Powerless Arms – The Trust Factor

By | on July 14, 2017 | 38 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+

38 Responses to “Powerless Arms – The Trust Factor”

  1. June 24, 2013


    Hi Paul,
    I guess you guys over there are more focused on the PGA Tour. However, over here in Germany we had the BMW International Open in Munich. And no wonder, Ernie Els took the trophy with the most effortless looking swing on all tours together – of course beside yours 😉 Who needs more evidence that your way to teach the golf swing works up to the very top of golf.

    I had a 3 hours practice session yesterday by myself through pitching up to woods and driver and guess what – no pain at all. On top of that, it feels so good to see the ball taking of and doing almost nothing! That is so cool!

    Thanks Paul, for sharing your insights with us and please keep going. To me it’s still hard to believe that people keep on watching all this JMcL instructors with their puzzling, different and even many times completely opposed ideas and “quick-fixes”.

    Here on ignition golf everythings makes total sence and if the basics are understood … all seems to so much easier!

    Simply great!

    • Reiner,

      I did see Ernie playing a little. He looked in fine form as usual. I find it funny that everyone marvels at these players slow, easy swings yet they are whacking at it as hard as they can. The slow easy swing comes from the body rotation telling the arms how fast to swing.

      No pain is what I keep telling everyone will happen when you do my swing. In no way should you be hurting when you play golf. If you are you are doing something wrong. Glad you are seeing and getting it.

      Different strokes for different folks. That is why I am not with Revolution Golf anymore. I am into making people better. By the comments I receive, I know I can do this so having my own site puts me in control of the message and eliminates confusion. The Golf Digest approach is not for me.

  2. I just want to say that powerless arms is not easy after years of swinging hard (at least not for me). I have been a site member for about six months and either practice the various tips in my back yard or at the range at least five days a week.There have been times when I think I finally “have it”, only to struggle during a round. This weekend I played and hit the ball pretty well most shots. Trust is a huge factor. I will continue to try to learn this method until finally successful. Keep proding and encouraging we your students. Your consistent faith in everyones ability to learn this method is one of the reasons I for one will continue trying to swing with “powerless arms”.

    • David,

      Getting powerless arms can be tricky because people want to hit the ball. If you know why you are keeping the arms powerless, where the club should be ending up when they are powerless, trust that this will hit the ball better and you are doing lots of practice swings making the club end up there you will get it. If you are just thinking about hitting you will not.

      Just keep doing it. Focus on movement. Focus on doing more practice swings that hitting actual balls. Focus on swinging easy then increase your speed with your legs once you are good at it.

  3. Hi Paul.

    I am swinging slower than ever but I do get trouble with a slight pain, golfers elbow Have you any idea why? I play 4 times a week.

  4. Hi Paul,
    Today I was doing my usual , starting the downswing by rotating my hips then for no reason for a couple of shots I started to use my arms again
    I was wondering do you ever do this at all?!

    • Paul,

      No using the arms is constantly on my mind. Yes, the odd time I use them. When I do I feel them so I focus on not using them on the next shot.

  5. The great advantage you have over us is that you manage to get your driving leg (rear leg )to touch your “pivot “leg (Front leg ) in the downswing .
    You are also fairly suppl

    • Raymond,

      I had a 6 handicapper here about 50+ years old a couple of months ago with 2 fake knees. You should be able to do it. We have discussed this in the past. You know what to do.

      • Yes ,Paul ,thanks to your permanent insisting on THE “Touch your knees “drill ,I have found a way to do it consistently it also corrects my bad tendency to stay glued on THE back right leg Does add distance to THE shot !

  6. Hi Paul:

    I made a discovery that added to the progress of the powerless arms. If I resist the rotation as you have suggested and fully experience the tightness, when I fire the hips, there is instantaneous speed delivered to the arms. If, however, I allow my left knee and hips to rotate, the tightness is not fully developed. Then when I fire the hips, my brain senses the slower arm speed and tries to help. My arms kick in and I get an off-line shot.

    • Bruce,

      This is the toque that you are experiencing. This is a good thing. Coil the shoulders uncoil the lower body. Use the torque to hit your shots. When you don’t get the tightness you have no torque. No torque and you have to hit because you have no other way to do it. Keep focusing on this. It becomes crystal clear after a while.

