How To Take Your Swing From The Range To The Course

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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+

44 Responses to “How To Take Your Swing From The Range To The Course”

  1. October 4, 2012


    Wise advice!! I’ve been having a lot of success by hitting shots nice and easy on the course. Little by little my comfort level is increasing on actual courses. It’s very hard to not hit the ball hard!!

    • October 4, 2012

      Paul Wilson

      Howard, Glad you liked it. Thanks. Yes is is hard trying to not hit the ball hard. Just have the right thoughts. Right now it is not about great shots it is about the movement. Perfect movement will hit perfect shots.

  2. Hi Paul.

    I have tried to loosen my wrists a lot lately to generate that “whip action” that you talk about. I have been practicing some drills that you have suggested but almost every time I take a shot, my club face makes contact with the ball “open”. I am not sure how to close off my club face on the downswing without tightening my grip?? This is also transferring onto the course.

    Do you have any tips to fix this?

    Kind Regards

    Jason Tomlinson

  3. October 4, 2012


    Hi Paul
    I have been working on some of the swing changes over the past 3 months and would say that I have improved during that period. I am
    however finding it more difficult to take to the course probably because of the course itself is very hilly and therefore the ball to feet position is changing on every shot. This eventually affects my rythm and by the end of the round I start to hit more bad shots. In my case I expect it’s going to be a little while yet before I can overcome this.

    Best regards

  4. Hi Paul. I have been working on your swing tips for a few months now. Today after shanking a few, i noticed that if i kick out my hip out towards the target, I hit it straighter and in the center of the club face. What do you think? Thanks Ralph

    • October 5, 2012

      Paul Wilson

      Ralph, This should work. It’s all about latching onto a feeling that you can repeat. I even went to teaching a 4th trigger of the person feeling the belt buckle to start the downswing. See if it continues into the future.

      • Sorry Paul, i failed to say i was kicking my hip out towards the target at setup, not on the downswing. You still like it? Thanks again. Ralph

  5. Have been working on my swing with you tips for a while, I don

  6. October 8, 2012



    I’ve been enjoying a get deal of success implementing the Swing Machine Golf philosophies. I’m longer and straighter, love it…! I pose this question in regard to the iron play. I’m hitting the ball a lot higher now, is this normal?

    This also occurs when using your the medium pitch shot technique. I’m guessing this may be a ball position issue? However, instead of experimenting on my own, I’d ask you first.

    This issue has caused me marginal concern when playing heavily tree lined fairways.


  7. October 9, 2012



    Thanks for the tips, however just a little confused now. As you mentioned ‘the naturalized grip’ could be the culprit.The “hit the ball lower” tip which is fundamentally the same (with add on’s) as the punch/knock-down shot. It’s like you’re saying hitting the ball higher is OK, but when you need to hit it lower apply the following? I’m diffidently not scooping, and getting the proper weight swift, no chicken wing… I’m long and straight, just higher.

    This week I’ll be more vigilant, and check through basics again. Perhaps it is the club release? It’s funny to see you Mr. Powerless Arms to recommend check your wrist for proper club rotation. But that I’m hitting with the body, isolating the wrist rotation/club release with powering through the ball without the use of my arms I can check.

    Paul if my last two paragraphs appear to comprehend your concept, please let me know.


    • October 9, 2012

      Paul Wilson

      Josh, If your grip is too strong this will shut the face at the top of the backswing. If you work on your grip this will square the face at the top which adds loft. Therefore the neutral grip will cause the ball to fly higher.

      I prefer hitting the ball higher to lower. This way you can stop longer irons/woods on the green (not too high though).

      I am all about powerless arms but if you are not releasing the club properly you need to manually release the club and roll the wrists over. Once you get it you then keep them powerless.

      You need to check all of these things. Just remember, if you are hitting the ball higher than normal there is too much loft on the club. You have to figure out what is causing it. Once you figure it out you work on it. If you are not a low single digital player it will most likely be your release (chicken wing).

