How To Stop Hitting The Ball With Your Arms

By | on August 23, 2012 | 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 Stop Hitting The Ball With Your Arms”

  1. August 24, 2012


    Hi Paul,
    I like the tip and am always trying to use no power in my arms, sometimes good, sometimes not so good. But I know how important it is, however my question is about firing the lower body. Is this a sudden move or a gradual smooth move? My question stems from how as you are showing us in positions, it is a very sudden looking move however in your swing while hitting a ball it is as smooth as silk. I am not sure if in practicing the touch the legs position do you want us over doing it and as it becomes habit it will be smoother. Hope I am making my question clear!
    Thanks, Mike

  2. August 24, 2012


    Thanks Paul,
    I see what you mean, and I realized if you don’t drive as hard as you can your upper body does not automatically tilt to the right. Will continue to practice and look forward to the new tips in the future ! Not seeing any of your tips on RG, has that ended? How come your course is closed?

    • August 25, 2012

      Paul Wilson

      Mike, The upper body tilt is huge in determining the direction of the shots. You can manually try to stay behind it. You just have to be careful you don’t hang back too much. This should be occurring through using the lower body though as discussed.

      RG and I are going through terms right now which I don’t think will be met. I will let everyone know once it is finalized.

      We are over-seeding our golf course. We do this every year to make it nice and green (except the range).

  3. August 24, 2012


    Hi Paul, i mentioned earlier that I wanted to come to a school in March. However it is possible I can come in December. What will the weather be like at that time? Also quote me a price on 3 day school and does this include lodging? I am working on your drills and tips. With what little I have learned about relaxing my hands, arms and body I am already increasing my driver distance by SEVERAL yards. Thanks to you. Holler back. I am leaving for a business trip to Tampa Fl. in the morning. Going to convention. Might not be commuting over the next few days. SWING MACHINE GOLF is the answer to an old guys prayers.

    • August 25, 2012

      Paul Wilson

      Curtis, Thank you for your interest in schools and thank you for you kind words about Swing Machine Golf.

      I don’t actually do any in December. It doesn’t seem like people want to travel then. We can certainly do private lessons. Typically, people do 4 hours per day for 1-3 days in a private lesson. Just let me know if this is something that interests you. You can contact me using the “Contact Us” link above.

  4. August 24, 2012


    One of best examples of how your arms are not the power in a golf swing:

    I am not sure if this guys math or physics is correct but it does make sense.

  5. August 24, 2012


    I found the tip about taking several practice swings on the range for every ball that gets hit was particularly helpful in getting the right feeling for this technique. I’ve really been doing that in my practice sessions and it is very effective.

    The swing is getting better, and even though I think my arms are passive, I’m still not taking much of a divot. When I feel I’ve done everything correctly, I will get a little scruff mark on the ground, but nothing more. So, contact could still be better. What should I try? Thanks.

    • August 25, 2012

      Paul Wilson

      Jay, that’s great that you followed my instruction. I just hope everyone does this. What people have to realize is it is about the movement. The shots will come as they develop a great swing. It takes concentration and effort though. I’m glad your swing is coming along. If there is not divot the arms are still too tight. Loosen more.

  6. August 24, 2012


    Paul I get it. Just have a tendency of letting head move over the ball. Gets me stuck and results in push. Reality is the head moves back 2-3 ” in backswing. On downswing it naturally moves forward but should this just be a natural rythymic movement and try to insure it stays behind the ball at contact? My bet yes but any thoughts as to why I drift?
    Your swing the head ends up over the left leg when it straightens.
    I guess it is timing but sometimes I over do it by keeping it back too much behind the ball or vice versa.
    Thanks, Dick

    • August 25, 2012

      Paul Wilson

      Dick, your head should be staying behind the ball because you are powering the swing with your lower body. It is like hitting the accelerator on a car. Fire the lower body and your upper body will hang back. This is due to the speed you are driving the lower body and the mass of your upper body. You can work on staying behind it but you have to be careful because if you stay back too much you will push it. Just remember it is this body tilt that changes the direction of your shots. Hit some shots tilting left and right and you will see the direction change. If you are pushing you need to turn more. If you are turning you will not stay behind it too much which will cure the direction.

