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 the articles below. 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.

For years, golf teachers have been trying to teach players how to fix the slice. It is a difficult task, however, because there are so many variables involved throughout the swing. Not every slice is created equal, so you will need to find the perfect solution for your specific swing technique. With that in mind, the content below contains a variety of drills that you can use in an attempt to correct your mechanics and get the ball back on line. Not all of these drills are going to be helpful for you personally – but you need to test them out on the range before you can discover which one or two will help you the most. Even just using the drills below for a few swings at the start of each practice session can go a long way toward making the slice a problem of the past.

Golf Slice Tips Lesson Chart

Are you one of the millions of golfers who struggle with a slice? It can be extremely frustrating to see your ball curve wildly to the side swing after swing, and it might get so bad that you don’t really feel like playing golf anymore. Before you go too far down that hole and decide to leave the game for good, let’s get to work on solving this problem once and for all. Yes – it can be difficult to fix a slice. No – it is not impossible. With any luck, and a little help from the information below, you will hopefully be able to take your game in the right direction sooner rather than later.

In this article, we are going to discuss the matter of the slice from a variety of angles. First, we need to clearly identify what a slice is and what causes it to occur. You’ll need this clear understanding of the topic before you will have any chance of overcoming the issue. From there, we will talk about swing faults that may be present in your swing, and how to get over them. Also, we will include some discussion on the mental side of the slice, and how overcoming that issue may be just as important as working on your physical technique.

All of the content below is 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.

— What is a Slice?

For some of you, this section is going to be review. However, it’s important to start here because we need to make sure we are on the same page before getting into the solutions for this problem. Even if you already know what a slice is, it will be worth your time to read through this section and confirm everything is clear in your mind.

Slice Shots Lesson Chart

For a right-handed golfer, a slice is a shot that curves dramatically from left to right as it flies. A slice is similar to a fade in that both shots curve the same direction. The difference between the two is the severity of the curve. A fade is a slight curve which often leads to a good outcome – many golfers intentionally use a fade as their shot shape of choice. On the other hand, it’s hard to imagine a golfer intentionally using a slice, as the ball flight is just too wild and dramatic to be controlled. When a slice is produced, the outcome of the shot is usually not pretty. The ball will land well to the right of the target, and it might not even come down on the course.

When you hit a slice, the ball is curving to the right as it flies because of the spin you have placed on the ball at impact. Specifically, that spin is moving from left to right, which is going to cause the ball to curve the same direction in the air. The difference between a fade and a slice is nothing more than the amount of left to right spin that the ball leaves with after impact. A fade only has a modest amount of sidespin, which is why it stays under control and only curves slightly. On the other hand, a slice has a high rate of sidespin, and it quickly gets out of control as a result.

It’s important to understand the difference between a slice and a push. Both of these shots miss their target to the right, but they are actually very different. A slice, as we have established, is a shot that curves wildly from left to right. A push is a shot that actually flies relatively straight through the air, but it travels on a line that is right of what was intended. So, for instance, if you were aiming at the flag on an approach shot, the ball would start on a line to the right of the flag and head out in that direction. This kind of shot doesn’t have a lot of sidespin, which is why it flies relatively straight, but it still misses right in the end. Pushed shots are a problem of their own and are a topic for another article.

— Common Mistakes

So, at this point we have established that a slice is a shot that curves dramatically from left to right as it flies through the air. And, we’ve determined that it is the spin of the ball that causes the shot to curve. But what creates that spin? Sidespin is created when the clubhead moves across the ball relative to the position of the clubface at impact. So, in the case of a slice, the clubhead is moving across the ball from outside to inside, as compared to the position of the clubface. If you can correct the path of the swing and how it relates to the position of the clubface at impact, you can eliminate your slice.

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Let’s look at some common swing errors which can lead to the dreaded slice.

