When To Use Your Arms

By | on February 9, 2018 | 25 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+

25 Responses to “When To Use Your Arms”

  1. March 20, 2013



    Not really that related to your tip, but when do you recommend formal lessons for kids. I’m sure there is some variation from person to person, but in general what’s your thought. I’m hoping if I can get my boys started earlier enough, they can avoid all the trouble I’m having!


    • March 20, 2013


      Duc I left a detailed message to answer you question on the board about when to. Each your boys to golf. I have been a Junior golf instructor for 17 years and shared what my thoughts and experience has been. Paul may have different input but I posted it on the open wall in case others had similar question. Should be about the 3 rd or 4 th one under this one good luck and have fun. Make a good day. Coach Deborah Ahrns

    • March 20, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      I’m not sure if you saw it but fellow member Deborah responded to your comment too. I like to start kids around 6 years old before that if you work with them you can get them doing the grip, set up and swing looking pretty good. I start at this age just for the attention span. Younger kids tend to get distracted too easily. There are exceptions to the rule but this is a good guideline. At around 6 years old I am working on precise positioning. They pick it up really quick.

  2. March 20, 2013


    Paul, Hello from Japan! I’ve been working with the ‘powerless arms’ golf swing the past two months or so in anticipation of the new golf season and was most pleased this past weekend when I could finally get out on a course. I feel a growing confidence in the swing and, as this video implies, should be able to improve upon it with drills and practice. Last fall when I took your advice about trying for two-thirds of my usual distance but with a full swing a light bulb went off in my head and since then I’ve been working at maintaining ‘powerless arms’ while gaining more accuracy and distance –
    not as much of either as I’d like but as you also say above there is a lot of
    ‘history’ that has to be undone. One of the reasons I’ve stayed with your
    system is that you are believable. Thank you. Kevin

    • March 20, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      Thank you for the kind words. I appreciate it.

      So glad you are doing well with powerless arms. It really is the way to swing. If you find yourself losing it by topping and hitting a lot of think shots just slow down to 50% and build it back up.

      Keep up the good work.

  3. March 20, 2013


    Hi Paul,

    I just want to run something by you. I have been struggling with making a positive lower body move (right knee touching left) every time. It too often feels like my arms are getting to the ball ahead of the lower body move which doesn’t get my weight onto my left side like it should.
    When I had my lesson with Peter months ago, I remember that he had me stop my swing at the top of my backswing for a couple of seconds to gather myself and totally relax my arms and then i would begin the downswing by beginning the lower body move with effortless arms. He said that drill got me close to what he wanted to see. I don’t know why I haven’t gotten back to that drill before now. It seems like it may be a good way to accomplish two things at one time. What do you think?

  4. March 20, 2013


    Paul great reminder and supports your concepts. I have found that using the swing trainer as well as a weighted club help the golfer be aware of the club in the swing positions. I agree that young children swing with effortless arms…… I avoid using the term HIT the ball only turn your body and swing the club around. Paul I enjoy your new Ignition Golf logo and the match… When I teach chipping I always say “strike the match”. For the golfer I say : left leg right leg strike the match and follow through! So thank you
    Paul I would so love to come to your golf school if I had the extra funds…I spend my extra golf budget on the my high school golf team training aides and equipment……maybe someday I will make it there. Love all of your tips .
    Keep up the good work. Make a good day. Coach ahrns

    • March 20, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      Thank you very much. The logo just came to me. I wanted something that would look cool on shirts and hats. One day I will get around to making some.

      Just let me know if you can make it out here. You don’t necessarily have to do a school. Just come out and we can talk about the swing.

  5. March 20, 2013


    This note is for Duc. About when to start teaching his boys. I have been a junior golf instructor for 17 years working with 5 to 16 year olds I have found younger children are like sponges they absorb, model and listen to everything you say. I start with putting then chipping, pitching and when ready a fuller swing 9 to 3 for arms young children are so flexible their range of motion ends up with a bigger turn an swing arch so it will end up looking like a 10 to 2 swing in the end you do not have to tell them it just happens. One summer I had a 5 year old whom had never picked up a club before Junior golf and he enjoyed putting. I begin using a ladder drill 3 balls at one foot 2 foot and so on teaching aim alignment and reading the green…. To make a great long story short the last day of golf camp this little guy in front of 150 parents and other kids made 27 putts in a row….he started at one foot with 3 balls then all way back to 8 feet that was when he missed his first putt was at 8 feet….he was so proud and the crowd loved it…..I could not get any adults to challenge this 5 year old. “Green golfer”. So build the swing from green to tee…..after all you would not run a marathon if you have never ran a mile….would you? Love this game. Good luck

