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. So, how to stop slicing the golf ball?
And the worst? The remedy that most players use to stop slicing the golf ball. 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.
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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 stop slicing the golf ball 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 and how to stop slicing the golf ball?
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.
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.
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 stop slicing the golf ball 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.
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 golf slice are three:
- Our alignment in front of the ball.
- The movement of our body.
- Our hands' position.
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 golf ball 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.
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 golf 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 golf 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 stop slicing driver
Usually, the main golf slice problems start at the tee. Pro Matt Fryer offers three simple tips how to stop slicing driver. For now:
- to stop slicing driver you should get a balanced set up to help the centre of the driver.
- to stop slicing driver it is necessary to make the grip stronger first. Then, feel the face rotate to try and hook the ball as far as possible.
- to stop slicing driver you can align the body closed to the target, most importantly, shoulders. And Swing the club down the body line.
How to stop slicing the golf ball?
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 golf 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 golf slice is excess stiffness. To avoid this, try to feel relaxed and with your club hangs from your arms naturally.
Another way to stop slicing the golf ball 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.
To keep in mind
The golf 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 golf 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 golf 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.
What equipment is best for stop slicing the golf ball and the best golf ball to prevent slice?
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 golf 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 best golf ball to reduce slice on your golf card.
Enrique Martínez Luque
Enrique Martínez Luque is the Argentina-based golf expert and professional writer. He built his career in the world of golf taking a number of positions. Enrique was the manager of a golf club, director at a federation level, an agent for professional golfers and director institutional relations on the Argentinian Tour. Assissted the professional golfers on major tours for almost 20 years. Worked as the press officer of national and international golf tournaments.Follow me