Dreaded slice is every amateur golfer’s nightmare and can be really frustrating. If there is water or OB then it is all the more terrifying as much as getting into the tee box. So what do golfers do to fix the problem of a slice?
They do the obvious and aim left.
We get a bigger one.
You should focus to the left of your aim and play softly if you plan to hit slide fade by doing the left to right cut. But when your aim is to slice the golf ball then it is entirely different, here if you aim far left then you would miss more.
In this blog, I would be teaching you how to fix your slice. We would be learning the cause of sliced golf shots and also some tricks through which you can learn to hit straighter.
So What Exactly is The Slice?
The slice is the number one contributor for the miss in 99% of all amateur golfers. If you fall in the rest 1% then consider yourself lucky, but the thought of going left would haunt you in your nightmares.
Now for a right-handed player, the sliced ball travels left to right. The problem is that the distance is lost when the shot is moving sideways creating sidespin when it should have gone straight.
So What Causes Slice Golf Shots?
In golf, one cannot confine or define the cause of a particular shot. Many factors contribute to a shot. But as per my understanding of the ball flight laws, the reason you slice the ball is that on impact with the ball the clubface is open. If you can identify the reason as to why your clubface is open, you can correct this flaw.
The prime contributor to this mistake is your coming into the ball with a swing motion over the top. This action of coming over the top starts left and then slices back to the opposite right. The openness of the clubface on impact decides how far right it would be.
There can be many causes for it.
Cause-1 The Active Upper Body
In the words of legendary golfer Ben Hogan “The downswing can be initiated by moving your glutes to the left. The shoulder, arms, hands in order and then release the power”.
As a habit golfers while slicing the ball almost every time initiate the swing with your arms or shoulders instead of your lower body. If your upper body is overactive then it would make you rotate and pull the golf ball with a clubface that is open. This is the single most cause of annoyance in armature gofers as it creates a frustrating pull slice.
Lack of flexibility, incorrect plane of your backswing, or quick transition could be the cause of your overactive upper body. I would be helping you out in developing an inside to outside perfect swing path in the following sentences.
Cause-2 Bad alignment
As we now know that aiming further left can make your slice worse and it is a mistake that many golfers make. Some golfers do feel this as a good solution, but in reality, it would result in slicing more.
Cause-3 Weak Grip
A weak grip can also be a cause of your worries. A weak grip creates an open clubface for butter fade. You know you need to change the grip when the fade turns into a huge slice.
Effective Steps to Stop Slicing The Golf Ball
So now that we know the causes of slicing the ball, now it is time to learn how to stop doing it. Here are four ways through which you can lower your slicing problem and improve your game.
Check Your Equipment
Your equipment is the key to your performance. It can very well affect the flight of your ball. Golf is not an easy game and if your equipment quality or selection is not good then it would be harder for you.
The first thing to check is to assess your shaft flex. It should be perfect, too much flex and it would be hard for you to square the face when impacted. You can test for swing and also check if your shafts including the driveshaft do not have too much flex at a local golf store. Here is a reference for guidance on shaft selection for drivers, it is based on swing speed and carries distance.
The Guide on Selecting The Correct Shaft:
➽ A Stiff Flex (S flex): This is perfect for swings that speed of 95 to 110 mph and the distance covered is 240-270 yards.
➽ Extra Flex (X flex): This is perfect for swings that speed of 110 mph and the distance covered is 270 yards.
➽ Regular (R-flex): This is perfect for swings that speed of 85 to 95 mph and the distance covered is 200-240 yards.
➽ Amateur or senior (A or M flex): This is perfect for swings that speed of 75 to 85 mph and the distance covered is 180-200 yards.
➽ Ladies (L flex): This is perfect for swings that speed of 75 mph and the distance covered is 180 yards.
In recent times drives come with clubface settings which are adjustable. So if you have a driver that comes with a tool you should draw a biased setting or set it to neutral. You would never want your clubface opting to fade during setup.
Your Setup Should be Adjusted
To avoid slicing the ball your swing path needs to be worked upon. You should create an inside towards out swing path if you are coming over the top. To achieve this easily your right foot should be dropped back a little at the address. This is crucial in creating an inside to outside path of the swing and also would give more space to swing out to your aim.
