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I need a golf shrink to cure my dreaded "hitch"

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Long story short, I always had a slight tendency to break up my back swing and downswing, which I was able to work out of my swing over time. I was a 13 handicap very well on the way to becoming a single digit handicap with a solid all around game but losing strokes where many people of my ability do by having a bad hole here and there and three putting when I shouldn't.

About 3-4 months ago I started getting stuck when I swing the club, right at the top of my back. Call it a hitch or a pause, but my swing is not one smooth motion the way it use to be and it should be. Over time the more I try to fight the urge not to do this the more pronounced it becomes.

There is one exception; about two months ago I went out and played like I never had this malady, on a very windy day (the kind of wind in which you are happy to score 8-10 strokes above your norm) and I shot a 79.

I started thinking that this was the end of my plight, but alas it was a mean anomaly.

Until about a month ago if I could slow down my back swing and take away to a certain point and than manage to get myself into a rhythm this problem was manageable. Recently as of the last couple of rounds it has become an absolute pain. The more I fight the urge to pause the worse it gets.

I have tried going to the range and doing mental exercises without a ball, without a club. Amazingly if you ask me to take a practice swing, it is perfect (relatively speaking). Lo and behold I address the golf ball and my tempo, rhythm and smoothness vanish.

I am getting to the point where the game is starting to become mentally exhausting and I am about to go insane.
post #2 of 26

Re: I need a golf shrink to cure my dreaded "hitch"

I may not be qualified to answer with my current handicap, but... does this pause occur with shorter swings?

Theoretically there is a pause at the top in every golf swing, just as the shaft changes direction, but there shouldn't be a pause elsewhere, as good golfers start their downswings with their lower bodies before completion of the backswing.

Are you perhaps losing your grip at the top somewhat, and regripping (a fatal move) - and sensing this as a pause?

Ideally you should feel the drag/lag of the clubhead at the top of the backswing, wherever "top" is, in your righthand index finger (righthander) and as the shaft changes direction you should feel even more lag, like as if you are pulling an arrow out of a quiver, which must be sustained through impact. So if you feel this lag continuously any pause will be minimal.
post #3 of 26

Re: I need a golf shrink to cure my dreaded "hitch"

What's the pause doing to your swing? I guess you said you're getting stuck. Does tha mean you're blocking everything right? I have pause at the top that people have pointed out to me over the years. I chose not to try to get rid of it.

Maybe your overall issue is tempo, not the pause? Checkout the book and CD called Tour Tempo and compare it with your swing. If your pause is overexagerated, this book/CD may help.

(One of the 'players' at our men's club has an exagerrated pause/hitch but it doesn't affect him - he's about -2 index and last years Club Champ. When I first golfed with him, it caught me off guard a few times because I thought he was actually stopping his swing. I had to catch myself from moving while he continued on).
post #4 of 26
Thread Starter 

Re: I need a golf shrink to cure my dreaded "hitch"

", but... does this pause occur with shorter swings?"


No actually the problem is with a full swing and more accentuated when I am on the tee..
post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 

Re: I need a golf shrink to cure my dreaded "hitch"

[QUOTE=powerfade;87129]What's the pause doing to your swing?
Maybe your overall issue is tempo, not the pause? Checkout the book and CD called Tour Tempo and compare it with your swing. If your pause is overexagerated, this book/CD may help.
QUOTE]

Well the pause as basically ruined my swing. I lose everthing coming down, seeing your suggestions has me thinking, may be I am getting locked when I try to start my downswing hence not able to make a smooth transition.

I will post a video of my swing soon for you to see...
post #6 of 26

Re: I need a golf shrink to cure my dreaded "hitch"

Usually a pause comes when you are trying to hit the ball from the top of your backswing with your hands or shoulders. Like weightshift said, if you initiate the downswing with your lower body, the hands and arms will have a free ride down for a while, almost like free falling.

