Genesis Scottish Open

The Renaissance Club



Instruction

The signature move behind one of the tour's most powerful golf swings, explained

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Cameron Young is one of the most powerful golfers in the game today.

Yet unlike his fellow power players, his swing moves to a different beat. About halfway through his move, moments before Young unloads on the accelerator, he slams on the brakes. At the top of his swing, Young comes to a complete stop, freezes for a moment, and then swings through with unbelievable speed.

It’s an unmissable move, and one that’s unusual for a player as powerful as Young.

So how did his backswing pause come to be? And what can the rest of us learn from it?

You can watch us break it down in full on the video below:

Although every golf swing has a momentary pause when the club moves from backswing to downswing, it’s rare that everything looks like it comes to a complete stop. It’s more of a transition. Yes, the club reverses direction, but it all still looks like one continuous motion, like a fly fisherman casting his rod, or Indiana Jones whipping his whip.

And there’s a good reason for this.

In most golf swings, in the final moments of the transition between backswing and downswing, there’s a moment when the golfers body and club move in opposite directions.

Their arms and body have started the downswing, while the club itself is still finishing the backswing. This separation process creates a powerful stretch in your shoulders, arms, and lower body. The more your muscles stretch, the more forcefully they can contract, and release the club into the ball with more speed.

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This is what Young used to do, too. As a junior golfer, there was no notable pause in his golf swing.

But even though this stretch move can create power, it can also cause consistency issues. When different parts of your golf swing are moving in different directions at different times, it can be difficult to time well. Some golfers send their lower body spinning out too soon and leave their arms stuck behind them—that’s what happens to Rory McIlroy when things go wrong.

Cameron Young had the opposite problem, his upper body moved too soon, ahead of his lower body, and dragged the club over the top with it.

That’s how his backswing pause came to be.

It started as a drill that Cameron and his father and swing coach, David Young, would do on the driving range. Cameron would take his club to the top of the backswing, then feel his lower body would shift towards the target before his upper body. That created a cleaner transition move, David tells Golf Digest, where his lower body leads his upper body, and his hands avoid moving over the top.

“He’s worked hard on not having a lot of rerouting during the transition, so the clubhead comes down not too far from the direction where it went up,” David Young told Golf Digest. “He wants to gets the lower body working toward the target while he pins his arms, club and upper body back, which makes it look like he’s standing still. There’s no conscious effort to pause.”

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There may not be a conscious effort to pause, but it’s there. You can see Young’s backswing pause get more pronounced starting in college. He found the more he worked on this move, the better he hit the ball, and the longer his pause got. Today, his backswing pause is almost a second long—almost as long as Jon Rahm’s entire swing—and he doesn’t even realize he’s doing it.

In theory, a longer backswing pause is a move more for consistency than for power. But Young doesn’t have anything to worry about in the speed department. He averaged a 123 mph clubhead speed last season—the fourth most of any player on the PGA Tour, with a high speed of more than 130 mph.

It’s the backswing pause that gives Young the best of both worlds. The consistency to get his technique in right order, with his elite athleticism layering on the explosive power. It may not give his swing the same rhythmic back-and-forth motion as Ben Hogan, but in many ways, it offers something just as impressive. Not a whip, but that of a hammer. A man who’s rearing back, as he prepares to unleash the final blow.

What started as a drill on the range with his dad has led to a life on the PGA Tour and one of the most powerful swings in the game.