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The Arm Swing Illusion / Jim Waldron's Swing Philosophy


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#1 Kiwi2

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 12:10 PM

A major part of Jim Waldron’s teaching is based on overcoming what he calls
the Arm Swing Illusion. Jim has found that many of his students improve
rapidly once they become aware of it.

Questions have been asked on the forum for an explanation. With Jim’s approval a condensed and simplified explanation follows.

What is it?
It is an illusion which is created by our natural tendency to view the swing
in a two dimensional way. This causes us to see the swinging motion of the
arms hands and club as a sideways movement across the chest and around the
torso.
It appears that way to us as we look down at the ball during the swing. It
also appears that way as we observe others swinging.
This has caused problems for many as they try to learn the golf swing.

What really happens with the arms in a good motion?
If we isolate the arm action from the pivot, they initially move at a 45 degree angle to the chest towards the
target line until, for a right handed golfer, the right arm reaches waist
high.
The right elbow then bends to around 90 degrees which raises the left arm.
The independent arm action then stops as the torso continues turning so that
the shoulder girdle is at a 90 degree angle to the spine.
In other words the arms push away from the torso rather than being pulled in
towards it.

Jim has some drills that help learn this and they work. But they are part of
his teaching and you will need to either take a lesson from him, or wait
until his books are published to learn them.

How do I know what it is?
I have spent time with Jim in Hawaii over two occasions not so many years ago. Both experiences were very positive.The first time I attended his Ultimate Golf School (two attendees). The Second, his Great Shot (6 attendees) and Rip it to the Target mental game school (I was the only attendee). Jim then invited me back to help. Other commitments have stopped me doing this to date. I have his DVDs and his manuals.

I hope that answered some of your questions.

Edited by Kiwi2, 08 October 2014 - 09:11 PM.


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#2 juststeve

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 12:50 PM

Kiwi2:

You wrote:

If we isolate the arm action from the pivot, they initially move at a 45 degree angle to the chest towards the
target line until, for a right handed golfer, the right arm reaches waist
high.

Is that what you meant to say?

Steve

Edited by juststeve, 25 April 2013 - 12:51 PM.


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#3 pappaf2

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 01:28 PM

Thanks for posting this up Kiwi2. I'm attending one of Jim's Great Shot! schools this year and I've really been looking forward to learning about the arm swing illusion and its fixes in person.
We're not here for a long time,
just a good time.

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#4 russc

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 01:51 PM

View Postjuststeve, on 25 April 2013 - 12:50 PM, said:

Kiwi2:

You wrote:

If we isolate the arm action from the pivot, they initially move at a 45 degree angle to the chest towards the
target line until, for a right handed golfer, the right arm reaches waist
high.

Is that what you meant to say?

Steve
+1
I doubt very much that  Jim teaches this.since it would involve  a major disconnection of the left arm from the torso.
I would really like to hear more on the "arm  Illusion"  directly from Jim instead of Kiwi's interpretation

Edited by russc, 25 April 2013 - 01:55 PM.


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#5 Kiwi2

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 01:53 PM

View Postjuststeve, on 25 April 2013 - 12:50 PM, said:

Kiwi2:

You wrote:

If we isolate the arm action from the pivot, they initially move at a 45 degree angle to the chest towards the
target line until, for a right handed golfer, the right arm reaches waist
high.

Is that what you meant to say?

Steve

Yes.

The pivot action is being disregarded here. The explanation relates to the arms independently. It is the only way I am aware of that the illusion can be explained. That is to isolate the arm movement.

Jim prefers  the term move away rather than takeaway. In his model  there is no independent arm action in the first part of this movement.  The term move away implies a body motion. The belly is used to initiate the backswing after a rebound from what he calls the bump. The arms don’t come into it yet. There is no pushing away of the arms at that stage. The arms will move however as a result of connection of the left arm. The independent arm motion kicks in when the hands reach the right hand side of the right leg .

The explanation was not describing the takeaway or backswing.


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#6 Kiwi2

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 01:58 PM

View Postrussc, on 25 April 2013 - 01:51 PM, said:

View Postjuststeve, on 25 April 2013 - 12:50 PM, said:

Kiwi2:

You wrote:

If we isolate the arm action from the pivot, they initially move at a 45 degree angle to the chest towards the
target line until, for a right handed golfer, the right arm reaches waist
high.

Is that what you meant to say?

Steve
+1
I doubt very much that  Jim teaches this.since it would involve  a major disconnection of the left arm from the torso.
I would really like to hear more on the "arm  Illusion" from Jim instead of from Kiwi

Please read my reply to Steve.