  7. Paul,

    Could you do a video on the role of the right arm/shoulder in downswing?

  8. Hi paul
    After extensive practise over the last few weeks I think I’m finally starting to feel powerless arms am hitting some great shots it’s a wonderful feeling when it comes off. My question is what grip pressure do you have ? In the last few days I’ve loosened mine right off to the point that It feels I’m barley holding on think that was a huge problem for me. And also I’m having trouble with turning out my front foot it seems to play havoc with my aim any advice?
    Many thanks

  9. March 28, 2016

    JohnC. Dawes

    Paul, do you keep the left arm stiff or totally straight during the back swing?

  10. Hi Paul
    this may sound weird but the way I found to switch my arms off is to close my eyes at the top of the backswing! If I can’t see the ball then the instinct to hit at it with my arms is suppressed and I can focus on the feeling of using my hips to start the downswing. I went from 100% horrible pulls to 5% slight pulls, 40% great shots “right down the pipe” and 55% pushes and push fades. Wrists still a bit locked up though.
    Many thanks

    • Fernando,

      This is a great way to do it. I have heard this works. I guess I need to do a tip on it. Keep doing it.

  11. October 21, 2016


    The idea sounds much like playing a piano keyboard. The best players are always relaxed and not trying to play fast. If your shoulders are “down” and relaxed, you can play effortlessly. but if you think about playing a difficult passage or playing fast, the shoulders move up and you get tense and the fingers won’t move. Really – the fingers already know what to do, you just have “get out of their way.”

    The golf swing is similar, amazingly so. Let the club hit the ball. Get out of its way. (I must say too that it helps to have a set of irons that are all the same length; like having piano keys all spaced the same . . . )

    I must say this too: if you read most golf tips in magazines, or watch golf channel videos, you’ll never get it. Their interest isn’t you improving. It’s selling ad space.

    • Avatar photo

      October 23, 2016

      Paul Wilson


      I refer to learning the swing as learning an instrument all of the time. So many people want to hit the ball like a pro instantly yet they will take years to learn and instrument. The golf swing takes time. Learn the pieces then you will see the big picture.

  12. October 22, 2016


    Seemingly easy,Paul ,but damned difficult to acheive in real golf .When you look at the Pro’s playing in the various Tour tournaments ,they don’t seem to have their arms that much switched off.As for the “LONG DRIVERS ” they definitely put their arms into play :see JOE MILLER winning the recent 2016 LONG DRIVE championship .
    Closing the eyes at the top of the backswing is a pretty good reminder to have the core move first ,then the arms :I do it ,but how do I know my arms are really switched off ,except I feel I try to keep them loose!

    • Avatar photo

      October 23, 2016

      Paul Wilson


      There are pros that use their arms for sure. Anyone with a fast looking swing is using arms and body. I don’t want this swing. Keep in mind pros learned how to use their body as kids. Adults have not. Adults are already whacking at it with their arms and not improving so does this magically start happening one day? No.

      A long drive champion is a different beast. They need to hit it as long and far as possible. How many fairways do they hit. They have trouble keeping it in a grid that’s 100 yards wide.

      So I want people hitting long and straight. Everyone I ask says they have hit that 1 amazing shot 30-50 yards farther than any other shot with a feeling of nothing. If they feel nothing they could not have been using their arms. This is the swing average players needs to be learning.

  13. October 23, 2016


    Paul ,I completely agree with you:average (and old ! )players like me can’t emulate the top pro’s we see in the Tour Championships .What amazes me though is the speed with which their arms move downwards in conjunction with their super fast rotation around their left leg .
    The CIMB championship is playing presently at KUALA LUMPUR (MALAYSIA),and there’s an INDIAN PRO -ANIRBAN LAHIRI- who has such a graceful swing with his arms and body moving very quickly and without any perceptible effort .He is a model of precision with his irons (Tied in the lead at the moment with JUSTIN THOMAS).
    I read a long time ago a review of BOBBY JONES’s swing from old camera films :the conclusion was that the arms of BOBBY JONES were moving downwards at the speed of gravity (9,81,m/s),not more …Surprising ,no ?
    I haven’t seen any study of recent top golfers

    • Avatar photo

      October 24, 2016

      Paul Wilson


      The body is telling the arms how fast to come down. If the body moves slow in life the pro would have an appearance of an effortless swing when really we are driving the legs and hips hard to turn our bodies fast. We get the power through the hinge not hitting. This is why it’s deceiving.

