Consider the Benefits of a Pause at the Top of the Backswing - Senior Golf Tip (Video)
Consider the Benefits of a Pause at the Top of the Backswing - Senior Golf Tip (Video)

Okay. So, what’s the benefit of having a pause at the top of the backswing? Well, it’s quite easy really when you think about it. One of the biggest faults of golfers is actually getting to the top of the backswing and then hitting it and from hitting it it causes all sorts of different problems. So, if you’ve got a pause, the sort of hit that people tend to do from the top of the backswing is almost sort of erased out of the equation. So, if I go back and I swing the club and I go back pause and back, you can see that the likelihood of actually pausing and then coming down hard is gone, because its almost like you’ve come to a stop, but it’s just a little pause, we’re not stopped for one, two, three, four seconds, we’re just paused and from that you can imagine the sort of rhythm, the sort of movement, momentum, everything is smooth, is slow, everything is together, so in other words this big word control is now in your hands, you’ve got that control by having this pause at the top.

So, let me give you a demonstration. So, if I get over this ball and I just want to pause. I just go back, pause, that was just so effortless. And for us, as senior golfer, this is just, you know, really something that we should be doing all the time. It is essential. There is no effort to it. The ball is going exactly where I was actually aiming and I was just working on that slight pause. But to go from a conventional swing where you’re going where you’re going back at, say, whatever speed and coming back down or whatever you’ve been used to doing, to go from that to a pause is almost kind of going from one extreme to the other extreme, so let’s give you a simple sort of exercise where you can actually think about this.

Very simple. If you get over the ball, just do it without the ball just to start with. If you go one and two, you notice I’m not going one, two because that would encourage a hit from the top and that’s not what we’re here for. What we’re here is to get this club doing back and through. So, if I remember the words, so one is the push, two is the top, yeah, sorry, one and two, so one is the push and two, so two is on the ball, so from here, one and two and this time I’ve got a much, much better shot out there, much better shot just by focusing and you might think we didn’t really pause there, but if you think about it, we’ve taken a pause, we’ve gone one and, and that second, whether you think you’ve got a pause in your swing or not, every single golfer has got a pause at the top of the backswing, no matter who he is in the world.

It might be a millisecond, but there is no way you could possibly go back and come down, there has got to be a pause there. For us, the senior golfers having that pause actually makes more sense, more control, more rhythm and it’s so simple to do, so it’s one and two and look how smooth that swing is. Simple tip, get onto the golf course tomorrow, you don’t even need to go to the practice ground for this one and get out there and just work on one and two. It works.

2013-08-06

Have you ever thought about adding a pause to your backswing? Probably not.

Consider the Benefits of a Pause at the Top of the Backswing

Most people think of the golf swing as one continuous motion, so the idea of pausing at some point during the swing never really comes to mind. With that said, you may be surprised to learn that there is already a small pause built into your swing, whether you know it or not. When the club reaches the top of the backswing, it has to pause – even if only for a fraction of a second – in order to change directions. The momentum from your backswing is not carried into your downswing, because those two movements go in opposite directions. It is required to stop one before you start the other.

In this article, we are going to discuss the possibility of extending that pause slightly in order to give your swing an improved rhythm and tempo. There is nothing you can do about having a small pause – that is unavoidable – but you can decide whether or not you want to pause for a little longer. Some golfers find great success with this technique, while others are never quite able to get comfortable. The only way to know whether or not it will work for you is to try it out for yourself.

Our first goal in this article is to establish the potential benefits of adding a pronounced pause at the top of your swing. After all, you would be wasting your time if you worked on this technique and you didn’t stand to gain anything notable. Once we’ve established that this technique does have the potential to help you play better golf, we’ll move into the process of actually making it happen. As is usually the case in golf, it will take plenty of practice if you are going to turn this into something that you can use reliably on the course.

All of the content below is based on a right-handed golfer. If you happen to play left-handed, please take a moment to reverse the directions as necessary.

What Can You Gain?

What Can You Gain?