You have misunderstood the post completely.

Yes, Jim teaches connectiion.

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#7 iteachgolf

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 02:06 PM

View Postrussc, on 25 April 2013 - 01:51 PM, said:

View Postjuststeve, on 25 April 2013 - 12:50 PM, said:

Kiwi2:

You wrote:

If we isolate the arm action from the pivot, they initially move at a 45 degree angle to the chest towards the
target line until, for a right handed golfer, the right arm reaches waist
high.

Is that what you meant to say?

Steve
+1
I doubt very much that  Jim teaches this.since it would involve  a major disconnection of the left arm from the torso.
I would really like to hear more on the "arm  Illusion"  directly from Jim instead of Kiwi's interpretation

How is this a major disconnection?  I'm thinking you are very confused about what exactly he is saying.   Instead of being rude to Kiwi maybe you might ask a question instead of imply he doesn't know what he's talking about.   How is what he's doing any different than what you do in EVERY thread on behalf of Geoff?

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#8 Jim Waldron

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 02:06 PM

UPDATE: Here is a link to my new video on the Arm Swing Illusion, released on July 15, 2015. For those of you who find this illusion concept fascinating and helpful, whether you intend to continue on in your reading and study of this mega-thread, consider buying the video (available from our website as a convenient download) and watching it several times. It is designed to be as close as possible to the actual experience of a live golf school with me, and is a total viewing time of 2 hours and 42 minutes. It covers the arm swing illusion, as well as several related illusions, in depth. The video consists of an Introduction to the basic concept, drills for de-constructing the Illusion from your subconscious mind swing map that are done without a golf ball, and finally drills you can do with a ball during range practice.

Any golfer who watches this video with a truly open mind will come away with a radical new understanding of what is actually happening in the modern tour pro golf swing. It is a mind-blowing experience that will challenge your previously un-questioned basic assumptions about what should be happening with the arm motion in a good golf swing. If you struggle with sucking the arms and club way inside the ideal plane in the backswing, over the top move during Transition, early wrist c0ck release and flipping, and arm dis-connection during Release, this video will show you the primary root cause of those Fatal Flaws.

http://www.balancepo...hop/golf-videos

And here is a small sample of that video: https://www.youtube....XUy5KN8AYM#t=24

We have completed the follow up video to that Arm Swing Illusion video: "Module Three - Advanced Arm Mechanics and Educated Hands" in two parts, a nearly three hour video Part A and a 40 minute video Part B. Both are available for download at the above link to our website. Module Three goes into a very detailed and technical explanation of the proper arm mechanics, and covers the Triangle concept, the Three Arm Pressures, more on the arm swing illusion, both swing map, slow motion mirror and ballstriking drills focusing on proper arm mechanics. Module Three also covers Elements Five through Nine of Educated Hands in the Balance Point System having to do with various forms of pressure, and awareness of hand path, clubhead weight, etc.

Module Four: Mechanics of the Pivot video is now available from our site as well.  http://www.balancepointgolf.com/index.php/pro-shop.  

Once you have a clear understanding of how the arms should work from Modules Two and Three, the next step is to learn about the basic elements of the Pivot: lateral weight shift on the forward swing, rotation, side tilt, forward Spine Angle, Tilt Illusion, Power sources, Pivot Thrust, Transition Trigger and related elements.

My e-book "Great Shot! Mastering the Craft of Ballstriking" also covers the Arm Swing Illusion material, but more importantly is a 205 page "encyclopedia" about the modern golf swing fundamentals, including sections on how to learn and practice effectively.   http://www.balancepo...ro-shop/e-books


Thanks, Kiwi, for explaining that. The arms pushaway on a 45 degree angle to the chest, while the chest is rotating, in an actual golf swing. But - when we first present the Illusion concept in our golf schools, we do an exaggeration drill where there is no Pivot, to show what the arms actually do in relation to the chest, and in that drill, a club is placed on the ground from the middle of one's stance on a 45 degree angle to one's right. We practice the arm pushaway action which results in the golf club in one's hands being over the shaft on the ground, and the club in one's hands parallel to the ground, with just a touch of wrist hinge and c0ck as well. Then - we do the chest/belly Pivot with arms across the chest to around 45 degrees of chest rotation. Then we combine the arm 45 angle pushaway with the chest rotation for a perfectly on-plane takeaway or moveaway motion. The blending of the two motions is the key to a real takeaway.

