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The Arm Swing Illusion / Jim Waldron's Swing Philosophy

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  • Jim WaldronJim Waldron Balance Point Golf Schools  3229WRX Points: 167Sponsors Posts: 3,229
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    Scottk wrote:


    Really, really interesting stuff. I am looking forward to more. With the arm movement you describe, blended with the rotation, it would seem impossible to suck the club inside.




    Exactly right - and this is the main benefit of understanding proper arm motion that comes with seeing through the Illusion. You simply stop sucking it inside with your arms because you clearly can now see how destructive to good ballstriking that move is...which again proves the power of the mind/brain to body connection, when you really "get it" at a deeper level of your mind, what I call Deep Insight, your body instantly starts to move in a new and better way. Still not a habit yet - that takes a lot of reps, but you are much closer to a correct and automatic body movement pattern now that your subconscious mind Swing Map has a concept that supports that body pattern.
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  • Jim WaldronJim Waldron Balance Point Golf Schools  3229WRX Points: 167Sponsors Posts: 3,229
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    rok78 wrote:


    Jim's got a lot of great stuff, I'm glad it's getting out. I've always been a little hesitant to share specifics because like what has already happened, it's easy to misinterpret the illusions. I got the chance to take a 1-day one-one school with Jim, a follow-up lesson and even got to play 9 holes. I have to say, even though it's big, the Arm Swing Illusion is only the tip of the iceberg. A couple of the things I thought I knew but really blew my mind was the pressures at set-up and how to tighten things in, and his stuff on training the subconcious to act and not let your concious mind get in the way of the shot. Lots of good techniques for that.



    Plus, even though his back was wrecked when we played, it was great to see he could still demonstrate principals and still compress the **** out of the ball. It's a different sound.




    Thanks, Rok. It is always a pleasure to work with you, since you are able to grasp the concepts and make the changes so quickly. We should try to get out and play a round at Fazio soon, I am here for 9 more days before heading home to Oregon for the busy summer season.



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  • Jim WaldronJim Waldron Balance Point Golf Schools  3229WRX Points: 167Sponsors Posts: 3,229
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    OK, I tried this arm movement w/out pivot and it seems like the clubhead is moving outside instead of straight back. Am I missing something??




    Yes - if you do the arm pushaway without the pivot, your arms, hands and shaft will be way outside the ideal plane. Add the pivot, if you blend the two moves together with good timing, and your shaft tracks back right on the address shaft plane and moves to about the elbow plane at the very end of takeaway, or just between it and address shaft plane.



    "Keeping the arms in front" has become something of a cliche in recent years, but this is how you do it during takeaway and it sets the stage for second half of backswing as well. You never get stuck with this technique and it makes solid ballstriking a lot easier to achieve.



    I have written before about Jug McSpaden (tour pro from 1930's -1950's and best bud to Byron Nelson) and his arms in front drill and use it in our golf schools. You can actually hit balls with that drill, where you do the entire arm, right elbow bending and wrist setting from address to the top of backswing, all in front of your torso without any rotation of the torso, pause for a beat, and then coil to the Top without letting any independent arm motion happen, and then just swing away. You can also do the upper arm rotation to flatten shaft while pausing at the end of the first stage as another option.
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  • dapdap  2611WRX Points: 176Members Posts: 2,611
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    I think this might be similar to what Jim is saying about the arm illusion.



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  • russcrussc  6050WRX Points: 2Members Posts: 6,050
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    OK, I tried this arm movement w/out pivot and it seems like the clubhead is moving outside instead of straight back. Am I missing something??




    Yes - if you do the arm pushaway without the pivot, your arms, hands and shaft will be way outside the ideal plane. Add the pivot, if you blend the two moves together with good timing, and your shaft tracks back right on the address shaft plane and moves to about the elbow plane at the very end of takeaway, or just between it and address shaft plane.



    "Keeping the arms in front" has become something of a cliche in recent years, but this is how you do it during takeaway and it sets the stage for second half of backswing as well. You never get stuck with this technique and it makes solid ballstriking a lot easier to achieve.



