Powerless Arms – A New Way to Swing – Follow Up

After last weeks tip on “Powerless Arms – The New Way to Swing the Golf Club”, I received a couple of emails from a Swing Machine Golfer who was having trouble making his arms powerless.

Read last weeks tip here:  Powerless Arms – A New Way to Swing the Golf Club

Here are the emails:



WOW, I can’t believe it. I did the 2/3 drill, Ok the first couple I shanked, but then I took a lot of practice swings got into a total powerless arms feeling and unbeliveable. I’d swing at seven balls one right after the other right at or just over 100 yards, looked at the club face and I could have covered the ball marks with a nickle all dead center. Need to work on that more till I own it! If I could take that 2/3 swing to the course right now….THAT’S GOLF.

take care,

Steve M.


Hey Paul,

I’m really still in shock that it can be just that simple. I mean there’s really nothing complicated about doing this, sure it takes some getting used to that feeling, but once you get that groove of just letting those arms fall and gently turn toward that target, pure magic!

Putting absolutely nothing into the shot I was hitting some 20 yards shy of where I usually hit it going full bore. Not only that, but you can hear the difference at impact. Compressing that golf ball correctly is music to my ears.

Man I’m jazzed now! I really feel this is the key that will unlock that door that I’ve never been able to access. Own that drill you describe and that’s golf.

What do you think of my routine? I take four – six practice swings just getting the feel for those arms dropping absolute powerless arms and gently turning towards the target into the finish position. Those practice swings have to be right or I start over. Then I hit five balls 2/3 one right after the other doing the exact and feeling the exact same practice swings. Then I repeat that process. That’s how you learn to own this.

take care,

Steve M.

My Follow Up Golf Tip

The concept of powerless arms in the golf swing is difficult for some people to grasp.  As much as I try to explain it, people still have trouble with it.  This is because of:

1. temptation
2. it feels different
3. you don’t know what powerless really means
4. showing off
5. swinging too fast

1.  Temptation

The temptation to hit the ball with the arms is great.  This is a human nature because in golf you’re looking at a stationary object sitting in front of you.  In this situation, human nature is saying “hit the object.”  It’s also saying “the harder you hit it, the farther it will go.”

Hmmm … if this was the case then how can Tour Players look like they are barely swinging and still hit the ball a mile?  There has to be a different way.

This different way is to turn your arms off and allow your body rotation to make your arms swing.  Think about it … your body turns slowly in life and your arms are connected to your body.  This means that your arms will move if you turn your body.  This also means that your swing would take on a slow appearance.

By understanding this, you can fight this temptation because anytime you feel yourself swinging really hard with your arms just back up and think logically about it before you hit your next shot.

2.  It Feels Different

What you have to realize is, turning the arms off is a totally different feeling than anything you have felt in the past.  This means you cannot avoid this new feeling and go back to what’s comfortable. If you do, you will be going back to your old swing.

Just do what Steve did.  Just take a bunch of slow, easy practice swings before every shot both when you practice and when you play.  If you work on it this way, you will quickly memorize this new feeling.


You also have to realize that this new way of swinging will take a little time to get used to this new way of swinging.  For Steve, the magical answer was to do the drill I mentioned in the last tip where I said to hit practice balls 2/3 of your normal distance. By hitting easier shots, you will slow down your swing and take the arms out.  Then, after you get used to it, you increase ONLY the rotational speed of your body to increase your clubhead speed.  If you do it this way, you will hit the ball just as far, if not farther, with half the effort.

3.  You Don’t Know What Powerless Really Means

When I talk about powerless arms it DOES NOT mean you use less power.  Powerless means you are using ZERO power from your arms. So how do your arms swing?  Well, they are attached to your body.  Turn your body and your arms will move.

Here an excerpt from Jack Nicklaus – Golf My Way – Page 42

“But this theory seems to explain a shot I hit at the par 3 fifteenth in the second round at Firestone.  The choice of club lay between a 2 irons and 3 iron, and I decided to go with an easy 2 iron.  Coming into the ball I was deliberately “soft” with my hands.  I’ve never hit a better 2 iron in my life!  The ball finished over the green.”

“Maybe this explains what happens on those good drives where I often have a “soft” feeling in my hands through the ball.  You could say that my hand action on such shots was merely a reaction to the earlier accelerative effects of centrifugal force on the clubhead generated by proper leverage.  My hands merely went along for the ride.  It’s an interesting possibility.  All I know is I wish it happened more often.”

My next tip will be about body rotation.  By the time you read it, you will have a full understanding of why you should be using your body to hit the ball and how you are going to generate power.  For now, take a page from Jack.

4.  Showing Off

Okay, this is a big one.  I know you want to hit the ball like Tiger Woods.  We all do.  At some point though, you have to just try to be yourself.  Instead of trying to hammer the ball all the time, why don’t you just play one round where you don’t swing over 80% of your power.  By slowing down a little, you will start to turn your arms off and you will start to become much more consistent which will give you more confidence.

NOTE:  This is one round of your life.  Just give it a try.

5.  Swinging Too Fast

Swinging too fast wil never allow you to feel powerless arms.  This is because as you go back fast, your arms tighten.  If you arms are tight, how do you plan on turning them off when you come down?

To see what I mean, just grab a club and flip it upside down.  Then, do a few very slow practice swings.  After that, do some fast swings still with the club upside down.  Once you do this drill, it will become apparent that swinging the club fast like this will tighten your arms. So swing slower to avoid this tightening.

