Thursday, August 1, 2002
Stop Coming Over The Top
To fix golf's most common flaw, find out what's causing it
The third most common reason for coming over the top is narrowing the swing arc. A good way to think of swing arc is the distance between the butt of your golf club to the right side of your head at the top of the backswing. If and when the swing arc narrows, the room needed to drop down the club on-plane in the downswing disappears. The typical reaction to this lack of swinging room is to throw the club out and over the top.
The most influential component of swing arc is the position of the right arm throughout the backswing. A player with a narrow swing arc tends to fold the right arm too early or keep it unnaturally pinned to the right side all the way to the top. Both flaws pull the club in too close to the body. The player with this flaw will feel the need to free the club by throwing it way over the top and away from the body.
As you take the club to the top, focus on pressing your right palm against the your left thumb (for right-handed golfers). This maintenance of pressure effectively pushes the butt of the club farther away from the head while also straightening the left arm and leveraging the golf club. If you can maintain that pressure to the completion of the backswing, you’ll create all the room you’ll need to naturally pull the club down on-plane.
The fourth most common reason why a player comes over the top is an open clubface. When the clubface is left open at the top of the backswing, the natural reaction is to swing to the left (over the top) to get the clubface square at impact.
An open clubface at the top can typically be traced back to a weak grip at address. “Weak,” as it’s used here, refers to the actual strength of your grip, not the positioning of your hands on the handle. If you grip the club with your palms, you have a weak grip, and the club will tend to fan open in the takeaway.
In a stronger grip, the club runs more through the fingers. The left thumb pad sits more on top of the grip, while the lifeline of the right palm sits on top of the left thumb. This grip will allow you to set the shaft on-plane in the takeaway, set your wrists properly and keep the clubface from fanning open.
If any of the errors described here exist, attack them by using the advice provided. This approach will produce cures that result in long-lasting, positive results.
The Todd Sones Impact Golf Center is located at White Deer Run Golf Club in Vernon Hills, Ill., (847) 549-9678, www.toddsones.com.
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