First off, before we discuss how to go about curing your slice, you need to understand why you slice the golf ball. Only then can you take the necessary steps to fix your slice.
Making consistently good contact with the ball is clearly fundamental to playing the game. Annoyingly, some golfers are able to make great contact easily – it seems to come naturally to them. Others, me included, have to work at it and, believe me, there are many reasons why you might be making poor contact with the ball.
So, let’s have a go at analysing why you slice the ball. But the first question is…
What is a golf slice?
For right-handers (reverse things if you are left-handed), a sliced shot curves off to the right of where you were aiming.
This is not to be confused with a “fade” shot where the golfer intentionally plays the ball to travel from left to right maybe to avoid some trees, for example.
The left to right trajectory occurs because of the clockwise spin created on the golf ball at impact. A slice is a mis-hit and a very common problem for beginners and high handicappers.
So what’s the cause of a slice?
To understand the slice you need to grasp the basics of a golf swing. In order to hit a golf ball squarely you need to club face to return to its original point at impact. The slice occurs when the club face is open, or not square-aligned, at the point of impact, thus causing the club face to cut across the golf ball causing the spin and hence the the golf slice. In the majority of circumstances the golf swing is okay however, on some occasions the slice can be put down to the grip of your golf club. A weak grip of your golf club can cause your grip to slip and your club to open.
Cutting across the ball at impact and so giving the ball a clockwise motion through the air, can also be caused by an outside to inside swing path.
Other factors include swing speed, and also the flex of your golf clubs shaft. If you are using a stiff flex driver, it could be worth trying out a driver with a regular flex or even mid flex. This could correct your golf slice, but it’s not guaranteed.
Over the years, I have realised that one of the main causes of a slice is literally because the golfer is stiff and not flexible enough to achieve a correct swing path. What’s the evidence for this? Well, if you observe carefully, older golfers and high handicappers are the ones more likely to slice the shot, compared to the tour pros, who are usually strong, fit and very flexible. So, this gives a clue to hopefully fixing your slice.
How to fix your slice?
How to get the clubhead square at impact.
Perhaps the most convenient change you can make to cure your slice is by altering your grip. If your club is open at impact try gripping your golf club slightly clockwise, or counter clockwise if you’re a lefty. This opens up your club slightly, eliminating the possibility of your club face opening at impact. By saying you have a weak grip that does not mean you need to grip your club tighter. A simple delicate grip that’s tight enough to keep control is perfect, too tight and you risk slicing the golf ball again.
Also, to correct your slice you may also need to speed up your golf swing. You can do this by pulling your club back farther in your back swing, and then follow through smoothly as you would do normally.
On your back swing be sure not to bend back too far as you risk going off your swing path. Also, try not to go too roundhouse in your swing (kind of like a baseball swing), simply bring your club back straight and then perform a perfect smooth swing.
A tip to help you concentrate when hitting your driver off the tee, is to tee up your golf ball with its logo pointed towards the direction you want to hit it. This will help you concentrate on hitting a clean straight golf shot and will hopefully cure your driver slice.
Stretching for flexibility
And back to my earlier point about flexibility. If you are prepared to do some correct exercising and stretching on a regular basis, there is no doubt you will improve your golf game and specifically your backswing. I believe that an ability to do a proper backswing is a basic cause of slicing the golf ball. By being more flexible, you will be able to have a bigger and more controlled shoulder turn. And having a bigger shoulder turn means that you will generate more power and distance, as well as hopefully eliminating that slice.
As golfers get older, stretching becomes even more important. Stretching should be a part of your pre-golf round routine – it’s easy to do and doesn’t cost anything. So before hitting balls on the range or teeing off on the golf course, do some stretching exercises, especially those exercises that improve your shoulder turn.
Some more tips on correcting your slice:
- Stand straighter
- Bend your knees slightly
- Make sure you are aligned with the target
- At address, make sure the clubface is not open or closed
- Keep your feet shoulder width apart
- Line your ball up with your front foot
- Loosen up your grip so there’s no tension in wrists or arms
- Concentrate on the golf ball
- Blank your mind
- Now smash it straight down the fairway