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Swinging over the top is a common fault in amateur golf that can result in poor contact, lack of distance, and accuracy. Essentially, swinging over the top refers to the overuse of the upper body during the start of the downswing, which causes the club to move further away from the player's body than it was at set up.

Causes

There are several reasons why a golfer may swing over the top. One is trying to hit the ball too hard from the start of the downswing. Another is having an open clubface during the takeaway or at the top of the backswing, which often results in an over the top move as it’s a way of trying to square the clubface at impact. Finally, the trail arm may have too much internal rotation during the downswing, causing the club to become separated from the body.

Results

When swinging over the top the one guaranteed outcome is the ball starting left of our intended target. The direction the ball curves from there is mainly dependent on where the golfers clubface is pointing at impact. If the clubface is considerably open compared to the over the top swing path, this often results in a slice. This leads to a glancing strike through impact producing more side spin on the ball and a loss of accuracy and distance.





Drill to Help

One simple drill to help with an over the top swing is to place two golf balls on either side of the ball you are about to hit. The aim is to hit the ball without hitting the other two balls. To do this successfully, you will have to get your swing path more in-to-out, as hitting the other balls indicates that your swing path was too much over the top.


Overall, swinging over the top can be a frustrating fault in a golfer's game, but with some practice and focus on the correct movement patterns, it can be corrected. Remember to focus on the causes of an over the top swing and use drills to promote a more consistent swing path and better ball striking.



Louis Farrelly

Louis Farrelly

Louis Farrelly has over 10 years of coaching experience in the UK and Portugal. He competed in various tournaments and represented Portugal in the 2009 World Golfers Championship. Read about him here!

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