You often hear golfers talk about "the pause at the top of the backswing," but this is a very misleading phrase. If you start thinking that there is literally a pause at the top of your swing—and try to make sure that you do pause—you are going to ruin your game, for there is no single point in the backswing where everything comes to a grand halt, as if you were posing for a photograph. The reason is that the instant your hips have moved as far back as they should, they must immediately start forward. The two illustrations above show clearly what happens. At the left I have reached the end of my backswing, my weight is on my right side and my hips have turned well to the right. Note the angle of the club to the ground. In the drawing at right I have started the downswing. My weight has shifted and my hips are turning forward but, as you can see, the club has not yet moved. The club has stopped—paused, if you will—because my arms must wait for my body turn to generate power, but in no sense has there been a pause in the swing as a whole. If you do literally stop your swing, you usually will end up taking a powerless swipe at the ball with just your arms.

ILLUSTRATIONFRANCIS GOLDENThis is the end of backswing, with the body turned and weight on right side. ILLUSTRATIONFRANCIS GOLDENThe forward action starts at once, even though club remains in same position.