      You need to be working in a mirror watch your head move back. You need to do this constantly and consistently until you get used to it and it moves on its own. This is tough but you can do it. Right now you are over top of it. If so, you need to slide laterally in the downswing to get the club on plane. If you turned you would hit massive pulls. So you are basing your swing on lateral motion instead of circular motion. Get the head moving in the backswing and you create your first axis. Then you can create the second.


      Move Head:

      Which Is Your Dominant Eye?:

  7. August 24, 2012


    Hi Paul

    I love your tips. I have seen their positive results more than any other system that I have tried.
    I used your latest tip mentioned above on my own (thinking about my initial downswing move instead of hitting the ball) and had the same problem of “hitting” at the last moment. I think it is because my brain cannot turn off what my eyes are seeing. My wife tells me I should close my eyes and swing as if it were my practice swing and trust that I can make good contact. I’m not sure if she is trying to get me injured so I don’t play as much. Lol

    • August 25, 2012

      Paul Wilson

      Jim, That is great news. I appreciate the feedback.

      You can close your eyes (I don’t like this).

      What you need to be doing is constantly thinking and trying to use the lower body while having that light effortless feeling in the arms. This is not going to come overnight. You just have to keep doing it.

      Also you should be doing these drills nightly:

      DRILL: Swing Off Ground:

      DRILL: Listen to Club Swinging:

      Here are other legs drills:

      DRILL: Firing Legs in Downswing:

      DRILL: Belt Buckle Clubhead:

      DRILL: Move Hips:

      • August 25, 2012



        I went out this evening and played 9 holes with two swing thoughts.
        One was to address the ball by changing my posture to standing taller as if my butt were sitting on the edge of a stool and my chest facing way out beyond the ball.
        The other was to try your suggestion in the video “Firing legs in the Downswing”. I couldn’t believe the immediate results. Straighter and longer shots. I am thinking of using “the firing of my right knee” as a permanent downswing starter. I seem to feel more of a connection between speed of my lower body movement using this technique and corresponding speed transferring to my arms.
        I had an unbelievable day of ball striking. I hit two thin shots but think they were because by standiing taller, I need to make sure I stand closer to the ball at address. I’m excited to see if keep it going.
        Thanks Paul

  8. August 26, 2012


    Hi Paul,

    Would you agree with this tip that Luke Donald did. Here is the link and if you watch it at one minute twenty five seconds he puts a shaft through his belt loops and he said if you are turning the lower body too fast your hands get stuck behind it. So I guess we have to slow down and even for a pro like him he still suffers from firing the lower body too fast. What do you think?

    • August 26, 2012

      Paul Wilson

      Herman, I shot a tip showing the same thing so people can see how fast I am turning my hips. It is a great way to see how fast they are moving but he is right that you don’t want to move them too fast. This is a problem 99.9% of amateurs do not have. I will be posting this tip in the weeks to come. For you, do not slow your hips down. Speed them up until you can turn them like a pro.

  9. August 26, 2012


    Just a quick question regarding my right arm (left-handed) and keeping it straight throughout the backswing. You don’t seem to follow that theory as your swing is very relaxed. Can you expand please on this point?

  10. August 27, 2012


    having hard time getting timing down ,by starting downswing by driving right foot out and around,it feel good starting but seem to big push to right if i drive to hard or hook if i dont drive enough. when i slow down right foot drive ,my head seems to come forward with the drive rather then stay back. any suggestions other than reps as to better timing of drive.

    • August 28, 2012

      Paul Wilson

      This is what you will be going through forever. You need to keep working on the coil until you feel yourself doing it at the same rate of speed. If you are not doing it hard enough and it hooks understand that you are never going to do it that easy. You need to be focusing on doing it harder. If you do it so hard you block it then slow down a little. You should also be working on the wrists release constantly. I rarely peel one off to the right. If I do I can instantly get it back to squaring by not hitting. Hitting is a totally different feeling. So you never go so hard everything locks up. If the wrists are always loose your miss will most likely be a slight pull to the left. In these cases you turn a little faster.

      You should be doing these drill constantly as well:

      DRILL: Swing Off Ground:

      DRILL: Listen to Club Swinging:

  11. September 6, 2012


    Hi Paul, I have just signed-up for your golf tips and video’s and I have tried some of these tips out on the driving range. I do have a problem getting my right leg to touch my left, in that my left leg is approximately 1 1/4″ shorter than my right leg. I do wear an insert in my left shoe to compensate for this. Is it important that the right leg touches the left leg or not so much?

