You know what’s a real drag? Slicing your golf balls off the tee. It’s a soul-crushing feeling that ruins your game and drains your wallet.We see them everyday during our golf lessons in Nashville at Profectus. But don’t sweat it, man, because we’ve got the ultimate guide to fix your slice for good. In five easy steps, you’ll be back on the fairway in no time.
First things first – what the hell is a slice? If you’re a righty, it’s when your golf ball curves excessively to the right of its starting line. Lefties, it’s the opposite – your ball turns excessively to the left. There are two types of slices. The classic slice starts left of your intended target and then curves right, ending up way off course. The push slice starts right of your target and moves even further right, missing the mark even more.
Why is slicing such a bummer? For starters, it’s a weak and uncontrollable shot. A slice is caused by a glancing blow, which means it can’t pack much power. And since it’s affected by the wind, sometimes it goes high, sometimes it goes low, and you can’t do a damn thing about it. Plus, it’s tough to aim for a slice because you can’t aim far enough left (for righties) to compensate for the excessive curve. Standard advice is to aim left to make up for it, but let’s be real – that hardly ever works. And let’s not forget about distance – you lose a ton of it with a slice, which makes the game even harder. Plus, your scores and handicap will suffer. And on top of all that, sliced balls end up in the trees or water, costing you even more dough.
So what causes a slice? Whether you are taking a golf lesson in Nashville or you are on the course with your friends, what causes a slice is the same. It’s all about the clubface and swing path at impact. If the clubface is open to the swing path, you’ll slice. The more open it is, the more the ball will slice. On the flip side, if you hit the ball with a closed clubface in relation to your swing path, you’ll get a draw or hook (depending on how closed it is).
But wait, you might be wondering why you slice with your driver but not your irons. It’s all about loft. Clubs with little loft (like your driver can tilt the ball very easily while clubs with a lot of loft (like a PW) can’t tilt the ball as easily. This is because of this thing called the D-Plane. You can dive deeper into the D-plane here, if you like.
A guide on how to fix that pesky slice with your driver (or any club).
First things first, let’s focus on strengthening your grip. A lot of high handicappers and slicers have a weak or neutral grip, with their hands positioned more on top of the club. To fix this, start by positioning your left hand on the grip in your normal position, then rotate it towards the right until you see two to three knuckles when looking down at address. Next, take your right hand and place it more under the club’s grip, making it “stronger.” This will help you close the clubface, and you should see your shots going dead left if done correctly.
Now, let’s work on controlling the clubface through the golf shot. To do this, I want you to feel the sensation that the toe of your club rotates and closes through impact. Roll your right forearm over your left forearm through impact and follow through. This is one part of releasing the clubface as opposed to holding on. Avoid flipping your hands, as this is harder to predict.
Next, we need to change your path into the golf ball. An out-to-in swing path often contributes to a slice, so we’ll fix that by ingraining the opposite – an in-to-out swing path. To do this, place an obstacle in the way of the wrong swing path. You can use a headcover placed to the right of your ball just outside your swing path, or a ball bucket or something similar on the opposite side of the ball and to the right just outside your swing path. Hit balls while aiming to miss the obstacle.
In addition to fixing your swing path, it’s also important to improve your posture. The average golfer tends to hinge improperly from their hips and uses too much knee flex, which leads to crowding the ball and forces a steep out-to-in swing path. To fix this, stand up straight with your club in both hands and press it against the top of your hips. Bend forward from the hips, making sure to hinge forward from your hips. Grip the club as you normally would, then bend your knees slightly once you feel slight tension in your hamstrings. Your club should be resting lightly on the ground, with your weight between your heel and the middle of your feet.
To further improve your swing, avoid lunging into the ball with your upper body and arms at the start of your downswing. Instead, initiate your swing from the ground up, and try to keep your right elbow in front of your body during the entire swing. This will promote an inside track into the ball and keep it connected and in sync with your body turn.
Finally, let’s focus on improving your contact with the ball. You want center contact or even slightly toward the toe for more right-to-left spin and the potential for a draw. Just grab a can or bottle and place it just outside your ball on the toe side. Practice hitting shots while aiming to hit the can or bottle.
If you try these tips and still need help fixing you slice, consider scheduling a game evaluation with a coach at Profectus. Learn more about a game evaluation here.
That’s it for now, golfers. With these tips in mind, you should be well on your way to fixing that slice and improving your game overall. Good luck out there!