Slice Shots Lesson Chart

  • Poor takeaway path. One of the reasons that many golfers struggle to fix their slice is that the mistake that causes the slice happens long before they actually contact the ball. The average golfer doesn’t think of the takeaway as playing a big role in the outcome of each shot – but it does. If you want to get rid of your pesky slice once and for all, you might need to start by looking at the particulars of your takeaway. Specifically, you’ll want to make sure you are taking the club back on a good path. Ideally, the clubhead will trace a path straight back from the ball, on an extension of the target line for the first few inches of the swing. Unfortunately, many golfers who struggle with a slice actually swing the club to the inside of that line as soon as the takeaway begins. With an inside takeaway, the club will be in too close to the body, and the swing will run out of room at the top due to the narrow backswing. From there, the only option is to push the club up over-the-top and swing across the ball at impact – leading to the dreaded slice. In some cases, simply fixing the takeaway path will be enough to wipe out the slice pattern completely.
  • A rushed transition. Another way to get yourself in trouble with the slice is to rush through the top portion of your swing. A good transition allows the club all the time it needs to shift from backswing to downswing – all while the lower body is starting to turn toward the target to create momentum that can create power through impact. Many golfers rush this section of the swing, however, as it feels like you can create more speed and power if you hurry up and force the club to move quickly. That’s not how it works in this game. The only point where the club needs to be moving quickly is at the moment of impact – otherwise, you have plenty of time to build up to that point. So, take your time through the transition and make sure you are poised to pour on the power once the downswing is underway. If you rush the transition, it’s likely that your shoulders won’t turn all the way back, and you’ll again be left with an outside-in swing path.
  • Lack of lower body rotation. The way the lower body works through the downswing phase is one of the commonly overlooked areas of the swing. In a quality swing, the lower body is going to work hard in the downswing, turning toward the target and helping the club to accelerate nicely. Without that turn, it’s hard to generate much speed by the time you reach impact. Also, as it relates to the discussion on the slice, failing to turn your lower body through the shot will cause you to run out of room for your hands and arms. Feeling crowded, you’ll have to swing the club down from the outside just to get to the ball. That leads to the outside-in swing path that is going to cause the ball to slice to the right once it leaves your club. The good news here is that you can improve in two areas at once just by making progress with your lower body rotation. If you turn nicely in the downswing, you should both pick up power and cut down on your slice pattern.

There are certainly more ways to find yourself dealing with a slice than just the list of three points above. With that said, if you find yourself struggling with a slice currently and you aren’t sure how to get back on track, start by looking for any of these errors. If one or more of these points is present in your game, making the necessary corrections could leave you with a much straighter ball flight in short order.

— Making Important Corrections

Speaking of corrections, those aren’t always so easy to make in this difficult game. Sure, you might know what you should be doing, but actually making it happen can be a daunting task. In this section, we’d like to offer some basic advice on how you can correct the mistakes we discussed above.

Slice Shots Lesson Chart

  • Quiet your hands. If you feel that your takeaway is giving you trouble and leading to a slice, the first thing you may need to do is quiet down your hands during that takeaway. As soon as the club starts to move away from the ball, some golfers will allow their hands and wrists to become active – and that can lead to big problems. When the hands and wrists do too much in the takeaway, it becomes easy to move the club too far to the inside of the target line. That will create the narrow backswing we talked about in the previous section, leading to an over-the-top move in the transition. To get your hands to play a secondary role early in the swing, focus on using the rotation of your shoulders to get things moving. All you need to do is turn your shoulders away from the target while keeping your hands and wrists quiet – that’s it. At first, that will probably feel a little too simple, especially if you are used to using your hands quite actively. Give it some time on the range and you’ll start to get comfortable with the technique required here. This type of takeaway will not only help you swing the club back on the right line, but it will also give your shoulder turn a good start. And, as you may already know, a quality shoulder turn is one of the biggest keys to building a successful swing.
  • Take a break. Do you take a break during the middle of your golf swing? Probably not – but it just could be the change you need to get rid of your slice. At the top of the swing, try feeling like you are taking a quick break from the swinging action to let everything come together before the downswing begins. By ‘quick’, we mean just a fraction of a second. In fact, when you watch your swing on video, it won’t even look like you are stopping at all. When executed correctly, this little break at the top of your swing will help everything come together and sync up for an aggressive and consistent downswing. Since rushing the transition is such a big issue for players who hit a slice, trying to slow things down at the top is a great thing to think about during practice. When your backswing is complete and it is time to start down toward the ball, use your lower body to get things going. This will build speed and bring the club down into a nice position from which to attack impact.
  • Get onto that left foot. The end of your golf swing can tell you a lot about what happened up until that point. It’s a good idea to get into the habit of checking your finish position to make sure you are doing things right along the way. One valuable point to check at the finish is the location of most of your weight – did you get all the way over onto your left foot? If you didn’t get to your left side successfully, it’s likely that your lower body rotation was lacking in the downswing. That’s a problem for a variety of reasons, including the possibility that your poor lower body turn will lead to a slice. Often, players will start their lower body rotation nicely at the top of the downswing, only to give up on it before they get all the way to their left side. Giving up on lower body rotation may be a result of nothing more than low confidence. If you don’t believe in your swing and what you are trying to do with the club, you’ll slow down before impact and sabotage your own chances to hit a good shot. Make an effort to boost your self-belief and make each swing with as much confidence as you can find. Some of the shots will work out and some of them won’t, but you’ll be better off as a whole if you commit to each shot with 100% belief in your technique.

