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Passive Arms vs. Active Arms in the Golf Swing

Topic: Passive Arms vs. Active Arms in the golf swing

Posted By: Chuck Quinton
Subject: Passive Arms vs. Active Arms in golf swing
Date Posted: 17 April 2006 at 1:34pm

Alas, the final frontier, the discussion on the arms in the golf swing. What do they really do? Why the different camps on both sides? Why such debate and discussion? I'm making this a "sticky" topic because I think it helps sum up a key difference between me and Hardy and will help golfers understand what's going on and why.

First off, let me say that I emphasize a "smooth unwinding from the top guided by the core with passive arms," whereas Jim Hardy emphasizes "an aggressive rotation as hard as you can while throwing your right arm from the top as hard as you can," paraphrased, of course. No need for discussion on details, that's the jist of both without explaining in great detail either one. So, then the question is why? I can unabashedly answer this quite simply, the AVERAGE amateur has not the time, athleticism, flexibility, coordination, resources, etc to learn to groove this. They want to keep things simple and go out and play better right away and have fun. Sometimes they may get a little worse for a brief period of time, but generally they hit the ball better immediately when following my model. Not only that, but they hit powerful shots EFFORTLESSLY with little to no understanding of ANY of the complexities or intricacies of the swing plane, etc. For the guy who struggles to regularly break 90, this is a changing of the guard in his playing career, in one lesson, they come away with a renewed since of hope, excitement and energy for a game that seemed ridiculously complex to them. It now is made simple, they have a couple simple but powerful drills to work on for the rest of their lives and when they do these simple drills correctly, they see instant ball flight results. Even more importantly, they understand EXACTLY what went wrong when they miss without having to come see me for a dozen follow up lessons. Simple swings have simple problems that have simple fixes. For me, mission accomplished. Low maintenance swing, more enjoyment from the game, dramatically improved ball striking, better scores, that's what it's all about. These average golfers make up 85% of my clients and they represent 99% of the golfing public at large.

Now Hardy, on the other hand, his numbers are flipped the other way around. He works exclusively with Tour professionals. Now think about that for just one second. 28 million golfers in the US and his model is built around golfers that make up some .00001 percent of the general golfing population. Sure, a golfer that is that good, has that much ability, coordination, talent, etc. can do just about anything you tell them to do with a club. You can tell a professional to take the club to the top, swing it around like a lasso a couple times, drop it back to the inside and they'll still probably hit it better than most. It's nothing personal, but if your name is not on your golf bag and your not a single digit handicap, you have to be realistic about your ability.

I agree 100% with Hardy's theory, INCLUDING the throwing motion of the right arm and the hard rotation of the body, no questions asked. But, I would never, in a million years, tell a 20 handicapper to rotate from the top as hard as they can while throwing their arms around their body as hard as they can. Hell, most of them ALREADY do this in some form or another. After you've spent thousands of hours with amateurs on the range with all different body types and abilities, some obvious trends emerge. They OVERUSE their arms. Now, tell that same 20 hdcp to bend over more, get his arms more behind him, rotate as hard as he can while throwing that right arm and you get a dead pull or beautiful wipe because he simply isn't coordinated enough or doesn't have the time to put into his swing to master coordinating the two simultaneous movements. This is no secret. Hardy said right from the beginning that the one plane swing was for the more athletic golfer. No one wants to admit they're not athletic, fine, so let's redefine athletic. Hardy works with his one plane swing model with no one but Tour pros and based it heavily off two of the best professionals of all time, Snead and Hogan. I'm pretty athletic having been a professional snowboard mountaineer for 3 1/2 years in my younger years. I've snowboarded of 30 foot cornices, climbed 18,000' peaks, do just about every extreme sport there is from ice climbing to wake boarding and went to school on a college golf scholarship. The golf swing is STILL a challenge for me to this very day and I can guarantee you I spend more time on the golf course than 99.9% of you. I don't do anything from the top as hard as I can or overly aggressively because it's too hard to control consistently for me. Not only that, but I don't want to feel that I have to work that hard in my golf swing. I like hitting effortlessly powerful golf shots and that's what I strive to help others do and there is NOTHING effortlessly powerful when using the words "aggressive, hard as you can", etc.

