Travelers Championship

TPC River Highlands

DIY Golf Fixes

Want to stop hitting slices and pulls? Try this step drill

This will help you re-route the club (and you might start hitting draws)

David Leadbetter

A common swing-path mistake is “coming over the top.” If you’ve heard of it but aren’t sure what it means, it’s just a way of saying the clubhead is swinging down into the ball over the top of the track it went back on. It’s caused by starting the downswing incorrectly, with the upper body, putting the clubhead on a steep, out-to-in path in relation to the target line (photo, below).


Aren't sure if your swing path is over the top? Well, the result of swinging this way is invariably a pull (a dead-straight shot left of your target if you're right-handed) or a slice (a shot that starts left and then curves to the right). In addition to the direction of the ball flight, a telltale sign of this type of swing is your divot hole pointing well left of the target.

To change your swing path to one that comes into the ball from inside the target line, you have to start the downswing with your lower body. Try this side-step drill, which somewhat replicates the movement Major League Baseball hitters make to crush a fastball over the centerfield wall. Grab a 7-iron and address a ball with your feet only six inches from each other (photo, below). The ball should be a few inches outside of your front foot.

David Leadbetter

Now take the club back. As you reach the top of the swing, take a big step toward the target with your left foot—in effect, creating a normal ball position—and then swing through (photos, below). I’d recommend you do this drill swinging over the ball at first, so you can get used to the body motion, but you can eventually hit shots this way, like I'm doing here.

David Leadbetter
David Leadbetter

I think you’ll find stepping toward the target helps unlock the natural chain of motion, releasing your backswing coil from the ground up. When you feel pressure down in that left foot, you’ll groove the lower-body motion needed to allow your club to swing into the ball from inside the target line. That’s how you stop hitting those slices and pulls.