  6. Dear Paul ,

    Ihave three questions :
    1 How much should you cock your wrists to effectively increase your clubhead speed ?
    2 I notice you don’t keep yor left arm straight during the backswing ,whereas most of the” greats “in te past BOBBY JONES ,BEN HOGAN ,HENRY PICCARD ,BYRON NELSON, SAM SNEAD etc,etc kept their left arm straight as an arrow during the backswing .
    Is this just a “fad” or is it unimportant as long as your left arms straightens during the thruswing and is straight at impact ?
    3 Is swinging past parallel like JOHN DALY an error or a fault ,or should be avoided ?
    When I strive to do so my club head speed is noticeably faster ..but it’s easier said than done ,somewhat not natural for me !

    • March 20, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      1. You hinge your wrists to their maximum.

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

      2. I cannot keep the arms straight no matter how much I work on it. I would also look at Jack Nicklaus, Couples, Faldo to name a few that bent theirs. The only thing that matters if it is straight by the time you get back to impact to maximize the width of the arc. The perfectly straight arm at the top seems to get people too tight. I want the arms powerless so keep the arms extended but not locked.

      Left Arm at Top: https://ignitiongolf.com/left-arm-backswing

      3. I want you parallel with a driver with a 90 degree shoulder rotation. If you can turn more your swing would be longer. If you are short of 90 degrees your swing would be a little shorter. If your arms go back more than what your shoulders are telling them to you will have to pull your arms down to catch up to your shoulders. This will lead to hitting with the arms. You swing is faster when you do this because you have more distance to pull the club down with your arms. Although you may seem to get more clubhead speed doing this you will hit the ball very inconsistently. Why not just turn your lower body faster? This way you will get faster clubhead speed without a long swing.

  7. This was a very timely tutorial for me. I’ve been working on hinging my wrist and holding my lag angle for the past week. BTW, I’m golfing everyday and I’ve seen GREAT improvment in my swing and it feels right. Sometimes though I top the ball and I realized that I was holding the lag angle too long so I had to learn to slow down my swing and relax my wrists towards impact.
    Like I said it’s a big improvment in my game but I was concerned that it wasn’t keeping with the powerless arms theme. So thanks for the reassurance that it will feel natural after a couple weeks.

    • March 20, 2013

      Paul Wilson


      That’s great. I love hearing about people getting better.

      I like the fact that you are figuring it out too.

  8. Hey Paul,

    Another great tip. Paul i wanted to ask your opinion on the weighted swing trainers?


    • Tony,

      Glad you liked it.

      I don’t like weight swing trainers. If you swing a heavy club your clubs will feel light when you swing them. I want your clubs feeling heavy so this is wrong feeling plus it has been proven that you lose clubhead speed swinging a heavy object.


      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_vR8U_KrhY (golf starts at 4:30 of this video)

      • August 2, 2015


        Hey Paul,

        Thanks for the reply and the You tube video it totally makes sense. Looks like I will be returning this swing trainer


  9. February 10, 2018


    Hi Paul,

    I am finishing up four weeks in Arizona. Therefore, I had some time to work on my swing.

    Thanks for this tip. This tip make me feel that I am on the right track. You confirmed what I had come to believe. That is, you need to help out the swing a little with your arms until you really get the powerless arms or the powerless arms becomes natural.

    I am wondering during the in between time of working on powerless arm, do you need to also swing your arms some to keep your hips and arms in sync?

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      February 11, 2018

      Paul Wilson


      I love the courses in Arizona. Some of the best for sure.

      Look at the swing in 2 parts. You have what you body is doing (coiling and uncoiling) and arms (hinging and rehinging). You don’t really need to use your arms to get your body moving. You will most likely use your arms as you are trying to get the body moving. This is because driving the lower hard speeds everything up. So you will use both as you transition to just body. So until you are good at using your body expect a little arms in there as well. As you start clearly feeling the legs and hips as the power source you can finally let go with the arms knowing you will still have tons of power from a different power source. Hope that answers it.