The over the top motion during the downswing is the root cause of most of the slices.
When you are doing your setup, you should religiously check for your grip too. The error that most players make is of having a weak grip with thumbs that are down the handle. To make it tighter and firm you need to turn your hand to the clockwise direction when you grip your club. This would cause a square face or a more closed face on impact.
As a final precaution always check the grip pressure also. The mistake which most players make is the thought that they should grip it and rip it with the driver and this is absolutely wrong thinking.
On the contrary, your driver should be held with the lightest pressure possible, other than when trying a bunker shot, that is a whole new ball game altogether. The problem with the death grip is that it would create soreness in your arms. This results in guiding the ball instead of swing free and out towards the aim.
Here are two drills which can help you in changing you’re over the top errors:
Drill 1: Practice The Baseball Swing Action:
Step 1. You need a 7-iron for this and practice the baseball swing with that. Like the way you would swing a baseball, you should wrap the 7-iron behind then across your body to hit the baseball. Do keep the club level.
Step 2. Now increase the speed of rolling your hands after you have completed a few swings. You would get the feeling of slightly closing your hands or squaring on impact. You can produce a draw with a slightly closed clubface and create a straight shot with a square clubface.
You should practice this for 10-15 times before hitting the driver at the range.
Drill 2: The Drill For Muscle Confusion:
Step 1. For this, you need a 6 or 7 iron. You need to put your feet synchronized and together and make the maximum backswing your body allows. As your feet are together this would make the club lower than the usual and this would create a narrow swing motion for you.
Step 2. Now you must let the gravity work for you, and let your arms fall down because of that, this should be practiced without moving any part of the body. This would allow your right elbow to hit your side and this motion should the clubhead to swing-out. This action would make the butt end reach close to your face.
This drill should not be done with a golf ball. If you don’t do it correctly the club would muffle around the body and produce the pull slice.
One important point to remember doing this drill is that, once you have fixed your problem of the slice, you should discontinue this drill. A repetitive drill would develop a casting move in your swing action. You don’t want that to happen to you, do you?
Drill 3: Avoid Aiming Left:
You should avoid taking aim to the left as it makes the slice miss more to the opposite side. So instead of aiming to the left you should try and tee the right. This practice would provide you with more room and fairway to make the ball work off the left side of the rough or fairway. To adjust your aim is just a temporary fix and would not help you in bigger problems that cause your slice.
Drill 4: Square Your Clubface Earlier:
Your slice, draw or hit the ball straight is determined by your clubface on impact. The longer shaft and higher swing speed of the driver make it very hard for the squaring up of the club. But if you are hitting a massive slice, then your clubface should be on impact open. For this on your downswing work on squaring up the face soon.
Tiger Woods former coach Hank Haney’s Slice drill:
Step 1. For this drill, you need to float your driver a foot over the ground. This act would level the swing and help you identify the inside to the outside path of the swing. You can also feel the turning over of the clubface on impact.
Step 2. When you do your practice swings your clubface should feel squaring off approximately 2-3 feet in the back of the golf ball before the impact. You would feel your left hand turning and squaring up the clubface.
You should practice this routine 6-10 swing practices on the driving range to attain perfection. This would help you develop a swing path straight to the face and right at impact. Through this, you can develop a slight draw, if you do the drill correctly.
Concluding Thoughts on Slicing The Golf Ball:
You should never compromise on a weak slice with your woods and irons. If this is your weakness then it does have to be like this forever. With a proper and perfect set of equipment and following the above-said drills, you can very well change your swing. If this miss has haunted you for long by following these tips you can eventually fix this problem.
Your dream to hit the ball straighter and farther than even would be fulfilled, once you master to swing the square and right path the clubface at impact. Just make sure to practice these drills and steps on the range.
If you see that your slice seems to be getting worse with the rounds. Please feel free to switch to 3/ 5 wood of tee. The driver remains the hardest one in the clubs to square up, clubbing it down would help you keep the ball in the play for long.