So you’re catching a lot of shots thin, maybe mixing in some slices. The first step to fixing these problems is to understand why they happen.

Let’s dig into these two common golf mistakes, which plague many beginners.


Thin shot: When the bottom (leading edge) of your club makes contact on or near the ball’s equator, you get a shot that flies very low with no backspin.

Novice golfers are especially prone to trying to lift the ball into the air by flicking the wrists. Doing that, however, causes the club to travel upward at the moment of impact. Usually, the leading edge strikes too high on the ball.

The key to overcoming this habit is to trust simple physics. Because every clubface is built with loft, hitting up isn’t necessary. In fact, the opposite is true: You want to strike the ball with a slightly descending blow. (The driver is the only exception to this rule.)

To do this, make sure your hands are just ahead of the ball when you set up. The club’s shaft should be leaning toward your target, with the butt end of the grip pointed at your left hip. Try to return the hands and club to this position at impact, creating a downward strike and sending the ball airborne.

Slice: The majority of amateur golfers, not just beginners, struggle with a slice. It’s a shot that curves sharply from left to right (or right to left if you’re left-handed) and is difficult to control.

A slice happens when the clubhead is traveling across the ball, from right to left, with the clubface open (pointing right) in relation to this path. This combination imparts left-to-right sidespin and a curved flight.

There are numerous slice causes , but beginners struggle most with the reverse pivot. This is an improper weight shift to the right on the downswing, instead of to the left. This motion prevents your hands and arms from rolling over (releasing); the clubface stays open and the ball spins right.

The weight shift two-step drill is an excellent cure for this malady.