Do you have an over the top golf swing?
Does your ball flight start left and stay left or bend around sharply from left to right like a big banana slice?
Maybe your shots come off fat or thin and travel only half way to your intended target?
If this sounds like you then there’s a good chance your golf swing is coming over the top directly causing the above problems.
You’re in good company, as the over the top golf swing is probably the most common of all golfing mistakes made by beginner and amateur golfers.
The good news it’s easy to cure an over the top golf swing just by learning and practicing some simple, but powerful drills.
I fixed my over the top golf swing by getting a better swing plane with the great instruction I learnt at the Easy Swing Plane.
But first, you need to understand what exactly is the over the top and why it happens to so many golfers.
What is over the top?
It’s a golfing term you’ve probably heard a thousand times but never really understood what it meant.
An over the top golf swing or shot happens when the golfer (right handed) moves their right shoulder and arms at the top of the downswing out to the right first.
This results in the downswing coming down steep and cutting across the golf ball from an out to in position (right to left). It is also sometimes called an outside to inside golf swing.
The result is you either pull the golf ball to the left (if the clubface is square) or slice it out to the right (if the clubface is open). Both shots will put you in a lot of trouble and often are hit with less power.
Ideally you want to be striving for an inside to outside golf downswing which will result in straighter shots and more of a right to left or draw ball flight.
Why it’s so easy to do
The over the top golf swing is so common amongst golfers because there is natural tendency to hit the golf ball with predominately the upper body.
In particular your right shoulder and right arm want to release extra power and as a result are forced out wide and then have to cut across the golf ball to make any sort of decent contact.
I’ve seen this happen to thousands of golfers and also suffered from it myself. Even when you are aware you are doing it, it’s very difficult to stop yourself from throwing your shoulder and arm at the golf ball in search of that elusive extra power.
A simple solution to fix your over the top
Another great way to fix your over the top swing and it’s super easy to implement.
Because the right arm and shoulder for a right hander are the dominant strength in the upper body, they can tend to overtake the downswing and force you to come over the top.
When the right side takes over it becomes very easy to make a steep downswing resulting in a lot of pulls and slices.
This is a pushing movement in the downswing which not only is less powerful a move but causes a lot more stress on the body.
Pulling from the left side is key
Using more of the left side of the body you can get yourself in a much better position to strike the golf ball.
Using the left side of body is more of a pulling motion and a much more efficient way to swing the golf club.
Here’s a video I did with my friends at The Art of Simple Golf that goes through this and gives a simple drill you can practice in just seconds to eliminate your over the top.
What you need to practice
- Work on making one handed swings with your left arm only (right hander). You’ll notice the club will drop perfectly on plane right throughout the downswing to impact.
In fact, it’s impossible to swing over the top this way because of the way the body is anatomically built.
- Try doing the same drill with your right arm swinging the club only (right hander). You’ll notice it’s very easy to come over the top and steepen the club on the downswing.
This is where most golfers get into trouble by letting the right side take over and push the club too hard in the downswing.
Now, I can you saying:
“Troy, I’m not going to swing the golf club with just my left side, the golf ball will go nowhere”.
However, what I’m saying is you need to practice using the left side more to pull the golf club throughout the swing more.
The right side plays more of a supporting role on the golf club, but the left side should be controlling the face and providing the speed and power.
Benefit: You’ll find by pulling the club more from the left side throughout the golf swing it’ll be easier to swing the club.
Plus, you won’t be as tired during and after a round of golf, and hitting 100 balls at the range will be a piece of cake.
A second drill that works every time
This is my favourite drill that any golfer can practice at home and achieve excellent results.
You can do this with an an alignment rod or just a iron or wood cover, it doesn't really matter.
Place the iron cover / alignment rod in the ground about 5 inches behind the ball, but also about 3 inches above the ball.
Practice making golf swings slowly and delivering the golf club down to hitting the golf ball.
You'll find by having these objects in these positions it forces you to bring the golf club down on the right path and not come over the top.
If you do this incorrectly you'll find you hit either the iron cover or the alignment rod.
Once you feel you have this mastered at home, take it to the driving range and start hitting full shots.
A third method that's effective
I’ve got a great drill that when practiced correctly will help you develop more of an inside to outside downswing thus eliminating your over the top golf swing.
This works really well so read carefully and watch the video below over and over until you can do it on autopilot.
5 keys to stop coming over the top
- Take a normal golf swing and pause at the top of the backswing
- Instead of starting the downswing by moving your right shoulder and arm to the right and down do this:
- Drop the hands around waist height and pause
- Finish the swing off as normal driving through with the legs
- Repeat and repeat again
The Key: When you drop your arms during this drill you are putting your club in the ideal position to attack the golf ball from the inside. This is the position that most touring golf professionals get to before striking the golf ball.
Additional Step 1 – Practice this slowly and deliberately numerous times until you get a feel for it. It should feel as though your back stays facing the target a little bit longer than normal. When you do this it allows the club to drop into the ‘slot’ as it’s called and you’ll begin to hit the golf ball more from the inside.
Additional Step 2 – Work your way up just making practice swings for about 5 minutes and then start to hit some balls nice and easy. Eventually it will feel comfortable and you’ll find it easier to start making a complete golf swing with no pause and the hit the golf ball.
Important – Don’t skip this progression as this change will most likely feel uncomfortable at first and requires baby steps to make the transition easier. Only once you start to get used to it should you start making full golf swings and hitting the golf ball at 100%.
If you have struggled curing your golf slice and pulled shots then this drill will really help you out.
If you feel your backswing is contributing to an over the top swing, do what I did and take this FREE Golf Swing Test to fix it today.
Give it a try and let me know your results, I would love to hear.
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