Without a doubt, one of the golf shots that most disappoints golfers is the slice. The mere fact of seeing the ball's path, drawing a giant banana in the air generates frustration.
And the worst? The remedy that most players use to correct the slice. What do they do? They point more to the left (or right, in the case of lefties), leading them to swing steeper and hit more sliced.
A classic joke among amateur golfers says: "If it goes right, it's a slice. If it goes left, it's a hook. If it goes straight, it's a miracle."
Sure, all is not lost. And there are a lot of tricks and lessons to correct this defect and hit the ball better. Perhaps not like the British Lee Westwood and Rory Mcilroy do, members of the European Tour who also stand out on the PGA Tour. But if it's possible, decently and consistently.
What is a slice?
The slice is an effect where the golf ball initially goes to the left of the target (or the right, in left-handed players) and then, steeply, continues its journey to the right (or left). Specifically: the clubface does not hit the ball squarely and does so by cutting it, with the consequent result. Many factors produce it, and that we will analyze in our post. For now, it is due to a bad grip and an excess of rigidity in our posture, which does not allow the club to descend in the best way.
What causes a sliced golf shot?
For famed golf instructor Butch Harmon, the slice's leading cause is due to poor foot position. How to fix a slice? Harmon suggests a better stance, closing the feet, hips, and shoulders, seeking to point to the target's right. This allows you to go back better and thus be able to complete the backswing. Harmon, who was an instructor for Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, among other great golfers, also proposes slowing the hip twist, allowing the hands to cross inside the ball.
In short, practically all instructors agree that the leading causes of the slice are three:
- Our alignment in front of the ball.
- The movement of our body.
- Our hands' position.
Ways to stop slicing the golf ball
There are multiple drills and tips to help you finish off your slice hits. For now, here are some that can be very useful.
1. Better align yourself in front of the ball.
It is imperative to know how to line up in front of the ball. The classic mistake is to align your feet to the left of the target line, with your shoulders spread and your feet together. To solve this, an exercise can be carried out with two rods: one will be used as an alignment element, for which we will place it on the ground, pointing towards the objective. The other is also placed on the ground, in parallel with the first. Thus, we align our feet concerning the second rod, and in that position, we will put our shoulders just to the right of the target.
2. Improve grip.
A weak grip is a slice synonymous. Some instructors suggest practising with your hands inverted to achieve a more consistent grip, swinging as if you were left-handed. In doing so, you will require to rotate your left hand clockwise. When you return to your usual grip, you will feel like a grip strong enough not to hit a slice.
3. Your equipment.
Many times we play with golf clubs that are not suitable for our swing. The typical case occurs when we use very flexible rods. To avoid this, before buying a set of golf clubs, we suggest making a suitable fitting. Many of the best golf club brands offer this service to their customers. If you are not fitting, you can also consider some criteria when choosing your clubs' shaft flex. For now, know that very flexible shafts and fast swings are a classic reason to hit a slice.
4. The position of the clubface.
It often happens that the clubface points to the right at the moment of impacting the ball. This is due to countless factors. One of the best known is that we pull our body back at the time of the downswing. To avoid this, it is perfect to feel that our feet' weight is on the tips of our toes, not on the heels. Practice it several times, and you will feel like you have a better impact.
How to fix driver slice
Usually, the main slice problems start at the tee. Pro Matt Fryer offers three simple tips to stop slicing driver. For now:
- Get a balanced set up to help the centre of the driver.
- Make the grip stronger first. Then, feel the face rotate to try and hook the ball as far as possible.
- Align the body closed to the target, most importantly, shoulders. And Swing the club down the body line.
To keep in mind
The slice is typical of those who are just starting in golf. In any case, it is an evil that lasts over time. The important thing is not to despair and to know how to proceed every time it appears and correct it through golf lessons and advice that we can find in specialized magazines and on the web.
We may start to hit more shots with a slice during a golf round due to fatigue on the final holes. For these situations, it is best to take one less club. Since the slice is produced with the driver most of the time, the good idea is to change the driver for a wood. Even for an iron. In this way, we will reach the 18th hole by hitting more consistent shots.
Expectedly, our tips are helpful to you. We invite you to continue reading the different sections of our website, where you will find more tips to improve your game.