I had to post this

Here is a response to a guy who asked how to flatten out his downswing. There was a picture of his backswing midway and downswing midway with lines showing it was “over the top.” His backswing was too flat, so it was obvious he had to come OTT to make decent contact and not be stuck.

Look at the response he got. THE HORROR!!!!! Someone talk me off the ledge.

Swing with only your lower body, as soon as you try to utilize your arms you are going to go right back to OTT.
Manually try to flatten out the club on the downswing.
Exaggerate the motion as much as possible, you will know you are on the right track if you it a ball O.B right only to have it spin back to the Center of the fairway.
Visualize the club coming under and behind you not *down and in front* of you and swing out to right field not down the target line.




  1. Bob34

    Monte, please let me know what you think of how I analyse if I’m over the top or not is right or wrong.

    Looking at swings on video, I don’t pay any attention to the clubshaft plane at address or whether the head of the club follows that line going to the top. I simply pause the video at the top of the swing and draw a line from the butt of the club back down to just inside the ball and advance the video to impact. If the head of the club comes outside that line, it’s over the top. If it follows that line, it’s on plane, inside is inside. MOST people that I know of compare the backswing plane with the downswing plane and 99% of the time the downswing plane is going to be above the backswing plane therefore over the top but 90% the swing is either on plane or coming from the inside to the ball. You can see this in your own swing. With your LW, you’re right on plane. With your driver, you’re slightly inside. I personally don’t think most people to include instructors really understand what OTT is. It’s not just because your downswing plane is above your backswing plane. I could be wrong….

    • Monte Scheinblum

      Bob, you and I are on the same page…and it is killing me that most people don’t understand OTT.

      • JW

        I think I finally started to understand this a couple weeks ago, this blog being a part of that learning process, and agree with what Bob34 says. For myself (maybe others?), I think my biggest problem with going OTT was my shoulder turn, which Monte stressed in many of the posts I’ve read here.

        Here’s what I did to drill the concept into my head:

        (1) I set up as if I was going to swing without holding a club and simply used my left hand to grab my right shoulder blade. I turned back (backswing) with my shoulders parallel to the ground and then “swung” forward, letting my left hand simply slip off my shoulder with a “loose” arm. When your shoulders are parallel to the ground like this, the centrifugal force of the turn throws your arm out away from your body (obviously finishing low – chicken wing). How could I NOT be going OTT when I do this with a club and my shoulders turning too flat?

        (2) I set up the same as before, this time making sure to rotate my shoulder around my spine as Monte talks about (left shoulder drops below my chin and right shoulder goes up). When you make the turn from this position, your loose arm is thrown down towards where the ball would be and then finishes high.

        Am I on the right track here?

      • gwlee7

        I am supposing that there is a difference between being too steep on the downsiwng (me) and coming “over the top”. I can draw the line that Bob talks about and my clubhead comes underneath that line and into the ball just fine. I would guess that it “has” to in order to hit the ball. However, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a lot of unwated and unneeded timing involved. So, when I’m on I’m on and when I’m off, I’m really off.

      • Monte Scheinblum

        gwlee7. There is a huge difference between steep and OTT. Often they car together.

        OTT is an overused term that describes that downswing plane being above the backswing plane. Not always a bad thing as I described with Bryce Mulder the other day.

        Over the top way way better than being stuck underneath…especially for amateurs.

        Steep is just the angle of the shaft and not necessarily over the top. It is the butt of the club being pointed inside the ball.

      • Bob34


        I think the steep part comes from being too close to the ball at address. The closer you are to the ball the steeper the swing has to be to stay on plane. If you flatten it out coming down, you’re either going to come from way inside if you release the arms way early or you’re going to come way over the top if you release your arms too late and or have a flat shoulder turn. Think of Monte’s release by feel drill or any of the others where he talks about release. When Monte has the ball on the 3 foot T he has full extension into it at impact. The way you’re setup with the ball so close to you, you can’t do that. If you extended fully into impact, you’d hit the ball with the shaft.

        So my personal opion FWIW is that you setup with your hands so close to you at address that it causes you to swing more like a ferris wheel. (Lifting your spine exagerates this even more but you have to do that to get the extension you need) If you moved the ball just slightly further away at address you could tilt that ferris wheel and not have to swing so steep. I hope that made sense and Monte, if I’m jacked up here, please let gw know 😉

  2. S.

    It is especially worthy of a thumbs-down, for the reason that it advocates guiding or steering the club.
    (I can’t see the club because I’m looking at the ball.)

    “Manually try to flatten out the club on the downswing…”

    “Visualize the club coming …”

    Speaking of taking it too far inside, Kuchar is doing quite well these days. 8th in FedEx points, scoring average 69.71, a 2nd, two 3rd, 6 top-tens, significantly ahead of the Tour in driving accuracy and GIR, and way ahead in scrambling, T6 in the US Open.

    However, it would make NO SENSE WHATEVER for anyone to copy him unless they are mentally trying to do what he is trying to do. He has a unique approach. I personally can’t see it working for me, but I’m not gonna say it can’t work. It reminds me of this guy:


    • carrera

      S. – thanks for that video. I’m going to send it to the guys in my Saturday morning group so I can start winning some skins.

      • meateater

        You might not like the results. Taly has a lot of innovative ideas. His website is a lot of fun. The pull-push swing is not a bad alternative for people with flexibility issues. I can hit almost as far doing it as with an orthodox swing. It is also very good for certain types of chips. I think it is functionally equivalent to what TGM calls a hitter’s swing. The right hand is applying pressure to the shaft.

        One concept he addresses is loading the shaft. If you’re a short hitter, thinking about loading the shaft will help you a lot more than trying to manufacture lag. I know everyone lieks to make fun of Taly, but he has a great swing and can hit it 300+.

  3. Steve Bishop

    OTT is misused, but drawing a line from the top down to the ball will not help you determine if you are or not. Virtually EVERYONE goes straight from the top to the ball. Whether they are OTT or not.

    Let me see if I can clear up some confusion and not make it worse.

    Path is Tilt, Weight Shift, and forearm rotation.

    If you are getting steep on your forward swing to the ball, you have likely either leaned forward with your upper body toward the target, or hung back on your right foot, or rotated your forearms very early in the forward swing.

    OTT can be done and STILL hit the ball from the inside. All OTT is is a description of a rerouting of the swing path from flat to steep. STEEP CAN STILL HIT A DRAW which means an OTT swing can also still hit a draw.

    The bottom line is where do you go with the club to square up the face and straighten your path. Tilting back helps bring it from the inside. Too much though and you’ll bottom your swing out behind the ball. This can be helped by SHIFTING FORWARD with your weight during the swing.

    Trust me, when you start tilting too much and your finish is with all your weight on your left foot, you’ll start to hook the bejeezus out of it. Then you just have to dial it back until you don’t have to do such an exaggerated move.


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