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Let's talk about over swing


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One of the common tips given to high cappers is not to over swing. But rarely, they explain what the effects of over swing is.

Furthermore, many ppl know not to over swing but don't know why not to. More importantly, many don't even know their full swing is actually an over swing.

So let's talk about over swing. What is over swing and what can go wrong with over swing?
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My definition of overswing is when one tries to kill it (i.e., hit it too hard). This inevitably results in a swing that is led by the arms and not the lower body. Of course we all know that when the arms out races the lower body, it results in an over the top swing and a big banana slice.

From time to time, I have to consciously think about leading with the lower body rather than swinging with the arms first.
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Get a mirror and take a normal swing than look over to see were the club is at. Then lower it to parallel or just before parallel, that is is the feeling you need. Keep doing that till you get the overswinging away. This is also a good chance to work on swing path with the mirror by taking the swing slow as possible to the top.
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My top consequences for over-swinging are...

Loss of balance and tempo which are 2 key ingredients in hitting the golf ball with any kind of consistency.
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My version of overswing involved reaching too high on the backswing. For me, this leads to one or more of the following things:
* Grip starts to come apart as I loop my hands to get extra power.
* An over-the-top motion results, leading to exciting ball trajectory.
* I hit the ball fat as I try to regain my balance.

I have been working on ear-high hands at the top for quite awhile. As others have suggested, swing drills w/o hitting a ball are helpful.
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I have had this problem since I started. It causes a lot of inconsistency because I have to pull the club back down as the clubhead has gone past parallel at the top of the backswing. I have started focusing on keeping my left arm straight through the backswing and it has helped a lot.
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My number one flaw, I fight this every time!

Here is how over swinging affects me:

-Dominate upper body, very little movement in lower body, causes an over the top swing resulting in either a Pull or Slice.
-Causes me to rotate my wrists and closes the club face about 1-2 inches at impact resulting in very little accuracy.
-causes me to bring the club back way past parallel and then am way off balance on the follow through, left side usually swings back around my back side.

Have been working hard to slow things down, when I do, I usually have the results I am looking for.
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I havent been playing for too long, but overswing is whats keeping me from getting my handicap into the teens. The club just wants to keep going back, you really have to make an effort to shorten your backswing. When I shorten it and get my hips in front of my arms its a beautiful thing, but if my arms lead the way they take me in the woods or driveways etc. My coach just says slow it down an shorten the backswing. Its amazing that is all it takes.
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I have two overswings.
One- For me too much backswing kills me. All sorts of crazy stuff happens when I get to the top of a "full" swing. I go over the top. I dont need the extra backswing to get distance on the ball so I've been swinging 3/4 which has been great with no real noticeable loss of distance. I started playing with someone really good and right off the bat he was like WHOA.. Hold on. Shorten that swing up. And much better results came out of it.
Two - Even with my 3/4 swing if I think too much and try and hit it hard my muscles tense and throw the club ALL OVER the place. I've never hooked a shot until I started doing that. The key to my swing for me is to try and swing as easy as I can. People say my swing is a lot slower but really pretty and the ball still goes. WHEN I do what I'm supposed to.
You spend a lot of money on these fancy ass clubs. Titanium faces, MOI, low centers of gravity, dialed in shafts blah blah blah. Let THEM do the hard part. You just get em there.
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when your shoulders stop turning the swing is complete. Going for more with your arms after you've reached your physical limit is counterproductive.
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Taking the club back farther and adding a wristcock actually slows my swing down. For me an overswing is swinging too hard, losing balance, maybe an over the top motion, and contact off the toe or heel of the club. I swing hard, but rarely overswing.
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  • 3 years later...

I would be very interested in what some of the instructors have to say about this.  I have heard some of the above tips before as well.. like "don't over swing", or "don't try to kill the ball", "don't swing too hard", "once your shoulders stop then don't try and get more out of it with your arms".. I think all of this advice is nonsense and it will not help me (when taking a full swing), you don't find many people having issues with over swinging when taking 1/2 or 3/4 swing.. Actually, to be honest with everyone I love my half swing and my 3/4 swing and think I produce some very good shots with it.. However, I will never play golf with just 3/4 of a swing.  I'm going to get into the theory I am exploring now and let us see if we get anyone to confirm or correct!

When I am going into my back swing I usually don't stop until I feel full at the top and I just can't go anymore.. The tension in my shoulders and my arms give me the feeling like I am going to hit the ball miles and miles.. If someone gave me a tip and said just stop when your shoulders turn 90* that would not work for me.  I really need to feel tension or a coil at the top of the back swing so that I can just unload the whole damn thing on that little ball.

Ok, having said that what is the solution.. Well, I am exploring that, but I believe that the issue just has to do with making a correct shoulder turn and basically this shoulder turn stops right about once the arms get a little past half way.. Then your arms at that point start to go up to what they call "LOADING" and basically this is the tension/coil that needs to be felt that basically initiates the down swing and eventual release of that stored power.

I'm going to share a picture of a swing you guys might have seen to describe what I'm talking about..

This is @mvmac

The left picture is basically very close to the point where his shoulder has stopped turning at 90*.. Then from that point you can see that his arms go basically straight up with out any further shoulder turn until I'm assuming all the pressure is built up and at that point where I have the blue line is when the transition into the downswing starts for him..

I really think that this is the answer to over swinging, and not just the advice of hey don't swing too hard.. or don't take it back so much, when in fact we should be trying to get into a position where we naturally go into the point of transition instead of trying to fake it.. might as well take a 3/4 swing at that point..