Now, this isn't the case with everyone I teach. I have many golfers who want this in their swing. They want to go as hard as they can from the top on every shot. I'm not going to stop them. I get their arms as far behind them as humanly possible and let'em go at it. It hurts my back to watch them, but they hit very good golf shots and that's the feeling they want in their swing. Perfectly fine by me and Hardy's model works perfectly for them and I will not discourage them from doing it whatsoever. I'm helping them build THEIR golf swing, not my idea of what their golf swing should be. But, that's when I work individually, one on one, with that person. I get to know them, their demeanor, their ability, etc. I can see their tendencies, their overall motion. On this website, in my DVD's, I can't do that. I can't see your swing, so I'm portraying what I feel is the BEST SWING MODEL POSSIBLE FOR THE AVERAGE GOLFER. Unless your name is on your bag or you shoot in the 70's, THAT'S PROBABLY YOU! But, the model I have created is completely flexible as all models should be. You can still aggressively use your arms using the fundamentals I preach. But the point to it all is, one swing is hard and fast, one is smooth and effortless. They both have the arm and shoulders on the same plane at the top, they both want the "hands in, club out" on the way back. They both want body rotation on the way through and the club coming out more to the left. To make things somewhat simpler, I think it would be fair to say that Hardy's swing could be considered more of a "hit" and mine more of a "swing." You can do both with what I teach, you can still hit hard with what I'm teaching, but you don't have to. You can easily and smoothly swing through and hit the ball just as far. I'm not overly concerned with what the arms do with most golfers as long as they do very little.

I hope this helps clarify some things, feel free to ask questions.

Current USGA Handicap +.2 - See what's in my bag!
Scoring Avg. 72.92, GIR 65%, FIR 65.71%, Putts 30.38

Posted By: reggie
Date Posted: 17 April 2006 at 1:56pm
I think I tried Hardy's method by accident over the weekend. I took the club around behind me and rotated my body with it. I kept the club face looking at the ball and the arc. I felt twisted at the top but very powerful. I suddenly initiated the downswing by turning my body and the club to the left. The shots came out with tremendous velocity and the hit felt very solid. But the shots were hustling left so fast, it made your head spin. I am a one planner, I think, but very athletic and play to a 4 handicap. I kept trying the shot until I got one to start right of target and draw back to the center of the fairway. It was impressive but I don't think I understood what I was doing. I understand the concept of passive arms particular if you are turning hard to the left, but how can you consistently keep the shot from going dead left.

Posted By: Chuck Quinton
Date Posted: 17 April 2006 at 2:08pm
If you arrive at a sound position at the top and rotate back left without the arms getting out in front you won't hit the ball left. It's when you stop rotating and you flip your arms through that the shots go left. Remember your ABT's, always be turning.

Current USGA Handicap +.2 - See what's in my bag!
Scoring Avg. 72.92, GIR 65%, FIR 65.71%, Putts 30.38

Posted By: arbano1
Date Posted: 17 April 2006 at 3:32pm
Since the average amateur doesn't have the time, athleticism, flexibility, coordination, or resources, etc. is even more reason to present the golf swing is the simplist manner.

What's my target?

Posted By: willrob
Date Posted: 17 April 2006 at 6:53pm
Good write chuck
Very true about time effort playing an important part in how you teach someone. And simplicity is better I feel or anyone. You've even said that alot of us on this forum know more about the swing than most pros.  That can show, that even the pros who are athletic and more gifted than the average player keeps it SIMPLE!


Posted By: gwlee7
Date Posted: 17 April 2006 at 9:46pm

Well, I can say that for myself, I have only shot two rounds in the eighties (83, 81) since my lesson with Chuck on March 10th. My average score has been 76. His "effortless swing" is what we worked on plus a couple of handy short game shots (a cool flop shot and bunker shots as I could already chip and putt quite well).  I was a 9 handicap before and now it is down to 7. This also includes my just starting to get used to an entirely new set of irons and a new driver and three wood.

There is nothing, and I mean nothing that can compare to Chuck's "effortless swing".  Most importantly, my back appreciates this way of swinging the club.  Smoothly rotating my core back and through the shot with relatively passive arms has stopped my backaches that I used to have after playing.  I honestly believe that the "serious" (not professional) golfer will get more out of this swing than any other way I have ever tried.  I have no doubt that I will be close to scratch by the end of the summer.

Thanks Chuck.

Posted By: dave.
Date Posted: 18 April 2006 at 12:55am
Interesting that Hardy based his model on Hogan,yet Hogan had passive arms,he let them just drop from the top.

