whole upper body will hang back just as you would do in a golf swing. If you didn’t get this tilt you would throw it way left. The motion you would do throwing a ball is the same as in the golf swing. So do this motion until you are good at it then apply the same motion to practice swings.

      It’s Like A Throwing Motion: https://ignitiongolf.com/like-throwing-motion/

      Wow, that’s great advice. Telling you to do something that every amateur player is doing. Every golf pro in the world is using their legs and hips when they swing. If you are doing it then you need to be doing it precisely and the right way. If you take that advice I guarantee you will never get it.

  14. December 17, 2015



    Thanks, I’ve studied over your tips and they are very helpful.
    I have a tendency to “hang back” too much (Pete noticed this on a video analysis done 9/8/15), so maybe my erratic shots are not so much over the top club head path but awkward release pattern (blocks slice, rollovers hook)?
    To overcome feelings of swing awkwardness some suggest “club throwing” as a way to get the feel of a graceful, powerful swing. Do you think doing this is of any significant value?
    Thanks again.

    • December 18, 2015

      Paul Wilson


      You need to get the positions. The positions make you look like a better player. I keep telling everyone it is about the movement not the ball. Right now you are trying to be consistent with a swing that is not consistent. It won’t work. So immediately start working on the touch the leg and all other positions. Do them in practice swings at home making every move count. Each position gives you feedback. So every night do them and check for the feedback.

  15. January 12, 2016


    Paul…Excellent lesson and convincing presentation. It seems that you are saying that patience
    Is the key.. Thanks

    • January 13, 2016

      Paul Wilson


      Thanks. Glad you liked it. Yes, patience is certainly a big key. Everyone wants it right now yet they have not spent the time developing it.

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