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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.
It may make you feel a bit better to know that roughly 90% of amateur golfers persistently slice the golf ball. Many of us at Golfstead have had issues with the slice ourselves and are not ashamed to admit it.
This article summarizes the best strategies for mitigating or even eliminating your persistent slice. Whether it’s with a wood or an iron, the concept is the same, even though the effect is most noticeable with the driver.
What is a slice?
A slice is a shot that curves sharply to the right (for a right-handed golfer). Slices are awful because:
- They often result in OBs (out of bounds) and water balls.
- They generally cause a huge loss in distance because so much of the ball’s energy is put into moving sideways rather than down the target line.
- They tend to ingrain bad habits that breed more slicing and that can be difficult to break.
A slice is the extreme version of a fade, which curves from right to left in a moderate, controlled and gentle manner. It can be further divided into the following categories:
- push slice: a shot that starts right and slices more right
- straight slice: a shot that starts down the target line and slices right
- pull slice: a shot that starts left and slices right across the target line
Ultimately, only after you understand what is happening at impact to cause the slice will you be able to take steps to break the habit and play better golf.
How To 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 still a push slice, but less so than with an in-to-out path.
This is because the direction the golf ball starts is almost entirely dependent on the direction the face is pointing at impact, with the swing path only affecting it slightly.
If the golfer’s clubface is open and they come into the ball with an out-to-in swing path, the result could be a straight slice or a pull slice depending on how far left the swing path is and where the face is pointing.
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’s swing is different.
There are many, many ways that golfers tend to get into the slice position at impact. To eliminate your slice, you need to make sure the clubface is either square or closed at impact relative to your swing path.
The best way to go about fixing this 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
- get someone else to look at your swing and try and isolate the problem
- use a launch monitor to understand the data behind your shots
Below I will discuss several common causes and suggested fixes. 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. You will need to find something that works best for you depending on your body type and swing.
Cause #1: Coming Over The Top
This is when you have a backswing or 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 slice the ball.
There is no universal fix for an over-the-top swing as it depends entirely on the situation and golfer. You have to identify what you do that is causing your out-to-in swing and then take steps to stop doing it. Here’s Michael Breed giving you three drills that should help with this:
If you believe you’re persistently coming over the top, consult an expert that can observe your swing and make recommendations.
Cause #2: 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.
If this seems to help your slice but not as much as you’d like, try a strong grip instead of a neutral grip. Strong grips are much more conducive to draw ball flights.
Cause #3: 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, make sure the clubface is square at address.
If you still feel like you leave the face open through the ball, try turning (rolling) your hands over when you start the downswing; this will help you to release the club better.
Cause #4: Flawed Address Posture
If the shoulders are open at address (turned to the left) 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.
Cause #5: Excessive Hip Movement
Sometimes a slice can be caused by 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.
This is a much less common problem than the ones discussed above. However, it tends to cause a push slice which is the most disastrous type of slice since it can go the farthest off-line.
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, modern 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. Drivers with a high moment of inertia (MOI) and a center of gravity (CG) that is shifted farther back in the head are more forgiving and should help take the edge off your slices.
Draw-biased drivers are also excellent options for chronic slicers. These drivers typically have more weight in the heel area closer to the hosel. This helps the toe of the driver stay ahead of the heel through the swing, promoting a closed face at impact.
Here’s an awesome (highly rated) draw-biased driver from TaylorMade. There are plenty of quality drivers from other golf brands like Callaway and Cobra Golf that you could also take a look at.
Also check out the product reviews page for reviews on the latest and greatest club models.
Remember that there is one ultimate cause of slicing the ball: an open clubface relative to the the swing path.
There are several possible reasons that this happens, and the best corrective action to take depends on the specific cause.
But if you’ve tried to fix your slice and haven’t had success even by applying the suggestions in this article, I have a solution.
You can get access to a special program that will help you develop the ideal golf body and elevate your golf game in six weeks. This will put you in prime position to address your slicing problem and correct it.
Thanks for reading. Are you struggling with a slice? Feel free to drop any questions or feedback in the comment section below.