Let’s dive right into the topic of what you could potentially gain if you decide to add a pause at the top of your backswing. One of the great things about golf is that all players can stand to improve in some way. Whether you are a serious golfer who has played in many tournaments, or a beginning player who’s only ventured onto the course a few times, everyone has something they can do better. The continual pursuit of improvement is one of the things which makes this such a fun game to play. There are always new goals to go after, and new accomplishments to check off the list.

So, can adding a pause to the top of your swing help you play better in a meaningful way? Consider the possible benefits listed below and think about what they could mean for your game.

  • Improved timing. Perhaps the biggest gain you could enjoy from adding this technique to your swing is the ability to time your swing properly over and over again. Timing is extremely important at golf, as you need everything to be working together properly in order to strike the ball cleanly and send it towards the target. If your swing is out of sync, meaning some parts of your body are ahead of others in the progression of the swing, it’s going to be hard to play well. Simply by adding a pronounced pause at the top of your swing, you may be able to pull everything together nicely. This will give you a chance to ‘gather’ at the top, syncing up your lower and upper body before you turn toward the target. It will certainly take some time to learn how to use this type of pause, but it can be quite effective once you get comfortable.
  • Added distance. This is a byproduct of the first point on our list. When you sync up your swing properly, it’s almost certain that you will hit the ball further than you did before. Generating power in golf requires you to keep everything working together nicely from start to finish. If you swing doesn’t have that kind of connection, you will be too focused on simply making contact to worry about putting all of your available power into the back of the ball. If you do try to use a pause at the top of your swing to improve your game, don’t think that you need to swing extra hard in order to tap into this potential power gain. Instead, just swing at a comfortable pace and trust the quality of your mechanics to send the ball soaring off into the distance.
  • Steady under pressure. The ability to play well under pressure is something that many golfers tend to overlook. You might think that you don’t have to deal with much pressure as a typical weekend golfer, but that just isn’t the case. While you might not have to hit shots with a million dollars on the line, you’ll still feel nervous at one point or another during each and every round. Maybe you experience nerves when others watch you tee off, or maybe you start to get tight when you have a chance to break your personal scoring record. Whatever the case, pressure is a part of this game. By adding a pause to the top of your backswing, you may be able to improve the way you perform under that pressure. Since the common reaction to pressure is to rush through the swing, the addition of a pause should help you remain patient and allow your swing to develop naturally from start to finish.
  • A point of focus. One of the challenges you’ll likely run into as you develop your game is trying to focus your mind in one particular direction during the swing. There are so many different things you can think about when swinging the club, it’s easy to let your mind become overwhelmed with thoughts. If you do decide to add a pause at the top of your swing, consider using the pause as your point of focus on each shot. Rather than thinking about other parts of your mechanics, focus on the pause and let everything else fall into place around it. This is a simple way to approach your swing, and you may find that it leads to excellent results.

It should be obvious by now that there is a lot you stand to gain when you add a pause at the top of your backswing. Are you guaranteed to see positive results? No – of course not. That’s just not how golf works. It may be that this technique simply doesn’t fit in with the rest of your golf swing, or it just might not be a good fit for your mindset on the course. Whatever the case, you can test this out in practice before you determine whether or not to carry it forward.

Getting Started

Getting Started

Often, golfers will read or hear of a new tip they are going to try out in their game, and they will head to the range with grand expectations. Thinking they know exactly how to use the tip, they will expect to simply hit a few shots, make a couple adjustments, and be well on their way to impressive results. As you might suspect, it rarely works that way in this difficult game. It’s a great idea to work on adding new elements to your swing but expect it to be a challenge from start to finish.

When you do decide to visit the range to work on adding a pause to the top of your backswing, keep the following tips in mind.

