Are You Coming Over the Top?

Mark Oswald
General Manager
The Highlands at Dove Mountain in Marana, AZ.
Marana, AZ

More Information

Are you coming over the top on your downswing? For the right handed golfer, this swing path gives you the shot that is pulled left of your target that can curve into a pull hook, straight pull, or pull slice. The pull hook club path starts the ball left and a closed club face makes the ball curve (hook) further left. The pull shot starts left and stays left on this same path, this is due to the club face being square with the path. The final option from the outside-in swing path is the pull slice; this ball starts left and slices right due to the open club face at impact.

You can tell what your club path looked like at impact by the divot. Your divot should be going directly towards the target, if you have a square club path. If the divot is pointing left of your target you have the most common path, the outside-in path. If the divot is pointing right of the target you have the inside-out path.  

The path can get outside of your target line right from the start of the swing if you take the club back with your hands and break or bow the wrists too early pushing the club away from your body and over or outside of the target line. Try taking the golf club away with your left shoulder and left arm rotating around your body and chest; continue taking the club back with a full shoulder turn until positioning the club over your right shoulder at the top of the backswing.  

You have now completed the backswing and reached the point where most golfers get off line, starting the downswing. Most golfers get off the path by starting the club down with their hands first which puts the club outside of the target line or over the top.  For the right handed golfer many will find the right hand taking over and starting the club down by casting the club away from their body and over the target line. The term casting is similar with casting a fishing line with your right hand. This flipping of the wrists puts the club out of position for the way down. The second major problem is allowing the right elbow to push your hands over the line. If the right elbow is too far out, not pointing to the ground at the top but pointing too much behind the golfer, leverage will take over and will force the hands toward the ball and not allow them to drop down into the desired swing plane and path towards the target.

To correct these two problems start the downswing with your lower body, shifting your weight from the right foot to the left foot, this will increase your power as well as help you to get the club on the correct path towards the target. As you start this weight shift, drop your right elbow to your side. This will also drop the club down into the correct downswing position.

This correct swing path will get your club traveling down the line of the target with greater consistency and create maximum power. 

For more help with your golf game, contact Mark Oswald at