It’s always a good idea to work on just one thing at a time in your golf swing. If you try to take on all three of these points at one time, it will likely be too much and you will feel overwhelmed and distracted. Keep yourself focused on a single improvement and stick with it until you see progress. Over the long run, this approach will serve you well and it will become possible to dramatically improve your level of play.

— The Slice is a Mental Battle

Golf can be a mental struggle. With so much time to think between shots, and so much that can go wrong on any given shot, it’s no wonder that so many golfers struggle with mental ‘demons’. And, perhaps nowhere in the game are mental struggles more evident than with someone trying to overcome the slice. Simply put, it’s hard to get rid of a slice, and it can be that the harder you try, the worse it gets.

So, is this hopeless? Of course not – you can get rid of your slice. But it might not be easy, and you may need to adjust your attitude before you start to see progress. To wrap up this article, let’s take a look at some of the mental issues you might need to overcome on your way to a straighter ball flight.

Slice Shots Lesson Chart

  • Accepting the challenge. Many golfers have a hard time accepting the fact that they are in for a battle with regard to getting rid of the slice. Instead, they continue to pursue the instant fix that will get them straight in just a single practice session. Unfortunately, that day might not be coming (it’s not impossible, but not the norm, either). Rather than complaining about your slice and seeing the whole situation as a negative, accept the challenge and look forward to overcoming this hurdle. Getting rid of a slice is a great golf accomplishment that not all players can claim. Take the opportunity and run with it, rather than running from it. There is a lot to be said for the power of a positive attitude when taking on any challenge, including one on the golf course.
  • Looking for little victories. Your ultimate goal in this process is to eliminate your slice. Even if that doesn’t happen right away, you can look for smaller victories that will give you positive reinforcement and help you keep your head up. For example, you might have a range session where you still hit plenty of slices, but also a couple of straight shots. Great! That’s not yet your ultimate goal, but it’s a big step. Don’t dwell on the slices you are still hitting. Remember those good shots and know that something about your swing is working, even if only from time to time. As you continue to practice, you’ll hopefully see more and more good shots come off your clubs, and your confidence will grow from there.
  • Sticking with it on the course. It’s pretty easy to put up with poor shots on the driving range, even if it does get a little old. After all, you don’t have to chase after your bad shots when on the range, and you don’t need to worry about your escalating score. When on the course, however, things are different. If you head out for a round after working on your swing at the range, you might be tempted to give up on your new technique after hitting some poor shots. This is a common experience in the game of golf. Do your best not to fall into this trap. If you give up quickly after hitting some bad shots on the course, you’ll never make any real progress. There are going to be ups and downs along the way – that’s just how it goes. Don’t allow a few bad shots to knock you off track from the changes that you want to make in your game. With the big picture in mind, you can work through those short-term struggles to find long-term results.

Are you going to get rid of your slice overnight? Probably not. But that’s okay – even making progress on this issue will feel good and will motivate you to keep working. As you continue to improve your technique and your mindset, you should see more and more quality shots and fewer and fewer slices. We hope the information in this article helps you work toward the best golf of your life – good luck!