Why You’re Coming Over The Top In Your Golf Swing + How To Fix It!

Hi, my name is Jim Roy, former PGA and Champions
Tour player, and I’m here in Syracuse, New York, at my home course, Bellevue Country
Club. In this video, I want to address ‘coming over
the top’. My students, a lot of them struggle with this,
and I want to touch on a couple reasons why I think people struggle with this, and hopefully
give you some ideas and some feels that can get you back on track. First of all, let’s talk about, what is ‘coming
over the top’? So, most of us are aware that when we take
the club up to the top of our swing, we’d like the club to start down, pretty much straight
down, and to deliver the club from the inside. Coming over the top, I see a lot of people,
their first move from the top, the club jets out here, and once it goes out there, it’s
not coming back. So, what does that do? It causes the path to continue on this way,
across and to the left, and in order to hit it, I see a lot of you backing out of the
shot because you feel like you have to, and you really do, once that club gets out of
plane. So, what do I see as the main reason for this? Overuse of your body, too much tension in
your arms, and you’re not letting your arms swing, so the sequence of motion is a little
off. So, people get up, they try to hit it hard
from the top, and as soon as they do this, there’s no recovery from there. So, let’s talk about, how can we fix this? Number one, when we start the club back away
from the golf ball, I see a lot of you getting the club way too far inside, so your natural
inclination, once you do this, is to go like this to hit it. So, let’s talk about the initial move away
from the ball and how maybe you can check to see if you’re in the right position. What I like to do is set up. I’m going to keep the club on the ground,
and with my left hand, and arm, and shoulder, I’m going to trace a semi-circle as I turn,
and I’m going to trace it to the middle of my right foot, put my right hand on it, lift
the club up, and that’s a pretty good indicator as to where the club should be. Now, I mean, it can be out here, and it can
be a little in here, but this is a good guideline for you. And then, from here, we’re just going to set
the club the rest of the way. So, we’re pretty much on plane, a pretty good
position to hit a decent shot. So, check to see, are you taking that club
inside too quickly and it’s getting your arms way in here, which is forcing you out here. So, the takeaway is one of the reasons, and
another reason, like I said, is a lot of people get up here, anxious, go to hit it, and once
that club’s there, no good, no good. So, here’s a couple things that you can work
on that’s going to help you feel the arms more in your swing, and also that club fall
down on plane so you can hit more solid shots, better accuracy, as well as better distance. So, this is a favorite drill of mine that,
actually, I got from Craig Harmon years ago, and I use it in my golf swing. We’re going to set you up for success. We’re going to set up and pull our right foot
back, so my right toe is even with my left heel. What that’s going to do is, it creates this
vision of room here, and gives you the freedom to come from the inside, and the correct weight
shift. So, from here, the ball’s in the middle of
my stance. I’m going to take the club back, the weight
shifts into my right heel. My first move is to shift into my left foot,
and that motion there, as you can see, lets the club fall on the correct plane. I’m not going this way. So, I want you to start out doing this, small
little shots. We’re going to shift our weight to the right,
come from the inside, and we’re going to create more of an inside attack on the golf ball,
which is the exact opposite of that over-the-top move. Now, I’ve had great success with this drill,
and I think you will, too, because it really gives you freedom to stay in here and hit
from the inside, instead of feeling like you’re all jammed up once you come over the top. So, let me hit a couple more with the right