  8. October 9, 2012



    I most others I want to thank you for your positive feedback with implementing the elements of Swing Machine Golf. The only similar up here is GolfTEC. If you have problems executing their teaching, you have an opportunity to phone in or preferably send a video tape for analysis.

    I was on the fence about purchasing the Book with DVDs, but glad I did. A buddy that I’ve played with for years went from a 20 handicap to a 8 using this technique. He didn’t say right away, but later shared it was Swing Machine Golf. He like the fair number of weekend golfers suffered with consistency. Now with hitting more fairways, presented more scoring opportunities. Therefore, his game like mine has improved considerably.

    I will take heed to your recommendations, and hopefully won’t have to bother you in the future.

    Thanks again,

    • October 10, 2012

      Paul Wilson


      That’s great news you found Swing Machine Golf and have been working on it. There are many people like your friend who don’t want to tell people about it. I don’t understand this way of thinking because there are so many people who need help with their game. I’m just glad he broke his silence.

      Keep at it.

  9. March 23, 2013


    Hi Paul. This tip really reminds me of my singing instructor’s advice. He said the progression of good singing starts in the shower, with no one hearing your cracked high notes. Then as the technique becomes more secure, you sing well in front of the instructor. And finally, when you TOTALY GIVE IN to the proper technique, you’re good in front of an audience. My golfing buddies frequently kid me when an errant shot finds the woods; ” Ron have you ever considered taking up singing instead of golf”? At 69, the voice is still there, and I’m not about to give up on the golf!

    Thanks, Ron

    • March 24, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      Great analogy. I like it. It’s funny but when people change things they think they are immediately going to be Tiger Woods on the course. People have to realize that some things take time to master. Doing it while playing means doing it under pressure. This takes a little time to get used to it.

      Stick with it and you you show those guys who’s boss.

  10. Dear Paul,Your very interesting and constructive Video illustrates what I said previously that spending Time on the range is pure waste of Time .I do what you suggest ,playing two or three balls on the course ,when I am Alone to play.I do practise at home ,without a ball ,in front of a mirror ,with the speed radar,with the ball position indicated by a Line on the mat .When I am on the golf course ,I really don’ try to “hit ” at the ball ,I know where it is ,so I don’ t tense all over.
    A question :what width of stance do you recommend:I notice you don ‘ t spread your feet as wide apart as BEN HOGAN says :the insides of the heels =outsides of the shoulders for the five Iron.To make sure ,I have measured my shoulder width and marked it on the alignment rod which I place behind my feet .What do you recommend?Do you also keep the same ball position Whatever the club you use ,as advised by BEN HOGAN ? .

    • March 24, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      It is a total waste of time if you are just beating balls. If you are working on positions then it can be a good thing. I prefer people doing more practice swings than actual swings.

      Width of Stance

      I do not teach what Hogan teaches. I teach what I teach. I need you to have the feet this wide apart so you can touch your legs together perfectly in the follow through. There is a reason I do everything I do so please keep doing it as I suggest not Hogan.

      Width of Stance:

      Easy Way to Check Width of Stance:

  11. Paul,

    Since the 4 day session I spent with you and Pete in mid-february, I have begun to swing better and make better shots. My last 3 rounds have all been in the 80’s. Those lessons and reminders of swinging from point A to B were part of what I needed. For me also I just needed to s-l-o-w d-o-w-n. I mean from the take-away, to the downswing, to the follow through. By slowing down I make sure my arms are turned off at address, I complete the take-away and coil my upper body, hinge my wrists, begin the uncoiling with my lower body, powerless arms are along for the ride, and end up the swing with the legs touching and the club shaft touching my head between the ears. Not ready for the “tour” yet, but scoring better and enjoying a round of golf with friends. Thank you Paul and Pete.

    • March 24, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      That’s great news. Building a great swing doesn’t take long if you are thinking of building a great swing.

      Slowing down is good. I really like when people do this so they are not swinging fast with the arms. Keep doing this as well as everything else you described. I like it.

