What is an Over the Top Golf Swing?

An “over the top” golf swing is a term used to describe a specific type of swing flaw or swing path that can lead to inconsistent ball striking and a lack of power. It’s a common issue among golfers, especially those who are struggling to achieve the desired results in their shots.

The term “over the top” refers to a swing path where the club moves outside the ideal plane on the downswing, causing the clubhead to come down steeply and across the intended target line.

This can result in several problems:

  1. Slicing: One of the most common outcomes of an over the top swing is a slice. The steep angle of attack and outside-in path can cause the clubface to open at impact, sending the ball spinning to the right for right-handed golfers (opposite for left-handed golfers).
  2. Inconsistent Contact: The steep angle of attack can lead to inconsistent ball contact. Golfers may hit the ball thin, fat, or off the heel or toe of the club.
  3. Loss of Power: The over the top swing path doesn’t allow for efficient transfer of power from the body to the club. This can lead to a loss of clubhead speed and distance.
  4. Lack of Control: The swing path can cause the club to approach the ball from the outside, making it difficult to control the direction of the shot.

Tips to Fix an Over the Top Golf Swing

Fixing an over the top golf swing requires targeted practice, focused drills, and an understanding of the proper swing path. This common swing flaw can lead to inconsistent ball striking and slicing. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you correct an over the top golf swing:

1. Understand the Issue:

  • Watch videos of your swing to confirm that you have an over the top swing path. Understanding the problem is the first step toward fixing it.

2. Work on Your Setup:

  • Start with a proper setup. Stand with your feet, hips, and shoulders aligned parallel to the target line. This can help establish a more natural swing path.

3. Initiate the Downswing with the Hips:

  • Focus on starting your downswing with a lateral movement of your hips. This will help you shift your weight onto your front foot and begin the swing from the inside.

4. Feel the Inside Path:

  • Practice swings with the feeling of bringing the club down from the inside of the target line. Imagine a slot or channel that your club should follow on the downswing.

5. Downswing Drill with Alignment Sticks:

  • Place two alignment sticks on the ground, one along the target line and another parallel to it but a few feet outside the ball. Practice hitting shots while avoiding contact with the outer alignment stick. This encourages an inside-out swing path.

6. Connection Drill:

  • Work on keeping your arms connected to your body during the downswing. This prevents your arms from getting too far away from your body, which can lead to an over the top motion.

7. Start Slow and Gradual:

  • Practice your new swing path at a slower pace to ensure that you’re ingraining the correct motion. Gradually increase your swing speed as you become more comfortable.

8. Video Analysis:

  • Record your swing and compare it to videos of professionals or instructional resources that demonstrate the proper inside-out swing path.

9. Focus on Clubface Control:

  • An over the top swing can often lead to an open clubface at impact. Practice squaring the clubface to prevent slices and promote straighter shots.

10. Seek Professional Instruction:

  • Working with a qualified golf instructor can provide personalized feedback and guidance. They can diagnose your swing issues and design drills to address them.

11. Practice Patience:

  • Correcting a swing flaw takes time and repetition. Be patient with yourself and celebrate small improvements along the way.

12. Transfer to the Course:

  • Take your new swing to the course. Start with shorter clubs and build up to longer clubs as you gain confidence.

Correcting an over the top swing may take time and practice, but with consistent effort, you can improve your swing path and see positive changes in your ball striking, accuracy, and overall performance on the course.

Remember that breaking old swing habits and developing new ones requires consistent practice. Be persistent and open to making adjustments along the way. Over time, you should notice improvements in your ball striking, accuracy, and overall enjoyment of the game.


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