Posted By: jricci
Date Posted: 18 April 2006 at 1:13am

Why not post videos side by side of the two one plane teqnigues for our edification?


Posted By: Lefty
Date Posted: 18 April 2006 at 1:16am

We could go round and round the merry-go-round forever on this, Dave, but I'm convinced Hogan just let his arms drop (the caveat being he "hit" with his right hand through the "hitting zone" right before impact). If you hold your upper body back a bit and fire your hips, you'll see that when the arms drop down, the back elbow's right at the back hip. So that's all the proof I need.

As I've posted elsewhere, I had back spasms twice in two weeks going at it hard from the top and, even though I hit some powerful, penetrating shots, the pulls were a constant source of irritation. You need to turn the lead shoulder behind you as you're throwing the arms and in no way move the upper body forward in order to work Hardy's downswing. Now, it can be done and I've hit some super shots with it, but in an unguarded moment, if you let it pull you forward, the back elbow will get in front of the hip and you'll pull or pull hook the ball. I loved the squaring of the clubface with the body but, at the end of the day, I play when I have time and rarely practice and even though I'm a decent player, it's all a lot of work.

I played today with the passive arms/hands and, for one thing, being so relaxed allowed me to make a much bigger shoulder turn, which created some serious clubhead speed. I was a bit rusty and didn't make too much on the greens but it was an easy 75.

After six months of fitting my swing to the Hardy model - and plenty of rounds where I shot much worse than 75 - I've decided easy doesn't suck.



Posted By: timchong
Date Posted: 18 April 2006 at 4:42am

For what it's worth, I believe that producing powerful penetrating shots with the aggressive, active arm movement is dependent on the correct arm position, coupled with solid fundamentals and proper torso rotation.

I go at the ball aggressively from the top with hard body rotation within control and balance.  I use my right hand to pass through the ball without crossing over the left arm.  The right elbow stays up and behind my right hip before my arm straighens CLOSE and AROUND the body.  It's almost as if the underside of my right forearm is brushing by my belt.

Does passive arms work for the one-plane swing?  Sure.  But so does active arms.  To say that Hogan only had passive arms is subjected to individual interpretation.  What he wrote and felt were two different things.  Unless we've been in the mind of the late Ben Hogan, we are left to discover which arms works best for us.

Active, passive, or both -- it doesn't matter as long as the arms are moving AROUND the body.

Tim C.



Posted By: dave.
Date Posted: 18 April 2006 at 2:09pm
I agree Lefty,Hogan said himself he let his arms drop.Very passive,then the he powered thought using his forearms and hands from waist high.

Posted By: 01ragtop
Date Posted: 18 April 2006 at 5:02pm
That drop is interesting...look how many of the great ball strikers have that drop, Hogan, Sergio, Tiger, Trevino, Miller, and a lot of others.  One plane or two, makes no difference, they all had a very similar plane into the ball at impact, even though they all have very different swings.  What gives?

Golf is 90% mental, and 20% physical!

Posted By: willrob
Date Posted: 18 April 2006 at 5:08pm
That's because no matter what plane you are, 1 or 2. You are still above the original address shaft plane.  So in both swings, you get above that plane and have to return back to that plane, so there has to be some form of drop to have a solid correct impact.


Posted By: 01ragtop
Date Posted: 18 April 2006 at 5:32pm
Originally posted by willrob

That's because no matter what plane you are, 1 or 2. You are still above the original address shaft plane.  So in both swings, you get above that plane and have to return back to that plane, so there has to be some form of drop to have a solid correct impact.


Not everyone returns to that address plane though.  Davis Toms is a great ball striker, but he is not back on the address plane at impact.  But a lot of the great ball strikers are on that plane.

Golf is 90% mental, and 20% physical!

Posted By: Lefty
Date Posted: 18 April 2006 at 9:45pm


This is exactly what Jim Hardy was trying to overcome by coming up with this swing of his: he wants you under the plane on the way back, then "over the top", ie, on plane on the way down. Hence, no need for the drop.


Posted By: dave.
Date Posted: 18 April 2006 at 10:45pm
When I said drop,I wasn't referring to dropping on plane,as far as I am concerned,you go back on plane and come back on plane,although you do come back slightly more inside because of your shoulder.I meant simply the fact that your arms drop naturally with gravity,no pulling using your torso or arms.