  12. Hi Paul Great tip , ben doing your drills for 8 months ,been hard to break my old habbits of swinging with arms even though i managed a single digit cap with my old swing, love the feeling at the range can hit nice straight shots ,feel the proper positions , but on the course ,mind goes blank and i rarely reach the proper finish position and really sense the tightness. I am caught between the too swings and my scores certainly show it. . Had best best practise session ever the other day went to course had one of worse days on course score wise in years. The good news is i love the feeling of the few good shots i hit on the course and they always occurr when i swing at 50% or slower which is easier said then done. Courses starting to open up in canada again so will try above drill more. have done alot of drills over winter but my old swing still wants to dominate on the course.

    • Barry,

      I can only give you the information so many times. At some point you have to give up on the old swing and where the ball is going. Just focus on the new movement. Once you do the new movement a few times it will get better and better on the course. Just do it. Quit holding onto something that doesn’t work.

  13. September 14, 2013


    Promised my foursome, any drive over 200 yds, I chip in $5.00 to the 19th hole fund. I discovered the wonders of 185 yds down the middle and no lost balls. Less is more?

    • September 15, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      Less is more. You better get your wallet out because 200 is going to be a no brainer in a little while.

  14. September 14, 2013


    Hey Paul,
    what another great tip and advice! Running throught the comments of other true believers, I’m about to ask: Where do you know us all about from? 😉
    Still practising your technique, I experience more and more good results. Yesterday I managed to keep the swing with all my woods in a tournament, however, as you always mention, getting closer to the greens I always hit the irons too fat, which caused me another lesson in humility. But the mood was constantly positive as I witnessed and felt the changes of my position. Even my friends have been commenting on my swing recently, which is warmly received as a good sign from the outside.
    Your experience with us students is incredible, and all your comments are deeply and highly welcome!
    Thanks again so far and keep on praying on your fundamentals of the swing! This helps a lot in constantly practising and not to give up.

    • September 15, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      You didn’t quite ask you first question right so I am not exactly sure what you were meaning but I have seen and experienced the same things from students so many times I know what they are going to do before they even do it. I think this is what you were getting at.

      The fat shots are really no big deal to fix. Next time you are in this situation do 2 practice swings thinking about your back heel. Feel it come up a few inches as the club swings through impact. Once you get this feeling apply it to your shot. If you get the weight coming off this foot you will not hit it fat. What you are not realizing is that shorter shots don’t require a huge leg drive so your lower body stop driving and the arms start down first. It is only 1/4 of a second from the top to impact so this keeps trapping you on this back foot at impact. Lead with the legs and let the arms follow. Even on shorter ones.

      Keep at it. You are close.

  15. September 15, 2013


    G’day Paul,
    Nick Faldo was doing well on the European circuit. I have heard that he wanted to win “majors”. David Leadbetter changed many things in Nick Faldo’s swing, the story says it took two years to incorporate everything into his game – the payoff was three Masters and three Opens.
    I like your Swing Machine Golf – it is a great classic swing. I get to position “A” OK, position “B” is not always achieved.
    What I know is I went from a 14 handicap all the way out to 22 before I was introduced to your system. I got back to 12, I’ve drifted out in our Australian winter, and I am now getting back on track.
    I get out on the course after the ladies play on Tuesday, try to get it right, accept the rubbish shots and drop another ball and do better with that.
    In competition I manage OK, when things go wrong I get back to basics. Sometimes my Ego is bigger than my ability, slow down get back in play.

    • September 15, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      You are right. It took Faldo 2 years to change his swing. I went to Leadbetter’s school in Orlando for a while and studied his technique.

      You need to be focusing on mastering Point B. This is the most important position in the golf swing. So just work on it nightly at home while doing practice swings. Watch yourself in a mirror if you can or your reflection in a window. Do each swing and look for the feedback associated with the positions. If you do you will develop a great swing and get to the next level.

