How to Fix an Over-the-Top Golf Swing: Tips and Tricks

Learning how to fix and over-the-top golf swing can be difficult especially if you have no idea you’re doing it in the first place.

For you to be able to correct any problems related to your swing, you have to picture the problem first. To do that, it is necessary to fully understand what an over-the-top movement of the club means.

In simpler terms, your golf club is experiencing an upward movement away from you at transition instead of experiencing a drop-down so as to affect a mighty downswing. During the transition stage, your club should experience a fall and get closer to you as you continue to build lag and begin turning in the direction of your target.

This is not the case for golfers who have an over-the-top swing. This is because as they start the downswing, their club is pushed upwards and away from them. The outcome is loss of lag, power, and the outside-in effect during impact.

There are several types of swing faults, but the over-the-top swing is the most frequently exhibited. When you experience it, there are two outcomes you expect during impact: either a pull or a splice spin. All this is influenced by the club face angle at the time of impact.

Things an Over-the-Top Player Does

  • Their feet and shoulders are aimed at the left side of their target
  • During the address, most of their weight is concentrated on their left leg
  • During the address, the golf ball is too far forward
  • They move the club too far away from the body. As a result, the arms are raised too high when the golf club reaches the swing’s top
  • They start the downswing by unwinding their shoulders from the swing’s top
  • Throughout the impact phase, their weight is concentrated on their back legs

To understand how to fix the over-the-top swing, you need to know what causes it first. This will help you to quickly remedy the situation.

What Causes an Over-the-Top Swing?

Narrow Backswing

The desirable backswing is one that has a lot of width, with your hand going away from your back as you make a right turn. Sadly, most players make too narrow a backswing, with their hands going close to their bodies at the takeaway stage.

You need to know that when your backswing is narrow, there will be a very small distance between your hands and head at the top of your swing. If this happens, you will be left with only one choice – moving the club upwards and away from you. After this kind of backswing, there won’t be any room to land the club inside, so the over-the-top swing will be your only choice.

Quick Tempo

Golfers who are new to the game usually rush while making their swings, mainly because of two reasons: They want to hit the ball very hard or they are just anxious about the final outcome. Rushing is going to cause you lots of trouble during impact, and it will reduce the time that you need to take to let your club fall naturally.

As the transition phase approaches, you need to give it ample time for it to properly develop. However, this will not be the case when your swing is rushed. On the contrary, your hands will push the golf club upwards and away as your body turns back and heads to the target. The chances of saving a rushed swing are slim.

Drills You Can Use to Fix an Over-the-Top Swing

Your Lead Arm Should be Tight

The lead arm is the arm that is closer to the hole. A common symptom of the over-the-top swing is, as you begin the downswing phase, this arm stretches away from you. To remedy this, ensure your swings are controlled. When swinging, ensure your lead arm is clamped tightly to you during the downswing and backswing.

Stay Inside

The over-the-top swing will bring your club to the golf ball from the exterior of the plane in which the swing occurs. To fix this, place the club head to square, then inside again during the course of the swing. Here is a quick drill that will be helpful as you practice keeping the club on the inside. Take the head cover of a golf club and put it a few inches to the outer side of the ball. Practice your swinging so that, when you have made impact with the ball, you don’t touch the cover of the club head.

Ball Toss

You can also fix the over-the-top swing by checking out any rotation flaws that may occur in the course of your swing. When you do an over-the-top swing, you will bring your club in shallow, with your body doing a rotation to make up for the move that takes place inside, but your body will overcompensate by pushing out the head of your club. In order to correct this, use the non-lead hand to hold the ball.

The non-lead arm is the one that is farthest away from your target. Bring the hand up in the motion of swinging the club and bring it back down. Underhandedly throw the ball as you go through the impact phase. Ensure the ball is flying perpendicularly away from your body. If its course is straight or the ball is flying in the left direction, an over-the-top swing will result.


To get you to the top of your game, you need to focus on setup. Ensure you place your head a few inches behind your ball. Also, make sure the ball isn’t too far forward and, at address, your shoulder is square or lies parallel to the target line.

Club Positioning

During the takeaway, make sure your club is straight. This will place your arms lower during the top of your swing. When the left shoulder turns 3-4 inches behind the ball during your swing’s top, they have done a 90° turn.

Wide Backswing

You will also have to make a backswing that is wider. Focus on the extension you acquire during the takeaway and keep your hands off as your shoulders do a rotation moving from your target. Maintaining good extension will help you get good width on the top.

Work on Your Tempo

Since the backswing is no longer an issue, you need to focus on improving your tempo. Try those shots where you do a pause at the top of the swing for a few seconds, then swing down.

Provided you give yourself ample time during your swing’s top and also achieve good extension, the over-the-top swing will no longer be a problem for you.