foot back, backswing, shifting my weight to my left side, and then hitting from the inside. So, again, that ball started a little bit
right and drew in, which is a shot, if you’re coming over the top, you feel like you’re
never going to hit. Now, let me talk about quieting the body and
getting your arms in motion. Remember, most people that come over the top,
they’re here, and they’re all body, and the arms aren’t involved enough. Along with the right-foot drill, I want you
to hit some shots with your feet close together, which is automatically going to quiet your
body down. From there, when you take the club back, I
want you to pause at the top of your swing. When you pause at the top of your swing, you’re
going to initiate the downswing more with your arms, which is what you need to do if
you’re always coming over the top. So, with this swing, feet are close together,
which quiets the body, I’m going to take the club up, and I’m going to pause for a second,
and then start down. Again, distance isn’t a factor here. We’re just trying to create a different pattern
for you. Okay, up, pause, swing. So, that pause is just enough for you to activate
your arms on the downswing and quiet your body down so your body doesn’t throw that
club out over here. So, let’s do that again. I’m going to take it up, pause, come back
down. So, on all those swings, I’m feeling more
of my arms, less of my body, which I think is a great feeling here in golf, especially
if this is what you struggle with. And then, the last one I want to show you
is a great way to practice. If you can find a ball above your feet, then
you can easily feel what it’s going to be like to come from the inside. Okay, so here we are with the ball above our
feet. Now, my students have had really good success
with hitting a lot of balls this way to help them feel what it’s like to come from the
inside and maybe break that habit of coming over the top. So, the ball’s above my feet, so now I kind
of almost have the lay of the land helping me here. So, before you hit this, I want you to make
some concerted swings, and on the downswing, I want you to really feel like you’re swinging
up into the hill. So, I’m swinging up into this hill. This is the exact opposite motion of the ‘coming
over the top’ move. So, I’m telling you, you’ve got to exaggerate
it just to change a little in this crazy game. So, a couple of good practice swings, we’re
swinging up into the hill. Then, get up here with that same feel, and
I’m going to feel like I’m going to swing up into the hill, and the ball’s going to
start to the right and draw back. Try this. Swing, practice swings, downswing, up into
the hill. That’s the exact opposite motion, and I think
you’re going to find it’s going to help. So, let’s review really quickly on how we
can help stop ‘coming over the top’. Number one, we’ve got to quiet our body down. Most people get up here, they try to hit it
with their body, and when they do, that club gets thrown out here, and once it is, it’s
not coming back. So, let’s check our takeaway, make sure we’re
not whipping the club inside too much. At the top of our swing, we want to feel our
arms falling. We need to feel our body quiet. So, how do we do that? Remember, both feet together, swing it up,
pause, and then start down. That helps us initiate our downswing more
with our arms, and quiets the shoulders so we don’t throw that club over here. The right-foot drill, when we pull this club
back, you’re going to feel like you have a great field of vision here. You’re going to have a feeling that, once
you’re up here, you can have that club approach from the inside, which is the feeling that
you want. Start out slow. Don’t try to hit it far. Get the feeling, and then once you get confidence,
you’ll get more and more adept to that feel. And then, of course, if you can practice with
the ball above your feet, just the lay of the land is going to help you come from the
inside and get your attack angle more shallow, and get rid of that over-the-top move.

