“Over The Top” is one of the most common swing characteristics among high handicap golfers and is usually due to overuse of the upper body during the downswing. This results in the club being thrown outside of the intended swing plane, with the club head approaching the ball in an out-to-in-motion. This creates a pull if the clubface is square or a slice if the clubface is open.
Over The Top can significantly reduce a golfer’s ability to generate power and limit their ability to control the ball flight as they add, or decrease, loft to the club and additional spin to the ball through impact. By changing the swing plane or swing path, they will create a more solid strike and increase their distance and accuracy.
Physical Causes of Over The Top:
It is vital to develop a proper kinematic sequence of motion during transition and the downswing. Without the ability to initiate the downswing with the lower body, a player can easily dominate the downswing with the upper body, forcing the Over The Top swing plane. A good kinematic sequence requires several physical factors:
– The ability to separate movements of the lower body from the upper body to allow the lower body to lead the downswing. Usually reduced spinal and hip mobility causes limited pelvis-to-thorax separation.
– Core stability to help maintain posture and thorax stability is essential. Any loss in posture can force the torso and arms to fire first in transition to help reposition the body for rotation.
– Good balance on each leg, especially the lead side, is vital for proper weight shift. Limited weight shift toward the lead leg can reduce the lower body’s contribution to generate power during the swing.
If you think you go Over The Top in your golf swing then this is best evaluated by our TPI Physical Golf Screening. Come and see Bonnie (TPI certified) at Bend + Mend in Sydney’s CBD for a Golf Physiotherapy Assessment and TPI Physical Screen.