What Causes Over The Top

By | on February 19, 2017 | 17 Comments | Array


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Paul Wilson is the creator of Swing Machine Golf and founder of Ignition Golf. Paul's golf swing technique is based on the Iron Byron swing machine. YouTube Channels: Paul Wilson Golf and Ignition Golf Tips. Please Join me on Google+

17 Responses to “What Causes Over The Top”

  1. February 19, 2017


    Excellent tip, Paul. For me, keeping my back leg stable with my knee cap facing forward while making sure to turn my shoulders through the backswing on a “level” plane are key to preventing me from going over the top. Then once I initiate the downswing with my lower body I naturally form the correct angle with my upper body and swing from the inside. The problem I’ve had in the past is over-rotating my hips by not keeping my weight on the instep of my back foot and preventing my leg from turning out away from the target. Once I’ve over-rotated, I try to compensate by sliding forward which makes me go over the top. It seems there are many ways end up swinging over the top. It messes up direction, contact, and speed. That doesn’t leave much else to screw up, does it? 🙂

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      February 20, 2017

      Paul Wilson


      Glad you liked it. Thanks.

      The back leg stable is vital. When you lose the flex you over-rotate which doesn’t allow you to create torque. No torque and you will want to hit. If you hit you will usually lean forward as I show these gentleman doing. For you keeping this back leg/knee in position helps immensely.

  2. February 19, 2017


    Greetings Coach: I think I know the answer but I want you to say it,do these three gentlemen finish with tilted eyes and body?

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      February 20, 2017

      Paul Wilson


      Not sure John. I was really just looking at the over the top. Keep in mind these were there before swings. 2 came out for lessons. The 3rd does video lessons. They should be keeping the angle. If not, it’s highly likely they would top it.

  3. February 19, 2017


    I really like the comparison between the pro and average player side-by-side like this. More in this style would be terrific!

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      February 20, 2017

      Paul Wilson


      Glad you liked it. Was thinking about doing more. This one took me about 3 hours to edit though. So I need enough time to do them.

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    February 20, 2017


    I really like this comparison, very intriguing.
    A good drill to help keep my head behind the ball.
    Definitely worth watching over again!

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      February 20, 2017

      Paul Wilson


      Glad you liked it. I thought it clearly showed the difference as I was editing it. Hope it helps everyone.

  5. February 20, 2017


    Hi Paul,
    Do you notice students,when doing this drill, having a tendency fir the butt of the club to point slightly out or forward of the body rather than down at the ground? What would this mean?

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      February 20, 2017

      Paul Wilson


      In the downswing the plane would be flattening which means it would be moving towards 90 degrees to your body at the starting down position when the left arm is parallel to the ground. This would cause the butt to point at or outside the target line. If you are over the top it would point inside the target line or steep. You can manually feel the butt pointing more out or flattening but I like to get it by turning the arms off and using the body. If you are doing it with arms you are using your arms.

      Your question is a little hard to understand. Hope I explained it.

  6. February 20, 2017


    Hi Paul, Just coming back from an injury this summer, so I feel I’ve almost had to start over. That’s the good news… I’ve been working with Pete for about a year now and got pretty close to eliminating the over the top move ( I’m the middle player in this group of three) I can’t tell you how much this video with comparison to your swing really opened my eyes as to what Pete is trying to get me to do> Can’t wait to get to the range today and work on my body position starting the downswing. Hopefully no more injuries to hold me back again. Thanks for the help from both Pete and you… You are the BEST

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      February 20, 2017

      Paul Wilson


      Yes, Pete has talked to me about your swing. I thought I would include your early swing in this group. Glad you are close to getting rid of the over the top. If you are that good with this swing I can only see getting to the next level when attacking more from the inside.

      Just be careful out there and slowly get back into it. Watch the back of the ball as I suggest. This really is the easiest way I have found to keep people behind it. Couple of practice sessions and it becomes habit. After you have done it for a while you stop even thinking about it. I just see the ball as part of the landscape. In no way am I fixated on it. Keep us posted on your progress. A before and after might be kind of interesting.

