How to stop coming over the top?

          This mistake on the swing is the most common mistake we see around the golf course. We hear it a lot of times, “I am coming over the top”. So in this article, we will help you finding the solution for this problem.

          When a golf player is coming over the top, is because they have no chance to make the club take an inside path. In different words, coming over the top is a necessary compensation for an earlier problem. In fact, if a player was to actually come down on the inside or on-plane, he or she would be worse off. The key to fixing the problem of coming over the top is to first understand why it happens. Once the player understand what created the need to execute an over the top move, he or she can fix the problem at its root, resulting in a downswing that's from the inside or on plane.

          There are five most common backswing mistakes that result in coming over the top in the downswing.

     -     A very flat take away or club under the swing plane.

     -     Having the majority of the weight on the left leg at the top of the backswing. Reverse pivot.

     -     Creating a narrow swing arc.

     -     Leaving the clubface open at the top.

     -     Rushing from the top.

          Very flat take away or club under the swing plane.

          Let's talk about the first one. A flat takeaway is the most common mistake we see on golf players. In this case, when the player notices that he is coming over the top, the more he is likely to take the club away to the inside.          

          The first point that we have to check is our set-up posture. It is extremely important to have a proper setup; in this case, we will have a look on how the player bends at the hips. If we fail to tilt from the hips, bending the neck and shoulders towards the ball, most of the times we will make an inside or too flat take away. Therefore, having a proper set up position will be much easier to start the swing correctly.

          A second reason of having a very flat takeaway is when the arms rotate faster than the body. When this happens, we will see the left arm getting away of your body, moving the clubface to the inside. Our forearm rotation should match our shoulder rotation. When these two rotations are linked, the arms will remain in front of the body, effectively leaving room to bring the clubface down on plane.


Reverse pivot.

          First we must understand what a reverse pivot on a golf swing is. It occurs when we have too much weight on the left foot at the top of the backswing. What normally will happen, if we are doing a reverse pivot, we will naturally transfer it into our back leg on the way back down. This will make the club move outside the plane finishing into an over the top downswin

                   What is causing a reverse pivot? The most typical error is lower body sway. When the lower body moves away from the target on the backswing, the upper body will fall towards the target.  Also if the golfer body slides towards the target upon takeaway will cause a reverse pivot.

          The cure to ending the reverse weight shift is to learn to resist with the lower body and coil with the upper body. The lower body should be the foundation for the upper body during the backswing

Narrow arc.

          The wideness of the backswing will be measure by the distance between the butt of the club and right middle of the chest. When the backswing is too narrow, the space needed to drop down the club on plane in the downswing will disappear. Therefore, normally, this will lead on an over the top downswing.

          When we have a narrow arc on our backswing, we will see the right arm bend, leading into a small distance between the butt of the club and our body. As you take the club to the top, focus on pressing the right palm against the left thumb. This will help you maintaining the butt of the club farther away because will help straightening your left arm. Doing this, you will create all the room you will need to naturally pull the club down on plane.

Open clubface.

        An open clubface at the top of the backswing is when it's pointing down. When this happens, the natural reaction is to swing to the left, over the top, to get the clubface square at impact.

     An open clubface normally is due to a weak grip at our set up. When talk about weak here, we refer to the actual strength of the grip, not the positions of the hands. If we grip the club with the palms, we have a weak grip, and the club will then to open in the takeaway.

     So, we have to make sure we grip the club with fingers. This grip will allow to set the shaft on plane in the takeaway, set the wrists properly and keep the clubface from being open at the top.

Rushing from the top.

          The number one cause of swing over-the-top is a rhythm and timing problem. When many of the golfers reach the top of your backswing are in such a rush to start the downswing that totally screw up the spine angle. From the top, our shoulders should simply be rotating on our stationary spine.

          Sometimes, many average golfers also suffer from a poor transition. When the transition gets violent, it's hard to square the clubface at impact.

     As we said, rhythm and timing is very important. We see a lot of swings with a too fast backswing. We have to know that backswing should be 3 times slower than the downswing, so counting 1, 2, and 3 while the backswing and 1 during the downswing, will help us finding the right rhythm. The goal is to have the speed of the downswing increase gradually, with the fastest part happening at the bottom.

     Another good drill to work on this is when you reach the top of your swing, pause for a second before swinging down. If you're quick at the top, this drill will feel very strange and might take a while to get used to. But if you do pause, you can then swing down as hard as you want, and the ball will really jump off the clubface.


     We had now analyze the most common mistakes that will cause an over the top downswing. So if you are struggling with this error on your swing, check where it comes from. Once you know this, you can check our drills to correct your swing fault for a better ball strike.