Help Me Fix My Golf Slice 1

The sliced golf shot is one of golf's most common and hated golf shots. The ball curves uncontrollably off line and many times can be lost or hit out of bounds.

Problem - A slice golf shot comes from a golfer's swing path impacting the golf ball from outside the target line then the club continues to swing post impact inside the target line. The club face will be open to the swing path, therefore causing a contrast between the club face and swing path causing the golf ball to curve off line. The more the golf ball slices the more the golfer will swing from outside to inside, therefore the golf ball curves even more.

Fix - Change the swing path through the ball so you hit more from the inside to the outside. A neutral grip is also important.

Key point - Place a tee peg about two feet behind the ball and about one foot closer to you. Then place another about two feet in front of the ball and one foot away from you. The idea is to swing the golf club from the marker closer to you then make contact with the golf ball, then allow the golf club to swing over the other marker that is beyond the golf ball. This will encourage a more inside to outside swing path.

Key grip tips - The top hand goes on the golf club first, making sure we hold the golf club straight. Hold the grip in the base of the fingers and wrap the hand on top, pointing the thumb down the front of the grip.

Check point 1 - Make sure you can see only 2½ knuckles on the hand when looking down.

Check point 2 - The thumb and index finger create a crease that points to your shoulder that is away from the target. Then place the bottom hand on the golf club holding again with the base of the fingers and wrap the thumb pad on top of the other hand's thumb.

Check point 3 - The crease between the thumb and the index finger points towards the shoulder furthest away from the target. Link the fingers at the back of the grip by either interlocking or overlapping the index finger of the top hand and the little finger of the bottom hand.

Top tip - Hold the club gently. Avoid strangling the golf club as this will restrict the correct hand action through the ball.

Releasing club tip - Once the grip has been neutralized then the idea would be to swing the golf club less from the outside of the ball. Therefore, attempt to swing the golf club more to the right of the target and release the golf club by crossing over the bottom arm with the top arm.

Top tip - Point the golf club's butt end towards where the golf ball started at set up at the half way position in the follow through.

Help Me Fix My Golf Slice Now!

Help Me Fix My Golf Slice Now!

This article is going to tackle one of the biggest topics in the world of golf instruction – the slice. Many golf teachers will start to sweat a little bit just thinking about this topic, as the slice is never an easy issue to solve. Sure, every golf teacher knows what the student needs to change in order to get away from the slice, but getting the student to actually make those changes is a serious challenge. Unfortunately, the technique used to create a slice is typically nowhere close to a fundamentally-sound golf swing. Most players need to make dramatic alterations to their mechanics if they are going to wipe out the slice once and for all.

If you are a player who is currently fighting a slice, the first thing you need to do is accept the challenge of fixing your swing. We aren't going to sugarcoat it – this will be difficult. If you are hoping for a quick and easy fix that will instantly turn you into a good player, you might as well move on to another sport. Nothing comes easy in golf, and nothing comes quick, either. Eliminating your slice and replacing it with a quality ball flight that you can trust shot after shot is going to be a time-consuming task. When you do reach the finish line, however, the rewards will be significant. You will feel proud of the progress you have made, and you will be able to look forward to a future filled with quality golf shots and lower scores.

As part of the process of eliminating the slice, you are going to have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Put another way, you are going to need to accept the fact that your new swing is going to feel 'wrong' for a while. This makes sense when you think about it – if your current swing feels comfortable and it produces a slice, then an uncomfortable swing is probably closer to where you need to be. Many golfers fail to get rid of the slice because they give up when the swing doesn't feel 'right'. It shouldn't feel right – what feels right to you is causing this problem in the first place. Step out of your comfort zone, trust the process, and see it through until the results start to come around.

One last point of advice before we get started has to do with patience. As in, you are going to need a lot of it. This process is going to be difficult to say the least, and you are sure to hit some bumps along the way. If you are short-tempered and unwilling to go through some tough times during practice, you are destined to fail right from the start. You can make this change, and you can play better golf, but it all starts with patience. Take a deep breath before starting each practice session and prepare your mind for a serious challenge.

All of the tips below are written from the perspective of a right-handed golfer. If you happen to play left-handed, please take a moment to reverse the directions as necessary.

A Foundation of Understanding

A Foundation of Understanding

The slice is easily the most-common ball flight problem in the game of golf. With that said, it is amazing how many golfers struggle to understand where the slice comes from in the first place. There are plenty of misconceptions in the game with regard to the slice, which is part of the reason this issue continues to be such a problem. If you don't understand why your ball is slicing, you have almost no chance of making it stop.

To send you in the right direction, the points below highlight the origins of the slice. Take these points to heart and you will start to see how your current swing is leading to the dreaded left-to-right ball flight.

