0 6 mins 3 yrs

After a lifetime of coming over the top in my golf swing, I am making dedicated swing changes. Golf is a funny game; in that you can play it for years with a buggered swing and still enjoy it to some degree. I suppose real life can be like that too, in the way we put up with circumstances like family and living on the wrong side of the tracks.  Sometimes it takes a major tragedy or life change to break out of a particular mould. Coming over the top is a common swing flaw amongst amateur golfers. Battling coming over the top: Swing changes after a lifetime of doing the wrong thing is not easy.

Beginner Golfers Start in Many Different Ways

I think that there are a variety of levels of commitment to our golf game. Beginners start in many different ways, with some finding their own swing unaided by professional help. A PGA teacher can be of immense help at the outset, but some folks like to do things their own way. I never really thought about getting real assistance with my golf swing at the start of my golfing journey. Perhaps it was embarrassment, shyness, arrogance, or a mixture of all of those states of being. I would do it my way. I would fashion a homemade swing from trial and effort. I rarely looked in the mirror and mates didn’t have the insight to direct me in regard to my over the top swing.

Anxiety in Golf Can Impact Your Swing

Funnily enough I am an over the top personality at times, especially after a few drinks. Golf echoes the life of the player in more ways than one. The keen golfer wants to get at that stationary ball on the tee as soon as possible. Coming over the top seems the most direct route to many. Anxiety can play a part as well, especially after a few dire results from butchered swings. Taking that club back behind your head can fill you with trepidation at the outcome. Fear can feed the jerky transition and downswing to produce terrible results.  For too many years I had no understanding of what I was doing with the driver. It was a small miracle that I managed to fashion some half decent result in terms of length and direction.

5 Reasons You Might Be Coming Over the Top

  1. You are in too much of a hurry in your downswing.
  2. Your takeaway is too flat & too much outside the line.
  3. Your body is moving out to the ball too early in the downswing.
  4. Your backswing is too narrow, lacking width & depth.
  5. When things go wrong, we can get too quick.

I read instructional books and magazines, but the guidance never really cut through. I had the odd lesson with a PGA professional but the immediate negative impact on my game saw me avoid them for many years. I watched golf lesson videos online, as the digital revolution unfolded, and tried to apply them to my own swing. I practised plenty on the range grooving my over the top swing again and again. I could not understand why things never really changed.

Now, I am committed to making real changes via weekly lessons with a PGA teaching professional. It is not easy to turn back decades of doing the wrong thing. My body gets sore, and I am no longer a young man. However, I know what I need to be doing and that is a new awareness in my game. Things still come unstuck, but I have a reference point to hold on to. It all starts from the bottom up with my feet and stance. The backswing and the downswing need to be begun by my lower body.  Deriving power from the ground via my feet and getting the sequence of movements right via my weight shift.

I was always in too much of a hurry to start my downswing and buggered things up on this basis. Being balanced on the balls of my feet and taking my time from the lower half first to get to the golf ball via a shallow arc. Developing greater awareness of where my head is during my golf swing is another dimension of the positive changes I am making. The golf swing is all about timing and having the body in the right position at the right time to effortlessly generate energy into the ball.

©Robert Hamilton

Photo by Matt Seymour on Unsplash

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