  16. October 12, 2014


    Hi Paul,

    I know this is an “old” tip but I had to ask something specific about it, hoping you will sometime in the future going back to it. At the present, I feel a little confused between what I try to do at the range when working on precise parts of the swing and what I get when playing “training course” (I mean by that a full 18 holes course, when I am most of the time on my own and can hit 2-3 balls). Quite often, I realize these sessions are more frustrating than rewarding (maybe I expect too much). How would you suggest to play that kind of game : forget about the “learning” and just try to play nice and easy, or take them as an opportunity to to make the bridge between real practice session and “competitive play” (ie playing my sunday medal round)?
    thanks for your advice.

    • October 14, 2014

      Paul Wilson


      You are trying to take what you are doing on the range and practice swings at home on the course. If you repeat these things enough you should have no problem taking it to the course but … most people do not do the practice swings and do not look for the feedback each position presents so you know you are doing it 100% right. If you don’t work on it you will never get it. You are working on it. Just make sure you are doing the positions right and know the feedback you are supposed to be looking for with each position.

      So, if you play by yourself with a few balls in our pocket you are going out there to see come good shots. You do not care about score and if you hit bad ones. If you hit a bad one you throw another ball down and try again.

      The objective:

      Forget about distance and work on doing the positions while actually playing. Too many people are working on their swing then go out with their friend and try to hit the ball as hard as they can yet they are not used to the new swing while playing. So they do not do the positions or accomplish anything.

      If you play by yourself … I would be starting off swinging easy. First think grip, setup and hitting the exact follow through (touch the legs, touch the head). Again, most people cannot do this because they are swinging way too hard. So you swing easy. 50% Hit the shot and hold the follow through. See your ball and take not but as you hold the follow through you switch your thought to the legs looking for the feedback then the club on the back of the head. Hold it. Feel it. Check it. If you did not do it right take practice swings before your next attempt. Try it again and see if you can do it. Just get this first and not even care where the ball is going. If this is all you can work on that day then stick to this. Keep doing it until you get it all the while you are doing practice swings at home and at the range working on this part of the swing.

      Once you get this then start to add the backswing elements. Coil … touch legs … tough head. Try this when you play. Also, start watching your ball so you know how to fix it. Pulls/pull hooks = more legs. Slices = more wrist roll over to get it hooking. Push/push fade = you are sliding so turn more etc.

      The backswing hinge should be pretty easy to get. It usually takes about 2 weeks to get it. So once you can add this then you have the main pieces. Work on takeaway last. Just get the harder stuff first on the course while you play. Work on distance once you can do all of these things successfully.

      Hope this clarifies it.

  17. October 14, 2014


    Paul, thanks again for clarifying all these valuable advice. It helped me to refocus on the whole process. I should have remembered that these sessions were not about playing great golf but rather getting feedback from my shots, be they good or not. I made a mental review of my last practice round trying to identify what happened on different shots and to my own relief, it turned out that I did hit some very good ones. If I look more precisely at the parts I try to concentrate on, they are 1) grip and posture 2) the follow-through and, basically, the bad shots mainly occured (I would say 90% of them) when I tried to “hammer it” (so hard to get rid of that). I also realized that I had an inacurate assessment of the yardage I should expect. Now that winter time is about to be there, I have my work cut out…

    • October 14, 2014

      Paul Wilson


      The good shots are telling you what is in store for you if you keep working on it. This is a good sign. As you keep working on it you will hit more an more of them.

      Definitely turn off the arms and tone it down. If I can hit it a long way without swinging out of my shoes you should be able to do it too. With me, it is my body telling my arms how fast to swing. If you are really trying to hit it you are using your arms. I feel nothing in my arms. They are like butter no matter what club I am hitting.