Russc - you are taking connection too literally. You can have the left tricep touching the pecs while the upper left arm is moving on that angle to the right of mid-line a bit. We call it "connection in motion". And it happens for most of my students after the first third or so of the actual moveaway segment. Although you could certainly do it right from the start and still keep the upper left arm touching the pec as you start to do the pushaway motion. I recommend that option for some students who are way too inside with their arms during moveaway. You just have to synchronize the two at the right speed - otherwise you will get a seperation of the left arm from the pec.

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#9 PingG10guy

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 02:26 PM

When does jims book come out?

I like his ideas on the arm action.

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#10 CSagan

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 02:29 PM

This was one thing I learned from iteach during my lesson with him. Showed me how the arms move, its like a u shape going away from your body if you didnt turn....then when your body turns that gives your arms the depth.


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#11 rok78

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 02:31 PM

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 hell out of the ball. It's a different sound.
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#12 russc

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 02:35 PM

Jim
Much clearer explanation
If your information was in the initial post ,I would not have commented

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#13 juststeve

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 02:36 PM

Jim:

Glad you showed up.What has me confused is the idea in the OP is the idea that "they"  (I assume the arms) are moving "toward the target line".     If you can, help me visualize that.

Thanks

Steve

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#14 exgolfpro

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 02:47 PM

View PostKiwi2, on 25 April 2013 - 01:53 PM, said:

View Postjuststeve, on 25 April 2013 - 12:50 PM, said:

Kiwi2:

You wrote:

If we isolate the arm action from the pivot, they initially move at a 45 degree angle to the chest towards the
target line until, for a right handed golfer, the right arm reaches waist
high.

Is that what you meant to say?

Steve

Yes.

The pivot action is being disregarded here. The explanation relates to the arms independently. It is the only way I am aware of that the illusion can be explained. That is to isolate the arm movement.

Jim prefers  the term move away rather than takeaway. In his model  there is no independent arm action in the first part of this movement.  The term move away implies a body motion. The belly is used to initiate the backswing after a rebound from what he calls the bump. The arms don’t come into it yet. There is no pushing away of the arms at that stage. The arms will move however as a result of connection of the left arm. The independent arm motion kicks in when the hands reach the right hand side of the right leg .

The explanation was not describing the takeaway or backswing.

If I can jump in, to maybe clarify?  I think the initial confusion (because it confused me) was where you say the arm moves at a 45* angle to the chest TOWARD the target line.  That 'toward' the target line is confusing.  I think from my point of view, it would be AWAY from the target line?  Im assuming what you are saying is, if we use the hands of a clock analogy that we all know and at setup, our hands are roughly pointing toward 12 o'clock, then your backswing move you are referring to gets you to 1:30ish or so.  Is that right?  Instead of going all the way to 3 o'clock or deeper.

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#15 Kiwi2

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 02:49 PM

View Postrussc, on 25 April 2013 - 02:35 PM, said:

Jim
Much clearer explanation
If your information was in the initial post ,I would not have commented
Unlike you, with Slicefixer,  I am not prepared to give away what Jim gets paid for. That Jim chose to expand on things was great.He is a good person.

You failed to read the part of my post which said " a condensed and simplified explanation follows."


15

#16 Jim Waldron

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 02:50 PM

View Postjuststeve, on 25 April 2013 - 02:36 PM, said:

Jim:

Glad you showed up.What has me confused is the idea in the OP is the idea that "they"  (I assume the arms) are moving "toward the target line".     If you can, help me visualize that.

Thanks

Steve

Arms move toward target line only in that drill with shaft on the ground and NO Pivot. NOT an actual swing. It is tough to understand this precisely because of the power of the Arm Swing Illusion, and why I have resisted posting much about it here and on other forums. Almost everyone gets it wrong when reading about it. We usually do about three hour segment on the Illusion during our golf schools, and it takes almost all of that time for most of the students to "start" to get it. I am not kidding about this or under-stating it. The concept itself is mind-blowing. Our basic underlying default premise about what a golf swing truly is, and what is occurring with both arm and pivot action and also wrist action, is totally incorrect, and NOT happening in most tour pro golf swings. What we are seeing is not happening and what is happening we are not seeing.

It "looks like" the arms are pulling in toward the body as they are also pulled across and behind the chest a bit from a sideays upper arm "swinging" motion and from right elbow folding, like starting a lawn mower. And the reverse appears to happen during Release and post-impact.

I hope to finish the book with a dvd that comes with it later this year, I know I have been saying this for a couple years now, but teaching and life seem to find a way to get in the way of the writing.

