Coming over the top in a golf swing is a common problem for amateur golfers. The phrase "coming over the top" means that on the downswing the club comes at the golf ball from an outside to inward path. For right-handed golfers, that means the club head comes from the right side to the left side if looked at from behind the ball toward the target. This path causes a slice if the club head is open or a pull if the club head is closed. There are many ways to correct this swing flaw. Try these tips to see which is best for you.
Place a golf club to the right of the golf ball and parallel to the target (if right handed) on the ground. About a foot behind the ball place an impact bag to the right of the club but still touching the club. This acts as a barrier so if you hit the bag you know you are coming over the top.
Set up to the golf ball normally and take your swing to the top.
Start the downswing slowly to see the club head travel inside the impact bag. If this makes you nervous, start with a slow, half swing. As you get better at this you can speed up your swing. It may take many practice swings to get to full speed, so be patient.
Hit golf balls on the driving range this way for a while. When you no longer hit the bag, substitute a tee or another ball for it. Since those objects are smaller, you can then imagine a blade of grass being your barrier on the golf course to keep you from coming over the top while playing a round.
Set up with a heavy club. Take the club to the top of the swing and pause.
Drop the hands using the weight of the club to start the downswing, but do not swing all the way through yet. Repeat a few more times, taking notice of the dropping feeling. Because of its weight, the heavy club will mimic the correct swing plane line on the downswing. Remembering that feeling is key.
Swing full swings slowly to get used to the weighted club. Once you are used to that, swing faster until you get your muscles lose. The repetition of swinging with the weighted club will put the right downswing into muscle memory. The more you swing with it, the more you will be able to swing properly with your normal swing and eliminate coming over the top.
Learning what the right swing plane should look like could help you understand what you need to change in your swing. Jim Flick, PGA Professional, wrote in an article for Golf Digest about imagining Freddie Couples' swing. Taking the club straight back and then up instead of to the inside will put you at the right position at the top to make the ideal downswing.
Imagine now that the club head drops from the inside to start the downswing. This angle into the ball also promotes a better release of the hands.
Imitating Couples' rhythm will help you to not jerk the body at the ball, which can cause the over the top move, too. Many people think they need to swing hard and fast to get the ball to go far, but doing that can bring many flaws into the swing.