    I have written before about Jug McSpaden (tour pro from 1930's -1950's and best bud to Byron Nelson) and his arms in front drill and use it in our golf schools. You can actually hit balls with that drill, where you do the entire arm, right elbow bending and wrist setting from address to the top of backswing, all in front of your torso without any rotation of the torso, pause for a beat, and then coil to the Top without letting any independent arm motion happen, and then just swing away. You can also do the upper arm rotation to flatten shaft while pausing at the end of the first stage as another option.


    Is the Jug McSpaden drill the same movement as Ryan Moore used when he was injured
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  • ryanandrew_golfryanandrew_golf  663WRX Points: 36Members Posts: 663
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    Mr. Waldron I have always enjoyed your posts. I learned about the Arm Swing Illusion from iteach and it was an epiphany for me. Now when I swing, I try to feel like my arms do not move in the horizontal dimension at all. Best of luck to you with your book
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  • Jim WaldronJim Waldron Balance Point Golf Schools  3229WRX Points: 167Sponsors Posts: 3,229
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    russc wrote:




    OK, I tried this arm movement w/out pivot and it seems like the clubhead is moving outside instead of straight back. Am I missing something??




    Yes - if you do the arm pushaway without the pivot, your arms, hands and shaft will be way outside the ideal plane. Add the pivot, if you blend the two moves together with good timing, and your shaft tracks back right on the address shaft plane and moves to about the elbow plane at the very end of takeaway, or just between it and address shaft plane.



    "Keeping the arms in front" has become something of a cliche in recent years, but this is how you do it during takeaway and it sets the stage for second half of backswing as well. You never get stuck with this technique and it makes solid ballstriking a lot easier to achieve.



    I have written before about Jug McSpaden (tour pro from 1930's -1950's and best bud to Byron Nelson) and his arms in front drill and use it in our golf schools. You can actually hit balls with that drill, where you do the entire arm, right elbow bending and wrist setting from address to the top of backswing, all in front of your torso without any rotation of the torso, pause for a beat, and then coil to the Top without letting any independent arm motion happen, and then just swing away. You can also do the upper arm rotation to flatten shaft while pausing at the end of the first stage as another option.


    Is the Jug McSpaden drill the same movement as Ryan Moore used when he was injured




    Yes - Ryan did more of the wrist **** part of it with just a tiny bit of arm pushaway, but yes - very much the McSpaden drill. Jug actually won twice I believe on Tour with that drill - weirdest looking backswing in the history of the Tour, but his downswing was gold.
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  • Jim WaldronJim Waldron Balance Point Golf Schools  3229WRX Points: 167Sponsors Posts: 3,229
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    Mr. Waldron I have always enjoyed your posts. I learned about the Arm Swing Illusion from iteach and it was an epiphany for me. Now when I swing, I try to feel like my arms do not move in the horizontal dimension at all. Best of luck to you with your book




    I love that - that is exactly what I recommend to my students. Try to feel as if your arms never move in the horizontal dimension until well after impact, and even then only a little.
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  • Jim WaldronJim Waldron Balance Point Golf Schools  3229WRX Points: 167Sponsors Posts: 3,229
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    dap wrote:


    I think this might be similar to what Jim is saying about the arm illusion.








    Steve does not quite get it right, he needs to do the arm pushaway to the right of mid-line more for the plane issue to be right and for the body parts to be in synch, but the general concept is there.
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  • Jim WaldronJim Waldron Balance Point Golf Schools  3229WRX Points: 167Sponsors Posts: 3,229
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    HappyGolf wrote:


    Jim... could you explain that impact illusion (4 inches past the ball?) that you mentioned on the other thread, please.