Posted By: checkpants
Date Posted: 20 April 2006 at 9:27am

When you say overuse of arms, I have something in mind that is different from the problem I had.  I actually was using my lats, pulling down violently, but had very little rotation in my arms going through impact.  I blocked or hooked about a third of the time, and since I didn't know which one was coming, could not protect my shots from trouble.

Now when I turn, I try not to chop wood. I worked on turning my hips to load up, and then I think of turning my solar plexus.  When I think shoulders, I tend to pull the club down instead of rotating through the ball.  But since I was not rotating my forearms through the ball, I thought I had quiet arms. 

Now, when I can just keep my right wrist flat through the ball (I am a lefty), I have been striking the ball much better.  I am straighter and longer, and because I have lost the "violence" in my swing, my tempo is better which has given me more consistency.  Even my misses don't seem to hurt me as bad.

Posted By: striker
Date Posted: 22 April 2006 at 11:39pm
writting for myself, it just does'nt seem possible to hit the ball as far with passive arm. But I am new to this simple swing idea, I need time to let it grow on me. I do know I can hit the ball consistantly straight following Chuck swing advice.  I guess it might come down to what a golfers going to except for distance. For example, I once was on a 155yd   elevated  tee, I used a 7 iron this other golfer a  couple year older, hit a 9 iron, we both hit nice shot, pin high. Someone else golfing with us that day ask what club we choose. I let this harmful comparison bothered me,Angry even though  there is nothing wrong  with hitting a 7 iron 155yds.  O.K.  what's a golfer willing to settle with? How many swing changes are needed to hopefully  transform you into the guy able to hit your 8 iron 180yd just like Els. Perhaps more wrist cock and wrist envolment, MAYBE activating the arms more! Yoga? 2 300 balls a day, on the range, might not hurt. Again, what distance are you going to settle with?  The skys the limit!!!Cry

Posted By: Lefty
Date Posted: 23 April 2006 at 2:21pm

Isn't the point that you hit it pin high, irrespective of what club you use?

One year at Pebble Beach, during a practice round, a heckler who'd spent some time at the bar yelled to Davis Love that he could've hit less club into the par-3 17th. Love then pulled out all kinds of different clubs and hit them all onto the green.

When I miss a green with a 9 iron, it doesn't give me any comfort that I hit it 150 yards. I'd rather have hit a 3/4 7 iron the same distance and have had a birdie putt.



Posted By: RickyHarris
Date Posted: 23 April 2006 at 2:28pm
In competition id rather hit 7 iron to 10ft than 9 iron to 20ft but in practice with the buddies id rather go pin high but on the fringe with a pw than go on the green 10ft away with a 6 iron! HAHA! Nothing better in life than hitting it far there really isnt!

Posted By: Lefty
Date Posted: 23 April 2006 at 2:32pm

When do you turn 16 Ricky?


Posted By: RickyHarris
Date Posted: 23 April 2006 at 2:42pm
August why?

Posted By: RickyHarris
Date Posted: 23 April 2006 at 2:43pm
HAHAHA I think I get it

Posted By: Lefty
Date Posted: 23 April 2006 at 2:44pm

One's views tend to change with age. Until then, keep trying to smash that pitching wedge 150 yards.


Posted By: 01ragtop
Date Posted: 23 April 2006 at 8:40pm
That is a great point Lefty,

I used to want a full swing into every green because I felt I had a better chance if I could hit it hard.  I really struggled with half and three quater shots.  Then I realized that I was just timing the release; or in my case, the flip.  Once I learned the proper way to release, I could hit a pw 70- 150yds, and even hit 3/4 shots with my irons and keep it low.  If you struggle hitting half and 3/4 shots, you might look at your release.  My timing was off on the 3/4 shots because I had learned to time the full shot.  Now that I do it right, I can hit the whole variety, which makes me feel like I am on the road to a better all around game.

Golf is 90% mental, and 20% physical!

Posted By: Lefty
Date Posted: 23 April 2006 at 11:58pm


I do this at the range, on the rare occasion I get to hit balls. I pick out a spot and hit different clubs to the same place. It really enhances your feel.


