The Local Knowlege

Health & Fitness

Fitness Friday: How to stop coming over the top

By Ron Kaspriske

fitness-friday-over-the-top-drill-260.jpgIf you hit a lot of pulled shots on a straight trajectory left of the target or slice the ball on a curving trajectory right of the target, it's because your club's path into impact is from outside the target line. Many amateurs whip the club too far inside during the backswing and then reroute the club on this out-to-in path to compensate.The loopy path is known as "coming over the top" since the club moves up and over the target line. The only difference between a slice and a pull is the position of the clubface in relation to this path at impact. While you're working on fixing this problem on the course, there also are some exercises you can do to correct this swing fault. Golf-and-fitness instructor Karen Palacios-Jansen (@kpjgolf) tackled this subject for us.

"When you come over the top, you start the downswing by lunging at the ball with the upper body," she says. "The back shoulder leads the way and the arms are thrown out away from the body causing your swing path to cut across the ball. Ideally the lower body should initiate the downswing as the arms are sucked closer to the body and slung toward the ball on the correct path."

Karen says a physical limitation is often the reason why you can't swing down from inside the target line.

"Most people lack the ability to disassociate the lower body from the upper body. They can’t move their body parts independently because of reduced spinal, hip, neck and shoulder mobility. To create the ideal downswing, you must have a strong stable core, so that your trunk can rotate as the arms are flung independently toward the ball. Where most people go wrong is that the trunk, shoulders and arms all work in one motion toward the ball -- all from lack of mobility in the joints." 

To help improve mobility and correct this over-the-top move, Karen demonstrates two exercises you can do. Watch the video below:

Ron Kaspriske is the fitness editor of Golf Digest.