    Thanks in adv.... image/good.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':good:' />




    This is for learning to overcome the early release Hit Impulse flaw. Best done with a driver but can be done with any club, just works better with longer clubs since the ball is closer to left heel in stance. You do it in slow mo first. Look at a spot target-side of the golf ball about 4 inches in front of it, and then Pivot Thrust to move your hands with fully set wrists so that your hands pass your "line of sight" to that point in front of the ball. Do it several times and imagine what it would like to see it at full speed in your swing. Then do it with a half speed motion. Then try a normal swing at half speed and look to see the blur of your hands passing your line of sight with the look and feel of at least some wrist **** and hinge of right wrist still intact. A "no release, release" look and feel. It will feel like you will block it dead right on a 45 degree when you do it right and your habit is to throw the wrist angles away too early.



    You need to keep proper grip pressure for this drill to work, probably much lighter than most average golfers employ, so that the momentum from your Pivot Thrust will open the wrist **** angle for you with no effort on your part. I also call this the Do Nothing With The Wrist Lag drill. You do not hold on to it and you do not throw it away. You simply fire your hips, core and torso starting at around P6 and watch the blur of your hands pass your line of sight.



    It works because it extends your swing time sense a bit later into the future, the swing will feel like it is happening at a slower speed, even though it is not, but your time sense will always be slower when you release later and the opposite when you release early.



    I try to embrace that feeling of being late with the wrists opening up when I find myself sometimes releasing early. I am not talking about being late with the Pivot Thrust, that would result in a big block to the right. For early releasers of wrist angles, being "on time" will always feel like being "late", and feeling "on time" will always be in fact early, with a flipped right wrist and loss of forward shaft lean.



    Poor mental focus and too much emotional energy invested in the shot outcome - especially if you suffer from a lack of distance inferiority complex - will cause you to release wrist angles too early. You really need to clearly focus the mind on seeing that hand path blur and you can actually see it, I am not kidding! You can also see the blur of the clubhead striking the ball, another one of our Balance Point swing fundamentals.



    You need to stay awake and aware, in the moment, with an engaged but quiet mind - to see the hand blur past your line of sight. And obviously a very steady head to do so as well. If your head is bobbing around or looking up, you don't have any line of sight to use as a reference point.



    Hope that helps!
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  • dapdap  2611WRX Points: 176Members Posts: 2,611
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    Just to add,another key to the 'late hit' is to feel the arms and club face very open deep into the downswing,almost to impact.There is no way you can release early and hit the ball anywhere close to straight so you will instinctively hold the release off to give your pivot and arm rotation time to square up the face.



    Like Jim said,the 'late hit' for early releasers is going to feel ridiculously late but in effect it will be on time.
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  • dapdap  2611WRX Points: 176Members Posts: 2,611
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    dap wrote:


    Just to add,another key to the 'late hit' is to feel the arms and club face very open deep into the downswing,almost to impact.There is no way you can release early and hit the ball anywhere close to straight so you will instinctively hold the release off to give your pivot and arm rotation time to square up the face.



    Like Jim said,the 'late hit' for early releasers is going to feel ridiculously late but in effect it will be on time.




    As a former caster..feels like the hit is way into the follow thru. Think you will never hit it..but will



    It is so addictive to feel this now..a different sound at Impact too


    Yup you have nailed it.You feel like the hit is well into your followthrough.
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  • HsteadHstead  6336WRX Points: 177Members Posts: 6,336
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    Mr. Waldron I have always enjoyed your posts. I learned about the Arm Swing Illusion from iteach and it was an epiphany for me. Now when I swing, I try to feel like my arms do not move in the horizontal dimension at all. Best of luck to you with your book




    I love that - that is exactly what I recommend to my students. Try to feel as if your arms never move in the horizontal dimension until well after impact, and even then only a little.




