By Erika Larkin

Many golfers are stumped about what really happens at the “top” of the swing; how to properly and smoothly transition from backswing to downswing.  You’ll hear the word PAUSE thrown out a lot when talking about this part of the swing. I too, believe it feels like a pause when you have a good transition but don’t take it literally. If you do, you will stop your swing and then in an effort to get it moving again you’ll be at greater risk to get tight, fast and jerky on the way down getting out of sequence.

Truly, what needs to happen at the top of the swing is this- just as the backswing and wind up is finishing and the club is moving behind your head, the downswing should be starting with the lower body.  This move of the weight shift into the lead hip leg and foot gives the club and arms a change to change direction smoothly without getting yanked down.  It’s a moment of weightlessness or floating of the club and arms at the top just as the downswing is starting that feels like a pause but really nothing every totally stops and starts.

Think of the top of the swing like the top of a roller coaster ride:  re-live the feeling you have as the roller coaster car is cresting the top of a hill and just before the you start the descent there is that one moment… when your stomach drops and you have the feeling like you are lifting off your seat slightly… you know the drop is coming but there is that little delay and then the woosh you go down the hill. That one moment, that breath and lift at the top of the hill that is the feeling of the transition in the golf swing.  The lower body is the lead car on the roller coaster, the club head is the end car following along but still having its chance to crest the hill and change directions from up to down in order at its own time.

I hope my little analogy/imagery helps you smooth out the top of your swing and rhythm.  Good luck practicing your roller coaster move!

Top of the Swing Roller Coaster – Erika Larkin

Regular teaching contributor Erika Larkin is a Golf Digest Best Young Teacher based in Virginia Oaks Golf Club in Gainesville,VA.

Read our interview with Erika Larkin including her favorite tip.

Erika can be followed online at www.larkingolf.com andTwitter.

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