A good drill to try and smooth out the swing would be to take two extra clubs for a certain distance make try to hit a ball that distance with a full swing. This give your swing a good tempo.
post #7 of 26

Re: I need a golf shrink to cure my dreaded "hitch"

I have the same problem. It is also physically exhausting to try and bring the club down.
Started playing right handed and after a few years I started with this same problem. Switched to left handed and played several years without this problem, but now it started all over again. Enough to make me pull out my hair. It's embarrassing to play with others. They just don't understand the dynamics. Could it be a quirk of Tourette?
post #8 of 26

Re: I need a golf shrink to cure my dreaded "hitch"

Film your swing and post the results. A picture is worth a thousand words, and a video is worth a thousand pictures. I'm guessing your hitch is an 'over the top' move that is common with many, even many PGA tour players like K.J. Choi, where they take the club back too low, and loop it down on a higher plane. Other people, like me, have an under the bottom hitch, in which the hands are too high, and they drop down.

Originally Posted by Fried Egg View Post
Usually a pause comes when you are trying to hit the ball from the top of your backswing with your hands or shoulders. Like weightshift said, if you initiate the downswing with your lower body, the hands and arms will have a free ride down for a while, almost like free falling.

A good drill to try and smooth out the swing would be to take two extra clubs for a certain distance make try to hit a ball that distance with a full swing. This give your swing a good tempo.
Nothing about this advice is bad. Just avoid decelerating to try and lose the distance. You need to be sure to still make an agressive move, but start down sooner, feel like you don't have the room to get the club up to speed.
post #9 of 26

Did any of you guys ever cure this problem?

 

I've been suffering from an overly long pause at the top of my backswing for about 5 years and I've learned to live with it and just carry on, after all it doesn't really affect my game.....but during the past two weeks it's getting longer and longer and really destroying my game, and my head. 

 

My practice swing feels perfect, fluid even, with no pause at all, just nice and smooth.  Step up to the ball, pull the club back to the top and then, nothing, just a mental block where my head is screaming for me to 'get going'.  It's at the stage now, where I'll sometimes have to force the club down (after a conversation with myself) and then I'll just hit the ball in any old direction.

 

I've told myself many things, it's just a game, it's only one shot, what's the worst that can happen etc. but no cure.  I've tried the old speach in my head to match the swing, Ernie Els or whatever, but I only get to Ernie and then the pause.

 

The longer the club, the bigger the pause, simple as that, on the tee or not doesn't matter although lately even the short irons are developing a longer pause.  I can even hit the ball with my eyes shut and there's no pause, but when I look at it....

 

It's got to the stage now where I don't want to play, it's too hard emotionally and I'm at my wits end.  Anybody with any ideas please shout out.

 

Thanks

 

Craig

post #10 of 26

Hello all:  first time, long time.

 

I was going to start a thread with a slightly more general premise, but it fits in here.  The fundamental question is this:  if you know what to do, how do you make your body do it?

 

For me, in certain things, it is a complete mystery.  I know that I don't release through the ball properly.  I know that my arms are fast and ahead.  I know that I don't really start my downswing with my hips.  I know, I know, I know.

 

But I can't seem to stop doing it incorretly, despite practicing a lot.

 

I'm not -- and I suspect the OP is not -- looking for a new tip (put your hands here, press there, cup this, flatten that).  What we want is a new way to learn.  A new way to translate knowledge into execution.

 

Any insight on this general problem would be wonderful.

 

Thank you.

post #11 of 26

Have any of you considered Tai Chi?

 

According to this article, Tai Chi allows "you perform a series of postures or movements in a slow, graceful manner. Each posture flows into the next without pause, ensuring that your body is in constant [stress free] motion."

post #12 of 26

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jockglover View Post

I've been suffering from an overly long pause at the top of my backswing for about 5 years and I've learned to live with it and just carry on, after all it doesn't really affect my game.....but during the past two weeks it's getting longer and longer and really destroying my game, and my head. 

 

My practice swing feels perfect, fluid even, with no pause at all, just nice and smooth.  Step up to the ball, pull the club back to the top and then, nothing, just a mental block where my head is screaming for me to 'get going'.  It's at the stage now, where I'll sometimes have to force the club down (after a conversation with myself) and then I'll just hit the ball in any old direction.

 

I've told myself many things, it's just a game, it's only one shot, what's the worst that can happen etc. but no cure.  I've tried the old speach in my head to match the swing, Ernie Els or whatever, but I only get to Ernie and then the pause.