    I have the same exact feeling. At the top, it feels like my hands are on the target line instead of well behind me or even over my right shoulder. It literally feels like my arms are reaching straight out toward the target line. iteach taught me the same thing. It sounds like you two have similar beliefs. Dan uses the "straight right arm drill" which sounds similar to what you are teaching. Some believe that you can disconnect with the straight right arms, but obviously they do not understand how it works. If the arms are straight, the chest will follow since they have no other option. Like you said, it is so much easier. Instead of crying, I stood there and laughed like a little girl. I just shook my head. It was so dang easy when someone explains it to you that knows what they are talking about. I was just stunned and almost in disbelief that it was so easy to do and how quick I could do it. Literally in two or three swings I was done. It is hard for golfers to udnerstand as I have tried to show a couple of guys, but they continue to want to "swing" their arms to the right and behind them.
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  • peacedogpeacedog  233WRX Points: 40Members Posts: 233
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    Very interesting thread. One thing I have been happy about lately in the forum is that many other instructors are getting their due. I think slicefixer is great, but when I first joined I was under the impression he was the only golf instructor on the planet worth going to. Nice to see Monte, iteach, and Jim getting their due. Have to say this and iteach's get your arm swing and pivot in sync and basic setup have been great to read over the past few weeks.



    I am wondering if there is a video out there of this move. I read and then reread this thread a few times and think I get it, but like Jim himself mentioned this can easily be misinterpreted. So I am hoping to be able to see it. Thanks again for the thread. .
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  • Jim WaldronJim Waldron Balance Point Golf Schools  3229WRX Points: 167Sponsors Posts: 3,229
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    I discovered the Arm Swing Illusion on Sept 6 of 1996. It was a "supernova" light bulb moment for me, the biggest to date in my career as a golf teacher and golf swing researcher. Did not sleep at all the first night. It took six weeks of intense scrutiny, checking and re-checking and trying to refute it and all the many powerful ramifications before I actually really started to embrace it as an important teaching concept. I started using the concept in my teaching in January of 1997 and have been using it ever since, with great success. There are many, many important subsets to this Illusion, affecting the wrists, right arm angle, axis tilt, release and pivot, especially pivot thrust release sequencing and timing.



    We use six Arm Swing Illusion drills in our golf schools, the Jug McSpaden drill alone has three different versions. They are designed to re-program how your subconscious mind especially understands the role of the arms in the golf swing.



    My book will come with a dvd of about one hours length that will cover the Illusion in depth.
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  • beutelwombbeutelwomb  291WRX Points: 0Members Posts: 291
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    Quick question: The arm motion on the downswing would be the same motion backwards, pulling the arm towards your body ?!
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  • nandlernandler  29WRX Points: 50Members Posts: 29
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    I just tried this with the laser on my club and it's right on plane. I am stunned. Supernova light bulb moment totally describes it for me. I have taken so many lessons, spent hundreds of hours of mirror work, videoing my swing, contorting my body and hands and wrists trying to get on plane to no avail. My current instructor told me it usually takes 25 lessons to fix this! I feel like I should be paying for this considering how much money I will be saving after dumping that guy.



    Thank you so much!
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  • iteachgolfiteachgolf  17009WRX Points: 1,137Members Posts: 17,009
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    It shouldn't take 25 lessons to fix anything
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  • Hogan1975Hogan1975 Love old flat irons  1686WRX Points: 0Banned Posts: 1,686
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    peacedog wrote:


    Very interesting thread. One thing I have been happy about lately in the forum is that many other instructors are getting their due. I think slicefixer is great, but when I first joined I was under the impression he was the only golf instructor on the planet worth going to. Nice to see Monte, iteach, and Jim getting their due. Have to say this and iteach's get your arm swing and pivot in sync and basic setup have been great to read over the past few weeks.



    I am wondering if there is a video out there of this move. I read and then reread this thread a few times and think I get it, but like Jim himself mentioned this can easily be misinterpreted. So I am hoping to be able to see it. Thanks again for the thread. .




    I agree about DVD and books..but first hand is the best. ( most of the time.)..
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  • nandlernandler  29WRX Points: 50Members Posts: 29
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    iteachgolf wrote:


    It shouldn't take 25 lessons to fix anything




    Yeah he definitely cost himself some money by saying that.
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  • nandlernandler  29WRX Points: 50Members Posts: 29
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    nandler wrote:

    iteachgolf wrote:


    It shouldn't take 25 lessons to fix anything




    Yeah he definitely cost himself some money by saying that.




