A pull slice golf shot is one where the ball starts left of the target and then curves during its flight, finishing to the right of the target.
To hit this type of golf shot your club head is moving across your target line rather than along it, which is required for a straight shot. If we place an alignment pole on the ground to represent the target line, or the line we want the ball to fly straight along, as you are swinging down and through impact with the ball, if you are hitting a pull slice, your club head is moving from the far side of your target line (the outside) to your side, or the inside, of the target line. The club face is pointing to the right of the movement of the club head and as such, tilted axis spin is produced on the golf ball.
The initial direction that a golf ball flies in is 85% due to the direction that the club face is pointing at impact. To hit a pull slice, the club face is aiming to the left of the target but the club head direction is moving even more to the left of the target. This is a really common problem for beginners who see the ball starting to the left of the fairway and then curving and slicing to the right of their target. After seeing this beginners tend to think they can correct this by swinging even more to the left of the target line but this only accentuates the problem as it increases the divergence or difference between the movement in club head direction and the position of the club face angle. More divergence between head movement and face angle results in more tilted axis spin and therefore even more curve or slice to the right.
To cure this problem, first of all it is crucial to get the club face aligned correctly to the target – remember the club face is 85% responsible for the direction that the ball flies in. To align the club face correctly, stand directly behind and in line with the golf ball and your intended target. Imagine a line from the target back to the ball and select a point on the ground and on this line about two inches forward of the ball. This could be a twig, a divot, a different coloured piece of grass, some mud, anything as long as it is on your intended line of flight. Place the club face next to the golf ball so that it is aligned to allow the ball to fly over your selected targeted.
Once you are happy with the position of the club face and that it is aiming at the target, place your hands on the club correctly. To do this you should keep the name on your grip or your grip guide in the centre and place your left hand on so that the line between your left thumb and hand points up to your right shoulder - notice how many knuckles you can see at this point, it’s a great way to ensure your hand is on correctly. Place your right hand on the handle, either interlocking or overlapping with your left hand and again ensure that the line between your right thumb and hand points up to your right shoulder.
Next place your feet together and get them directly parallel to the grooves of the club face. Check both the toes on your right and left foot are even and in line with each other. Now take your golf stance up. Double check your feet alignment by placing your golf club across your toes and now step back from this and look at where the club is pointing. The club across your toes should be parallel to the line you want to hit the ball along.
Following the steps above, we now have the club face position correct, your golf stance and alignment correct, so we simply need to ensure that you swing along the intended target line. If you are still experiencing a slice with the club face correctly positioned and your alignment correct then you have an over the top golf swing. This means that on your downswing the club head is moving over the top of your hands, when viewed from side on, and that is travelling to the far side (the outside) of the target line. You then have to pull the club head back towards the ball, and as a consequence of this movement, the club head will then move across the target line to the inside (the side that you are standing on). With the club face still aiming at the target, you will impart tilted axis spin and a slice will occur.
To correct this, place a range basket one inch to the right of the ball, on the outside of the target line (the far side). Place it just on the outside of the target line so that the club head can move along the line without hitting it but not so there is a six inch gap between the club head and basket! Now take some swings and work on swinging inside the basket and then connecting with the ball. Do this slowly first of all and then gradually build your speed up as you get more comfortable with the different movement. If you hit the basket, this shows you that your movement was incorrect for a shot to fly straight at the target, so work hard on missing the basket by swinging inside it.
Using these three tips and drills and getting a better understanding of the causes of your pull slice will help you to improve it really quickly and you will be hitting straighter, more accurate and much longer golf shots in no time.