It's a glorious Saturday morning and you're itching to get to the golf course for your weekly round. You arrive with plenty of time to spare so you head to the range to hit some balls and wait for your buddies. After a brilliant warm-up session, you step up to the tee box brimming with confidence.
But you're a little too anxious and you get ahead of yourself coming over the top. The result is a weak drive that curves right and continues moving aggressively further to the right. Ahh... the dreaded slice. One of golf's most frustrating mistakes is back to haunt you yet again - this time coming out of nowhere.
In golf, as in life, not every shot goes exactly where you'd like it to. Even after a stellar range session when you're full of confidence one errant swing can produce a surprising trajectory and a wayward shot, that disappears into the trees.
Now that little voice in your head starts thinking and talking. "Why does this always happen to me on the first tee? Where is this nasty slice coming from? Why do I slice with my driver and not my irons? And what do I do to fix it?"
No need to worry because we're here to help. We're going to take a closer look at the slice and see if we can't clear things up a bit. We'll not only explain the mechanics behind this vexing golf swing but also share expert tips on how to eliminate it forever and improve your ball striking.
So, remember when it comes to the game of golf, knowledge is power and practice makes perfect. Keep reading to discover how you can start bombing your drives down the middle of the fairway. Once you learn to stop slicing the ball you're guaranteed to have more fun on the golf course.
Slicing It Up: The Not-So-Sweet Slice Defined
Allow us to introduce you to the golf slice, perhaps golf's most common swing flaw and the shot most beginner golfers struggle with. Contrary to its name, the term slice doesn't involve chopping up golf balls or sharing pieces of a golf-themed cake. Instead, it’s an all too familiar, unwanted strike of the golf ball that leaves many amateur golfers shaking their heads in disgust.
So simply put, what is a slice in golf? It's a type of golf shot characterized by a specific path of flight that isn't pretty. For the right-handed golfer, a slice veers off sharply to the right often landing well right of its intended target and oftentimes in trouble. For left-handed golfers, a slice does the exact opposite, the ball curves excessively from right to left.
But what really sets a slice apart, is its wicked side spin. The result? A shot that lacks distance and accuracy. Understanding this troublesome shot is the first step to reclaiming control of your golf game. But fear not, once mastered, controlling a slice can become your greatest golfing triumph.
The Golfers Hook Vs. The Slice: Two Sides of the Same Golf Ball
The beauty and mystery of golf lie in the fascinating flight patterns that a simple golf ball can take under the influence of the swing, the clubface, and of course, the intent of the golfer. While the slice has been the focal point of this article, let's take a quick moment to meet the rest of the ball flight family, including the hook, the push, the pull, the fade, and the draw. After all, a seasoned golfer should be familiar with all these types of golf shots especially if they want to become a scratch golfer.
Let's begin with the difference between the hook and the slice, two estranged cousins traveling in different directions. Both are troublesome shots, deviating way off course from their intended target. A slice is a weak shot that moves from left to right (for the right-handed player). On the contrary, a hook will take your golf ball from right to left. Think of it as a slice's mirror image.
However, when it comes to the lesser of two evils, the hook usually comes out ahead of the slice. Most golf instructors believe that a hook is a much better miss than a slice. With the left-ball flight, you're not losing the distance you do from a weak slice - a hook travels much further than a slice as the golf ball rolls out. Plus the swing path from a hook is more conducive to powerful and consistent ball striking.
Ball Flight Dilemma: Push Vs. Pull
Now, let's take a look at the push and the pull. These are straight shots, but off-line. A push sends the ball directly to the right of the target (for right-handed golfers), and a pull does the opposite, shooting the ball straight left.
There's also the push slice and the pull hook and don't forget about the duck hook or snap hook. And you thought you had your slice figured out - just more golf terms and more golf knowledge to learn.
Epic Golf Showdown: Draw vs Fade
Lastly, we have the power fade and the majestic draw. Both of these are highly desired ball flights that are the result of a well-executed golf swing. A fade is a controlled shot that moves gently from left to right while a draw does just the opposite, curving slightly from right to left. Most of the time these shots are intentional, used by experienced golfers to navigate hazards and tight pin positions or adapt to wind conditions.
