Hint: Don’t bring a washcloth to a towel fight!

90% of golfers struggle with coming over the top.

Frankly, I think 75% of golfers don’t even know what that expression means. Here is a brief lesson, from my understanding as a self-taught bogey player, of what the problem is and how to correct it.

COMING OVER THE TOP means that after you finished your backswing and you’re ready to transition to the downswing and strike the ball, the club starts at an angle away from your body and moves toward it as you strike the ball. This “cutting” motion means that you hit the ball at an angle, rather than straight on, and put left-to-right spin on the ball making it curve to the right in the air. The opposite of this is a draw which puts right-to-left spin on the ball (for right-handed golfers) and makes it curve to the left and, for reasons that physics alone can explain, also makes it fly further.

If you hit it straight on it will travel straight on its path in the air and the spinning of the ball will not wobble either left or right. Cuts and draws are fine (Slices and Hooks are not) as the pros use these to shape shots regularly (remember bubba Watson’s famous approach shot at the Masters)? However, when the rest of us put sideways spin on the ball it is usually both unintended and undesirable.

Here’s how to stop:

Forget about your arms. Are you Arnold Schwarzenegger? Even if the answer is yes, you still don’t have enough power in your arms alone to drive the ball over 250 yards. No one does. So why are you thinking about swinging the club with your arms?


To make a whip crack do you move the tip? No it’s limp and futile. It is the energy from all the way back at your hand, rolling across the rope that makes it snap and crack. Have you ever tried to towel pop someone with a washcloth? They would look at you like you’re crazy. However, get a long, damp, towel and make snapping motions and they are running for the door.

Same concept. The longer and heavier the thing you’re whipping the more the part at the end will snap and release energy.

Your left hip is the butt of the whip. Use that to commence the energy and let it flow all the way down, keep your arms limp.

Tour pros Fred Couples and Inbee Park use dead hands. They don’t actively swing at the ball but let gravity control the acceleration after starting the transition with their hips.

SO STOP SWINGING WITH YOUR ARMS! Mr. Universe couldn’t even produce enough power to make a 300 yard drive.

Use your hips to start the crack and get ahead of the rest of your body and everything else wil fall into place in your swing. YOU WILL NOT COME OVER THE TOP because your arms did not start the swing.

When your arms start the swing your body is still sitting there in the way. You HAVE TO come over the top to get out of the way of your own swing. When you start the swing with your lower body it will already be out of the way, setting you up to come down straight (or from the inside) with the club.

Just remember: CRACK THE WHIP!

Photo: Wikihow