  18. August 5, 2015


    Hi Paul. I recently took a lesson from the teaching pro at my club course in Wisconsin. I had told him of my difficulty starting the downswing by initiating the hips first, causing shots to go left. He had me push my hands somewhat forward, toward the target, creating a V With the wrist of the right hand. This also tilted me to the right, lowering my right shoulder.. It straightened out my shots considerably, but I figured it was a crutch, very similar to your instruction to tilt to the right and push balls to the right of the target. I have been able to hit straight short sand wedges using your cocking of the wrists and turn method. When I try to take a full swing, it’s much harder to initiate the hips before the arms. Do you feel the advanced wrist cock of the instructor is another form of your tilt to the right method?

    Thanks, Ron

    • August 5, 2015

      Paul Wilson


      This is a band aid. It got you pre-tilting too much at set up so you felt the tilt more in the downswing. Be careful, If you over tilt you will start hitting pushes and push fades.

      You are successful getting short shots online because they are short shots. This means you are not trying to hit them hard. As the club gets longer you start hitting. How much are you actually working on leg drive tips. This is not going to magically happen. You need to be constantly be working on it. You have had a lifetime of hitting with arms. Now you need to do the opposite which is using your legs and hips. So you need to immediately start practicing leg and hip drills to get good at using them.

      You can keep doing the pre-tilt if you want for now. Just remember what I said. You will start hitting pushes and push fades. Once this occurs level out the weight and start turning. I don’t know how you couldn’t have gotten this from my manually tilt drill:

      Cures – Manually Tilt To Stop Pulling:

      Also so these drills constantly:

      Playing Catch Up:
      -DRILL: Swing Off Ground:
      -DRILL: Listen to Club Swinging:
      -DRILL: Swing Off Ground Variation:

  19. August 5, 2015


    Yup, this is a good tip. I can vouch that the changes you do/try can ‘take you back’ for a while on the course before they ‘get locked in’ and you get better/more consistent. I recently tweaked my grip (and I know for the better), but the round(s) that I’ve played have been a struggle vs the improvements I have gained in the swing to date. Fortunately, I’ve made so much progress on the new moves, that I get to the point of trusting the changes I end up incorporating. Appreciate all you do for us! -Kim

    • August 5, 2015

      Paul Wilson



      You are most certainly not going to be immediately good when you make a change. This is another area human nature will affect you. It will want you to go back to what’s comfortable, familiar with or easier to do. Just stick to the plan and in no time you will get used to the change.

  20. I seem to be “getting” the “Full Swing” technique although at times it seems to be a hit and miss situation. While a lot or at least a little may be attributed to new, smaller, grip and a just completed club fitting, I believe it is something in my swing that is not giving me feedback. What can I look for, in a sensory manner, to tell me if I am beginning my downswing with my arms or my hips?
    I do bring my legs together and tap the back of my head as part of my follow through.

    Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated.
    Rich Pettengill

    • August 13, 2015

      Paul Wilson


      If you are hitting it with your arms you will be pulling, pull hooking, pull slicing so watch your ball to tell. When I am coming down I am purposely telling myself to not hit with my arms. Instead I feel and unmistakable feeling of driving my legs fast and hard. It is crystal clear I am using them. If you just sort of feeling them you are not driving them hard enough.

      Other feelings of powerless arms are the club will feel heavy the club feels out of control, it feels like you are going to throw you club the range, grip of the club is away from your body etc.

      Smaller grips will allow you to release the club easier so you may hit some hooks or pulls. Drive the lower body hard to straighten it out.

      Go to DASHBOARD > DRILLS > POWERLESS ARMS for all tips on this topic.

  21. December 15, 2015


    Hi Paul,
    I’m a new member and a 12.5 index. I started viewing your free videos before joining and after practicing your drills for just one week (consistently every day), I shot a 77 in my first competitive round after implementing your teaching. I was thrilled with the improvement (and my wallet was a little fatter :)) My next round however I was back to old habits. In particular my playing partner noted that my practice swings looked great with nice follow thru but my actual swing was very abbreviated in the follow thru. What do you recommend for this issue? Thanks, looking forward to learning more and playing more consistent golf.

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