How Can I Stop an Arms only Golf Swing? (Video)
How Can I Stop an Arms only Golf Swing? (Video)

The question how can I stop an arms only swing? Well, that’s really to get connected by keeping your hands inline with your chest. So, first of all, let’s explain what an arms only swing is. If I set myself up to the ball and I keep my body quite still, and I just swing my arms, the arms go up, arms come through. You can see I’m very, very restricted. There’s no movement in the body. So, this is an arms only swing. So, its keep themselves in position with the body maybe keeping the head down too much and you just swing the club up and then hit down. And invariably what that would do is decrease the distance tremendously about how far you can hit the ball, and what tends to happen from that because you’re swinging it up and down. The tendency of that is kind of hit the ground behind the ball or the top half. So, that’s an arms only swing.

So, we’re going to try and keep everything connected. So, how do we do it? If I set myself up to the ball and I concentrate on keeping the hands inline with my chest, and I set right. From here, just turn the body. So, from here I’m going to turn the body through 90 degrees here, and I want to try and keep the hands inline with the chest. This would happen from here. So, I’ve turned my body. My hands have gone with me. Remember before the body stayed still, the arms went straight up. So, from here, we now want to coordinate a movement where we turn. There are lots and lots of ways of actually doing this and lots of ways of putting it over. I think one of the easiest ways to set ourselves up in getting rid of an arms only swing will be to set you right. Set yourself up. Remember before the body wasn’t doing anything, so let’s do something. If I set you – set yourself up and turn your back to the target, you might hopefully interpret that as this. Turn your back to the target. If you turn your back to the target, you can see that the body is obviously doing what it wasn’t doing before. It’s actually just turning quite easily. So, from here to the back of the target and as we hit the golf ball, back target and the body comes through. It’s almost like just firing yourself up. It’s like a spring loaded mechanism. Okay. So, from there, I’ve turned my back to the target and from there, I’ve run myself and it’s almost like spring loaded from here, and I find myself through. Remember, the question was about this arms only swing hopefully will give you a very simple tip. It’s really one of these things I would say you should go and work with your PJ professional at your golf club or driving range to have a one to one. I’ve given you a very, very simple idea of how to get out of this without being too technical. Remember we are senior golfers. We’re not these 18 year olds coming along. We’re senior golfers and we’ve got to try and keep things as simple as possible. So, if you want to get that feeling, put a club across your chest and then from here, just turn the shoulders to 90 degrees. Now, if you can imagine doing that, your arms only swing is completely gone because the hands and the arms are actually rotating with the trunk of the body going through. So, hopefully, nothing complicated with that. And that’s how you get rid off an arms only swing. Put it into practice and if you struggle, go and see your pro there. Enjoy.
2014-05-14

When you first get started in the game of golf, you probably thought that it made sense to use your arms to swing the club.

How Can I Stop an Arms-Only Golf Swing?

After all, your hands are holding onto the grip, so why not use your arms to swing the club back and through? Well, your arms certainly do have a role to play in the swing, but they should not be in charge of the action. Accomplished golfers know that using the whole body to produce the swing, not just the arms, is the best way to find success.

In this article, we are going to discuss not only why you should stop making an arms-only golf swing, but how you can successfully get out of this habit. If you have been playing golf for some time, it may be rather difficult to break the habit of swinging mostly with your arms. Of course, getting better at golf is always difficult, so you should expect to have to put in some work if you are going to make progress. The key to making that progress comes in having a plan. You can’t just walk out to the driving range and expect to start launching perfect shots after just a few minutes. Golf is a hard game, and you’ll only improve if you are willing to be patient while working through your issues.

All of the content below has been written from the perspective of a right-handed golfer. If you happen to play left-handed, please take a moment to reverse the directions as necessary.

What’s the Problem?

What’s the Problem?

Before getting into some tips on how you can effectively make a golf swing which incorporates your whole body, we first need to explain why an arms-only swing is not going to work. Once you understand the problems inherent with this approach, you will have all the motivation you need to get down to work fixing this issue.

The list below highlights three main problems with using an arms-only golf swing.

