We see golfers all the time struggling to hit a straight shot or a draw. If you’re one of those players, a big part of the reason might be that you’re “coming over the top” in your swing. As someone who struggled with this for years on end, coming over the top feels at first like the natural way to hit a golf ball. You take the club back inside and low, and then smack down on it outside and high. In reality, this type of swing leads to more mishits, loss of distance, and less control of the ball. As a counter, we recommend trying what we call the “Outside Loop.”
In the Outside Loop swing, the takeaway is exaggerated to the outside, so that there’s no place for the golf club to go at the top but to the inside. The most notable example of someone who does this on tour is of course Jim Furyk. Furyk takes the club back outside to get to a comfortable inside position on his downswing, and it obviously has worked quite well! Another example of a great up and coming golfer who uses the Outside Loop is recent NCAA champion Matthew Wolff. Matthew’s swing is certainly unorthodox but taking it far outside like that absolutely prevents him from coming over the top. When you can establish a consistent strike from an inside position, you will improve every facet of your game.
Practice this Outside Loop swing on the range first with an iron. If you start with the driver you might hit a couple off the roof of the club, and no one wants ball marks in that area. First, lay down a club or an alignment stick in between your feet and the ball and pick your target line. Then, to ensure you’re starting far enough outside, place a ball 3 feet directly behind the ball you’re going to hit. Take swings where you make sure that on the takeaway, your club passes outside of the ball that you placed back there. This will make sure that your takeaway is far enough outside. Swing-after-swing, you’ll start to feel that when you take it back outside, your hands have no place to go on the downswing but inside. When you make impact from the inside of the ball, your ball flight will become more consistent. You’ll add distance to your shots, stop hitting the ball to the right, and even be able to start to work a draw if you want.
To ensure that you’re doing the Outside Loop correctly, record your swing! There are some great golf swing recording products out there where with just an alignment stick and a cell-phone clip, you can check to make sure you’re getting the club outside to in on the takeaway, and inside to out on the follow through.
This swing is by no means a cure-all for golfers who are hitting it right, but it’s worked quite well for a couple of us at Frogger, and we thought we’d pass on our success. Please comment below or reach out to us on social media @froggergolf if you have any other advice or adjustments to this method!