      I want the arms moving down at the speed of the body. I number I can easily understand. If the body is moving under 2.5 mph then the arms would come down at the speed if connected to the body. Visually 2.5 mph doesn’t look fast so and increase of .5 mph would be imperceptible. So every bit counts in driving the lower body harder.

  14. Hi Paul,
    The powerless arm concept is indeed a game changer that I am still trying to master.

    I am wondering if the miniscule difference from hitting off a short tee vs hitting off the fairway is causing me to,(dip, swing with my arms or some other subconscious action),hit behind the ball causing a slight or deep at times elongated divot.

    Swings like that immediately take over my thoughts as I begin the process of determining what I did wrong during my practice sessions. Yeah, I know “Golf is not a game of perfect” and eventually I get over the last shot before I hit next.

    So now I have 2 problems.

    You are indeed one great teacher, in fact I often feel that you are talking directly to me in your videos in a manner that I can identify with. Thanks so much for your insight!
    -Rich P

  15. Paul ,for super seniors like me ,what happens usually is that at the end of a 18 holes round ,we get tired (and lazy !) and to compensate for our lack of available energy, we tend to use the arms to propulse the ball .Whenever this happens ,I think about your “80% swing “and tell to myself “your wrists are hinges ” and “Swing like IRON BYRON “.
    These thoughts generally work fine for me .

  16. Hi Pual! So I have started this journey to use effortless arms. I was bad about coming over the top which you know causes all kind of misses. My right fingers are hurting when hitting the ball. More on thin shots. Is this because I’m not unhinging at the bottom or am I casting. I’m really working on the down swing using my lower body to start the movement. Thanks Kevin.

  17. September 29, 2020


    I find that with the longer clubs particularly, if I execute the one piece takeaway, extending the club and arms, that it becomes more difficult to not activate the arms because the club and arms feel heavier as they go back. The solution seems to be to elevate the club more to the vertical earlier, to relieve pressure on the arms. Do you have a lesson on this?

    • Avatar photo

      September 30, 2020

      Paul Wilson

      You would be working on arm positions as much as you need to. There are times when you need to be working on the arms in the golf swing to make sure that they are working correctly. If your arms are not working correctly then the rest of the golf swing might not be working correctly neither. You can also break down your lead arm into the top of the backswing if this helps for you to get more relaxed in the entire swing. Check out this tip:

      How Do You Stop Using Your Arms In The Downswing?: https://ignitiongolf.com/2-ways-start-downswing/

  18. May 31, 2021


    Can you PLEASE explain what you mean by using your body, not your arms? I was only able to hit shots today using my left shoulder and right hip and legs to power my shot with good results but I pulled the ball. I was finishing nicely though.

    I feel like when I get the top, I will lose all structure if I don’t at least feel my left arm powerless on my chest and then start rotating.

    my questions–
    1. What part of “the body” hits the ball. Please be specific. How do keep the structure.
    2. If the club head stretches out the arms then how does the re-hinge happen? This is for irons and woods.
    3. Should I be feeling the club-head ONLY hit the ball?

    • You are powering your golf swing using your legs and hips, this is your power source as this is the motor of your golf swing. You have to work on other areas of your swing such as arms, positioning or any other area of your swing that might not be correct. Like if you have a chicken wing, then working on using your legs alone will not fix the chicken wing, so you might have to work on your arms for a few practice sessions.

      The release should happen by being more relaxed in your arms and wrists. Most golfers that I see are using solely their arms and pretty tight. You want to start feeling more relaxed hitting a golf ball, then also work on manually releasing the golf club until you get rid of any topped/slice shots.

      Your arms should be relaxed enough to where you feel the weight of the golf club. It should start to feel heavy.

      Check out these tips:
      When Do You Work On Arms?: https://ignitiongolf.com/when-to-work-arms/

      How to Release the Golf Club: https://ignitiongolf.com/impact-wrist-release/

      Manually Square the Clubface: https://ignitiongolf.com/impact-squaring-clubface/

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