  10. February 10, 2018


    I just wanted to say that, I bought BodySwing, and have been trying to grain in the changes you espouse. I’m 65, and a short, light guy – so I’m never going to win a long-driving competition. However, although it’s early days, I can see a huge improvement. I hit the positions in practice, and about 50/50 in a round – what a difference it has made to my striking. EVERYTHING that you’ve said would happen, HAS happened. This week I’ve even been working on separation, and I’m hitting the ball 20 yards further (when I get it right) I’m working in Australia, in fierce heat, so I could only play 9 holes this morning on a course I didn’t know – I shot +4 for 9 holes. Not bad for a 15 handicapper.
    You’re a great teacher, Paul, and have allowed me to get excited about golf again. Knowing and doing are two separate things, but now I KNOW that powerless arms and separation are the things to strive for. So, I won’t be trying out any other methodologies (believe me, I’ve tried most of ’em) from here on in.

    Thank you so much.

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      February 11, 2018

      Paul Wilson


      Thank you for the kind words. I truly appreciate it.

      So glad you are improving and seeing results. This give the person confidence that they can actually do it and what is coming if they keep working on it. the golf swing really is simple but simple is difficult for most people. It is understanding it and what you have to do that will allow anyone to take the game to a whole new level. Problem is so many people are confused and the will to hit the ball is great.

      Sounds like you are almost there. Just keep doing what you are doing. When you play just stick to swinging a little easier with the positions in mind. Confidence breeds distance so even if you do the positions but a little slower and easy there will come a time when you can go faster without losing it. Keep us posted.

  11. February 11, 2018


    Hi Paul, I’ve been a member for two years and your coaching has been very beneficial to my game. I recommend you to anyone who shows interest in improving their game. (Not everyone is serious about expending any effort to get better).

    My question is about how to take my practice swing and apply it to hitting an actual ball. I practice the positions you teach and can execute them 99% of the time when there is no ball present. Put a ball in front of me and oh boy here we go. I am lucky if I can get to the finish position, touch the back of the head, 50% of the time. Being honest I probably only accomplish that position 25% of the time. It seems to me that hitting the ball and/or turf slows my motion and I don’t have enough momentum to carry me to the finish position. This happens with irons and hybrids not my tee shots. Perhaps I am not fully extending after impact?

    What drills do you suggest to correct this flaw? Thanks.

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      February 12, 2018

      Paul Wilson


      Glad you have stuck with us and help to promote IG to others. I truly appreciate it.

      When you have the ball in front of you you are trying to hit the ball and get a good result. What you should be doing is not caring about the ball and at least doing the positions. Whether is this a 1moh or not it doesn’t matter. You have to at least do it. This is the way pros think. We care about the move not the ball. Get the move we get the ball. So if you have to start at 1mph then do so. At least then you are doing it versus going faster and not doing it.

      Tee up the ball. Use a 7 iron. You do 3 super slow practice swings. Then step up and apply this very same feeling to the shot. This means you may hit a good shot or not about 30 yards. You hit the shot and hold the follow through. As you are holding it you are asking yourself if you hit the positions or not. If not, correct it. If you cannot correct it because you are going to fall over do 3 more perfect practice swings before you try again.

      So this is not even a drill. It is a mindset. You need to think like a pro and work on the positions. Once you get them slowly you go a little faster. If at any point you lose it slow back down until you are better at that speed.

      DRILL: Do It Right at 1MPH https://ignitiongolf.com/right-at-1mph/
      11 In A Row: https://ignitiongolf.com/change-golf-swing-fast/

      So start seeing it differently. I see this all the time. I explain what to do and hit the ball 50 yards and the person steps up and hammers it. Drive me crazy. It does not work this way. It is about the positions. You can do it. Just do it way slower and forget the ball.

  12. February 12, 2018


    Hi Paul,
    The most difficult part of the powerless swing for me is keeping my arms, especially the right arm, straight out in the follow-through to the 3 quarter position.I have to concentrate hard to do this to prevent topping the ball.
    Oddly enough I find most success with powerless arms using my driver at 50 % speed.
    Ian Bernadt.

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      February 14, 2018

      Paul Wilson


      Right. So stick to 50% until you are used to it. If you go harder and it buckles you are not doing it. So if you kept doing this day after day ball after ball there would come a time when you got used to the feeling. At this point couldn’t you driver the lower a little harder to get more power? Sure could. Problem is, you don’t stick this this easier swing long enough. When you go for more power you swing too hard which buckles the arms again causing you to go right back to the old move. Gradually increase the lower after you know and have ingrained the feeling of full extension of the back arm.

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