Let’s face the “coming over the top” is one of the most dreaded moves in golf. In this post I’ll take a look at one particular technique to solve this problem that has been working wonders in my game.
Basically “coming over the top” means you start the downswing with your shoulders. It is a total “dis-connect” fro the rest of your body. Besides not looking so hot (the results) it doesn’t feel great either because your upper and lower body are temporarily “out-of-sync”
Realize, all golfers, at one time or another struggle with this. Sometimes it’s a matter of slowing down, sometimes swinging a weighted club (to help you “drop” the club) sometimes lighter grip pressure, sometimes a more complete turn (to allow your swing the time to unfold), sometimes fatigue and I’m sure a number of others. Regardless, it’s nasty and it produces a a very weak, slappy (usually a slice because you are coming “outside to in”) shot with no power at all.
One thing that I have been working ion to help me with this issue is learning to swing with awareness of the golf club handle. Now this is nothing new. It was actually made famous by the Bel-Air Country Club golf pro, the “Little Pro,” Eddie Merrins (the pro who has worked with stars like Tom Cruise, Dennis Quaid, James Woods, Richard Crenna, Jack Wagner and James Garner) has a complete DVD program called, Swing the Handle.
For the record, I do not nor have ever bought or viewed Mr. Merrins course. But his principle is a sound one and has been working for me. What it amounts to is a feeling (in the downswing) of the club handle pointing at the ball rather than pointing at the ground. By having an awareness of the club handle pointing at the ball, which translate into the entire club being flatter and not as vertical. The flatter plane allows a much better and more dynamic path into the ball.
You can see this quite clearly in Jim Furyk’s golf swing. He starts the club back almost vertically then “re-routes” the club into a much flatter plane on the downswing. And since the handle of the club is in your hands it’s very easy to feel it. Ironically, for me anyway, initially it didn’t feel as powerful as the “over the top” feel but that is only because you are integrating your entire body int the swing and not just swing with your arms (and upper body) when your golf swing is integrated you feel a type of freedom and effortlessness – like your not really doing much – just swinging.
Sometimes I’ve seen the drill of putting a tee into the bottom of your club handle to give you that extra awareness of how the plane of the club is moving. It’s well worth experimenting with as the path/plane of the golf swing is critical to making solid contact and hitting your irons accurate distances. I hope this little tip helps. I know it did for me.