Are you hitting big bananas?
How to fix your slice
For a right handed golfer, a slice is when the ball sets off and curves wildly to the right in the air to finish way off the intended target.
Why do I slice the ball?
First, let’s get an understanding of what is happening when you slice the ball. This is fairly simple…
The clubface is open relative to the direction (path) in which the clubhead is swinging.
So, if the clubface is looking directly at your target at impact but it is swinging in a direction to the left of the target – the ball will slice.
You could have a clubface that is actually closed (aiming left) of the target at impact and still slice the ball so long as the swing direction is sufficiently left of where the clubface is aiming – resulting in the clubface still being ‘open’ relative to the swing path.
The clubface can be described as open, square or closed to the target OR open, square, closed relative to the swing path.
It is the clubface relative to the swing path (not the target) that creates curvature on the ball.
A slicer always has the clubface aiming to the right of the swing path (open)
The direction in which the clubhead is swinging from (and to) just before and after impact is known as the club path. A swing path that is to the left is known as out to in (Image A). One to the right is known as in to out (Image C) A straight path would be slightly in to square to slightly in (Image B).
A slicers clubhead path is nearly always significantly out to in
Example: You could have a clubface that is 10 degrees closed (aiming left) of target at impact but still put slice spin on the ball, so long as the clubface is swinging more than 10 degrees to the left of the target line.
What to do to fix your slice
What do we fix first – the open clubface or the out to in swing path?
In most cases we choose to fix the open clubface first.
If you can stop the ball slicing to the right – the change of swing becomes so much easier.
It is very difficult to swing more to the right when you are so used to seeing the ball disappear in the trees on the right.
However, if we fix the clubface and the ball starts to go straight left then the there is a much greater willingness to swing the club, what feels like, more to the right of target.
Check your hold on the club
A poor hold on the club is the most common reason for an open clubface at impact. All too often I see the handle of the club running too much through the palm of the left hand instead of through the fingers.
Position your left hand as pictured then put the fleshy pad at the heel of the hand on the front of the grip. When you look down you should not be able to see any of the rubber of the grip and 2-3 knuckles will be visible on the back of the hand.
Swing – stop steering!
Trying to hit the ball straight is the number one reason golfers slice the ball. Yes, you read that correctly!
I see golfers desperately trying to guide the ball down the middle and this leads to too much tension and a lack of what we call ‘release’ of the club. The angle formed between the back of the right hand and the forearm is maintained through impact and beyond which leave the clubface way open.
The correct release sees the angle coming out and the forearms rotating over – a bit like a tennis top spin shot.
Do whatever it takes to get the clubface closed!
At this stage we are not going to change the swing path.
Instead, focus on making sure the clubface is closed at impact. This takes some practice but once you get it you will see the ball flying lower, to the left and it will go much further.
Once you get used to seeing the ball flying left you will be able to confidently change your club path without fear of the ball setting off right and going further right.
1. Make sure your left hand hold is more in the fingers
2. Let the clubhead go past the grip of the club before impact – release the club and let it close (like a topspin tennis shot)
3. Feel like you are swinging way out to the right – the exact opposite of what you have been doing all this time!
To help you, I recommend setting up a gate using two headcovers as pictured here.
This encourages the feeling of an in to out swing path and, when combined with a clubface that is closed and not open, you will see a significant change in your ball flight.
Book a lesson and get your slice fixed fast!
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