Multiple golf champion Ben Hogan had an expression that still persists among fans of the legendary Scottish sports: "This is a game of failures. The golf player who fails the best wins."
Hogan won the US Open four times, the PGA Championship twice, the Augusta Masters twice, and the British Open one time. He is considered one of the greatest golfers of all time and has been a Hall of Fame member since 1974. During his brilliant career, Hogan was a student of all golf shots, including the slice.
What is a slice?
One of the most recurrent failures in golf is the slice. What is a slice? As we all know, it is a stroke that abruptly goes to the right (for a right-handed golfer) or to the left (for a left-handed golfer). In his book: "Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf" (written with Herbert Warren Wind), Hogan addressed the elementary golf shots and basic mistakes. Among them, the slice.
This is not intended to be a fool's consolation, but it is good to know that about 90% of amateur golfers take their slice shots regularly. They cut the ball in such a way that they end up looking for it permanently to the right of their target: among the trees, bunkers, grasslands, water, or even out of bounds.
The important thing about this effect is to understand its cause to take the correct measures and avoid doing it again and again. Hitting a slice all the time is frustrating, and many of the corrections do nothing but ruin our swing.
Californian Rickie Fowler, one of the best golfers in recent years, confessed to having problems slicing the ball. Fowler, an eight-time winner on the PGA Tour, said that thanks to Butch Harmon's collaboration, he was able to correct in his swing what caused him to hit the ball with a slice.
How can I stop hitting a slice?
It is essential to know what is the main reason a golfer cuts the ball. And the primary reason is straightforward: the slice occurs because the club's face is open at the moment of impact during the trajectory of the golf swing.
Golf star Sam Snead used to say that "you can't just go to a store and buy a good swing." And how proper his appreciation is. What is clear is what can be done to end up hitting the ball with a slice, either at the time of the driver, the woods, or the game with the irons.
For now, if the clubface is open and the trajectory of the swing occurs from the inside out when hitting the ball, you will get the famous push-slice as a result.
Meanwhile, if the clubface is open at impact, but the trajectory of the swing is parallel to the target line, you will hit a straight-slice.
Finally, if your golf swing from the outside to the inside, and the clubface is open, the result will be a pull-slice.
It is worth saying that not everything is solved by closing the face of the club. Each golfer has its peculiarities. I can even say that each swing is unique. So the solutions are dissimilar depending on each golfer.
How to fix a slice?
Having a lousy grip is one of the causes of hitting a slice. Many beginners tend to have a weak grip, which then ends up generating the slice. To fix it, grab the club and look for the two lines that form the thumbs with the index fingers to point to the right shoulder in right-handed players and left in left-handed players. In this way, you will have a firmer grip.
Another factor that causes hitting the ball with a slice is excess stiffness. To avoid this, try to feel relaxed and with your club hangs from your arms naturally.
Another way to correct the slice is to pay attention to your shoulders: they should be aligned correctly based on the parallel target and not pointing to the left.
One tip that I also suggest is to practice strokes on the driving range with your feet together. Gradually separate them, taking into account the position of the shoulders and the general alignment of the body. This exercise is perfect, significantly to gain confidence.
Lastly, golf swing speed is important. Try to start the backswing slow whether you are about to hit with the driver or with an iron. And when you are in the downswing, keep your body on its axis. If you pull back, trying to hit the ball hard, you may end up executing your shot like a banana.
What equipment is best for stop slicing the golf ball?
Playing with proper golf clubs is essential for your physical build and your swing. But it's not just about going and buying them from a store. If you can do a good club fitting, much better.
For now, it is good to know that if you tend to hit slices, you can adjust aspects of the driver so that this happens less frequently. For example, modifying the loft and moving the weight to the heel of the clubhead. When you add loft to the driver, you can achieve more backspin and less side spin, which is the cause of the slice.
Meanwhile, adding more weight to the clubhead's heel allows the clubface to frame better at impact. In any case, do not abuse with the weight: this can cause shots that inevitably end to the left of the target repeatedly.
Depending on the brand, this type of adjustment can also be done on your woods or hybrids clubface. For irons, you can only make adjustments adding weight to different parts of the club.
Lee Trevino used to say: "I'm not saying my golf game went bad, but if I grew tomatoes, they'd come up sliced." For now, be positive and put into practice some of the advice I've given you in this article. They will undoubtedly help you on your round of golf with friends and allow you to reduce several strokes on your golf card.