David and Paul Show You The Tension Rater Drill

By | on July 1, 2019 | 22 Comments | Array


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22 Responses to “David and Paul Show You The Tension Rater Drill”

  1. September 25, 2012


    I just signed up for the free 7 day trial, and I am sure I will join the site no matter the cost! This tip alone has me thinking… I have been watching Paul’s videos on youtube for about 3 months, and this hit home! Rating those swings has to be good, because I out drove the whole group on a hole this past Sunday (a group that I should never out drive) and remember saying to myself “that felt like I never hit the ball”. However with this tip, I might just be able to repeat it!

  2. September 25, 2012


    Hi Paul
    Thanks for the drill. Please allow me to digress abit.
    What are the dos and don’ts regarding the lead arm thumb, during a swing?

    • September 26, 2012

      Paul Wilson


      You are gripping the club with the left thumb against the side of your hand.



      Then you are hinging the wrists as you go back so the left thumb will be point to your right ear at the top.


      3 Ways to Set The Top of the Backswing: https://ignitiongolf.com/backswing-top-3-ways

      Once the club comes down your grip is still perfectly on the club.

      Into the follow through the thumb will be here:

      How Far Around Should You Swing?: https://ignitiongolf.com/swing-how-far-around/

      In no way am I thinking about my thumb. I am really seeing the whole grip as a unit.

      I would be very careful not to have the left thumb too much to the right or left on the club. Slightly right of center is ideal.

  3. September 26, 2012


    David and Paul, I’m not sure David realizes the benefit of the rating drill to other activities that cause tension. For many years I’ve sung operatically and remember teachers preaching the benefits of relaxing the jaw, tongue, and related muscles that impair voice production. These teachers never put a NUMBER on the level of tension causing vocal problems, but that would have been very helpful. David uses the phrase “getting out of your way,” and I heard that innumerable times while over-coming the high note fears we tenors MUST ACHIEVE. There is a direct parallel between relaxing the arms, wrists, etc.for golf and relaxing the tongue and jaw for vocal production. My friends frequently kid me when I hit one in the water by saying: “Have you considered taking up singing?”

    Thanks for all your help.

    • September 26, 2012

      Paul Wilson

      Ron, glad you like this tip and made the association to singing. I’m sure it would be beneficial in so many other things too. I definitely like the rating system. I have had people swing with their arms all locked up then swing with them totally relaxed or more relaxed so they can notice the difference but this is definitely a good way to do it too. I just remember to tip. Thanks I’ll have to shoot this one.

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      September 27, 2012

      David Breslow

      Hi ron,

      Breslow here.

      YES–I am aware of the benefit of the rating drill in other areas of life. In truth, many of the drills I use often derive from other disciplines—that translate beautifully to golf.

      There are many, many, many amazing ideas from other disciplines because let’s face it…the human body functions best when your mind/body/emotions are in sync so why not do anything that makes that happen?

      Thanks for chiming in Ron! We love to hear from you!

  4. November 22, 2012


    G’day Paul & David,

    Back in 1974 my father-in-law made me play golf with “I’m going out to play, I don’t like playing only own, I’d like you to come with me”. He let me use the clubs he took to India in 1926. I still remember him saying to me “let the club do the work”, in many ways this seems to be what you are saying to me today.
    I wish I still had those clubs.

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      November 22, 2012

      David Breslow

      Hi Terence,

      What a great memory!

      Your father in law was right but you let ANY club do the work:)

      The club will do the work when you ALLOW the arms to swing naturally.
      Yes–this drill puts your mind on ALLOWING rather than TRYING and thus your tension reduces and relaxation/energy flow and power are increased.

      Pretty cool, eh?

      To your best golf!

      • December 24, 2013


        G’day Paul and David,
        I was on the come back trail a year ago. I had gone from a 14 h’cap all the way out to 22 ( years ago I got down to 10 – Missed single figures by “that much” (thanks Maxwell Smart)). Paul’s simple, almost classic golf swing, got me down to 12 earlier this year, then ballooned out after being in USA for 7 weeks and UK for 3 weeks.
        Anyway, back to this instruction, I think I have this tension thing under control ‘most of the time’. When I get to the top I just focus on turning my hips and touching my knees together, there is no room left in my grey matter to think about the arms etc. Another tip Paul gave is about maintaining my body angle through to the finish, that’s been a big help.
        I’ll incorporate this tension rating tip into my practice sessions.
        To all the Ignition golf faculty thanks for playing with my mind David, Jeremy has got me planking and strengthening my Glutes, Pete has gone a bit quiet but I think about club choice stuff, Paul – Swing Machine Golf is making a difference for me.
        All of you have a great Xmas and come back full of inspiration in the New Year

  5. January 1, 2014


    Great tip David. I’ll use it every time I hit the range. Thx!!

  6. February 2, 2016


    Paul, I have a question about larger grips and tension. If we get new grips is there any advantage to getting a larger grip or does this encourage us to increase our grip pressure and tension. Thanks


    • February 3, 2016

      Paul Wilson


      You really need grips to fit your hand. Any clubfitter can check this for you. I wouldn’t say grip size makes you grip tighter. A lot of people large hands that make regular grips too small. When you do your grip you don’t want your fingertips to overlap. So keep this in mind when you choose your grips.

  7. February 3, 2016


    Hi Paul,

    After following you for quite awhile, I am ready to practice what you preach. I went to the range Sunday (76 degrees here in Houston) to try to begin implementing all that I have learned. I believe I now know what to do. Putting it all together is another story entirely. I made very good contact most of the time, however direction was less than adequate much of the time. How I am relating this to this tip is how I felt Sunday evening. My shoulders and upper back were stiff. I realized that I wasn’t relaxed. I was trying to “do” too much instead of just letting it happen. I will know better next time. This tip helps a lot. Years ago, when I needed to hit a smooth shot, I would tell myself “think Freddy Couples.” Generally, that worked in much the same way that the “number” in this tip should work.

    Thanks again,

    • February 4, 2016

      Paul Wilson


      I keep telling everyone this. If you arms are tight you will try to hit. I am not doing this. So stay focused on relaxing and just let them go. It is different but you can do it.

  8. February 3, 2016


    When I played my game today my aim was to play every shot with powerless arms as you have advocated and I wasn’t worried about the length or direction of the ball flight. Using David Breslow’s pre-shot routine and staying in the present I was able to achieve that aim. Although many of my shots were off-line and my score wasn’t terrific the end result was still 6 six shots better than my average of the past few rounds and I achieved what I set out to do. The Tension Rating drill help tremendously as I was able to keep my rate between 2 and 3.

    • February 4, 2016

      Paul Wilson


      That’s great. You just tried it and you saw some good ones. This is what I am saying. Those good ones are what is going to happen every time if you keep doing it. Stay focused. You will get it in no time.

  9. Wasn’t able to get this tip.
    What would have gone wrong?

  10. July 2, 2019


    When you are at the lowest tension Paul, will your arm just fall down by themself if you don’t turn at
    all ? This is just to know what do you mean by very low tension.

    Regards John

  11. Hi Paul and David. A friend of mine unfortunately lost his left arm in a car smash some years ago and plays golf with his right arm alone. He has the loosest easiest powerless one arm swlng usually hitting well over 200 meters with a driver. His putting is pretty good as well. I’ve been trying to copy his powerless abandoned swing with 2 arms with increasing success.

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