  • The club is moving across the ball from outside-to-inside. This is the one point that you probably already understand about your slice. When the club moves through the ball, it is tracing a path which moves from outside-to-inside, where inside is the side of the ball that is closer to your body. This path means that slice spin is going to be imparted on the shot, and the ball will curve to the right as it flies. If your swing path is only coming across the ball slightly, it is possible you will hit a fade rather than a slice – and a fade is a perfectly playable shot. Unfortunately, if you are slicing, the path is more dramatic than that, and your ball flight is probably out of control.
  • The face is open in relation to the path of your swing. Another key ingredient in this equation is the club face. When the face of the club is open in relation to the path of your swing, the slice will really have a chance to kick in. Should you happen to close down the face while swinging from outside-in, you would be more likely to hit a pull than a slice. The typical slicer uses their hands and wrists prematurely in the swing, which is why the face hangs open as it is drug through the hitting zone. Learning how to use your hands correctly is going to be a big part of actually conquering the slice.
  • You are probably swinging down on a steep plane. An often-overlooked part of the slice is the fact that most slicers are swinging down steeply into the ball at impact. A steep downswing is usually a side effect of swinging across the ball, and this swing path is going to damage your ability to create distance while also encouraging a slice. As you go, you should make it a goal to gradually flatten out the bottom of your swing.
  • The slice can start before the swing even begins. It is common knowledge that making an over-the-top move during the transition from backswing to downswing can cause you to hit a slice. However, did you know that you can set yourself up for a slice before even putting the club in motion? A faulty stance can set you on a path toward a slice, and it is hard to get off that path once the swing starts. Paying attention to the small details like your stance and takeaway can pay big dividends as you try to eliminate this frustrating pattern from your game.

We hope you now have a pretty clear picture of what is going on in your swing to create a slice. You aren't swinging too far out to the right as some golfers think. In fact, you are doing just the opposite – you are pulling your swing in to the left, which is creating slice spin on the ball. Learn how to correct both the positioning of your club face and the path of your club and the slice will be a thing of the past. Even when dealing with a topic this complicated, it really is that simple. Change your path and your club face positioning and the slice will not have a chance to stand in your way any longer.

Building a Slice-Free Base

Building a Slice-Free Base

It is absolutely essential to have a solid foundation in place if you are going to avoid the slice. That foundation, of course, is your stance. If you can stand over the ball properly time after time, it will immediately become more difficult to hit a slice. Specifically, there are a few stance mistakes that you need to avoid if you would like to be slice-free.

You might be surprised to know that most golf teachers can predict a slice even before the player starts the swing. Just by watching a player stand over the ball, many golf pros will be able to accurately predict where the shot is going to end up. What does that tell us about the swing? Simple – much of the outcome is decided before the club even goes into motion. If you can manage to set up in a neutral manner so that your stance won't be setting you up for failure, your game will be in better shape overall.

To help you improve your stance, we have listed three critical mistakes below. Avoid these mistakes and your slice will be one step closer to extinction.

  • Shoulders open to the target line. This is a big one. When standing over the ball, you need to make sure that your shoulders are square to the target line you have picked for the shot, if not a little closed. Unfortunately, many slicers set up with their upper body open to the target line. This is a problem because the club is naturally going to follow along with the line that your shoulders have established at address. That means the club is going to move back to the outside, and you might not ever be able to recover from that error. As you work on your stance, pay close attention to the positioning of your shoulders. By bringing them into a square position, your takeaway should be improved automatically.
  • High hands. When you think about your stance, you probably think mostly about things like your feet, knees, hips, and shoulders. However, the position of your hands counts as a part of your stance, and it is an important point to watch. If you set up with high hands over the ball, you are again going to be more likely to move the club back outside of the target line. This will lead to a steep swing, and a steep swing is a swing which will frequently end in a slice. To make sure your hands are set at an appropriate height, focus on placing the sole of the club squarely on the ground. As long as you don't have the toe or heel of the club up in the air unnecessarily, you should be in good shape to start the swing correctly.
  • Narrow stance. Most slicers struggle to make a good turn during the swing. An ideal golf swing has a great deal of rotational movement, both in the backswing and the downswing. If you are going to get that rotation, you need to place your feet rather wide at address. For instance, your feet should be outside shoulder width when hitting a driver. By setting up with a narrow stance, you are virtually guaranteeing that you won't be able to make a good turn. And, as a result, you may not be able to avoid the slice. Make sure you are establishing a wide and comfortable base for your swing so you can remain balanced while rotating aggressively.