In order to slow your swing down, just base it on the body rotation not the swinging of the arms.  Your body doesn’t rotate all that fast in life, so using this rotation to move your arms will give you the slower swing I’m talking about.


I know it’s tough to make changes to your swing but sometimes you have to assess what is working and what isn’t.  If you have been spinning your wheels, maintaining your current level, or getting worse then it’s time to do something different.

If you can just spend some time making your arms powerless I know you will take your game to a level that you have never experienced before.  This doesn’t mean you try it for 3 balls and give up.  Just really focus on it.  Even if it takes you a week or two this is just such a small price to pay.

All the best,

Paul Wilson
Creator – Swing Machine Golf

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6 Responses to “ Powerless Arms – A New Way to Swing – Follow Up ”

  1. I have experimented with trying to swing with very loose arms and had some success but every time I try to incorporate wrist cock and lag into the swing my arms tighten up because I try to keep the wrist angle until the club is parallel to the ground in my downswing. This is basically a full swing issue. When I practice taking half swings I can swing with no tension using body rotation only. When I mess around with trying to adjust my swing I invariably run into issues like trying to manually square the clubface at impact that result in some terrible shots…especially during an actual round. On the range, hitting many shots in succession I can work through these issues but during a round I often run into problems. I used to shoot in the low 80′s and not I’m lucky if I break 90. Very frustrating.

  2. Powerless arms means you are not trying to hit or help the shot in any way with your arms. This for those who are tight due to swinging hard with the arms it is a feeling of being looser but this is not a floppy feeling. So loosen your arms at first to get them relaxed and get the wrists hinging and re-hinging properly. This is where the power is going to come from.

    Once you get the arms out of the swing you should be focusing on coiling and uncoiling your body to hit your shots. You coil your shoulders going back around a stable base (legs). Then you uncoil the lower body the other way going to my “touch the legs” position. The touching of the legs gives you feedback to tell you that you did the proper lower body move. They only way they can touch is by turning and shifting. So look for them to touch. Get this by standing up and throwing a few balls overhand out in front of you will a little narrower stance. In doing so, your left leg will lock and the right leg will come around and touch. Keep doing this and keep getting the touching feeling. Once you understand it and feel it apply this to some practice swings. Keep doing it with a club until you are good at it then add the ball.

    We have all done this move before. The problem in golf is human nature. It wants you to hit the ball. You need to be thinking about using the lower body instead. So you need to go against human nature and use the lower body instead.

    Please check out my new golf tips website here: http://ignitiongolf.com

  3. In my own struggles I happened upon your concepts about powerless arms. I am a decent golfer, had a index of 1 for a bit, but I have always been handsy at the bottom. I tried to swing without using any hands and it seemed to really help. I started researching and found your site. When I truly feel like I am powerless with my arms and hands I tend to get flat and bring the club back inside. I toyed around with it this weekend and took some video. The only way I am able to correct path on the way back is A: get much steeper with my shoulders or B: do not rotate my arms/hands at all on the way back. B seems to work/look/feel much better than trying to get my shoulders down and through so much. I feel a little stuck when I do that. Not rotating my hands feels really weird and like the club is way outside on the way back even though it looks dead on plane in the video. Can you provide some input on powerless arms and what you need to do to keep the club on plane?

  4. You need to actually lift the arms up to the top until you train the club to go up there. If you turn your arms off completely without setting the top you are going to be way to flat and trapped too deep inside. So coil the shoulders going back. Allow the left arm to ride up a little in the left chest while still feeling connection. In other words just set the club at the top feeling the right armpit untuck and achieve the top position as you see in many great players swings. Once set, then then arms are turned off in the downswing. You are not trying to hit or help the shot in any way.

    Keep in mind Iron Byron does not do a proper backswing. They made the machine replicate the downswing of Byron Nelson. So set the club at the top. Then use the lower body to power the swing with the arms turned off.

    If the hands and arms are turned off and you turn your lower body first the club will be perfectly on plane. This is because mass (the club) will move to 90 degrees to the axis (body) if you turn the axis first. This is simple physics. Mass always moves it fastest at 90 degrees. So turning the lower body first (legs and hips) is like the motor of the machine. This turns the driveshaft (your upper body). The arms with the club are an accessory attached to the machine. So using the legs and hips powers the swing. The arms and club go along for the ride.

  5. Thanks for the quick response. I am a big fan of science and the golf swing. It should be more simple than it is.

    One other note, I have pretty active/fast hips. They get ahead of my hands pretty regularly. I have done drills with a stick through my beltloops to try to make sure I get my hands infront of them. My right elbow is behind my hips at impact instead of the Hogan-ish impact position. With powerless arms I feel like they will be late and stuck again because they are getting drug around. Do you have a tip on clearing my hips? Is this a spinning issue with my back foot not staying down long enough?

    powerless arms swing –
    stick drill for hips –

  6. All you have to do is keep the connection under your left armpit. If you were driving the hips too hard you would be disconnected which would cause pushes. So slow down for a while, feel the connection under the left armpit, then in the future speed everything up together with the lower body.

    Too slow the lower body, you can feel flat footed on your right foot for about 20 shots. After that, allow it to come off the ground at impact 3-4 inches with irons and 5-6 inches with woods. This is the correct amount.

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