Swinging over the top is a problem that so many golfers struggle with.
It doesn’t matter if you are brand new to the game or have been playing your entire life; getting a swing path that is a bit over the top is something that needs to be fixed.
For some golfers, a simple swing thought can have you on your way to square shots. However, for most players I have worked with, a combination of drills, training aids, and good old-fashioned practice have been the only ways to fix your over the top golf swing.
Take a look at my six key steps to finally fix your over the top golf swing, and start swinging through the golf ball with confidence.
Table of Contents
Step 1: Record a Video
The first step in this process may seem like a simple one but both pro golfers and average golfers that have done it will tell you it’s a must.
Start by recording a video of your golf swing.
One of the most challenging things about the game of golf is that we can’t see the golf club when we swing. Trying to determine where the swing path or swing plane is wont’ be easy. However, with modern technology, a quick video will let you see quite a bit.
So many players say to me, “I don’t know how to diagnose the video.”
I understand you may think that is the case. However, chances are you will be able to see a great deal of what you are doing wrong. Also, you want this video as a comparison when you finish fixing your over the top swing.
Take two videos with the help of a friend. One of the videos should be down the line; another should be a face on video.
If you don’t hit the big slice that has been bothering you, record a few swings so you have some evidence of the problem.
Step 2: Check Your Setup
The next part of this process is to look at the most obvious errors in the game. Players who have their grip, feet position, shoulder line, hips, or even their head position wrong at setup.
So many players want to fix their over the top swing by working on their angle into the ball, their rotation, or ensuring they make a good transition. These are all important but are you setting yourself up to get to this position?
If your feet and your shoulder lines are crossed, straight shots are hard to achieve.
We know that practicing your setup and stance is quite boring compared to other things on this list; it’s well worth getting this down before you try and fix something that may or may not even need to be fixed.
Step 3: Perfect The Takeaway
The takeaway of your golf shots should be low and slow. Taking the club back with just your arms, swinging back really fast, or forgetting that important transition between backswing and downswing can cause poor shots and an over the top swing.
Most golfers struggle at the top of the swing, but there are issues at the start of the swing that can cause this problem.
The golf takeaway is often overlooked by amateur players.
One of my favorite swing tips for golfers working on their takeaway is to take a small blade of grass or even a leaf and place it just a few inches behind the ball.
On your backswing, make sure you may contact with this. To do so, you will have to engage your lower body, keep the arms out of it and ensure you are having the golf club and the body work together.
Step 4: Get To The Inside
Now that the basics are out of the way, it’s time to do the actual work to fix your over the top golf swing. There are two things you need to think about here, getting the club path more on the inside and ensuring the club face is rotated so that it is square at impact.
The first part of this process is ensuring a more inside club path. This club path encourages a golfer to keep their right elbow (right-handed golfer) more connected throughout the swing. The right elbow should even feel as though it is touching your body as you make your transition at the top of the downswing.
One of the simplest and best drills for this is to put a golf glove or even a towel under your right armpit and ensure it stays in place as you make a good transition.
Another drill to consider here is over-exaggerating the inside to out swing path. Most golfers that come over the top have an out-to-in swing path. What this typically looks like is a golf club that starts coming down with the arms and shoulders from the top of the swing.
The club never appears to drop into place and fill in that space that you created with a good rotation.
Exaggerating this move so that you feel as though you are coming way inside on the approach to the ball is a good way to get your lower body sequence worked out and feel what you need to do.
When you go back to hitting balls, chances are you won’t be exaggerating nearly as much, and you will actually be in the correct position. Some players that struggle with this common problem of coming over the top will add an exaggerated inside approach to their pre-shot routine.
The next thing to work on is the club face angle. If you get to the inside, but your club face is not square to the target line, the shot won’t work out. Most golfers struggle to rotate their forearms.
Step 5: Training Aids to Help
Feeling this inside-to-out path and getting rid of the over the top swing plane will be hard for some players. If you have been swinging like this your entire life, you won’t fix it with one good swing. In fact, it will take quite a bit of time and effort to work this out.
Some of the best options for fixing coming over the top is to use alignment sticks or something like the Eyeline Speed Trap. All you need to do with an alignment stick is set it in the ground at an angle just above the golf ball.
The goal is to swing under this alignment stick. If you swing over the top, you will hit the alignment stick.
Start with slow swings here, as you won’t want to make contact with the alignment stick and hurt yourself.
The Eyeline Speed Trap is another excellent device that allows you to see the proper path and eventually leads to golfers having a square face at impact. The latest release of the Eyeline Speed Trap makes it much easier to use the device without damage to your club or yourself.
I love the visual benefits of a tool like this.
When you head out to the golf course, you can be sure that your mind is in the right place and that you are prepared for what impact position should look like.
Step 6: Transfer to The Course
As a golfer (and teacher of the game) who has had issues with swing path in the past, I know how it can feel simple to fix issues on the range and then an entirely different situation to fix them on the golf course.
You are not alone in this frustration of transferring knowledge to the course.
The best way I have found to help this issue is to work on making your driving range practice more like the course.
Most amateur players head to the driving range with a bucket of 75 golf balls and then just start firing away. This is, of course, not the solution. Even if you do come closer to fixing your over the top swing, chances are you have ignored other issues that could be creating inconsistency.
Instead, take some time to work on the drills we talked about. Hit ten or twenty golf balls using the drills. Then take out a training aid like alignment sticks or a path trainer and work with that for some swings.
The idea is that you are building the muscle memory to then use when the pressure is on.
Once you feel like you understand the motion, you have to start putting pressure on.
Pick a target and try to hit it just as you would on the golf course. If you miss the green because of a slice, chances are you were over the top. If you hook it or draw it, maybe you came a little too far from the inside.
Make a mental note of this shot and then move to the next one. Don’t stand there and rapid-fire golf shots; it gets you nowhere. Make your practice like the course, and everything will transition to the course independently.