If you can simply steer clear of those three mistakes, you will be off to a great start with your swing. The nice thing about working on your stance is that you can take as much time as necessary to get it right. The swing itself happens in just a couple seconds time, so you can't really pause to make sure you are in the right position. When you think about it, there is no excuse for having flaws in your stance. As long as you spend some time practicing this point, and as long as you pay attention to detail, you can have an excellent stance in short order.

Eliminating the Urge to Rush

Eliminating the Urge to Rush

Believe it or not, rushing through the golf swing is one of the leading causes of the slice. Along with a poor stance, rushing through the swing is right at the top of the list when it comes to things that slicers need to fix. Rushing your swing can negatively affect your tempo, and a bad tempo is often going to lead to an ugly ball flight which sends your shot way to the right of the target.

Here's how it happens –

  • As your swing gets started, you are feeling a bit nervous or anxious about the result of the shot. In order to get the shot over with as quickly as possible, you rush through the motion from start to finish.
  • At the top of the swing, you don't allow enough time for the club to properly drop into the slot. Instead, you push the club over the top and pull it back down toward the ball as fast as possible. This is the quickest way to transition from backswing to downswing, but it is also a method that is going to leave you vulnerable to the slice.
  • With the transition rushed and the club on the way down, there will be nothing left to do but weakly swing the club through impact. Your body won't have had time to get out in front, so your downswing is going to be an arms-only proposition.
  • In the end, the swing will be over in a hurry, and the results will be disappointing.

So how do you get away from this habit and into a slower, smoother golf swing? The first step is to acknowledge this as a problem. Amateur golfers often overlook their tempo as a possible cause of the slice, so they instead focus on other issues. Sure, it is the act of swinging the club across the ball which is going to cause the slice, but it will be your rushed tempo which is really to blame. If the tempo were to improve, the swing path wouldn't wind up being a problem because the club would have dropped to the inside like it should.

One simple way to slow down your swing tempo is to take a deep breath before walking up to the ball. That sounds basic, of course, but it really can help. A deep breath will cause you to stop for a moment and focus in on the task at hand. With so much going on around you on the course, it is easy to storm up to the ball and swing away without so much as thinking about your technique. Don't fall into that trap. Once your club is selected and you have picked out a target, stand behind the ball and take a deep breath in and out. This step will help to slow you down, and it may calm your nerves as well.

Another helpful thought on this point is to remember that the ball isn't going anywhere. Unlike other sports such as tennis and baseball, where the ball is coming at you in a hurry, there is no need to rush in golf. The ball is sitting on the ground, and you have as much time as you need to get through the swing. Use that fact to your advantage and let the swing develop at a comfortable, natural pace. Spend some time on the driving range working on using a slower tempo and you might be surprised to see that your ball flight will start to straighten out all on its own.

The Final Piece of the Puzzle

The Final Piece of the Puzzle

So far, we have identified two main areas that are ripe for improvement – your stance, and your tempo. Improve your performance in those two areas and it is likely that your slice will be on its way out. However, the work is not yet done. There is one way you can still go wrong, and it is found in the downswing just moments before you strike the shot. In the golf world, this part of the swing is known as 'lag'.

As the club swings down into the ball, it should be 'lagging' behind your hands. In other words, your hands are swinging down while the club head lags behind by a significant distance. In a good golf swing, the shaft of the club will usually form a 90* angle with the left arm on the way down. When working correctly, the lag will be held as far into the downswing as possible, before the club head starts to catch up right at the last possible moment before impact. This unleashing of speed is how professional golfers can hit powerful shots while making swings which look relaxed and easy.

For golfers who fight a slice, the lag portion of the swing is usually not working properly. Rather than lagging behind, the club head starts to catch up with the hands right from the start of the downswing. The right hand becomes too involved in the action, and the club head is forced to the outside of the correct swing path. Not only is the club now out of position, but you have also wasted the potential speed you had waiting to be used. This is why most slices come off the club with very little speed behind them. The final result is a weak shot which floats high and to the right of the target.

So how do you teach yourself to lag the club properly? Unfortunately, that is one of the most difficult tasks in golf. Lag is always difficult to learn, and it is even more difficult to teach. One way to get yourself on the right track is to make a few one-handed practice swings. Swing the club only with your left hand during your next trip to the range (without hitting a ball). Since the right hand will not be available to get in the way, you will almost certainly lag the club on the way down with more success. This swing might not be perfect, but it will be closer to the mark. Remember the feeling that you have when swinging down with only your left hand and try to recreate that experience when you put your other hand back on the grip.

It is frustrating to deal with a slice in golf, and you may even find yourself close to the point of giving up. Don't do that. Instead, get to work on your technique using some of the advice contained in this article. There will be some challenging practice sessions ahead, but you can find your way to a slice-free future if you are just willing to work for it. Good luck!