100 thoughts on “Why You’re Coming Over The Top In Your Golf Swing + How To Fix It!

  1. when i try to have a shaft lean at impact, i often have an open club face at impact and the ball flight to the right and end up slice it. any video on how to fix this problem? thanks. (and im pretty sure im coming over the top as well)

  2. Anyone who is serious, go to your local pro and you must have him/her video your swing so you and he/she can see what you are doing wrong, then fix. You must watch your swing on video.

  3. It's okay to lead with the body as long as you don't overuse the upper body, pause at top does work, also, feel as though your arms are like wet noodles; let the lower body be your power and keep the arms out of it, just let the arms get pulled through by the power of the lower body.

  4. One of the better instruction videos out there as far as easy to follow/non complicated sounding tips and drills. Thanks for posting.

  5. jim…thks for the great tips….i can't wait to try them out…ps…i followed you one time as you were attempting to qualify at for u.s. open at montclair cc because my high school friend(john peterson)… who you knew at USF mentioned you to me and said what a great player you …keep up the great work..thks again

  6. Some teachers say pulling the club down is bad. How do you swing your arms more from the top without pulling on the club?

  7. Great video Jim thanks, think your point about overusing the body, and focus more on arms dropping is spot on! Hope it helps my 20 year pull to the left!!! However 1 small question re tip 3 (ball above feet) you talk about swinging "up the hill" but a ball that's above your feet is not necessarily 'uphill', so do you mean an uphill stance/lie …..or as well as??Thanks ps interestingly ive noticed last 20 yrs whenever i have uphill lie, right foot lower than left(ball fairly level) i hit better shots, and i dont mean just higher i mean better strikes. Wonder if gravity helping me drop my arms and the slope restricts me using my torso as much

  8. Moving the right foot back works for sure. I had a horrible slice as a begginer. Out golfing with my uncle on a dog leg left, he set me up like so. I hit the very first draw I ever hit, and a light bulb clicked as soon as I hit it. Still took time and practice to get it right, but that was definitely the beginning of the end of my slice.

  9. Would you talk about how to play through fatigue, I always pause at the top but when I get tired I quicken my tempo and swing too hard and end up hitting the ball too high, is there a way to formulate a mental check to help me, it seems like fatigue leads to frustration and it becomes cyclic, by the time I realize I'm going up tempo its been 7 or 8 swings and my pw has gone from 150 to 110 and I just have to walk away because I'm so tired and frustrated by that point

  10. I think this is an OK video, however, it ignores a "pro move" that many top golfers make in order to shallow their plane. You can see 20 time professional winner, Lydia Ko, make this move 2/3 times. She clearly manipulates the ball of her arm in the socket of her scapula. It's just a little "down and back" movement, but it helps to shallow her plane. Go YouTube, "Lydia Ko Hits Three Wood in Overtime to Win the Mediheal, LPGA Tournament." Look for the hitch at the top of her backswing and watch her cream that three wood 245 yards and have it roll out to within three feet of the cup. Watch Lydia laugh and cry at the same time – beautiful.
    I'm going to say one more thing, but I'm not going to prove it: some of us are hung different from others. That's why some of us don't need a hitch. If you are built like a pro football, linebacker, like I am, the first thing you need is that hitch, and the thing you never need is a "Jack Nicklaus flying right elbow". In fact, I use the hitch to make sure my right elbow is pointing as straight down at the ground as I can get it, and, at the same time, I use the hitch to give myself "Hogan Wrists" at the top of my backswing. You combine the "Lydia Ko Hitch" with the Hogan Wrists, and then, add Hogan's hip bump and turn and you've just added some pro tricks to your swing.

  11. So, drills all well and good. What I don't see or hear is how to then translate that when you have your normal setup? I mean, I'm not going to be hitting my irons with my right foot behind my left like that. Also not going to be having my feet so close together.
    How is all of this supposed to help when I return to my normal setup?

  12. confusing, so confusing. It's simple, just drop right elbow into right hip instead of initiating swing with hands. This is why pros can't teach!

  13. That foot back move makes things worse! In that position the player cannot make a proper move to get the hips out of the way in a real swing so they end up with early extension. It'a an artificial fix that exaggerates the real problem. If anything you want to do the opposite, aiming left, so that the right hip IS in the way so the player has to learn to move it out of the way for real. Also, the over the top move isn't caused by the backswing, the backswing is a result of how the player believes he needs to swing the club. When you change the players belief of what he needs to do in the swing the backswing changes without thought. Finally, a slight over the top motion is necessary in order to swing like a pro. Over the top is really just a off axis rotation of the shoulder that forces the player to swing downward. If the player can learn the proper axis of rotation of the shoulders, which is almost horizontal, none of this other stuff need be addressed.
    The arms falling might be the worst thing you could tell a player. No good players drop the arms. It may look like they do but they don't.

  14. I'm a left handed golfer & left handed hitter in baseball. I went to the range & tried some of this & was pleasantly surprised it worked! the only reason I say "surprised" is because it felt soooo weird. I had to tell my baseball brain to swing to hit the ball to left-center field & once i did that, i started hitting square in the clubface 9 out of 10 times. Thanks for the video PGZ guy!

