Guest post from Sean Bryant, The GolfingDad.com
Slicing the golf ball, no matter if it’s off the tee or from the fairway, can be very frustrating. Not only
does it drastically reduce the distance of your shots, but it can make it very difficult to hit
fairways and greens.
What is a slice?
In golf, a “slice” refers to a shot that curves excessively from left to right (for right-handed golfers), often causing the ball to veer off course and land in the rough or even out of bounds.
It’s a common struggle for many golfers, particularly beginners, who are still learning the proper
A slice will typically happen when the clubface is open at impact, causing the ball to spin in the
opposite direction of the swing. Understanding and addressing the underlying issues that cause
a slice is key to improving your golf game.
1. Your Grip is Weak
The biggest reason why most people end up slicing the ball is because of their grip. They have what’s known as a weak grip which leaves the club face open at contact.
Luckily, this is pretty easy to fix. Adjust your hands on the club away from the target. Ideally, you want to see three knuckles on your non-dominate hand. By making this adjustment, you’re hands will have a much easier time rotating over, which will square up your club face as you make impact with the golf ball.
2. Wrong Ball Position
Where you position the golf ball in your stance can have a major impact on how the golf ball travels. Over the years, I’ve watched countless people get ready to hit a tee shot and the ball is positioned toward the middle of their stance. Setting up like this is more likely to cause a slice than a straight shot down the fairway.
Instead, make sure the golf ball is placed just inside your lead foot when hitting a driver. As you work your way through the irons, the ball should be positioned further toward the middle of your stance.
3. Your Arms Are Moving Away From Your Body
Stand up and pretend that you’re about to swing a golf club. Do you feel how your arms are tucked in near your body? As you swing the club, you want to keep your arms fairly close to your torso. If they start to separate on the backswing or downswing, it’s going to be much more likely that your clubface is open at impact.
4. You’re Using the Wrong Equipment
There’s a lot of amazing equipment available today. Some of the best drivers allow you adjust the hosel or internal weighting to promote a certain type of shot. However, if your club doesn’t have this technology, you need to make sure you’re hitting something that fits your swing. If your club has more weight toward the toe of the club, it’s going to promote a slice off the tee. If you don’t have the luxury of adjusting the weight in your driver head, you can use an old school technique where you add a few pieces of lead tape to the heal until you create the ideal weight to straighten out your shot.
5. Your Lead Arm Doesn’t Stay Straight
Keeping your lead arm straight through the golf swing is a key component to a great swing. Failing to do so can cause you to struggle to turn over the club, leaving the face open at impact. As you take the club back, pay attention to your lead arm. If it’s straight, the arc of your golf shot is going to be wide which will help you produce power. Then as you go through your downswing make sure that arm continues to stay straight through the ball. This is going to allow your club face to square itself up as you make contact.
If you find your arm starting to bend through the swing, there is a great drill that you can use to train your body. While you’re at the driving range set up like you’re getting ready to hit a golf ball. If you’re a right hander, remove the right hand from the club. Keeping your left arm straight, begin your backswing.
Notice how your arm is totally straight? After you get to the top of your backswing, start coming down through the ball. During that entire process, be sure your left arm stayed as straight as possible.
The Bottom Line
Slicing the golf ball is no fun. It can have major effects on your golf game. Not only is it going to reduce the distance you hit the ball, but you’re going to be hitting shots from everywhere but the fairway. Understanding what’s causing your slice will allow you to work on the fundamentals and start hitting the ball straighter.
Sean Bryant has been an avid golfers since he was 8 years old. Today he’s spreading his love of the game to his kids and readers at TheGolfingDad.com.