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Swing Analysis: Brendan De Jonge: Over the Top, Or an Effective Pattern Used by Some of the All-Time Greats?

As South African Brendan De Jonge took the lead heading into the final round of the AT&T Classic at Congressional, the TV announcers couldn’t help but endlessly repeat the statement that De Jonge’s swing was “over the top”. Of course, they never took the time to explain what they meant by that phrase, why it had a negative connotation, and why it was usually associated with chops from the local muni and not guys who were leading Tour events.
I can’t tell you how many players I have taught, and this includes good players along with not so good, who thought that every shot they hit to the left was caused by an “over the top” swing, only to find that according to the video their club was approaching way too far from the inside and the “feeling” they had of an out to in swing path was exactly the opposite of what was really happening. So much for “playing by feel”. Think about it: you are missing left because you are leaving the club behind you where it swings way too much in to out, but you think you are actually “over the top”, with the club travelling into the ball from out to in. Your “fix” is going to be to try to come more from the inside, which is the problem in the first place. Obviously, you are going to screw yourself up even more, and eventually you will barely be able to hit the ball at all.
The use of such terms as “over the top” with no adequate explanation is one of the things that TV golf fails to recognize as detrimental to the ability of the average player to understand how a golf swing works and how different patterns have been utilized throughout history to play great golf and win major championships. In this video I compare De Jonge’s move with Jack Nicklaus, Bobby Jones, and Byron Nelson, choosing them because of the great similarities in all four swings. It wouldn’t take that much for a TV announcer with a bit of knowledge and access to the same swings I have compiled on this laptop to make an interesting one or two minute snippet which would explain what “over the top” means and how many great players have moved the hands and arms in that fashion. What would really help would be to point out how control of the shaft is the secret to making such movements work, and that if the shaft were not lagging back and shallowing early in transition then none of these players would ever have been heard of, much less have become such great players.


5 Responses to Swing Analysis: Brendan De Jonge: Over the Top, Or an Effective Pattern Used by Some of the All-Time Greats?

  1. steve strobeck October 18, 2013 at 9:45 am #

    Why wouldn’t everyone swing this way?

    Perfect for a thick build, but Nelson did it too. I’m like Nelson in build so maybe I can adapt this pattern and get the exit more left. Definitely worth a try.

  2. ROBERT August 2, 2015 at 6:47 am #

    Hi Wayne, As a PGA (Australia) Professional since 1977 I love your swing analyses for the reason that you deal with the facts and are not simply trotting out the tired old clichés as with some TV commentators. As someone who shares a similar body structure to Brendan De Jong and both Stadlers it is very difficult (or impossible) to have my elbows level at the top of the swing and therefore the outward movement of the hands is the only way for me to position my hands in front of my right hip to avoid the trapping of my right elbow behind my body, which has been a recurring problem for the last almost 40 years. In my teaching I am very aware of the idiosyncrasies of particular body shapes and I structure my remedies to suit. Ongoing thanks Wayne!

  3. Peter August 5, 2015 at 5:03 am #

    With a body shape like the Stadlers, Robert is obviously not the one who has been sacking caddies lately! :)

  4. Peter August 5, 2015 at 5:28 am #

    On a serious note, Your comments are great in that body shape has got to matter wrt what swing action one can make. A large guy isn’t going to get the club/elbow back in front from a deep hand position.

    Enjoyed the video!


    P.S. Also an Australian!

  5. Charlie CHUCK May 11, 2016 at 12:10 am #

    Maybe this seems like a stupid question but I’ll ask it anyway. What shallows the club in the first part of the downswing? Is it the right elbow moving inward? How can you feel the club laying back on the right index finger? i guess I’ll just try to picture performing a sidearm throw after reaching the top.

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