Friday, May 4, 2012

Operation Kill My Slice: Swinging Over The Top

"Operation Kill My Slice:  Swinging Over The Top"
By Sean & Stef Mysel

What can I say about swinging over the top?  I would be willing to be that most of the slicing and dicing that's done out there is caused in no small part by this move many golfers make.

In fact, it hurts a golfer like it hurt Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera shagging fly balls.

What is an over the top swing?

Let me tell you and show you....and don't worry we'll discuss ways to fix it!

Swinging over the top involves swinging the club over its intended or proper plane and angle into the golf ball.  In other words, the shaft of the club begins angling itself towards your body capped off by a move with your back shoulder up and over towards the ball.  

What this in effect does is causes the shaft of the club to become more upright, as you swing into the ball it prevents the arms and hands from rolling over thereby keeping the club face open.  We hit the ball with an open face and our golf ball spins away from us.  

Teaching pros may see a different percentage, but I would say at least 75-85% of the people at my facility have this issue to some varying degree.  

Now as promised, here is what that swing looks like in still pictures:

These are pictures I used in a previous post, but they tell the story in a striking way.  Notice in the picture above our golfer has at this point an absolutely perfect plane for his body and club.  The blue line should be parallel and above his club's starting position in terms of plane.  The problem comes here in the picture below...


What happens is our golfer makes another move at the top of the back swing and rolls his shoulder to the right, steepens the club shaft and BOOM!   The ball spins off to his right...OK DUDE SO HOW DO WE FIX THIS?  How long you gonna make me wait to get the goods?


When I speak to golfers at the range who have this problem, there's one fairly common narrative they give me.   As they take the club back, which is typically pretty flat, there's a feeling of heaviness in the club.  Jim McLean says the club is out of balance, which I completely agree with.

In essence, we're fighting this heavy feeling in the back of our swing and bring the club up where we can support it more easily.  What we need to do is reverse the order we swing the club back.

Try Doing This On Your Back Swing:
1) Swing the club more straight back and upright, really don't care as much about the back swing except we don't want to come too far inside and flat

2) As you're ready to make your down swing, allow your hands to simply drop to your side, your back elbow will attach to your right side and this will flatten out the plane of your swing.

This is effect will accomplish two goals:

1) We will now swing the club on a more shallow path into the ball which more times than not give us that clean, crisp ball striking we want (or make this sound like a food advertisement)

2) Now our swing will achieve greater efficiency and we can more easily square the club face up to our shot.

One final suggestion and I found this to be a powerful tool in showing people the over the top action in their swing.  Get your swing on seriously do this!  

I say that because many people don't feel the over the top motion they make until they magically see it on film.  This is completely understandable since you probably have been making that motion for years and had no idea.  It's amazing what happens when you have an awareness of something the problem becomes much easier to solve.

So what do you think?  Is this something you've struggled with?  Let us know!