Posted By: JeffMann
Date Posted: 24 April 2006 at 9:52pm

I still haven't become a member so I haven't read all your stuff that is only available to members. However, I entirely agree with your statement that "one should have a smooth unwinding from the top guided by the core with passive arms". I have noticed, from reading other threads, that Hardy is now recommending active right arm movements in the DS combined with an aggressive shoulder rotation. I think that Hardy's swing-idea is a potential swing killer for a 1PS player because it predisposes to pulling left. I much prefer the simple idea of a smooth DS initiated by a left shoulder turn with a sensation of pulling through the ball with passive arms (rather than pushing through the ball with active arms/hands). I am now hitting the ball better than ever, and I merely think of keeping the clubshaft on the same plane going back (in the BS) and going forward (on the DS) by swinging the clubshaft on a plane that points at the ball when the left arm is parallel to the ground in the BS. I merely concentrate on a smooth left shoulder turn on the DS + passive arms, so that I have the distinct sensation of pulling through the shot rather than pushing through the shot. There are some people who think that pulling through the shot will result in less driver distance than actively pushing through the shot with active arms, but I have recently added 30 yards to my driving distance by ensuring that my swing starts smoothly from the top under the guidance of a smooth torso rotation.


Posted By: Murph
Date Posted: 25 April 2006 at 12:06am

And Jeff ain't kidding.  I saw him at the range and he was doing great.  (Jeff, check your personal messages).



Posted By: hayes959
Date Posted: 25 April 2006 at 10:34am


We had a young smasher at  my club, who quit college and wanted to "work on his game and turn pro."  I used to tell him all the time that he would never be a good golfer until he could hit an 8-iron 120 yds.  He would always answer that he could hit his 8-iron 180 yards.

BTW, he is now doing remodeling work in his father's construction business.

Posted By: Lefty
Date Posted: 25 April 2006 at 10:56am

I know the type Hayes. I was paired with a young masher in my first round of the Pasadena City Championship last week with the purest swing imaginable but he went at it so hard every time that it was either feast or famine, every hole an adventure, triples, birdies, doubles, eagle putts. I was exhausted from just playing with him. And even with my miserable 37 putts -  - I comfortably finished ahead of him. That putting misery turned out to be contagious as in the second round - where I was just as pitiful on the greens - I was paired with a guy who's won a bunch of am trophies who hit all but two greens and shot 79! It was one of those days where you realize there's always someone worse off than you.

Anyway, back to the original point, it's interesting to me to see Tiger - who was the poster boy for lash at it as hard as you can - nowadays take pw from 100 yards and smoothly "dead arm" it in there.



Posted By: Skully
Date Posted: 25 April 2006 at 12:44pm
Mickelson learned the same lesson Lefty... and look what he's done in the last 2 years since. 

Posted By: One Planer
Date Posted: 25 April 2006 at 6:03pm
You told the guy right, Lefty.  I can't imagine why anyone would ever go full bore at an iron shot.  A 190 yard 8 iron is just ridiculous. 

Posted By: 01ragtop
Date Posted: 26 April 2006 at 9:21am
There is an old saying, "Throw a rock at a pack of yellow dogs, the one that yelps is the one that got hit."

I'm yelpin'
You all have described me to a tee.
I am learning though.  In fact, I learned that I can hit my irons just as far with an easy swing as I can with a hard swing, and the mishits don't go as far off line.  I also hit a lot more pure shots.  And I can hit a lot more of a variety shots with the same clubs. le();

Golf is 90% mental, and 20% physical!

Posted By: striker
Date Posted: 26 April 2006 at 3:38pm
I think I'am learning there is a lot more to golf than bragging how far one can hit it
Obviously that eggo thing that Chuck warns us about is involved here.
Getting away from full swings and mashing the ball. late last year I was playing with someone who impressed me with his putting, he made a lot of putts some of them moderately long. Now there's a asset that going to bring a handicap down. I thought he would be great on a best shot team.

Posted By: Links
Date Posted: 26 April 2006 at 5:55pm


I was talking with Burch Harmon's son Claude about 18 months ago (he used to teach at my club). He told me that when Tiger first came to see his dad, Butch asked Tiger what swing thoughts he had when standing over the ball. You know -takeway, hands, clubface, swing plane etc etc. Tiger said something like 'jeez Butch I just try and hit the friggin thing'.

Butch told Tiger to hit a few balls with his 8 iron. Butch knew he was on to something special when Tiger hit it over 220 yards!!!

The point of my Harmon lesson that day - Not the fact that I could pure my favourite 7 iron 170 yards occasionally and Tiger a lot further, but that I could only hit it with reasonable accuracy about 140 yards....

Oh, and for Tiger - about 170.