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#17 Huntster

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 02:57 PM

I feel like Penny from Big Bang Theory.  :fool:

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#18 Jim Waldron

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 02:59 PM

View Postexgolfpro, on 25 April 2013 - 02:47 PM, said:

View PostKiwi2, on 25 April 2013 - 01:53 PM, said:

View Postjuststeve, on 25 April 2013 - 12:50 PM, said:

Kiwi2:

You wrote:

If we isolate the arm action from the pivot, they initially move at a 45 degree angle to the chest towards the
target line until, for a right handed golfer, the right arm reaches waist
high.

Is that what you meant to say?

Steve

Yes.

The pivot action is being disregarded here. The explanation relates to the arms independently. It is the only way I am aware of that the illusion can be explained. That is to isolate the arm movement.

Jim prefers  the term move away rather than takeaway. In his model  there is no independent arm action in the first part of this movement.  The term move away implies a body motion. The belly is used to initiate the backswing after a rebound from what he calls the bump. The arms don’t come into it yet. There is no pushing away of the arms at that stage. The arms will move however as a result of connection of the left arm. The independent arm motion kicks in when the hands reach the right hand side of the right leg .

The explanation was not describing the takeaway or backswing.

If I can jump in, to maybe clarify?  I think the initial confusion (because it confused me) was where you say the arm moves at a 45* angle to the chest TOWARD the target line.  That 'toward' the target line is confusing.  I think from my point of view, it would be AWAY from the target line?  Im assuming what you are saying is, if we use the hands of a clock analogy that we all know and at setup, our hands are roughly pointing toward 12 o'clock, then your backswing move you are referring to gets you to 1:30ish or so.  Is that right?  Instead of going all the way to 3 o'clock or deeper.

Yes about toward 1:30 - but again only IF NO PIVOT. And no - the hands are pushed away from your chest as if you are shaking hands with someone standing in front of you, on the target line, but to your right, so that your left arm would extend away from you but on a 45 degree angle to the right.

When you blend the chest turn and arm 45 angle pushaway, it just looks like Justin Roses, or Tigers, or Mahans takeaway - and hundreds of other guys on tour.

To put it another way, when I ask a high handicap amateur to show me what he thinks a tour pro does with his "arm swing" during takeaway, but without a pivot, Mr. 35 handicap will simply swing his arms sideways across his chest, parallel to the target line and more or less over his toe line, with a lot of right elbow bend. He is trying to "swing" his arms across and around his chest. When I do it, my motion is almost totally opposite. I am pushing my arms away from body in front of my chest - but to the right of mid-line on a 45 degree angle. And my right arm stays straight or perhaps just a touch of elbow bend at the very end of the motion. I have created width by doing so, my student has narrowed his arc considerably and used his right bicep to bend his right elbow.

Hogan said "If I could have surgery to improve my golf swing I would have the doctor remove both of by biceps."

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#19 Kiwi2

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 03:03 PM

View Postexgolfpro, on 25 April 2013 - 02:47 PM, said:

View PostKiwi2, on 25 April 2013 - 01:53 PM, said:

View Postjuststeve, on 25 April 2013 - 12:50 PM, said:

Kiwi2:

You wrote:

If we isolate the arm action from the pivot, they initially move at a 45 degree angle to the chest towards the
target line until, for a right handed golfer, the right arm reaches waist
high.

Is that what you meant to say?

Steve

Yes.

The pivot action is being disregarded here. The explanation relates to the arms independently. It is the only way I am aware of that the illusion can be explained. That is to isolate the arm movement.

Jim prefers  the term move away rather than takeaway. In his model  there is no independent arm action in the first part of this movement.  The term move away implies a body motion. The belly is used to initiate the backswing after a rebound from what he calls the bump. The arms don’t come into it yet. There is no pushing away of the arms at that stage. The arms will move however as a result of connection of the left arm. The independent arm motion kicks in when the hands reach the right hand side of the right leg .

The explanation was not describing the takeaway or backswing.

If I can jump in, to maybe clarify?  I think the initial confusion (because it confused me) was where you say the arm moves at a 45* angle to the chest TOWARD the target line.  That 'toward' the target line is confusing.  I think from my point of view, it would be AWAY from the target line?  Im assuming what you are saying is, if we use the hands of a clock analogy that we all know and at setup, our hands are roughly pointing toward 12 o'clock, then your backswing move you are referring to gets you to 1:30ish or so.  Is that right?  Instead of going all the way to 3 o'clock or deeper.

I was referring to arm movement only. No pivot. The backswing isn't involved at all here. Just the isolated movement of the arms nothing else.