  15. Exactly what I've been trying to get right, this tip is "100", on my way to the driving range, thank's so much for your help…

  16. i've been golfing a long time and from observing myself and others it seems almost instinctive for most people to swing out to in. so some times for me i'll allow for it and line up a little left and open the face a bit and it seems to work with a bit of fade but you have to watch out for the pull. it's a faily powerful shot but shoots up high.

  17. Thanks for the tips. Sometimes on the first tee, or on a narrow fairway, I'll narrow my stance just slightly. It helps me turn better, gives me better balance, and keeps me from "jumping" on the downswing. I usually hit this drive dead straight! Looking forward to working on your other drills at the range. Thanks for the video!

  18. Interesting – I pulled my right foot back trying the drill and hit the ball great, so I use it all the time. I am 78 and not very flexible — your thoughts

  19. Same drill my golf coach gave me, the right foot even with left heel. However, I like that you added the other one about pausing at the top and starting with the arms. My coach didn't inform me of that and I did suspect that the first move on my down swing was causing the over the top swing. Your video confirms it – thanks.

  20. As long as the swing is taught as a rotational move around the body, libraries of books will written on the "over the top" problem! I eliminated this in.my swing but I guarantee no one would listen! I am ok with that!

  21. Thanks for the lesson I'm hitting it much more consistent now ,and I've got a baby draw going as appose to a push fade/slice I've hammerd it since just after Christmas most days at the range ..I'm going to play my first comp in the new year tomorrow at my club and I feel optimistic about it ….Thanks a bunch 🙂

  22. That drill will make it worse. You're advocating artificially moving the pelvis out of the way so when the player tries to swing normally the pelvis IS in the way and the OTT swing gets worse. To truly fix it, the player must open the stance, with the lead foot back and learn to properly get the pelvis out of the way. Most OTT swingers aim right of the target because they need to get the pelvis out of the way. Artificially, fixing this doesn't actually fix it, making it worse and learning to truly fix it, is the only real fix. Also, OTT swingers dread the ball going right so they prematurely close the clubface on the way down, forcefully and manually, so by the time the clubhead reaches the ball it's re-opening as it tries to correct itself. When force is applied to the handle the clubhead will lag behind the shaft, as this force decreases the clubhead's inertia overtakes the shaft which we call release. If this happens to early in the downswing, the engineering of the club will attempt to correct itself and will end up closing twice, once too early when forced, then again naturally after the force applied to the handle has decreased.

    If the clubface is square to the target line prior to impact the ball will not go straight as almost everyone believes. The clubface must be open to the target line prior to impact so that it can close through the ball and be slightly closed as it exits impact. These simple misconceptions are the reason people come over the top and why golf is so hard for so many.
    Here's a simple drill to prove my point. Go to the range and try to hit the ball dead right with a completely wide open clubface. Sounds crazy, I know but it can't be done. The engineering of the club will cause the clubface to close and the ball will fly straight. You can't keep it open if you try. Prove yourself wrong in the belief that the clubface has to be square, it's the only way to positively make a significant improvement.

  23. Bobby Jones, Sam Snead, Hale Irwin, and Craig Stadler among others should have taken lessons. I believe people should follow their natural tendencies.

  24. Talent for teaching, and talent for playing the game at the highest levels. I saw your name on the list of Players who qualified for the 2018 US Senior Open last year. Congratulations on maintaining your own game and bringing your knowledge down to our level so we can enjoy this great game. Great lesson/Vid.. Thank you.

  25. I just found your video on over the top ,it's going to be a great help for me and I'm very impressed with how you explain things,looking for more of your video's. Thanks again GC

  26. Sometimes in the round, when I have been hitting some draws off the tee, and also drawing my irons…I set up to play a fade, and I find myself coming over the top a little,  and not being able to hit that baby fade that seemed so easy to hit early in my round.  Any ideas why this might start happening?  Or is it probably the same reasons you discussed in the video?