Posted By: Lefty
Date Posted: 26 April 2006 at 6:01pm

Not that El Gato's not talented, but I could shut down the clubface of an 8 iron and turn it into a 5 iron, too. The second part of that, how far can you hit it with reasonable accuracy, is far more intriguing.

Here's a Tiger factoid that's impressive. Butch likes to put students on two 2x4 wooden blocks and have them swing as hard as they can without falling off. He tries to find a natural swing speed where balance isn't sacrificed. Tiger could swing 130mph and stay on the blocks.



Posted By: tweldon
Date Posted: 03 May 2006 at 10:44pm
I've been fighting the shanks on and off (mostly on) for the past few
months. In a lesson last Friday, my instructor caught my shank on video.
This is what we saw...

1) Good setup
2) Good backswing, not too far inside...on plane...a bit flat at top but still
in the digital wedge lines drawn from ball through my spine on the
computer screen
3) Downswing good midway down, shaft on plane when hands are at hip
high, good lag

THE VERY NEXT FRAME IN SLO-MO, the hands and clubhead have moved
away from body and clubhead is now starting to cross the line drawn up
the plane from the ball. NEXT FRAME, club makes contact with ball with
hosel, clubhead outside of ball-plane line.

My swing came from the inside...not too far, about the correct angle. But
at the last second, the clubhead and hands get thrown at the ball and go
outside. This change happens within 18 inches! My instructor calls it a
"hit instinct" that I throw the clubhead at the ball at the last second.

It seems clear that my hands/arms are causing the problem. The
clubhead and shaft are on plane (naturally) until my hands/lower arms
take over just before impact with that "hit instinct."

The past few trips to the range, I've focused on pulling the club through
with my left shoulder/lats and torso...and leaving the hands/arms
passive...and finally made good contact.

It seems that, with a solid backswing, the club is going to go where it
wants to go on the downswing. Bringing the hands into play seems to
take control AWAY from the club.

Anyway, I know there are differing opinions on this. Curious as to
thoughts on my shank problem and diagnosis/fix.



Posted By: randini
Date Posted: 03 May 2006 at 10:57pm
 Where is your trailing elbow at impact? If your elbow gets in front (ahead) of the hip..................heel shots & hosel rockets.

randini / 1 hdc

Posted By: hayes959
Date Posted: 05 May 2006 at 7:53am

I have been at the OPS for 11 months now and have had a fairly good degree of success.  One thing that has always puzzled me, is how I can keep my handicap below 3, yet rarely do any two shots look the same.  On the range it is a 'moment' when I hit 5-6 balls that have the same ballflight.  My short game often saves my fanny.  I am committed to a "core driven" swing and its simplicity.  I am fascinated by the book See and Feel the Inside Move the Outside, and it's concept of an "armless swing."  Although, not always that simple for me as I have had some struggles lately with the driver and cannot get back on track.  It just doesn't feel right and the more I work at it, the more it stays consistently inconsistent. 

I was off from work yesterday afternoon and went to the course.  I got a "basket of approx. several hundred balls", took a cart and went to the back of the range to work alone in the peace of quiet of nature.  I layed a couple of clubs on the ground for alignment and proceeded to hit balls with a glove tucked under the left armpit, and focused on my takeaway.  Going great with the irons and the usual inconsistency with the driver and hybrids.  I enjoyed this for about 2 hours.

AND THEN IT HAPPENED.  I hit an 8-iron that was different.  I thought "whoa, what just happened?".  I hit another ball and felt that same sensation again.  It felt like I rotated back very relaxed and then just cleared my lower body and, without trying, the clubhead struck the ball perfectly.  I hit another 10-15 balls and tried to take in what it was that was different that I was feeling.  I realized that what I had been trying to do for two months was happening.  I was rotating left and leaving my arms behind.  Centrifugal force was at work and was delivering the clubhead perfectly to the ball.  I was getting to the top of my backswing and then just turning my belly button left and naturally my arms and club would follow. For the first time in my golfing life, I could feel my shoulders still turned behing me, and my lower half clearing to the left and creating that lag we all desire.

Let's see what happens with a 5-iron.  I hit 10-15 balls that were all identical.  High, long and a slight fade.  Effortless.  Rotate back and then beginning  to go left, without my arms.  What the heck is going on here.  I never felt this before, although I tried, and many times thought that I was doing it.