    Also realize . Things don't come easy either,,..




    Did I mention the hundreds of hours I've spent trying to fix it? :-)
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  • bdcavabdcava bdcava  609WRX Points: 93Members Posts: 609
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    This reminds me of something I read on a different forum a few years ago. They were discussing the backswing and someone described it as turning the body while lifting the left arm straight straight up from the shoulder. As someone who has always struggled with pulling the club way inside, this image helps me.
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  • HsteadHstead  6336WRX Points: 177Members Posts: 6,336
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    I hear ya,, I soent 5 solid months,,hitting sometimes 4 hrs plus a day beating the cast. And I did...



    A lesson is only good if you apply it..than applying it correctly is the trick.. Everyone expects a "5 ball" and you got it tip. Doesn't happen, if I hear something like this,,I run and run very very fast.




    CP, there are several of us that it only took 3 to 5 swings. I have played and tried to "fix" my swing for 20+ years. Spent hours and hours of slo mo drilss in the living room, I can't begin to guess at how many range balls I have hit, all with little to no real changes that lasted. Dan fixed it in 3 swings. Dan will tell you that if you can't improve drasstically in 5 swings or so, something is not right. He is that good. Ask temebolo, CSagan, Eag1e, and several others, they have all experienced the "5 swings". That doesn't mean every does, but a lot do.



    I have a couple of kids now and I don't get to spend much time practicing like I did years ago. I have really spent very little time with my new swing and I have videoed it several times, including yesterday. Not once has it been different on video and it actually gets better even without practice. Dan said it would. He said the more you do it the better it will get. I have been getting to play about three times per week with usually at least one or two of those days being 9 holes and I have probably had 3 range sessions total.



    I used to be in the "10,000 reps" camp blah blah blah but once Dan explained how and why things work the way they do, it is easy. It is WAY easier now than anything I have ever tried where I put in the 1,000 of reps. This is a peice of cake. No reason to not be able to do it in 3 swings.
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  • sonofagunnsonofagunn  793WRX Points: 0Members Posts: 793
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    You can do something new and great in 5 swings, but it takes longer to ingrain it - where you just look at the target and swing away with a blank mind and it happens naturally.
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  • HsteadHstead  6336WRX Points: 177Members Posts: 6,336
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    sonofagunn wrote:


    You can do something new and great in 5 swings, but it takes longer to ingrain it - where you just look at the target and swing away with a blank mind and it happens naturally.




    I promise I thought the same until I experienced it. The changes Dan made are actually "natural" which makes it so easy. It is biomechanics, vs the stuff I have been trying to do for years. There is no other explanations of how I have been able to not once go back to the old swing on video with such little practice or effort. It is just easier when you understand how the body works. I can't explain it. But trust me, had I not experienced it, I would have said "no that is just a feel and it will go away, it is golf". I thought tembolo was being sarcastic when he said it took him 2 swings on his thread. Then Csagan confirmed he did the same. I was stunned when I experienced it. Like I said, not every one does, but it can happen.



    For the record, I do not believe in Bigfoot, ghosts, Lockness, Yetti, or getting rich quick.
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  • dmb316dmb316  192WRX Points: 35Members Posts: 192
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    How would you all compare this arm swing illusion (at least for the backswing) to what slicefixer teaches? I'm definitely a 'pivot drives the swing' and powering the inside to move the outside person, but have had problems in getting inside on my backswing because of the 'connection' of the upper left arm.



    just coming across this illusion stuff and that 45 degrees to the target line take away topics discussed above, it just explains almost exactly the feel that I have in my takeaway.



    taking club selection out of it, look at every top of backswing. almost all lead arms are somewhat parallel to the shoulder line. some flatter, some more upright, but I would argue that ALL are more upright than at address, which tells me if you just move your shoulders and torso to get the to club to the top, it will be way inside and never high enough.