      Glad you like the tips. I appreciate it.

  7. February 21, 2017


    Hi Paul,

    I think you nailed it in your answer with “90 degrees from the body” ….

    I’ll get out and work on it again today. thanks, Craig

  8. Paul:

    Very interesting. I wouldn’t have ever thought the last gentleman was coming over-the-top until you explained it in terms of his head moving closer to the vertical line.

    Elsewhere I believe you have stressed that one way to avoid OTT is to move the lower body FIRST (rather than the hands, which you shouldn’t anyway). So would it be correct to say that, assuming a player completes the backswing in roughly the correct position, one way to “keep the angle” would be to make sure you start the “touching the knees” motion first?

    Finally, I just want to say that as far as Jim goes, I noticed (because I suffer from the same problem due to my back) that if you look carefully at about 7:30 (the DTL view) his head height starts below the tree line, then he raises up during the backswing, then he comes down (as you note) but I think he ends up, height-wise, about where he started. I see the other problems you mention, clearly, but would you say it’s a “deal breaker” if, in order to get a bit more rotation, one raises up a bit in the backswing if they end up coming down about the say amount in the downswing?

    I hope I’m clear, and thanks for the site. My former neighbor swears by you.

    • Norman,

      Correct. Your body is an axis. The club is mass. Move the axis first and 100% of the time the mass will flatten towards 90 degrees to the axis. Simple physics.

      The coming up can be for a few reasons.

      1. Trying to look for power in the arms to pull the club down.
      2. Lifting releases the torque you created in the coil.
      3. Set up is too low.

      Getting more rotation is not necessary most of the time. If someone has a 60 degree rotation they would hit the ball nowhere so in this case I would get the turning more. If you were 80-90 degrees I would be working on the ratio of the coil not making the person go back farther. Going back farther gives the person a feeling of power in the arms when really, you need the power in the legs. Look at the backswing as setting it up to find power the other way.

      The Importance of Setting the Backswing: https://ignitiongolf.com/importance-setting-backswing/

      Set it … the hit it (with legs and hips).

  9. June 20, 2019


    I thought I posted about over the top a week ago but probably did not hit post? Anyway I struggle with over the top although I can hit successful drives with slight draw 250-270. After two – five I go to a slice or even a push slice. I went to the driving range on Wednesday, set up tall, neutral grip (two knuckles) and concentrated on three things: 1.) loose arms of course, 2.) concentrate on swinging to the farthest arc in the swing (outside of the target line and in front of the ball, and 3.) Knowing and concentrating on swinging on a path inside of the target line with a square to closed face. I was able to hit several dozen straight drives with 0 slices and only one that was a slight pulled draw.

    • John,

      Yes, the question was not here.

      After the good drives you are getting excited and swinging harder. the harder you swing, the tighter your wrists, the more open the face.

      Glad you were staying looser. As soon as you hit 1 ball with slice spin you need to immediately say to yourself the hinge it too tight. A loose hinge would never come through open. So you step back. Do 3-5 roll over drills. As you do them you say “I am loosening the hinge.” You get the looser feeling in your wrists then you step up and use your body to hit the ball. You watch your ball and see if you fixed it. If not, you roll again and so on until it is fixed.

      Ideally, you roll so many times you rarely ever hit the ball with slice spin. If you rarely slice it, you would only be focusing on your body to hit the ball because you have mastered the release.

      All you have to do in practice swings is this drill:

      Modified Roll Over Drill: https://ignitiongolf.com/modified-roll-over-drill/


      Your Wrists Are Not Wrists: https://ignitiongolf.com/your-wrists-are-not-wrists/

      Pocket Drill 1 – Spin: https://ignitiongolf.com/pocket-drill-1-spin/

      Pocket Drill 2 – Direction: https://ignitiongolf.com/pocket-drill-2-direction/

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