The test.  I grabbed the big dog.  Bamm, bamm, bamm.  Effortless long, high fades as straight as can be.  No lefts.  I pirated some balls from one of the range guys, as I was getting low after 2 hours,  and continued for another hour hoping to soak up this new swing sensation.  Switched back and forth from irons to woods and this new feeling, and consistent shots  continued.  I must have hit another 100 balls and all looked identical.  Who is this guy?

It took eleven months, but for the first time I truly experienced "passive arms."  It was not not what I thought it was.  It is doing nothing.  Turn left and forget about the arms.  I cannot tell you guys how juiced I am about this.  Yesssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss!!!!!

Posted By: Links
Date Posted: 05 May 2006 at 8:14am

Congratulations Hayes,

It sounds like my Eureka moment at the range recently. There's no doubt it's strange getting used to the sensation of passive arms, especially trusting it on the course, but the results have been startling for me. Talk about a clear head. My arms feel like they have been drugged on the way down they feel so loose, but bloody hell does it work.

Well done on a very interesting email!


Posted By: tweldon
Date Posted: 05 May 2006 at 8:25am
That's great, Hayes. Since my earlier post about my feeling of passive arms, I
visted the range again yesterday and once again caught a case of the

I kept telling myself "passive arms" but I just couldn't get the feeling I had
the other day of just using the core. It was gone. Could not keep the arms
out of my swing and was off balance. I knew it, but could not fix it.

This game is so frustrating that a swing feeling that you were so connected
to one day could completely disappear the next!


Posted By: hayes959
Date Posted: 05 May 2006 at 8:45am

I have been the biggest proponent of a core driven swing and doing the body drills while focusing on starting the rotation left with the core.  After yesterday experience, and the first real feel of passive arms and centrifugal force at work, I realize that my understanding  of the core needs to be altered slightly to focus more on a "lower core", more a belly button and hips core.  I believe that as much as I tried to  start the rotation left with my core,  I have been using too large of a core, or a more full torso rotation.  If that makes any sense.

Do not minimalize the effect of centrifugal force being at work in the downswing.  By just "letting it happen", the clubhead was delivered perfectly to the ball time after time by doing nothing with the arms and hands.  My recent problems were from "trying."

Posted By: tweldon
Date Posted: 05 May 2006 at 9:01am
Interesting. Maybe focusing on the lower core will work. For me, core is
usually left shoulder/lat. So close to arms that it probably makes it more
difficult to keep them passive.

As I mentioned, when I'm shanking I'm also off balance...and even though
I feel I'm turning left I'm falling off over my left toes. I realized last night
after messing around in the living room that maybe feeling like I want to
finish with my weight on my left HEEL I'll make a full left turn.

Anyway, I'll be hitting the range today...and I have a lesson scheduled.

I'll post how things work out.


Posted By: randini
Date Posted: 05 May 2006 at 9:49am
 this lower core's the hips........turn em...............lots of lag................don't slide em.....................

randini / 1 hdc

Posted By: Archispecman
Date Posted: 05 May 2006 at 11:41am
I really love the broom drill for this sensation.  I do this drill daily. It really helps me feel passive arms.  The best thing is that the ball does not enter into the picture and I can focus on the sensation or felling of passive arms that I can then carry over to the course.  Sometimes when I'm playing and I loose focus I will do the drill with my driver with the headcover on.

Posted By: hayes959
Date Posted: 08 May 2006 at 7:55am

I played Friday and Sunday.  Both rounds were a mirror image of each other.  Irons are great the the drives are about 50%.  On Friday I hit some irons that any pro would envy.  Just right on the stick.  Unfortunately I had more Lips than Mick Jagger!  Irons were still very good Sunday, but the driver is erratic.  With the irons it very easy to "leave the arms behind."  I hit the range after Sunday's round and hit some erratic drivers, but as soon as I locked into rotating back and then leaving the arms there, centrifugal force took over and just delivered the clubhead to the ball perfectly, time after time. 

Now I need to engrain this and take it to the course.

Posted By: rayvil01
Date Posted: 08 May 2006 at 7:47pm

Hayes wrote: With the irons it very easy to "leave the arms behind."  I hit the range after Sunday's round and hit some erratic drivers, but as soon as I locked into rotating back and then leaving the arms there, centrifugal force took over and just delivered the clubhead to the ball perfectly, time after time. 

I hear you, Hayes.  I'm working through the same issues...hitting killer irons, yet not getting the same with the driver.  It's tough to just let it happen with the big stick.  It's easier to find on the range for some reason.

"A mighty oak tree is a nut that held its ground." F.Shero

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