Over the top…

…is not nearly as evil as is being portrayed by the golf media and the ill informed.

Yes, whipping the club dead inside with the hands and arms, rerouting the hands and club way over the top, having no weight shift, casting and raking the club across the ball producing a pull that slices 75 yards is bad.

However, this actually beats the alternative which is a club buried underneath the plane, producing snap hooks and shanks that appear often and without remorse.

That is a far worse problem than OTT in golf today. I play golf every week with old men who come over the top, cast the club at the ball, hit a nice fade down the middle all day long and get up and down because that little over the top move gets the club out in front of them allowing for nice soft chips. Obviously a little cast at the bottom adds some loft and produces a higher softer shot than a lagged hozel causing a right angle rocket.

A club buried under the plane and holding the lag produces the worst short game shots imaginable.

As usual, my point is not to advocate OTT and cast. I am saying the mainstream fix for OTT and cast (swing inside out and hold the lag) produces an even worse problem.

Kind of like the side affects of some over the counter drugs are worse than what problem they don’t even fix.

The point. If you are slightly over the top and cast a bit to hit a nice controlled fade, don’t let anyone tell you there is something wrong with your swing.

Point #2. If you have the wicked pull slice no power over the top casting mess that produces scores in the 100’s, start with your setup and make sure the first part of your takeaway isn’t too inside and move on from there.

Stabbing yourself with the butt of the club in the right hip, swinging to right field or any other quick fix cure that is supposed to solve over the top is more like prescription medication. Who cares if your mild case of heartburn goes away if you get anal leakage as a side effect.

Ask anyone who got the shanks from one of these fixes and ask them if my analogy isn’t apt.

I am now curious how many people get so fired up by this, they fail reading comprehension and call me an idiot for saying over the top is good.




  1. Bob S

    Right Angle Rocket …… LOL!

    Great post as usual, Monte!

  2. Christian

    I had the shanks when I started working with Monte because I was working on swinging out (on the advice of another instructor). It was bad enough to break a window and two lights in my garage and leave a dimpled, golf ball shaped dent in the drywall because it turns out a shank is just right to slip between the wall and the edge of my net… Thankfully I started working with Monte before the season started and before the move got too ingrained.

  3. Bob34

    It’s interesting, all the conversation about casting, OTT, and weak slices. I play in a couple of leagues, I’m at the range a lot and I’ve only seen two guys that are severely OTT, cast, and have those high, weak, pull slices. By far, the thing I see the most is an inside/out arms dominated swing out of synch with the body, second would be a hip dominated inside/out swing out of synch with the arms. I agree with Monte, it seems as though every single golf mag, web site, show, etc… ascribes being OTT to ‘most’ amatuers. Atleast for me personally, I almost never see anyone that has that problem…

    Having said all of that, One thing I’d really like to know & maybe it’s a stupid question but I honestly don’t understand this; If my club travels inside a little (not severely) in the back swing and then comes slightly over the top of that plane in the downswing but still comes from a little inside the ball through impact, why is that bad? To get an example of what I’m talking about; look at pics of Hogan or Snead DTL, when thier clubhead is parrallel to the ground just at the end of the takeaway, the clubhead is slightly inside thier hands covering the right front pants pocket. Everyone now-a-days, wants the clubhead outside the hands or atleast inline with the hands at this point. What difference does it make? I can hit that position just by not allowing my forearms to roll over but is their really a good reason for not allowing myself to do that?

    • Monte Scheinblum

      If my club travels inside a little (not severely) in the back swing and then comes slightly over the top of that plane in the downswing but still comes from a little inside the ball through impact, why is that bad?

      Exactly right Bob…and exactly the point I am making. I will take the point one step farther. even if the club comes a little from the outside and produces a cut…actually, that is probably a preferred swing path for amateurs.

