The pause is back.
Last summer, Viktor Hovland had no hesitation when he decided to put a ball-striking drill in play at the European Tour’s Porsche European Open. The noticeable pause in the top of his driver backswing returned Sunday at the Travelers Championship.
The drill, designed to prevent Hovland from hitting an uncontrollable slice with his driver, features a pause at what should be the top of Hovland’s backswing. Hovland’s instructor, Denny Lucas, said that Hovland sometimes gets too far at the top, which causes the undesirable ball flight and inaccuracy. The double-pump action actually works better than most drills, too.
“I found that when I stopped, I positioned my swing to where I can feel a draw,” Hovland said at last summer’s U.S. Amateur. “My drives were going way straighter and farther, and so thought I might as well just try it in the tournament.”
Why not again?
Hovland is typically an elite driver of the golf ball. He led the U.S. Open field in strokes gained off the tee and was second in this week’s Travelers field in the category at one point in the final round at TPC River Highlands, where Hovland is making his pro debut this week.
So while it’s surprising that Hovland would feel the need for the drill right now, it is working.