Recipe to cure The Slice
One morning I am out at the practice range with one of my students and next to us there was this guy practicing his slice. What? Sometimes it is difficult to understand human behavior and to make matters worse, I’m not a shrink. When I see a person hit the same poor shot over and over I just imagine they are practicing and engraving that flaw into their swing. Ouch!
It is important to understand that just like we go to the doctor to find a cure for our sickness, we must also consult a golf professional when we face a golf problem. A Golf Professional will be able to determine what is causing the flaw and make the necessary recommendations to fix it. A slice is nothing more than the result of a swinging flaw and it will be cured with a couple of adjustments; however, in order to cure it we must first understand what is causing it. Complicated?
The Initial Interaction
When we hit a golf ball we are transferring energy from our swing to the ball. The slice occurs when we have an open face in relationship to our swing path (face needs to be perpendicular to swing path). Having just a couple of degrees open will apply tremendous spinning (axial rotation) to the ball together with some linear direction. Everyone who has a slice ailment has an identifiable problem with his swing. Isolate and correct that problem, and you’ll likely stop the uncontrolled slice.
I have narrowed them down to the main 3 but in reality there are more; again, only a Golf Professional will be able to determine and correct your particular flaw…
Swing path outside in: Almost 80% of the players have the tendency of veering from the swing plane. Taking your golf club to far in on your back swing will inevitable result in a body compensation called “casting” where all the power is generated half way thru the swing. The result is a slap on the face of the ball and tremendous sidespin to the right. Antidote: Maintain the same plane back and forth and thru the swing, practice by putting a bright neon tape on the hosel of a long iron and take practice swings without hitting balls. You will be able to see the visual path that the neon tape leaves, once you have a one line path back and forth you will feel what being on a plane is all about.
Extremely vertical swing plane: Most amateurs slice their tee shots with their drivers because they tend to swing with descending angle of attack (the same as wedges). But when they hit their wedges the slice seems to disappear? The backspin generated by the loft of a wedge offsets the sidespin generated by the poor swing. Good players hit their drivers swinging inside out and with ascending angle of attack so they can hit the ball with an ascending blow. Better players typically have (2) swings, one for wedges and irons (more vertical) and one for driver with a flatter angle of attack. Antidote: put a towel or a glove under your left armpit (right handed player), this will keep you from coming over the top to start your downswing.
Weak Grip: Correct hand position is crucial to obtain the desired result in golf. A weak grip is determined when your left thumb is aimed to your left shoulder. This grip will unravel just prior to contact and will leave that face open. Antidote: You better see at least 3 knuckles of your left hand as you grip your club. Hit balls with your front hand only by gripping the club with both hands and just before impact lose the backhand. Be sure to keep the connection of your front arm even after impact.
Slicers try to do what is natural and logical and if they are missing often to the right, then before too long they are going to aim more and more to the left to compensate. But aiming to the left will only cause the swing’s circle to be too far to the left, worsening the slicing motion. Body positioning does not cause slices but aggravates it. Use your shoulders as a guide and double check that you are aiming to the target. If you are at the range lay a club on the ground, parallel to your target line, and check your aim. Or you can have a friend check your alignment too. Just make sure that your feet, knees, hips and shoulders are parallel to that club on the ground and to your target line.
Checking your stance, correcting your swing path, attacking the ball with the correct swing plane and gripping the club correctly is what better players and professionals do naturally every time they hit a ball. Good professional counseling and lots of practice can eradicate your slice in no time.