  4. kbp

    IMO, OTT is not defined by club positions. It is defined by the body movement starting the downswing. Your friend Kelvin illustrates this nicely. A side bend with a natural arch in the lower back. Using the muscles of the back and the trail side to start down. OTT is just the opposite. OTT is an ab crunch. Driving a stake in the ground. Chopping a log on the ground. The muscles on the front side and lead side. No good.

    The club path and club position are the symptoms, not the problem. I agree being a little over plane or under plane, IF, IF, IF you are making a good move it is not a big problem.

    • retired guy

      Great observation.

  5. s.

    “I am saying the mainstream fix for OTT and cast (swing inside out and hold the lag) produces an even worse problem.”

    Agreed. However, the main problem is trying to DO the wrong thing (swing with the arms).

    “whipping the club dead inside with the hands and arms…rerouting the hands and club,” means too much arm involvement in producing the arm motion.

    Imagining a mythical plane (or planes) is part of the problem because it mentally takes you outside of yourself, to a position down-the-line, away from the hole. How that helps anyone swing is a mystery to me.

    People have limitations, so due to lack of range-of-motion, or weak body parts, they may not be able to apply the same swing concept as a Tour player. So, if OTT is what they have, and they can make is work satisfactorily for them, I’ve got no problem with it.

    Now, take the guy in the video below, with lots of speed.
    What the guy below is doing is swinging–letting his body produce arm speed, and letting hand-eye coordination automatically take care of any “plane” issues. Probably, his arms are making tiny on-the-fly corrections in the swing, but they are not primarily producing the swing, and it is not done consciously. It happens too fast for that.


    • Westy

      Geez, look how skinny that guy is. Has lots of hair too…

  6. Wally

    Monte’s Hands are very high at the top of his swing. It is simple physics, higher hands develope more power that lateral hands with less effort. I see nothing wrong with Monte’s swing in that video, to try to improve on that successful swing is folly.

    • Monte Scheinblum

      “I see nothing wrong with Monte’s swing in that video, to try to improve on that successful swing is folly.”

      Wally, where were you in 1995 to tell me that…LOL.

  7. Wally

    Like it or not, you are leading with your hips in that swing

    • Monte Scheinblum

      Wally, I agree, but it was a natural course of my movements.

      What I am campaigning against is people telling people to make a conscious effort to lead with the hips. That leads to a stuck and/or out of sync swing.

      • Bob34

        OK agreeing with Monte twice in one post is border line arse kissing so I’ll stop after this but it seems to me that it’s natural for the hips to lead when using the upper body to power the swing. Does any athlete, football, baseball, tennis, etc… ‘think about’ using thier hips first or as a power source? In every example above the hips are always leading but I don’t think that’s a conscious movement. Personal opinion is that the only time the hips don’t lead is when you ‘throw like a girl’ 🙂 No offense to girls!

    • S.

      “leading with your hips in that swing”

      I doubt that he is leading with hips. In the first place, the hip muscles have to be among the smallest skeletal muscles in the body.

      Secondly, hips & shoulders are just joints. They can help analysts figure out what is happening, but it is indirect. If a hip or shoulder moves, it does not follow that somebody tried to move it.

      How about a baseball pitcher? Is he trying to move his hips? No, he is stepping toward the plate. (Not a bad analogy. At the top of his windup, his hips are “closed” toward the target.) Is the batter turning his hips? Or just stepping into the pitch?

  8. James

    Preachin’ to the choir I guess. As someone who was haunted by the snap hooks for a while, I see nothing wrong with a little OTT nowadays. Those snappys make me cringe just thinking about it. But with OTT, at least you can deal with a 50 yard slice if you have to.

  9. Wally

    Since hand eye coordination, is Hand Eye Coordination period.
    I am trying to convince my wife that I should put up one of those speed punching bags that that boxers use in my garage, I used to be pretty good with one forty years ago. I tell her it would do wonders for my golf game. Not only would it be good for timing it would help develope strong rotator cuff. My big problem is how do I sound-proof my garage in this retirement community I live in. dadada-dadada


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