Stop Slicing the Golf Ball

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For amateur golfers, the slice is the most common mishit. It’s a shot that continues to travels exponentially to the right for a right-handed player. (and vice versa for lefties) A slice can be intentional, but often is not.

A big problem with the slice is that a person’s natural corrective instinct often makes the slice worse. In order to correctly fix your slice, there are two things you need to know; the two factors that influence a shots direction.

Club Face Angle

The first thing that helps to determine the direction of a ball in flight is the club face angle. Basically, the face is the part of a golf club that comes in to contact with the ball at impact. A face can either be open, closed, or square at impact.

CLUB FACE
Golf club face angles at impact.

A club face that is open at impact is likely to result in a slice. In order to correct the face angle of a club, you need to change your grip. Rotating both or your hands, on the actual grip, more towards your back shoulder, will help square or close the face angle at impact.

Club Path Direction

The second factor that influences a shot is the path direction. This is where a golfer’s natural reaction works counter to their goal of straightening out their ball flight. A club’s path is the direction a club moves before, during, and after impact, relative to the target line.

CLUB PATH DEFINED
Golf club path directions.

Most players think that, if a shot is slicing, they ought to swing the club more outside-in. The truth is, this puts side spin on the golf ball and actually makes the slice worse. Instead, to correct a slice, you ought to try and swing more inside-out.

Fix Your Slice

If you slice the golf ball, your issue may be with one or both of these factors. There is a fairly simple way to tell which you’re dealing with to fix your slice. If your ball starts right immediately (for a right-handed player), then your face angle is open and grip needs to be changed. On the other hand, if your ball starts straight or left (again, for a right-handed player), but finishes right, then your issue is path direction. Finally, if your ball starts right and continues to travel significantly right, then your issue might be both.

In general, a good rule is, wherever a shot starts will indicate face angle and where it finishes will tell you the path.

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One comment

  1. Eric,

    Really informative article you have here. I know for me that if I am slowing down towards the end of a round, I sometimes may slice the ball. Likely from fatigue but that definitely affects my swing path as well as grip as you mentioned. Thanks for sharing!

    Sebastien

    Liked by 1 person

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