If you are a golfer who struggles with slicing the ball, you are not alone. Slicing is one of the most common problems that affect amateur golfers, and it can ruin your enjoyment of the game and your scores. A slice is a shot that curves from left to right (for right-handed golfers) and usually ends up in trouble. It also robs you of distance and accuracy, making it harder to hit greens and fairways.
So what causes a slice and how can you fix it? Here we will explain the main reasons why you slice the ball and give you some tips and drills to help you straighten your shots and improve your swing.
The main cause of a slice is an open clubface at impact. This means that the clubface is pointing to the right of your target line when you hit the ball, creating a left-to-right spin that makes the ball curve in the air. The open clubface can be caused by several factors, such as:
A weak grip: A weak grip is when your hands are turned too much to the left on the club, making it harder to rotate the clubface through impact. To fix this, you need to strengthen your grip by turning your hands more to the right on the club, so that you can see more knuckles on your left hand at address.
An outside-in swing path: An outside-in swing path is when your club moves from outside the target line to inside the target line on the downswing, creating a cutting motion across the ball. This often happens when you start your downswing with your upper body instead of your lower body, or when you swing too steeply. To fix this, you need to swing more from inside to outside on the downswing, creating a sweeping motion through the ball. This can be achieved by starting your downswing with your hips and legs, or by flattening your swing plane.
A poor release: A poor release is when you fail to rotate your forearms and wrists through impact, leaving the clubface open. This can happen when you grip the club too tightly, or when you are afraid of hitting a hook. To fix this, you need to relax your grip pressure and let your arms and hands flow freely through impact, allowing the clubface to square up naturally.
To help you fix your slice, here are some drills that you can practice on the range or at home:
The tee drill: This drill will help you improve your swing path and clubface alignment. Place a tee in the ground about six inches behind the ball and slightly inside the target line. Then place another tee about six inches in front of the ball and slightly outside the target line. Your goal is to swing the club over the back tee and under the front tee, creating an inside-out swing path. You also want to make sure that your clubface is pointing at the front tee at impact, creating a square or slightly closed clubface.
The glove drill: This drill will help you strengthen your grip and improve your release. Place a glove or a towel under your left armpit (for right-handed golfers) and hold it there throughout your swing. This will prevent you from lifting your left arm too much on the backswing and dropping it too much on the downswing, which can cause a weak grip and an open clubface. It will also encourage you to rotate your left arm and wrist through impact, creating a strong grip and a closed clubface.
The towel drill: This drill will help you flatten your swing plane and avoid swinging too steeply. Place a towel under your right arm (for right-handed golfers) and hold it there throughout your swing. This will prevent you from lifting your right arm too much on the backswing and throwing it over the top on the downswing, which can cause an outside-in swing path and an open clubface. It will also encourage you to drop your right arm into a better position on the downswing, creating an inside-out swing path and a square or slightly closed clubface.
By practicing these drills regularly, you will be able to fix your slice and hit straighter and longer shots. Remember to check your grip, swing path, and release before every shot, and make sure that your clubface is pointing where you want it to go at impact. With some patience and persistence, you will soon be able to enjoy playing golf without slicing the ball.