How to Stop Swinging Over the Top

By Steve Silverman

Trying to build a repeatable and productive swing is one of the top goals of any golfer. It is not easy. There are many things that can go wrong, and many factors can keep a golfer from building a consistent swing. One of the most frequent mis-hits is a swing that comes over the top of the ball, one that leaves the golfer with a shot that bounces and rolls and does not get into the air.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging
Step 1
Adjust your stance. Most golfers who come over the top have too wide a stance. Your feet should be shoulder-length apart and no wider. A stance that is too narrow will leave the golfer off balance, and one that is too wide will not allow him to get a proper hip turn.
Step 2
Point your left shoulder directly where you want to hit the ball. This is called squaring yourself to the target. Your left foot should be directly underneath your left shoulder.
Step 3
Play the ball one ball length closer to your left foot than you are your right foot. This is an ideal solution for a golfer who finds himself coming over the top and hitting down on the ball. By having the ball a bit closer to your left foot, you should catch it on the upswing and get the ball up in the air.
Step 4
Keep a firm grip on the club. If you tend to try to get as much power as you can on every swing, you may choke the club too tight. Your grip should be at about a "5" on a scale of 1 to 10. Any tighter and you won't be able to get a full turn; any looser and the club will wobble on contact.
Step 5
Look at the back of the ball as your swing your club. The biggest reason for topping the ball is the anxiety of the golfer who wants to see what his shot looks like. Finish your swing, and don't look up until your club is at shoulder height.

Tips & Warnings

Practice regularly at the driving range to build a repeatable swing.

About The Author

Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.

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