Top 3 Tips on Pull Slice
There are many things that can cause you to hit the dreaded pull- slice, and during this section we will cover the causes… and what you can do to correct them as well. I know this can be a frustrating thing to try and correct, but rest assured, with the proper tweaks you will see success here. I realize there are dozens of articles that claim to have the cure all, but I will provide you with what I have been able to apply to my own game throughout my years.
The first thing I want to do is actually describe what causes a pull slice, before we dive in to correcting this. The most common cause of the slice is when the clubface is open at address. This is usually caused when you have a strong out-to-in downswing, and an open clubface at impact. If you have read my previous articles on correcting the pull, then you will remember how vital it is to keep the club on plane throughout, and moving the club from the outside-in. When you do this, your arms move out and away from the body at the start of your downswing, which causes the out-to-in path of the club and sends the ball into flight with a side-spin motion… aka… the push. Now, when you are getting the hands behind the club, it will result in the slice. Add the two together, and you have the good old fashioned pull-slice. With that said, you can survive with the pull slice. Most tour golfers play a power fade, which is essentially a pull-slice dialed down.
So now that we know what causes the dreaded shot, what do you need to do to correct this motion? The most common cause of the pull slice is somewhat in the name, you are pulling the ball and your upper body is getting out in front of your lower body. This is a very common issue, but it is actually fairly simple to correct. Whenever I start to hit the pull-slice, I first pay attention to my upper body to ensure I am not moving too quickly and getting out in front of the ball. This sort of swaying motion is the main cause of a pull, and even a slice if you are getting too far out in front. The easiest way to correct this motion, is to focus on your lower body during the swing. I am not saying to slow it down too much, because that will over correct you and cause a big hook. The intention here is to simply keep your upper and lower body moving at about the same speed, which will allow for the ball to start straight down the line of the target. While at the range, hit a bucket of balls, with the sole focus being on your tempo throughout the swing. Don’t focus on where the ball is going (for now), but focus on your lower body and ensuring that you are not getting out in front of your upper body.
Another common mistake causing the pull slice, is getting the hands too far inside and jamming yourself, causing you to move your hands inside and push the ball back out away from the body. The best practice for correcting this, is to put a towel under your back arm. If you are a lefty, then that means left arm… right means right arm. During this motion, do not swing at 100%, but try and focus around the 80% range. The goal of this is to keep the armpit on the body as long as possible, which will ensure that you are not moving it off of your body too far, causing you to dip inside on the down-swing. Grab 10-15 balls for this drill, and as before, don’t focus on the result. Keep your mind tuned towards the armpit, and keeping the towel in place. This tends to be a very frustrating drill if you focus on where the ball is going, so trust me, keep your focus on the towel and what your body is doing throughout the drill. You need to teach your body the muscle memory for when the towel is not there.
Don’t get me wrong, the pull slice is the most aggravating miss hit in the game. It goes short and it goes well off-line. I assure you, if you focus on these two methods, you will put yourself into a good position to start the ball down the line and keep it on the target. In all, I recommend making this the focus of your practice for at least one week. As with everything in the game of golf, you will not correct this overnight. The most difficult drill of all is the towel drill, because it is a mental challenge, and the intended results do take some additional time. Here is my challenge to you: Each day that you go to the range during a typical week, I want an entire bucket of balls designated to these two drills. After one week, I want you to hit the course and take note of your ball striking, particularly fairways and greens. I will assure you that you are hitting more fairways and greens than before, which is everyone’s goal… right? With that said, don’t go out and play a round during the first week of the drills. You need to give yourself the time to develop the motion before taking it to the real test – the course. Use the drill for every single club in your bag, until you are 100% comfortable with the motion. Once the week is complete, then you can take to the course and relish in the results of your hard work.