    sorry to jump in, but was kinda glad I came across this topic. helps reaffirm some of swing feelings, but would be interested to know what SF folks say and how it may or may not differ from SF's takeaway thoughts, since i've only seen 'straight back for the first 12-18 inches'
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  • nandlernandler  29WRX Points: 50Members Posts: 29
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    dmb316 wrote:


    How would you all compare this arm swing illusion (at least for the backswing) to what slicefixer teaches? I'm definitely a 'pivot drives the swing' and powering the inside to move the outside person, but have had problems in getting inside on my backswing because of the 'connection' of the upper left arm.



    just coming across this illusion stuff and that 45 degrees to the target line take away topics discussed above, it just explains almost exactly the feel that I have in my takeaway.



    taking club selection out of it, look at every top of backswing. almost all lead arms are somewhat parallel to the shoulder line. some flatter, some more upright, but I would argue that ALL are more upright than at address, which tells me if you just move your shoulders and torso to get the to club to the top, it will be way inside and never high enough.



    sorry to jump in, but was kinda glad I came across this topic. helps reaffirm some of swing feelings, but would be interested to know what SF folks say and how it may or may not differ from SF's takeaway thoughts, since i've only seen 'straight back for the first 12-18 inches'




    It seems to me that this ties in perfectly with the 'straight back for the first 12-18 inches'. Once you start rotating your shoulders you can't bring the clubhead straight back from the ball unless your hands start extending away from your body.
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  • The PearlThe Pearl  1982WRX Points: 118Members Posts: 1,982
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    Mr. Waldron I have always enjoyed your posts. I learned about the Arm Swing Illusion from iteach and it was an epiphany for me. Now when I swing, I try to feel like my arms do not move in the horizontal dimension at all. Best of luck to you with your book




    I love that - that is exactly what I recommend to my students. Try to feel as if your arms never move in the horizontal dimension until well after impact, and even then only a little.




    I am kind of stuck here with the definition of horizontal. For lack of a better description, it seems to me that what is being described here is a turning of the body with no arm swing (movement) until about waist high or so, where by the club is simply lifted to the top of the backswing. Is this accurate?
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  • Kiwi2Kiwi2  1059WRX Points: 2Members Posts: 1,059
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    beutelwomb wrote:


    Quick question: The arm motion on the downswing would be the same motion backwards, pulling the arm towards your body ?!




    No.



    Think of a V and a U. The arm movement is V shaped in the backswing and U shaped on the downswing.



    The V is the result of a scooping action on the backswing and the left arm moving slightly to the right as it goes up.



    The U is the result of the arms dropping, almost straight down, to hip height. This is to the right of your mid-line. Jim teaches that they then come to a stop whilst connected to the chest and that they don’t move across the chest until after impact.



    At the schools Jim taught that you should never pull the arms down or across the body
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  • rok78rok78  1680WRX Points: 55Members Posts: 1,680
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    rok78 wrote:


    Jim's got a lot of great stuff, I'm glad it's getting out. I've always been a little hesitant to share specifics because like what has already happened, it's easy to misinterpret the illusions. I got the chance to take a 1-day one-one school with Jim, a follow-up lesson and even got to play 9 holes. I have to say, even though it's big, the Arm Swing Illusion is only the tip of the iceberg. A couple of the things I thought I knew but really blew my mind was the pressures at set-up and how to tighten things in, and his stuff on training the subconcious to act and not let your concious mind get in the way of the shot. Lots of good techniques for that.



    Plus, even though his back was wrecked when we played, it was great to see he could still demonstrate principals and still compress the **** out of the ball. It's a different sound.




    Thanks, Rok. It is always a pleasure to work with you, since you are able to grasp the concepts and make the changes so quickly. We should try to get out and play a round at Fazio soon, I am here for 9 more days before heading home to Oregon for the busy summer season.




    I will definitely drop you an email if I can. With a newborn and toddler it's harder to get out on the weekends, so I can give my wife a break.
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