  • Avoid the driver. The last thing you want to do is head to the range and immediately pull your driver out of the bag when starting this transition. It’s going to be hard enough to learn how to pause properly at the top of your backswing – don’t make it even harder by trying to start with the longest club in your bag. Instead, start with a short club, such as one of your wedges. This should make the transition a little easier, as you won’t be making such a big swing, or swinging as fast. If you start to find success with this method, gradually work your way up into longer and longer clubs. Eventually, if you keep succeeding along the way, you’ll get to the point where you can try this out with the driver.
  • Don’t make it too dramatic. The kind of pause we are talking about here is not one where you are going to stop your swing for a full second or two before starting down toward the ball. In fact, this pause should be so brief that someone watching you swing may not even notice that it happened. More than anything, it is the intention to pause that is likely to bring the benefits to your game. You shouldn’t be trying to count how long your pause lasts, or anything like that, but it should be a fraction of a second. Just long enough to gather yourself up and prepare to swing down with confidence and aggression.
  • Remember to focus on balance. In the golf swing, everything starts with balance. If you aren’t balanced throughout the swing, none of the rest of what you do is going to matter for much at all. Find your balance first and foremost, and then work from that point. As you practice your pause, be sure to keep track of your balance and make any adjustments if necessary to get back on track. If you feel like you are leaning in one direction or another during your swing, or if you have trouble holding your finish position when the swing is complete, it will be necessary to work on your balance before you can expect to get much out of the pause technique.
  • Stay down. While we are talking about the top of the backswing, there is one important point we would like to highlight with regard to this part of the swinging action. At the top, you need to make sure that you stay down in your stance in order to prepare properly for the downswing. It is a common mistake to come up out of the stance, allowing the knees to straighten and losing tilt in the hips. This is a big problem for a variety of reasons. For one thing, it’s going to be hard to make clean contact if you give up so much of your stance at the top. Also, you’ll struggle to turn aggressively toward the target from this compromised position, meaning you will not live up to your power potential. It’s great to work on adding a pause to the top of your swing, but make sure you are staying down nicely at the same time.

Patience is going to be crucial when it comes to your success or failure with this technique. If you make only a few swings, decide it doesn’t work, and move onto something else – well, you’ll be doomed to fail from the beginning. Like anything else in golf, you have to bring patience to the process and expect for there to be some struggles along the way. In fact, the next section of this article is dedicated to some of the struggles you are likely to encounter.

Likely Struggles

Likely Struggles

There is something comforting about knowing what difficulties you may encounter on the driving range before you even encounter them. Where you may have just given up when you ran into a particular roadblock otherwise, knowing that issue may come up will prepare you for it in advance. Rather than sending you running in the other direction, you’ll expect this problem and you’ll be more likely to battle through it and come out on the other side.

With this in mind, we would like to present a few struggles that you may encounter when trying to add a pause to the top of your backswing.

  • Poor quality of contact. Most likely, this will be the first problem that you notice. When you start pausing for a moment at the top of the swing, it’s likely that the quality of your ball striking will decline. This should not take you by surprise, as your ball striking ability is going to take a step back in most cases when you are working on a technical change. Your feel for the swing won’t be as good as it is otherwise, meaning you’ll struggle to make contact on the center of the face. The good news is this – the struggle to find the sweet spot should be temporary. If you do decide to stick with this technique, you’ll get more and more comfortable as you go. As you gain comfort with the technique, it is likely that you will improve your ball striking along the way. At some point, you should be able to strike the ball just as well as you did previously, if not better.
  • Lack of confidence. Every golfer knows the feeling of standing over the ball with very little confidence that the shot is going to come off as desired. This is a game that tests your confidence, even if you are an accomplished player. By making a change as significant as adding a pause to the top of your backswing, you are going to be taking a big chunk out of your confidence – at least for the time being. Just as was the case with the previous point, the only way to rebuild your confidence is to work at it one shot at a time. With each swing you make with a pause at the top of your backswing, you will be building toward a higher level of confidence. One of the best signs that you are ready to take this technique out onto the course is the return of your confidence on the range. If you feel good about the swing during practice, and you expect it to produce good results, it may be time to venture back onto the course to test it out during a round.
  • Self-conscious feelings. As mentioned in the previous section, your pause at the top should be so quick that other players around you might not even notice that it happened. Even if that is the case, you might feel a little self-conscious on the range while trying this out. The adjustment will feel significant to you, so you may assume that others are watching and judging your technique. First of all, it’s unlikely that your swing will look all that different after this change, even if it feels significantly different. And, even if it does look different and people notice, so what? You are trying to make yourself a better golfer, and that should be your sole focus. Another golfer’s opinion of your swing bears absolutely no relevance in your world.

