Going over the top with a swing is a very common error of many players, especially beginners. It’s bad for your swing and it messes up your performance. It’s an ugly shot which every player tries not to commit. But why does it happen?
Over the top usually happens when a player compensates for the errors committed in the set up. It instantly affects everything from alignment, balance and ball flight. It results in a big slice or pull the ball. What causes a swing to come over the top?
Common causes of over the top swing:
Flat takeaway / inside takeaway
This caused by not getting on-plane from the setup position. Many players don’t bend at the hips as they set up and start by looking down at the ball and adjusting their neck and shoulder according to their assumed swing plane. However, not bending at the hips limits your hips rotation which results in an inside takeaway plane and too flat.
The weight stays too long at the top of the backswing
Weight transfer is crucial throughout the transition of a swing. Balance is achieved by proper timing of weight transfer. However, when your weight gets stuck on the top of your backswing, the most common fix for most players is to transfer weight on the way back down or beginning of the downswing. This will immediately throw off your balance and result in over the top swing.
Narrowing the swing arc
Swing arc is the distance of the golf club’s bottom to the right side of your head at the of the backswing. When the swing arc gets narrow, it takes away the room for a proper downswing on-plane. It takes away the swinging room ending with the tendency to come over the top to compensate.
An open clubface is one of the most common swing mistakes. It messes up the swing path and players end up pulling a hook or a slice. The reason for this is the weak grip position at the address. When the grip is weak, the tendency is for the club to fan open during takeaway.
How Do You Cure Coming Over The Top In Golf?
Now that we addressed the causes for over the top swing, here are the drills you can practice to get rid of the ugly shot.
Proper setup position - Knees slightly flex, the upper body bending from the hip. Your arms and shoulders should align together with your triceps on your chest level. They should hang straight down forming a triangle. Learn the proper grip position.
Keep your elbow. Elbow alignment is crucial in the downswing. Tuck your elbows and maintain its distance and level as you downswing. As soon as your elbow breaks from the body alignment, the natural reaction is to go over the top.
Clear your hips. Give more room to your downswing by clearing your hips. Shifting your weight at the right time allows you to complete your swing transition and provides more room for the downswing. To do this, the weight from your back foot to your front foot should be distributed before you start your downswing. Your upper body should remain intact and align as your hips and lower body disassociate.
Practice the proper alignment, angle and distance right from the set up. Practice a complete transition without breaking your posture. Use a training aid that will help instill muscle memory and provide you the right feel to your posture and alignment throughout the swing.