  • Lack of power. Perhaps the biggest issue with regard to an arms-only swing is the inability to produce a meaningful amount of power through the hitting area. While you don’t necessarily need to be a big hitter in order to play this game successfully, you do want to have enough power to reach greens in regulation and make your way around the course without too much trouble. Players who swing using only their arms, or mostly their arms, are going to have difficulty keeping up, particularly on longer courses. When you do incorporate the rest of your body in a productive manner, you should be able to add speed to your swing while still achieving a clean strike at impact. Players at the highest levels of the game tend to use their bodies to great effect during the swing and you should strive to do the same.
  • Inconsistent strike. Beyond the importance of creating power, another benefit of using your body properly is adding to the consistency of your ball striking. It’s essential to strike the ball cleanly if you are going to play at a high level, and that’s tough to do if you only use your arms to move the club. Sure, you may catch the ball cleanly with an arms-only swing from time to time, but it’s highly unlikely that you will be able to do so time after time. Once you learn how to use your body from the start of the swing through to the finish, it’s nearly assured that your ball striking will take a step forward.
  • Deal with a variety of situations. Yet another problem with the arms-only golf swing is the struggle that you may face when trying to deal with various lies. If you practice enough on the range with your arms-only swing, you may work your ball striking up to a decent level on flat, clean lies. But what happens when you find other kinds of situations on the course? You may find that your swing quickly falls apart when facing a tougher spot, like an uphill or downhill lie. The whole-body approach to swinging the club is more reliable on the course, where you never know exactly what you are going to face.

In reality, there are likely more issues with an arms-only swing than just these three points. For instance, you also may struggle to play well under pressure, as it will be hard to repeat your motion when the nerves set in. It’s usually more reliable to use your big muscles when nervous, rather than the small muscles in your hands, wrists and arms. This is a concept that holds true in the short game as well as the full swing. Place the control over your swing in your shoulders, torso, and legs and you will probably fare better when the pressure does settle in.

Is it impossible to play golf at a reasonable level with an arms-only golf swing? No, it’s probably not impossible. With that said, you’ll be making the game harder than it needs to be if you take this approach, and golf is hard enough as it is. By learning to use the rest of your body effectively, along with the proper use of your arms, you can take your swing and your game to a new level.

Incorporating Your Whole Body

Incorporating Your Whole Body

Getting your body involved in the golf swing doesn’t have to be a particularly complicated task. Once you understand the basic moves you should be making to move the club through the backswing and into the downswing, it will just come down to practice and repetition. We aren’t saying that improvement will come quickly here – things rarely come quickly in golf – but you’ll be on the right track if you take the time to learn the basics and understand what you are trying to do during the swing.

On a general level, you can think about the golf swing this way – the upper body controls the backswing, and the lower body controls the downswing. There is more to it than that, of course, but starting there will give you a basic understanding of what is going on. If you can put your upper body in charge of the first half of the swing, and the lower body in charge of the second half, you should be on your way to making great strides.

Let’s take a look at some specific points for you to monitor as you work on getting away from an arms-only swing.

  • Make a great shoulder turn. One of the best things you can do for your golf swing is learn how to turn your shoulders effectively away from the target in the backswing. As the swing begins, you want to turn your left shoulder under your chin while most of the rest of your body stays still. This simple move is going to build the foundation for the rest of your swing. As the backswing progresses, the left shoulder is going to keep turning away from the target until the club arrives at the top and begins to transition down. The exact length of the backswing, and the amount of shoulder turn achieved, will vary from player to player. You don’t need to force yourself to match the shoulder turn of another player, as you may not have the same degree of flexibility as that player. However, you do need to do a good job of getting what you can out of your shoulder turn without losing balance.
  • Start the downswing with the lower body. It’s hard to explain how many golfers go wrong on this point. If you watch other players hit shots at your local driving range, it’s likely that most of them – if not all – will be failing to execute on this point successfully. One of the biggest differences between professional golfers and their amateur counterparts can be seen right here. Pros do a great job of starting the downswing with the lower body. The same cannot be said for amateurs. The average golfer starts his or her downswing with the hands and arms, rather than the legs and hips. That means the club will move down toward the ball prematurely, and the lower body will never have an opportunity to get involved in the swing. Not only does this mean the golf swing will lack power, but the end result might even be a slice. As you practice, do your best to make your lower body the first thing that turns toward the target in the downswing. Turn your left hip open toward the target as the club reaches the top of the swing so you can make a smooth transition and start to build speed on the way down. As the downswing continues, keep turning your lower body all the way through to the finish. It is the combination of a great shoulder turn on the way back and a great lower body turn on the way through that can lead to some of the best shots of your life.
  • Holding the angle. This last point is one that can be a bit complicated for some golfers to understand. As you swing the club down toward the ball, you want to ‘hold the angle’ that you have created between your left arm and the shaft of the club. That angle is usually going to be around 90*, and you want to do your best to maintain it as deep into the downswing as possible. Golfers who swing with their arms only generally are unable to hold this angle properly. Typically, those players will release the angle very early in the downswing, meaning they are left to simply drag the club slowly through the hitting area. If you currently struggle with this point, we have to admit that there is plenty of work ahead to improve in this area. Learning to hold the angle, or ‘lag’ the club as it is commonly known, is a challenge. Start with small pitch shots while focusing on maintaining the angle down into the ball and build up from that point. With any luck, you’ll gradually get better at this key piece of the golf puzzle as time moves along.