In the end, it is the struggles which make improving your golf game so satisfying. When you finally reach some of your goals on the course, you will look back and be proud of the work you put in during your range sessions. Whether adding a pause to the top of your swing will be helpful in your journey is yet to be seen, but the only way to improve is to try different options. With any luck, this method will lead to improved results, and you will be able to reach new heights in the near future.

Pause in the Short Game?

Pause in the Short Game?

We wanted to wrap up this article by talking about the idea of pausing during the transition from backswing to forward swing in the short game. If it winds up working out in the long game, does that mean you should try it in the short game? No – probably not. For most players, this is going to be a method which is best left for the full swing only.

The issue here relates to the fact that pausing at the top of your backswing is meant to help you sync everything up and begin the downswing in a connected position. That is crucial when making full swings – but it really doesn’t matter in the short game. You shouldn’t have any problems staying connected when putting or shipping, since these are small swings that require very little body rotation. If you are executing your short game technique properly, the pause wouldn’t be offering anything that you actually needed.

In addition to that, adding a pause in the middle of your short game swings may make it difficult to control the distance of your shots effectively. The short game is all about distance control, so you don’t want to do anything that is going to mess with your touch. For the majority of golfers, using a stroke or swing which maintains a nice rhythm from start to finish is the best way to hit the ball the proper speed. With the full swing, you are typically just swinging at close to full effort and trying to hit the ball close to full distance. That’s not true in the short game. These shots are all about touch, so don’t allow a pause to interfere with your ability to control distance properly. Most likely, the best course of action is to stick with your current technique and just keep practicing in order to improve.

If you would like to work on bringing the various pieces of your swing together a little more effectively, consider adding a pause at the top of your backswing. At first, this will be a significant change to the rhythm of your swing, but you should get more and more comfortable over time. We hope the ideas and tips in this article will help you try this technique out for yourself during an upcoming practice session. Good luck!

Okay. So, what’s the benefit of having a pause at the top of the backswing? Well, it’s quite easy really when you think about it. One of the biggest faults of golfers is actually getting to the top of the backswing and then hitting it and from hitting it it causes all sorts of different problems. So, if you’ve got a pause, the sort of hit that people tend to do from the top of the backswing is almost sort of erased out of the equation. So, if I go back and I swing the club and I go back pause and back, you can see that the likelihood of actually pausing and then coming down hard is gone, because its almost like you’ve come to a stop, but it’s just a little pause, we’re not stopped for one, two, three, four seconds, we’re just paused and from that you can imagine the sort of rhythm, the sort of movement, momentum, everything is smooth, is slow, everything is together, so in other words this big word control is now in your hands, you’ve got that control by having this pause at the top.

So, let me give you a demonstration. So, if I get over this ball and I just want to pause. I just go back, pause, that was just so effortless. And for us, as senior golfer, this is just, you know, really something that we should be doing all the time. It is essential. There is no effort to it. The ball is going exactly where I was actually aiming and I was just working on that slight pause. But to go from a conventional swing where you’re going where you’re going back at, say, whatever speed and coming back down or whatever you’ve been used to doing, to go from that to a pause is almost kind of going from one extreme to the other extreme, so let’s give you a simple sort of exercise where you can actually think about this.

Very simple. If you get over the ball, just do it without the ball just to start with. If you go one and two, you notice I’m not going one, two because that would encourage a hit from the top and that’s not what we’re here for. What we’re here is to get this club doing back and through. So, if I remember the words, so one is the push, two is the top, yeah, sorry, one and two, so one is the push and two, so two is on the ball, so from here, one and two and this time I’ve got a much, much better shot out there, much better shot just by focusing and you might think we didn’t really pause there, but if you think about it, we’ve taken a pause, we’ve gone one and, and that second, whether you think you’ve got a pause in your swing or not, every single golfer has got a pause at the top of the backswing, no matter who he is in the world.

It might be a millisecond, but there is no way you could possibly go back and come down, there has got to be a pause there. For us, the senior golfers having that pause actually makes more sense, more control, more rhythm and it’s so simple to do, so it’s one and two and look how smooth that swing is. Simple tip, get onto the golf course tomorrow, you don’t even need to go to the practice ground for this one and get out there and just work on one and two. It works.