Do you consistently pull your short iron shots left of target, and slice like mad with your driver?
If the answer is yes to both questions, then you are dealing with a swing that comes over the top normally at the very start of the downswing movement.
What causes this? I firmly believe that it is anxiety. As the player is so desperate to return the club head back down to the ball, they lose all sense of sequence and start the motion from the top down, rather than correctly from the ground up.
Take a look at the first picture. You will see that my shoulders have turned far too early causing the orange alignment rod to come off the fence, into a position often referred to as “standing up”.
From here it will track back towards the ball on a very steep plane, with a swing direction heading well to the left - so anything with plenty loft will tend to pull, and less lofted clubs will start slightly left, then slice away miles to the right of target.
In a true slice the ball usually starts to the left, then has a huge bend to the right. The golfer then tends to reach for his/her 3 wood - as it is more lofted (typically 15 degrees) the slice appears to be slightly less violent.
They are still making the same swing fault, but are getting away with it more, with the shorter more lofted club.
Now have a glance at the second picture. This time you will clearly see that my alignment rod is correctly sliding down the fence.
As my movement started properly from the ground up, the rod is approaching impact on a much shallower angle, into a position referred to as laying down.
This will ensure that the swing path is much more to the right (in-out) and will start to produce a soft draw.
From this good position, the swing will be much more powerful, and the “mishit shots” will also become much better.
Another tell tale sign of a true over the top swing is when the divots point well to the left, and the ball flies well to the right.
When the sequence is correct the divots will be much shallower and will point in a much straighter direction. Good luck trying this out. NEXT WEEK: Swaying.