Golf Swing Path – The Dirty Fortune Teller

There’s a dirty little secret going around. And it’s too dirty of a secret to simply be cleaned with a simple golf-ball washer. It’s the dreaded over the top golf swing path. Let’s take a look at two COMPLETELY different golf swings.



Which one of these golfers do you think won 14 majors in his career, while the other had his career in basketball?

Pictured to the left is the example of a bad swing plane. Courtesy of Shaquille O’Neal. To the right is Tiger Woods. Ignoring the silly metaphor of comparing a professional golfer to a recreational golfer (at best) what is the one issue in Shaq’s swing that Tiger seems to effortlessly master?

The Problem with the Out-to-In Swing Path

So whats wrong with this? Like Shaq, you might have some trouble having your club find the right plane. Maybe it’s not so bad, you might have had some success managing your over-the-top slice swing so far, hitting numerous good shots.

But it could be so much easier

The premise of this instructional article is to learn an easy golf swing, something you can repeat effortlessly.

Shaq’s golf club at impact tracks a swing path similar to the left side of the diagram above while Tiger’s Path follows a square to slightly inside-out swing. Shaq struggles to make a flush impact with his bad golf swing plane, while Tiger is picture-perfect.

The obvious issue with swinging over-the-top is the tendency to slice the ball. The harder and over-the-topper swings at the ball, the more the golf ball will slice in the air due to the increased side-spin on the ball.

But there are also hidden issues behind the over-the-topper’s technique. Hence it is the “Dirty Secret…”

Over the top swing path leads to inconsistent contact, fat shots, thin shots, all the above. An over-the-topper descends at the ball at such a steep angle that there is a tiny margin for consistent contact.

Visual Exercises For a Perfect Golf Swing Path

Grab a golf club, walk up to a mirror, and perform this exercise coined by Ben Hogan in his “5 Fundamentals” book.

In front of a mirror do a couple of practice swings. Pretend that there is a rectangular sheet of glass from your neck to the ground similar to the picture above. Pretend that this pane of glass is easily shattered, therefore each golf swing must have a path that misses the pane of glass.

What this exercise allows you to do is feel what a great golf swing plane feels like if you are swinging over the top.