 

The longer the club, the bigger the pause, simple as that, on the tee or not doesn't matter although lately even the short irons are developing a longer pause.  I can even hit the ball with my eyes shut and there's no pause, but when I look at it....

 

Find a downswing trigger. Like, say, "when my left shoulder touches my chin, I send my hips forward." Then do it.
 

 

post #13 of 26

Well I think I've managed to cure the pause.  I went into the nets one day, practice swing fine, put the ball down and low and behold when I hit the ball the swing was fine.  I then hit a few more noting my tempo and rythym, what I noticed that my backswing was actually quicker (just a bit) than when I hit the ball on the course. 

 

I walked pretty quickly to the first tee and bang, the swing felt smooth and free and there was no pause much to my relief.  A few shots didn't go quite to plan, but then of course they never all do.

 

All in all a couple of weeks later and I'm still swinging free and easy, and what's more my golf is much more enjoyable again and I feel loads more confident.

  c3_clap.gif

If anyone else stumbles on this post then maybe see if speeding up your backswing (just a little), will help you.

 

FORE!

post #14 of 26

I too have been fighting a serious "Charles Barkley type hitch" for several months now.  It is almost exclusively with the driver and 3 wood and very,very frustrating.  I'm 65 and was a 4 hcp. 2 yrs ago. This has come on very suddenly.  I have always had a slow take-away, and a lot of leg movement, and sway. My somewhat funky  swing now includes re-gripping at the top and hitting at the ball instead of freely swinging the club....but I can't change it.  Fluid practice swings are a breeze but the real deal is totally different.  The last time out I resorted to starting the club at about shoulder height and made a slight turn to the top and that led to a decent downswing with reasonable distance, but I'd like to get back to having a good full swing without the fits and starts.  It is so bad that my buddies, some of whom carry the sharpest needles I've ever encountered, can't even tease me about it....I think they fear it might be contagious.  It's nice to know I'm not alone in this and that others have apparently conquered it. I'll try some of the suggestions made here, and hope something works, or a fear I'll give up the game.

post #15 of 26

I started having this problem with my driver last year . Right out of the blue . I do think it may have begun with an attempt to load up with my driver at the top of the backswing  for more power . I started being able to combat it by starting my downswing just before I even got to the top of my backswing , with a slight bump forward of my hips Also , this may have nothing to do with the problem , but at the same timee , I went to my Dr because I was having a problem with insomnia , waking up and not being able to get back to sleep . He put me on 10 mg of doxepin , which is also in much larger doses used for depression ,.Don't know if it also took a little edge off , but I sleep much better and the pause is much more under control . 

post #16 of 26
No one taught me this, and it may be something that could only work for me, but:

Years ago, I went through a period where I was pausing at the top of my swing and doing something weird with my wrists. It got so bad that I started backing off shots after taking it to the top and, if I pulled the trigger, many times I did so with horrible results. I was a pretty decent golfer at the time, too.

On the range one day (I had the problem there, too), a song got stuck in my head. As long as I was 'playing' the song during my swing, no hitch.

Not exactly a technical solution, but it fixed my hitch immediately. Now, I often run songs through my head when I play. It helps my tempo and has an overall calming effect. Like I said, could just be me, though.
post #17 of 26

Craig, I need your help. Your post last year about the hitch you were dealing with is "freaking exactly" the same thing I am dealing with now and the exact same way it wrecks me mentally and emotionally. So has speeding up your backswing helped the hitch to go away? I am at my wits end. I have pretty much stopped playing golf because of it. I occasionally go to the driving range by myself but thats it.

 

Brian 

post #18 of 26

Hello Brian,

 

Sorry to hear you're having problems with the dreaded hitch, and apologies for not replying sooner.  Hopefully by now you maybe have cured your pause?

 

I'm still pretty much pause free, although it does creep in a small bit when I'm nervous over a shot.  The best thing I found was to have a little practice in the nets or on the range using the big stick.  First with no ball, noting the swing tempo and just feeling that fluid/all in one motion, then do it with a ball and just try to replicate that swing speed and smoothness when you get to the first tee.

 

On another point, believe it or not, I sort of re-introduced it for a while to try and get some of my accuracy back which worked.  It was a strange feeling knowing I can pretty much control whether I want or don't want the pause.

 

Good luck

 

Craig

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