If the ball flight you always hope for is a high draw, but the reality off the tee is usually something else, you might be coming over-the-top on your swing. The good news is that with a little work and a little instruction, you can fix that problem.
Here’s a video to help:
PGA teaching professional Todd Kolb, a contributor to USGolftv.com, has a segment of “On the Lesson Tee” available on YouTube that addresses that very problem.
“One of the more common things we as golf instructors see,” Kolb says in the 110 second video, “that’s the move called coming over-the-top.”
What’s that actually mean? “Most golf instructors would like to see both the club and the hands traveling below the right shoulder (for a right handed golfer) coming into the golf ball,” Kolb explains, clearly demonstrating the move on the video. “This is the desired position if you want to hit a nice, high draw.”
But it’s not the position many golfers have. “When someone swings the club over-the-top, the hands and their club are swinging above the shoulder, which means the club is traveling to the outside and to the left of the target. It’s very tough if not impossible to hit a nice high draw from that position and get it to finish near the target.”
What causes the over-the-top move? “The main reason that I see this on the lesson tee…is that the body gets moving too quickly relative to the arms and the club.”
Correcting that isn’t easy; it takes practice time and repetition of the correct swing fundamentals. Kolb’s video demonstrates an easy-to-do drill that helps to match the speed of the body with the speed of the arms and the club.
“You’re going to do this drill with the ball teed up,” Kolb says, “a 6-iron or 7-iron should work great. You’re gonna start by putting your left foot – your lead foot – in line with the golf ball, your trailing foot goes straight back so that almost all of your weight is on your lead foot. Then you’re simply going to swing your arms and the club back, then swing them forward, focusing on swinging your arms and the club out to the right, or what you might call ‘right field.’”
The effect? “If your body stays here and your arms swing past your body and out to right field, you’re going to get that desired inside out movement that you’re looking for. This particular practice drill will get the sequence down and you’re going to find you’ll start hitting high draws.”
As with any practice drill it’s always good to have an observer (or video) to make sure you’re swinging correctly and ingraining the proper movements. Once you have the feel from the drill, try replicating the swing from your normal stance and then with other clubs.
With a little work and patience, Kolb says, you’ll soon take that correct movement from the lesson tee to the first tee.