Why Your Golf Ball Veers Off Course: The Slice Story!
As an avid golfer, you're no doubt familiar with the frustration of watching your golf ball veer off to the right, disobeying your intended target line. This is the unfortunate world of slices! It's an all too common issue with all too common reasons as to why it happens. Let's break down what causes a slice.
In golf, there is no such thing as a quick fix. But there are simple fundamentals that need to be addressed if you're struggling with a common swing flaw. It all starts with holding the club properly and creating the correct wrist angles. If all you ever seem to do is slice the golf ball, take a good hard look at your grip. If you have a poor grip that is too weak (i.e. your left hand and right hand are rotated too far to the left), you're likely to continue to slice the ball with an open club face. And remember, don't grip the club too firmly - you want a tension-free grip for a powerful swing.
If you're looking to get a better grip on your golf clubs see below.
Incorrect Swing Path
If your club path is too far outside, your downswing will naturally come inside. This is an outside-to-in swing and will almost always produce a slice and sometimes a wicked slice. The tendency to correct this is to overcompensate with an excessive in-to-out path leading to an over-the-top downswing and another unfortunate slice.
When your club head is open at impact you'll create excessive side spin. This produces a ball flight that starts at the target but then takes that ugly right turn. An open club face can come from a weak grip as we mentioned earlier but it can also happen with a neutral grip. It may just be that you don't understand what a square club face angle looks like at address and impact.
Poor Set Up
If your stance is open - meaning your front foot (left foot for right-handers) is behind your back foot (right foot for right-handers) - you will be inclined to take the club back on the outside. And we know what happens with an out-to-in swing. If you are not sure that you have a proper stance then lay the shaft of a golf club down in front of your shoes. If the shaft is pointing left of the target then you have an open stance.
Also, take a look at your ball position. If it is too far back this could be the cause of your slice or some ugly pop-ups. When you're on the tee box position your ball forward with the driver and create some upper-body tilt. Do this by tilting your shoulders back and away from the target. This will help you to hit the ball squarely.
And don't forget about your posture at address. Make sure you have the proper spine angle otherwise, your swing plane will be off. If your stance is too upright you'll be slicing the ball all day long with too much weight on your backside and a poor weight shift. Conversely, too much knee flex will cause poor balance and restrict your shoulder turn.
Body Separation and Lack of Body Rotation
Rotate with the body during your swing. If you allow your arms to separate from your body then you'll be striking the ball with an open clubface. The result - another weakly hit slice.
Discover Why Golfers Struggle With The Slice - The Answers May Surprise You!
There are a few reasons. First of all, it can be tough to correct your swing path if you're not sure what you're doing wrong in the first place. Second, if you do manage to correct your swing path, it's easy to revert back to old habits on the next shot. And finally, most golfers don't have the practice, desire, experience, instruction, or the skill to consistently hit a draw, straight ball, or even a fade.
Forget Everything You Know About Golf Slices: Here's How to Fix Them
Well, we could tell you to check your grip, focus on your swing path, close your stance, close your clubface, and plenty more. But we believe that most of us are better visual learners. So we want to share this excellent instructional video that does a much better job of showing you how to fix your slice than we could explain in writing.
Slicing the golf ball is one of golf's most frustrating mistakes. But it doesn't have to be a life sentence. if you understand what causes it and how to fix it, you can turn this common flaw into a stepping stone toward golfing greatness. All you need is the right knowledge, a strong mental game, and the desire to work on your swing.
So, next time you find yourself on the tee and your ball takes an unexpected turn to the right, don't let yourself get down. Think about what you did wrong and visualize yourself hitting straighter shots or the perfect high draw. Just like life, good golf is all about perseverance, patience, and belief.
Stay tuned for more insights into the world of golf. Until then, keep practicing, keep learning, and here's to crushing the slice forever and enjoying the beautiful game!
Thanks for visiting. We can't wait to see you again!
"Hit 'em long and straight."
If you need a little extra help correcting your swing path, here's the training aid you'll see in almost every pros bag.
And if you're looking for the best golf ball to help with your sliced shot see below.
And finally, here's the latest in golf fashion.