Don't think golfswing. Think what should the arms do independent of anything else. In that case the movement is 45% towards the targetline. And it is not straight out from the midline as some who observe the arms incorrectly going around the body teach.

Edited by Kiwi2, 25 April 2013 - 03:06 PM.


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#20 Jim Waldron

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 03:28 PM

To be more concrete, you really do not "swing" your arms, ie upper arms from shoulder sockets, in the manner that 99.9% of average golfers understand that term, and even most teaching pros who advocate  arm swinging understand it. Harvey Penick admitted as much shortly before he died, and he was in that arms swinging camp almost his entire life.

You cannot "swing your arms" and be on plane with the clubshaft. And you cannot "swing your arms" and consistently synch your arm and pivot motions.

I have seen many, many students fall off their chairs and laugh out loud with a blend of shock and surprise and joy when they first start to see through the Illusion at our schools. And grown men cry, some with sadness from all the wasted years of struggling within the traditional instruction paradigm, which is mostly based on the Illusions, and some with joy for finally seeing through all the madness and confusion and realizing that there is in fact a simpler and reliable way to swing a golf club, that the so-called more "difficult" swing the tour pros use is in fact orders of magnitude easier to learn and to execute than the swing that the averaged Illusion-challenged golfer is attempting to employ.


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#21 Kiwi2

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 03:33 PM

View Postrok78, on 25 April 2013 - 02:31 PM, said:

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 hell out of the ball. It's a different sound.
Yes.

His description of the grip is the best I have ever seen. it introduces important things that others don't talk about. He thinks deeply about the swing and unlike many other philosophers can teach itas well.

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#22 HappyGolf

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 03:40 PM

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

Thanks in adv.... :good:

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#23 Stryker

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 04:08 PM

Man I hope you finish that book soon.

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#24 Scottk

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 04:31 PM

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.

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#25 Brahmabull102002

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 04:35 PM

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??


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#26 Tacojoe

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 04:43 PM

View PostJim Waldron, on 25 April 2013 - 03:28 PM, said:

To be more concrete, you really do not "swing" your arms, ie upper arms from shoulder sockets, in the manner that 99.9% of average golfers understand that term, and even most teaching pros who advocate  arm swinging understand it. Harvey Penick admitted as much shortly before he died, and he was in that arms swinging camp almost his entire life.

You cannot "swing your arms" and be on plane with the clubshaft. And you cannot "swing your arms" and consistently synch your arm and pivot motions.

I have seen many, many students fall off their chairs and laugh out loud with a blend of shock and surprise and joy when they first start to see through the Illusion at our schools. And grown men cry, some with sadness from all the wasted years of struggling within the traditional instruction paradigm, which is mostly based on the Illusions, and some with joy for finally seeing through all the madness and confusion and realizing that there is in fact a simpler and reliable way to swing a golf club, that the so-called more "difficult" swing the tour pros use is in fact orders of magnitude easier to learn and to execute than the swing that the averaged Illusion-challenged golfer is attempting to employ.

Jim, I would be one of the criers!  It's clear to see why so many people struggle.  I'll definitely be attending one of your schools in the near future.  Thank You for all the help you provide.

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#27 HappyGolf

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 04:52 PM

View PostBrahmabull102002, on 25 April 2013 - 04:35 PM, said:

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??

From what I gather by his explanation that sounds correct... the club moves outside if you are doing it without rotation.... then as you incorporate the rotation the club will go nicely up to p2  without going outside or inside (on plane).

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#28 Kiwi2

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 04:55 PM

View PostBrahmabull102002, on 25 April 2013 - 04:35 PM, said:

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??

No.

that is what should happen if the pivot is removed.

You  are looking at how the arms work independently of anything else.

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#29 HappyGolf

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 05:02 PM

View PostKiwi2, on 25 April 2013 - 04:55 PM, said:

View PostBrahmabull102002, on 25 April 2013 - 04:35 PM, said:

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??

No.

that is what should happen if the pivot is removed.


He said "without" pivot..... well he actually said "w/out" :good:

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#30 Kiwi2

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 05:05 PM

View PostHappyGolf, on 25 April 2013 - 05:02 PM, said:

View PostKiwi2, on 25 April 2013 - 04:55 PM, said:

View PostBrahmabull102002, on 25 April 2013 - 04:35 PM, said:

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??

No.

that is what should happen if the pivot is removed.


He said "without" pivot..... well he actually said "w/out" :good:

Yes that is right and I said. No.

That is he isn't missing something. Your answer to him was correct.


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