I welcome any corrections..

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I really think that this is the answer to over swinging, and not just the advice of hey don't swing too hard.. or don't take it back so much, when in fact we should be trying to get into a position where we naturally go into the point of transition instead of trying to fake it.. might as well take a 3/4 swing at that point..

I welcome any corrections..

No corrections from me and I'm certainly not an instructor.

When I'm playing my best the down swing never really starts in my mind until it feels like my back elbow gets close to my body and from that point I can swing as hard as I like with pretty good success.

When not playing my best I start swinging at the ball from the top and the harder I swing the worse the results.

It's exactly like if I were going to skip a rock across a 100 yard pond or throw a submarine fastball. Nothing really fires until the elbow gets close to the body. Before that the lower body is leading the way and the arm is merely falling.

It only takes that split second of patience letting it fall down from the top to make the difference between an over the top swing and an acceptable swing.

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"once your shoulders stop then don't try and get more out of it with your arms".. I think all of this advice is nonsense and it will not help me (when taking a full swing)

I think it's the opposite of nonsense. Virtually everyone has too long a swing, resulting in a loss of power and poor sequencing. You'll also find that feel isn't real, and backswing length is one of the areas where this is true more often than ever.

Actually, to be honest with everyone I love my half swing and my 3/4 swing and think I produce some very good shots with it.. However, I will never play golf with just 3/4 of a swing.

We've got students that play golf with what they think (especially initially) feels like a HALF swing. But if you're content to rarely break 90, keep taking your own advice! :-D

When I am going into my back swing I usually don't stop until I feel full at the top and I just can't go anymore.

That's probably way, way too far.

The tension in my shoulders and my arms give me the feeling like I am going to hit the ball miles and miles.

Feel ain't real.

If someone gave me a tip and said just stop when your shoulders turn 90* that would not work for me.

You don't know that.

Ok, having said that what is the solution.. Well, I am exploring that, but I believe that the issue just has to do with making a correct shoulder turn and basically this shoulder turn stops right about once the arms get a little past half way.. Then your arms at that point start to go up to what they call "LOADING" and basically this is the tension/coil that needs to be felt that basically initiates the down swing and eventual release of that stored power.

I'm not sure where to start, except I'd suggest staying away from using words that don't really make sense. Lifting your arms up and such adds very little power. Quite literally the only power it adds is the added effects of gravity, and if you're relying on gravity to hit the ball, you're doing it wrong.

What it can add is more distance and time for your muscles to generate speed. But go too far, and sequencing becomes an issue, and you'll actually swing slower.

Yes, most PGA Tour players have completed about 90% of their torso turn by the time their lead arm is roughly horizontal (A3). Yes, their shoulders continue to turn a little bit beyond that, and the arms continue a little bit beyond that, but it's all not very much.

You? Your sequencing is off.

You've not hinged the club, you've not turned as much as you should, and then you continue your backswing

So to go back to your original paragraph (the last one I quoted):

1) Yes, your torso turn should be nearly complete by about A3.

2) Yes, your wrists should be hinged/cocked/whatever by about A3.

3) Yes, your arms (and torso) will continue on a little bit longer, but not very much .

This is @mvmac

It's also not very far at all. Seriously, there's no comparison between his swing length and how long your swing goes on. His hands go up an extra, what, 3-4 inches?

I really think that this is the answer to over swinging, and not just the advice of hey don't swing too hard.. or don't take it back so much, when in fact we should be trying to get into a position where we naturally go into the point of transition instead of trying to fake it.. might as well take a 3/4 swing at that point..

What if your 3/4 swing IS a full swing, and what you do after that is doing nothing positive (and may even be doing negative) things?

Someone with reasonably good mechanics who just overswings could be just fine hitting what feel like 3/4 length backswings. Many people will actually do this and hit the ball farther than what they think is their "full swing" (but which is really an overswing).

Or let me put it this way: too many golfers think their full swing is as much as they can do, when really that's like a 1 1/4 swing, or a 5/3 swing. Their "3/4" swing is only a 3/4 swing on a scale that goes to 15 when it should stop at 10.

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Someone with reasonably good mechanics who just overswings could be just fine hitting what feel like 3/4 length backswings. Many people will actually do this and hit the ball farther than what they think is their "full swing" (but which is really an overswing).

Or let me put it this way: too many golfers think their full swing is as much as they can do, when really that's like a 1 1/4 swing, or a 5/3 swing. Their "3/4" swing is only a 3/4 swing on a scale that goes to 15 when it should stop at 10.

I remember when Erik told me to hit half swings with my driver up in Erie, PA before we teed off for a round of golf. Then him, Slice of Life and Jermie Boop proceeded to tell me my driver was parallel to the ground at the top of my swing. Talk about an eye opener. I will say this. It felt totally weird.

Realized later, that I reverted back to my old mechanics and improper turn rates. Pulled the video and photo's from my lesson with Erik, and the swing has gotten under control. Probably something I'll be working on for as long as I play golf.

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Realized later, that I reverted back to my old mechanics and improper turn rates. Pulled the video and photo's from my lesson with Erik, and the swing has gotten under control. Probably something I'll be working on for as long as I play golf.

I dunno. If you live to the age of 85 or so, you might be able to stop worrying about overswinging around then… :-D

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I dunno. If you live to the age of 85 or so, you might be able to stop worrying about overswinging around then…

Hopefully the previous 70 years of over swinging will allow me to have a parallel golf swing then. I am banking on my golf game being solid when I am 85, long term planning ;-)

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Note: This thread is 2761 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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