It is a powerful feeling when you realize what is possible by using your full body for a golf swing, rather than just your arms. Keep the potential for longer shots and greater consistency in the back of your mind as you work through the process of improving your swing. It’s almost sure to take time, but the reward can be quite exciting when it finally arrives.

Adjusting as You Improve

Adjusting as You Improve

Making progress in golf is a tricky thing. On the one hand, you are happy that your swing is coming around, and you seem to be making better and better contact with the ball. On the other hand, it’s likely that those improved swings really aren’t leading to improved results – at least, not yet. It takes longer than most golfers expect for swing improvements to actually pay off in the form of lower scores.

In this section, we are going to offer some tips which we hope will speed up the progress you make on the course. Obviously, before these tips will come into play, you need to be sure that you are actually making better swings in practice. Spend plenty of time working on your technique first and only venture back onto the course when you feel that you are ready.

  • Learn your new distances. If you have truly succeeded in learning how to use your whole body in the swing rather than just your arms, you are almost certainly going to be hitting longer shots. That’s great news, but it isn’t going to automatically mean that you will shoot lower scores. First, you need to learn how far the ball will now travel off of each of your clubs. How far can you hit your driver? Do you know all of your iron distances? Did your wedge distances change? There are a lot of questions to answer before you can pick clubs with any significant amount of confidence. As you go through your rounds, consider writing down the distances you are achieving so you can reference that information later. As the rounds add up, you’ll get a better and better idea of how far you now hit your clubs.
  • Learn your new ball flight. It isn’t only your distances that are going to change when you make such a big adjustment to the way you swing the club. In all likelihood, you are now going to have a different ball flight with most or all of your clubs. For example, you may have played a fade or even a slice previously, with your arms-only swing. Now that you are making a good shoulder turn and using your lower body effectively in the downswing, that pattern may have shifted to a draw. Whatever the case, you need to understand your new ball flight as soon as possible so you can aim your shots properly. If you are used to hitting a fade and aiming left as a result, it’s going to be quite a change to aim out to the right. Use your practice sessions to get used to your new ball flight and new aim so they feel as comfortable as possible on the course.
  • Maintain your patience. It’s pretty likely that your whole-body golf swing is going to take a bit longer to complete than your arms-only swing. Since you’ll need more time to get all the way through the swing, it’s important that you remain patient and don’t try to rush on the course. It’s common to rush on the golf course as you may be feeling the pressure from others in your group, those waiting behind you, or just pressure from the desire to do well. Pay attention to the pace and timing of your swing and slow things down as necessary to get the best possible performance out of your new technique.

Don’t make the mistake of giving up on your new and improved golf swing just because it doesn’t pay off quite like you expect during your first few rounds back on the course. This is going to take time, and you are going to need to work at it just as hard on the course as you did on the range. Only those who are willing to see it through will be able to enjoy the rewards in the long run.

Remember the Short Game

Remember the Short Game

Throughout this article, we’ve been talking exclusively about the full swing. But what about the short game? Do you need to involve your whole body on your short game shots, or can you get away with an arms-only technique while chipping and putting? Let’s work through this issue.

First off, we can talk about the putting stroke. Obviously, you are not going to be turning your body back and through when putting like you do when hitting full swing club. However, that doesn’t mean you should be using only your arms. Specifically, you need to be rocking your shoulders back and through in order to move the putter. Your arms are basically going along for the ride when putting, with your shoulders taking the lead from start to finish. It should be noted that your legs should not be moving at all during the putting stroke. You should get into a stable stance at address with your knees flexed, and you should stay right there as you make the stroke. Any movement that takes place in your lower body is only going to lead to trouble.