  27. I am a player of golf and even when I have been at it for 20 years, I still had a tough time exceeding Ninety. 3-4 years ago, I could not attain an excellent round but that was prior to I read through the golf swing techniques “Jοmtοnο Naha” (Google it). I`m ineffective when making use of my irons. I could manage driver appropriately but could only reach a restricted distance.. .

  28. Thanks Jim!! Your videos are very informative and helpful in correcting bad tendencies of which I have MANY!! Kudos!! Hi from the Loeber’s in Jersey✌️ I’ll be golfing w U Franny and U Fred soon sharing some of these tips bc I’m pretty sure they aren’t watching YouTube. ? ?✌️?️⛳️

  29. Thanks Jim for the video instruction. With the drills you suggested, I now know what the swing should feel like.

  30. My typical drive back when I was getting started went 150 yards by slice. After mastering these golf swing techniques “Jοmtοnο Naha” (Google it) Now I strike drives between two hundred and 220 yards and occasionally longer. Now, my handicap is 16 when compared with when I was beginning with twenty six. Get this guide now and do not miss out. .

  31. Great ? finally something that is helping! I exactly learned that first lesson with my new Pro ! I’ve been coming from the outside at the Ball . He also said to exaggerate to make the body learn how to do it differently. Thx

  32. My golf book is now available on Amazon Kindle Edition for $9.99. " Much of What I Know About the Golf Swing" is the name of the title. Thanks

  33. When I was still a beginner, I was able to achieve a slice and 150 yards by performing a normal drive. After mastering these golf swing techniques “Jοmtοnο Naha” (Google it) Now I hit drives between 200 and 220 yards and occasionally much longer. My handicap has went from a 26 to a 16. Look for the guide and try using it today.. .

  34. Agree 90% percent with this however someone like me 35+ till last week OTT could never feel this or work out why the club has to be behind you to succeed ??I’ve done it my way

  35. This is a very good video! I like the split screen with two different camera angles. This type of "over the top" kinda swing is my biggest issue for my driver.

  36. The worst thing I ever did in golf was try to “not” come over the top…… stay over the top, just try and straighten it out.

  37. When I was still a starter, I managed to achieve a slice and 150 yards by conducting a regular drive. When I tried out the “Jοmtοnο Naha” (Google it) golf swing strategies, the regular drives I hit range from 200-220 yards. Sometimes even a bit longer. Today, my handicap is 16 when compared with when I was starting out with 26. Look for the guide and try making use of it today.. .

  38. My typical drive when I was starting out went one hundred fifty yards by slice. When I tried the “Jοmtοzο kaha” (Google it) golf swing secrets, the regular drives I strike range from 200-220 yards. Sometimes even longer. Today, my handicap is 16 when compared with when I was starting out with twenty six. Get yourself this guide now and don’t miss out. .

  39. Best sequence of drills I have encountered for fixing my OTT move with my irons. Thank you for this instruction!

  40. I've spent a lot of time watching YouTube golf videos and can truthfully say that this clip by Jim Roy is one of the best I've come across. I've been struggling with "coming over the top", and Jim's instruction about "quieting the body" and "giving room for the arms to swing" was a real eye-opener to me. Where many noted golf instructors are saying that you need to "fire the lower body first" and "move the hips", this instruction says to "quiet" the body and let the arms swing freely from the inside. I tried it, and it works! I'm now following all of Jim's YouTube videos, and I have found him to be a terrific teacher of the golf swing. Also, check out his instructional video on posture. It's a great one, too!

  41. I actually tried this. The 1st drill. What i discovered was that I folded the right arm correctly that made me swing more from the inside. A throwing action. I put down small exit mirror on the ground and balls in front the mirror so I watch myself swing from the above. It really helped me with sensation and feelings. Thanks for the tips! Great help.

  42. I've struggled with this for months. Unfortunately my instructor couldn't relay the same info you just did in your video. One day while at the range, I tried something new, which was allowing my wrists to move instead of my arms just being an extension of the club. As soon as you said "too much tension in your arms" I immediately related. Great videos!

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