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RayG

Pause at the top...?

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Is there some new teaching fad going around that I missed? Last Friday, I took a day to play at a local course that I hadn't played in MANY years. Met up with the other guys at the tee and waited for the group in front to head off. 3 of the 4 had a PRONOUNCED pause at the top. When I say 'pronounced pause' I mean they STOP and actually LOOK at the angle of their takeaway, then look back at the ball, THEN begin their downswing. It was painful to watch. (Never mind they played from the blues when CLEARLY they didn't belong there- barely carried the ladies tees in the air) After they went off and were out of range(finally), one of the gentlemen in our little group walked back to the blues and did the exact same thing- but even more of a STOP at the top, then resume the swing. He was longer off the tee than the others, but not by much. Again, painful to watch and I usually do not watch other swings so as not to put any weird ideas in my head. But this was mesmerizing and I couldn't look away. It obviously screwed me up, because I had one of the worst driving days in recent memory. No groups behind us for a couple of holes until it slowed a bit, and when I looked back at the tee from a hole we were playing at least 2 of THOSE guys did the same thing! It can't POSSIBLY help with timing or rhythm, can it? At least it did nothing for those guys distance OR accuracy.
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I have never seen anyone do this myself on the course just on the range.  I have heard of a subtle pause and have even tried it, but I cannot play that way.  I think it puts too many thoughts into your head trying to do it.  I need to have a pretty quick tempo overall to hit the ball well.  This is just silly to me but maybe if someone has a really bad swing it could help, IDK.

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Admittedly, I've heard about this "pause" to collect yourself. I've heard commentators and some instructors talk about it. I've done it.

At the moment, I don't buy into it. Maybe it is a feeling that some golfers must have. From watching video, some part of the body always seems to be moving. As you get to the top of the swing, though, the lower body is moving into the downswing. Perhaps, the top of the swing appears to "pause" because the lower body is moving. The swing is an ordered sequence.

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Waaaay back in the day I had a very quick back swing and transition.  In order to slow down, I incorporated a bit of an intentional pause at the top.  Not a long one, but noticeable.  It helped me slow down and improved my overall tempo.  Once that happened, I transitioned out of the pause and found that I was able to maintain the better tempo.

I'm not sure that any instructor would have approved, and it did get some comments from my rat-bastard buddies, but ultimately it worked for me.

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The idea I think is that you get into a better position at the top and you start the arms and body together.  I don't like it because my lower body is too quick for my arms. I need to feel like I am starting the arms fist(even if I don't).  It could work for some I suppose.   For now I am OK with being quick with the arms and laid off (an effect of being quick for me) at the top.  It is much harder to strike the ball well with any speed having a pause at the top, IMHO.

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Seems like the answer depends on your swing tendencies.

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Admittedly, I've heard about this "pause" to collect yourself. I've heard commentators and some instructors talk about it. I've done it. At the moment, I don't buy into it. Maybe it is a feeling that some golfers must have. From watching video, some part of the body always seems to be moving. As you get to the top of the swing, though, the lower body is moving into the downswing. Perhaps, the top of the swing appears to "pause" because the lower body is moving. The swing is an ordered sequence.

This isn't a short "pause" by any means... I may have mis-labeled it as such. this is a complete stop, look at the arm angle, look back at the ball, then after another second or two, pull the trigger. Total time for the complete swing for the guy in our group was 4-5 seconds... Brutal to watch.

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Sure, I'll do this in front of a mirror, take back the club and pause at the top and look at and admire myself. ;) Do I look like Trev Immelman or what?

But to stop a swing at the tee and peek around presumably moving the head and changing spine and neck axis to check up on yourself and then to resume the swing instead of starting over? This is not a pause at the top of the swing, it's nuts!
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I have a tendancy to get too fast in the backswing-transition-downswing sequence which doesn't work out so well generally. My pro suggested I incorporate a "slight pause" at the top to let all the parts catch up, so to speak. But that slight pause mostly amounts to a sensation and doesn't last even a full second. Cranking your head around to see what the club is doing during an actual swing is insane. Might as well let go of the club and get in a good scratch too before finally hitting the ball.
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Originally Posted by RayG

This isn't a short "pause" by any means... I may have mis-labeled it as such. this is a complete stop, look at the arm angle, look back at the ball, then after another second or two, pull the trigger. Total time for the complete swing for the guy in our group was 4-5 seconds... Brutal to watch.

That is brutal.

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I try to "feel" a pause at the top, but slow motion video (from the Casio camera) indicates that even when I "feel" this pause, I've already begun my move down.

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Ok, I hold my hands up. I have done it and I was asked to do it by my coach.

He was correcting my over-swing (causing my arms to bend and the shaft passing parallel. Also failed to keep a flat wrist). I was asked to pause, check where the swing plane was and also my wrist. And then initiate the down swing and strike the ball.

Doing this wouldn't affect the distance or ball striking. However it was butt ugly to look it.

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I read somewhere from a top instructor  that a pause at the top interferes with your tempo and a smooth swing.

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Originally Posted by arturo28mx

I read somewhere from a top instructor  that a pause at the top interferes with your tempo and a smooth swing.

Agree 100%.

It was something I was told to do at the range to fix my my cupped wrist and over swing. Would never never want to try or be seen doing that on the course. I would die from embarassment.

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I think the swing is like snaping a whip. It might seem like a pause but its really your down swing begins with a the lower body clearing.Something is still moving... I played with a mini tour player Raja Benjasay....something like that...had a staff bag and a 7/8 tight swing.looked like he was just hardly swinging at it....270 down the middle. So I asked him what he thought was the first move to the ball..he said move to clear the hips. His driver was just dead on straight. I know he was maybe swinging 80% at it. Big hitters I recently played with a guy who nailed it 320 easily and there was no pause don't blink cause it was quick. My friend who has hit monster drives says its lag into the swing holding off the release where he feels his distance comes from
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