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Actionable Tips & Drills to Fix the Over the Top Golf Swing

The over the top swing causes inconsistency in your golf shots. Many golfers have an over the top swing and don’t even realize they are doing it.

Swinging over the top doesn’t just occur from the top down. The reason you are swinging over the top is because you are in the wrong position at the top, to begin with.

I’ll show you exactly how to fix the over the top golf swing and the steps you can take to become a more consistent ball striker.

How Can You Stop Coming Over the Top? (Key Takeaways)

If you don’t have time to go through the over the top swing fix right now, here are the key points to take away.

  • Reduce your grip pressure and shorten the backswing as the first two initial steps to combat swinging over the top.
  • All great players follow a wrist pattern that includes having less extension and more flexion at the top of their backswing; this puts you in the right place to swing down on the right plane.
  • Proper weight shift towards the target as the first move from the downswing can lead to better ball striking and attacking the ball from the proper angle.
  • The HackMotion sensor can help you measure how much wrist extension you have at the top of the swing and whether it is adding to your over the top motion.
Take a 2-minute Quiz and Step Up Your Game!

1. What do you want to improve in your full swing?

How to Stop Coming Over the Top?

The cause of the over the top swing is improper wrist position and or poor body rotation.

However, certain adjustments you make to your setup can help you straighten this out and start attacking the ball from the correct angle. Start with your grip strength.

1. Neutral Grip Strength

Most amateur golfers think they are controlling the clubface when they grip the club tighter. This isn’t the case.

Reducing grip pressure can lower the tension in the arms and shoulders and help to increase energy and speed in the swing. Less grip pressure gives you more control of the clubface and your overall swing.

Start by gripping the club as loosely as you can and then add grip pressure slightly until you find the perfect amount for your swing.

2. More Upright Posture

Golf coach Brian Fitzgerald compares the ideal golf shot posture to the setup for jumping into a swimming pool.

Start upright, bend your spine slightly, and flex your knees. Now, you have an optimal range of motion on the swing and can get your club head to the desired position at the top.

If you are guilty of hunching over the ball, it can limit your ability to get the club on a more inside or shallow path.

3. Clubface Square to the Target

Lining the club up incorrectly can lead to issues with accuracy in your golf swing.

Ensure your clubface is square to your desired target to encourage straight golf ball flight and improved accuracy.

When you compensate for the results of the over the top swing you may aim left of the target and change your path unknowingly.

Try to start with your hips square, clubface square, and shoulders square.

4. Wrist Supination at the Top

You must produce the proper wrist rotation to position yourself perfectly to drop the club into place on the downswing. This process shallows out the club before impact.

When your wrist rotates in a supination direction, it causes the palm to face the sky.

Reaching supination at the top of your backswing means you’ve gotten the clubhead inside and are well-placed to deliver a clean, accurate strike.

However, when your trail wrist rotates in a pronation direction, it pushes the club out at the top, and players typically swing down and inside.

Pronation rotation sees your palm facing toward the ground, causing a steep shaft and angle of attack from the outside in.

5. Shorten Your Backswing

Golfers that take too long of a backswing often end up with inconsistent hip rotation, poor shoulder turn, and lack of wrist control.

Start with thinking about just a ¾ backswing.

At this ¾ position you can use the HackMotion to ensure you have very little (if any) extension in your lead wrist.

Interestingly, many golfers find that even though they shorten their backswing, they don’t lose much distance. Accuracy is paramount to distance when you want to shoot lower scores on the course.

Mostly, when you take the ¾ backswing, you’ll have a much easier time feeling the club get more around you, into the right position that stops the club from coming over the top.

6. Shift Weight Towards the Target

The transition from the top of your backswing down is vital for power and achieving the desired swing path. Initiate your downswing by shifting your weight from your trail leg forward to create momentum and lag for increased power leading into contact, as highlighted by Chris Ryan in the video below.

