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Answer How can I stop swinging over the top

Call it whatever you like – over the top, outside to in, cutting across the ball – its a golf swing that will always let you down.

Over-the-top swingers usually suffer from a slice. Occasionally, theyll square the clubface with the clubs path and pull the ball. Striking the ball with a glancing blow also drains power and limits the variety of shots a golfer is able to play.

In other words, your over-the-top move has got to go.

The most common cause is an overly active upper body or, put another way, insufficient lower-body action. If you reach the top of the backswing with inadequate hip rotation, the arms initiate the downswing and “cast” the club away from your body, across the target line.

The cure, then, requires making a full hip turn and starting your downswing with the lower body. By “full hip turn,” we mean rotating the hips approximately half as much as the shoulders on the backswing. The ideal is a 90° shoulder turn, with your back facing the target, and a 45° hip turn (give or take a few degrees).

If you have difficulty rotating the hips this much, try narrowing your stance.

Once youre able to properly rotate the lower body, work on correctly starting your downswing. The classic first move is to press your left (lead) heel into the ground to initiate the transition. The left knee and hip follow naturally, pulling the torso, shoulders, arms and hands along in a powerful chain reaction. The arms will stay closer to your body, guiding the club on a path from inside the target line.

Heres a simple drill you can use at home or on the range, with or without a ball, to synchronize your downswing:

Pick a club and set up to the ball (real or imaginary).
Swing to the top and stop, holding your position for two seconds.
Now swing down and through.

Pausing de-activates your arms and hands; the lower body naturally takes control when you resume the swing. If it doesnt, consciously kick-start the downswing by pressing down with your left heel and rotating the left hip toward the target.

If your over-the-top move has become ingrained through frequent, long-term play, it will take a good deal of time and practice to retrain your body. But the dramatic improvement will be worth your trouble.

Sick of your over-the-top swing? Want to know how it can actually work for you? Eager to learn the proper downswing sequence? These links will lead you where you want to go:

Pull Down Right Elbow to Stop Casting the Club

How to Start the Downswing Before Finishing the Backswing

Unhinge the Wrists Correctly for a Powerful Downswing

Seniors: Allow an Over-the-Top Swing

Golf Pro Carl Petterson: Over-the-Top Shift on the Downswing

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As documented above, this actually causes an over-the-top clubhead path. After you reach the top, its the lower bodys job to lead the way down. Virtually all good golfers swing in this sequence, which boosts power as well as accuracy.

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Some golfers start the downswing with their shoulders and arms, while others quickly uncock the wrists in a “casting” motion. Once again, this is usually rooted in a lack of lower-body mobility. Some golfers also believe theyll generate more power with a violent lashing action, but the opposite is actually true.

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Too many slicers make the mistake of aiming left because their shots travel right. However, this does nothing to straighten out an over-the-top swing path. For a temporary fix to your outside-in swing, move your left foot closer to the target line to effectively close your stance. Aim the clubface at the target and swing. Because your body is aligned to the right, your normal swing will deliver straighter shots.