    • September 7, 2012

      Paul Wilson


      I want the legs to touch so you do the exact same position each time and so your swing does not fall apart in the future. If they are not touching you need a friend to tell you if they are, or a mirror, video, or you need to look down at them to check them. If your are not touching just narrow your stance until you can touch them. Also, make sure the lead leg is locking. If it is bent it will be moving away from the other leg.

      To get the feel do this drill:

      Or throw few balls overhand in front of you with a narrower stance. In making this throwing motion you will see the legs will touch.

  12. November 19, 2012


    G’day Paul,

    We are starting to get into summer here so we are casting shadows. I have watched my shadow when having practice swings, the shadow is at the top then my shadow hips turn first – simple. I can do this out on the course by getting the sun on my back and take my practice swing, then I get back to the ball aim and do the action.

    • November 19, 2012

      Paul Wilson


      Using the shadow is great. I will be doing a tip on this shortly. Keep doing it.

  13. Hi,
    Sometimes I spin out of the shot and I nearly shank the ball, it goes way right Am I moving my lower body too fast and get ahead of the ball?

  14. March 11, 2014


    Hi Paul I presently play golf right handed, golf swing so, so, the other day i hit some shots with left handed clubs and was quite surprised how well i hit them ,swing felt awkward but decent contact, what really surprise me was how weak my left hand felt at the top of backswing ,it seamed much easier to start downswing with lower body and arms just followed naturally ,on video it doesnt look that bad,alot better than my right handed swing, i played alot of hockey years ago, always shot left but for some reason started golfing righthanded(when swinging right handed my strong right hand often takes over and causes issues especially under pressure.) my question is if a person wants to swing left handed, what would be the best drills to start working on first in developing the swing .. swinging left handed, i feel i have 100% control over my strong right hand, especially when pitching 30,40 50 yards, right now just hitting half shots rolling wrists 90 degrees right side to left side using some lower body.i am seriously considering giving left handed a try,any sugestions.

    • March 11, 2014

      Paul Wilson


      I have tried to switch numerous people from right to left or left to right. Problem is they would rather spend years trying to fix something they don’t seem to want to fix when they do it perfectly the other way. I just don’t get this but whatever.

      If you played hockey left then switching is do-able. I worked on this myself many years ago to understand what a beginner would be going through as they learned my method. What you need to do is work on your grip, setup and the touch the legs and touch your head position. Stick to this until you have these positions mastered. If you do, it will be quite clear if you want to switch or not. Pick up and old 7 iron and work on it for a while. Within a few weeks I was hitting it quite well left handed.

  15. March 14, 2014


    Hi Paul Trying the left handed switch,working on grip, setup, touch legs touch head positions, practise these 3 days alot of swings without ball, finnally got to indoor range . swing feels prety good, 2 questions 1- left handed can only get just past 3/4 on backswing before feel that really tight coil position,is it okay not to get to paraell. righthanded no problem getting to paraell. 2-alot of shot pushing thin to left , but do get an occassional hook,,the back swing feels really weak in arms , lefthanded compared to right handed is it better to feel weak in arms on backswing (am i right that weak feeling in arms better on backswing)

    • March 14, 2014

      Paul Wilson


      Great. See how you make out with it after month.

      I like the shorter backswing. Just make sure the wrists are fully hinging. I would work on this later after you get the follow through positions.

      You are pushing and hitting it thin because it is new and you are trying to see the result of the new swing before you hit the ball. Forget the ball. Don’t even worry about it for now. Just make the changes. You will be caring about the ball later.

      I want the arms powerless so weak arms would be good. If they are all tight and locked up you will be using them to hit the ball.

      Keep at it.

  16. Paul– how long do you pause at the top once you get the feelings of your wrists setting? You don’t pause right? It seems easier to get into the max lag position without pausing. Should I pause as an intermediate golfer so I don’t panic and rush getting to the top? Thanks, Paul

  17. April 11, 2017


    Paul W.– Your method is my future. So far, I can only keep my left arm powerless as it holds lag BUT MY RIGHT ARM IS STILL HITTING THE BALL. PLEASE, PLEASE, show me a tip or video of you with your right elbow, bent at 90 at the top, and staying powerless as you do your trigger in a circular motion, AND then roll. This is the piece I don’t understand. Tell me about the right elbow from the top, coming down powerless with head behind ball. I SEEM HIT WITH THE BEND RIGHT ELBOW through 18 holes. THANKS, PAUIL

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