With limited hip rotation and shifting the weight from the back forwards, you leave your arms and shoulders to do the work.

7. Increase Wrist Flexion Leading Into Impact

An open clubface at the top of the swing often causes a golfer to produce an over the top golf swing.

One of the best ways to increase wrist flexion leading into impact is to use the motorcycle drill. This drill helps you to add flexion on the downswing.

The additional flexion closes the clubface and makes it easier to get the club on the proper path. You’ll find a more inside to out swing path and a much straighter flight. It’s ok to exaggerate this movement initially and then go from there to reduce spin and accelerate ball speed.

8. Turn Your Shoulders Through Impact

Your final job is to keep turning your shoulders on the downswing to maximize lag, power, and clubhead speed.

You also need to keep turning your shoulders through impact to help you square the clubface to launch a straight flying ball.

When you stop the shoulders, you lose power and velocity, making it challenging to square your clubface at contact.

When I stop turning my shoulders through impact, it typically leaves me open to the target, which risks me leaving the clubface open and pushing it to the right of the target.

Take a 2-minute Quiz and Step Up Your Game!

1. What do you want to improve in your full swing?

Drills to Help You Stop Coming Over the Top

Now that you have the process of how to stop coming over the top down, here are a few of the best drills to make sure you keep your club on the proper path.

Smash Drill

The smash drill is intended to prevent casting and promotes coming down and outwards to maximum speed, which allows you to square the clubface.

Place a soft shell a foot behind the impact zone, and take a backswing before pausing at the top.

From the top, start the downswing by shifting the weight of your trail leg forward and using the momentum to drop the club into place and shallow it on the downswing.

Let the club drop down and into the bag, and repeat the process. You want to ensure that the club is coming straight down and not heading outside to inside.

Headcover Drill

The headcover drill is a quick way to determine if you are swinging the club from the outside in.

Place the headcover a few inches outside the golf ball and just make sure you don’t hit it as you swing through. Additionally, you can put a headcover under your trail arm as you swing.

If the head cover comes out as soon as you transition from the backswing to the downswing you are likely sending the club over the top.

HackMotion Target Wrist Positions

The HackMotion guides you to achieve optimal wrist positions at the top of the swing and impact. The ultimate goal of the HackMotion is to minimize wrist extension at the top and at impact.

Thanks to the feedback on the app, you will instantly know when you’ve created excess wrist extension at the top of the swing.

The increased extension causes the clubface to open at the top, one of the over the top golf swing causes.

Under the Bridge

You can work on “Under the Bridge” from anywhere which is why I love it. Grab a club and keep the shaft upright while resting your left hand on the top of the grip. Assume your standard posture, and take a swing with your trail hand, the right one for right-handers.

I do repetitions of 15 to 20 at a time, gettiswing’s ng used to the rhythm, tempo, cy of the swing. My right hand goes back to the top and comes down, under my left arm, and through, hence the name of the drill.

Consistently practicing the “Under The Bridge” drill made shallowing my shaft and swinging inside-outwards second nature.

Final Thoughts

The over the top golf swing is a menace for amateur golfers and often proceeds to induce slices and erratic shots.

These tips should have you on the right track and ensure you have the ability to shallow things out and swing under the plane.

Remember to employ neutral grip pressure, a moderately upright posture, and wrist supination at the top of the swing. From there, shift your lower body weight towards the target, increase wrist flexion, and turn your shoulders through impact for an accurate, powerful strike.

Leverage the tutorials, guidance, and real-time analytics provided by HackMotion to better control your wrist angles and the clubface to eliminate over the top swings.

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Matt Stevens
written by Matt Stevens

Matt Callcott-Stevens hails from South Africa and has written for golf equipment manufacturers and blogs since 2015. He first swung a club 29 years ago, and his love for the game shows no sign of fading. Matt holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Marketing and is committed to growing the sport and making it more enjoyable for the average player.