The story is actually much the same when you trade your putter out for a wedge and begin to hit some chip shots. Even though you are making more of a swing than when you are putting, there still isn’t going to be much of any lower body movement to speak of. With that said, your hands and wrists should play more of an active role here, helping the set the club going back so you can swing down into the ball nicely. The combination of your hands and wrists, along with your shoulders, will do the vast majority of the work for a typical chip shot.

It is when you step down into a greenside bunker where you will see the biggest similarities with your full swing. You need to create a lot of speed in order to play an explosion shot from the sand, even if you are only 10 or 20 yards from the hole. Specifically, you are going to want to make a big shoulder turn on the way back to set yourself up for a powerful downswing. However, you are not going to use your lower body as actively in the downswing when playing a sand shot as you would when making a full swing from the grass. Your lower body should be used mostly as a stable platform on which you can make your aggressive upper body turn back and through. When done properly, you will remain perfectly balanced and you’ll be able to stick the club head into the sand behind the ball with enough force to splash the ball out of the trap and onto the green.

The arms-only type of golf swing is extremely common in the amateur game. It is closely related to the slice, and it certainly contributes to the number of players who struggle to produce decent power with their shots. We hope that we have helped you to better understand why this type of swing is a problem, and what you can do to fix it. Nothing comes easy in golf, so you certainly shouldn’t expect to make huge strides in one practice session after reading this article. You can make strides in the long run, however, as long as you focus on your fundamentals and remain patient with the process. Good luck!

The question how can I stop an arms only swing? Well, that’s really to get connected by keeping your hands inline with your chest. So, first of all, let’s explain what an arms only swing is. If I set myself up to the ball and I keep my body quite still, and I just swing my arms, the arms go up, arms come through. You can see I’m very, very restricted. There’s no movement in the body. So, this is an arms only swing. So, its keep themselves in position with the body maybe keeping the head down too much and you just swing the club up and then hit down. And invariably what that would do is decrease the distance tremendously about how far you can hit the ball, and what tends to happen from that because you’re swinging it up and down. The tendency of that is kind of hit the ground behind the ball or the top half. So, that’s an arms only swing.

So, we’re going to try and keep everything connected. So, how do we do it? If I set myself up to the ball and I concentrate on keeping the hands inline with my chest, and I set right. From here, just turn the body. So, from here I’m going to turn the body through 90 degrees here, and I want to try and keep the hands inline with the chest. This would happen from here. So, I’ve turned my body. My hands have gone with me. Remember before the body stayed still, the arms went straight up. So, from here, we now want to coordinate a movement where we turn. There are lots and lots of ways of actually doing this and lots of ways of putting it over. I think one of the easiest ways to set ourselves up in getting rid of an arms only swing will be to set you right. Set yourself up. Remember before the body wasn’t doing anything, so let’s do something. If I set you – set yourself up and turn your back to the target, you might hopefully interpret that as this. Turn your back to the target. If you turn your back to the target, you can see that the body is obviously doing what it wasn’t doing before. It’s actually just turning quite easily. So, from here to the back of the target and as we hit the golf ball, back target and the body comes through. It’s almost like just firing yourself up. It’s like a spring loaded mechanism. Okay. So, from there, I’ve turned my back to the target and from there, I’ve run myself and it’s almost like spring loaded from here, and I find myself through. Remember, the question was about this arms only swing hopefully will give you a very simple tip. It’s really one of these things I would say you should go and work with your PJ professional at your golf club or driving range to have a one to one. I’ve given you a very, very simple idea of how to get out of this without being too technical. Remember we are senior golfers. We’re not these 18 year olds coming along. We’re senior golfers and we’ve got to try and keep things as simple as possible. So, if you want to get that feeling, put a club across your chest and then from here, just turn the shoulders to 90 degrees. Now, if you can imagine doing that, your arms only swing is completely gone because the hands and the arms are actually rotating with the trunk of the body going through. So, hopefully, nothing complicated with that. And that’s how you get rid off an arms only swing. Put it into practice and if you struggle, go and see your pro there. Enjoy.