How To Stop The Slice
So, you want to know how to stop the slice with the driver, do you? Or, perhaps you want to know why you are slicing.
What is a slice in golf?
A slice is a shot that curves sharply to the right (for a right-handed golfer). It may make you feel a bit better to know that roughly 90% of amateur golfers persistently slice the golf ball; in fact, I used to have a slicing problem myself. It was only after I understood what was happening at impact to cause the slice that I was able to take steps to squash the tendency and play better golf.
How can I stop hitting a slice?
There is really only one reason any golfer slices the ball:
Their clubface is open at impact relative to their swing path.
That’s really all there is to it. If the golfer’s clubface is open and they come into the ball with an in-to-out swing path, the result is a push-slice. If the golfer’s clubface is open and they come into the ball with a swing path parallel to the target line, the result is a straight-slice. Lastly, if the golfer’s clubface is open and they come into the ball with an out-to-in swing path, the result is a pull-slice.
Although the essential cause of a slice is simple and straightforward, it is sometimes difficult to fix the open clubface problem, and the particular solution differs for every golfer because every golfer has a unique swing. There are many, many ways that golfers tend to get into the slice position at impact, and I will go over several of them in this article.
To eliminate your slice, you need to make sure the clubface is either square or closed at impact. The best way to go about fixing your slice is to look at your own swing and try to determine why you are getting into the slice position at impact. You can look at your own swing recorded on video, or you can get someone else to look at your swing and try and isolate the problem.
Below I will discuss several common causes and suggested fixes for each type of slice. Be aware that these fixes are by no means guaranteed to work for you; rather, they are suggestions based on my own personal experiences and research.
The Straight Slice
Potential Cause 1: A weak grip. If your address position and swing path are both sound, but you have a weak grip, the clubface will tend to open on the downswing since the hands are farther forward relative to the clubhead. A suggested fix is to adopt a neutral hand grip. World-renowned golf instructor Hank Haney suggests turning your hands away from the target so your palms are parallel to each other. Imaginary lines drawn up from the base of your thumbs should touch the right side of your shirt collar. See here what various grips look like.
Potential Cause 2: An open clubface at address. If your grip and swing path are both sound, but your clubface is open at address, your clubface will likely stay open at address. To fix this, address the ball with a square clubface. If you still feel like you leave the face open through the ball, try turning your hands over when you start the downswing; this will help you to release the club properly.
The Pull Slice
Potential Cause 1: A flawed address posture. If the shoulders are open at address and the ball is too far forward in your stance, you will tend to make an out-to-in swing and leave the clubface open at impact. To fix this, ensure that the shoulders are square and parallel to the target line, and move the ball back in your stance a couple of inches.
Potential Cause 2: A downswing in which you either throw your hands outward or make a rotation that promotes coming over-the-top and making an out-to-in swing. This has been said to be the most common reason golfers make an out-to-in swing. There is no universal fix for an incorrect downswing as it depends entirely on the situation and golfer. If you believe your downswing may be the culprit, consult an expert that can observe your swing and make recommendations.
The Push Slice
As mentioned previously, a push-slice occurs when a golfer makes an in-to-out swing and leaves the clubface open (relatively) at impact. This is likely a much less common problem when compared with the straight and pull slices. Nonetheless, a frequent cause of this type of slice is excessive bumping or sliding of the hips/pelvis in the downswing. This often causes the arms to get trapped (or blocked) behind the right pelvic area as they fall behind the right torso. The sliding of the hips should be reduced or eliminated in order to stop this tendency.
What equipment is best for the job?
Your equipment is also important and could very well be the determining factor when it comes to whether or not you hit a slice, a fade or a straight shot.
Since a slice is much more pronounced with the driver than with any other club in the bag, it would be beneficial to use a quality driver — preferably an adjustable one where you can alter the loft and move weight to the heel of the clubhead. Adding loft to your driver will allow you to put more backspin on the ball and thus less sidespin (sidespin is what causes a slice). More weight on the clubhead’s heel tends to square the clubface at impact — be careful, though, as too much weight will close the clubface and you will start hooking your shots! Here’s an awesome (highly rated) driver from Callaway. There are plenty of quality drivers from other name-brand golf companies that you should also take a look at. Also check out the product reviews page for reviews and recommendations.