We all of us have been slicing the ball since back in the days when golfers were still a curiosity to sheep. And the slice hasn't been made obsolete by technology. In fact, as clubs get longer and as players swing faster (isn't that what Tiger does?), slices are now flying with increased severity and regularity. We know this because you've told us. In a recent golf.com poll, 70 percent of you confessed that slicing is your greatest golf sin.
Slices are impossible to control, ugly and the single biggest wrecker of scorecards in the game. What's even worse is that slices result from swing errors that will always and we mean always keep your game grinding in second gear. There is no magic club that will make your slice go away for good, but there is a way to fix your swing to make banana balls disappear. What follows is a plan to systematically turn your swing inside-out and straighten your slice for good. Top 100 Teachers Darrell Kestner, Michael Breed and David Glenz will show you how to...
1) Quit coming over the top
2) Square your clubface
3) Do both at the same time
Could it be that stopping your slice is as easy as 1-2-3? Turns out the answer is yes. Read on to find out how.
Which slice is your slice?
The first step to stopping your slice is to determine which type of slice is destroying your game. That way you'll know if you have to correct your face angle at impact, your downswing path or both.
|The Straight Slice
Your path is solid but your clubface is open at impact. The ball starts straight, then curves.
|The Pull Slice
Your path is outside-in and your clubface is open. The ball starts left, then curves right.
|The Push Slice
Your path is too inside-out and your clubface is open. The ball starts right, then curves further right.
Why You're in the Woods
Our slice-prone test robot proves that open clubfaces and out-to-in swings wreak left-to-right havoc in equal amounts. Or do they?
There are nine discrete ball flights. Each results from unique path/face positions at impact, with the path (relative to the target line) dictating direction, and face angle (relative to the path) dictating curve. For example, to hit a pull slice your club must cross to the left of your target line th rough impact with your face open relative to the path.
This makes perfect sense until you watch a robot hit a few hundred slices and chart the results. With the help of renowned gear tester Golf Laboratories (golflabs.com), we did just that and found an answer to the age-old slice question: What comes first the face or the path?
An open clubface at impact can send your ball way off to the right even if your path is perfect. In fact, leaving your clubface open a mere 1.5 degrees can put you close to 70 feet right of your target.
We expected that outcome, but we re surprised to learn that you can add 30 more feet of slice with the same clubface angle and a swing that's just slightly out-to-in (to the tune of 5 degrees). Now you're really in the woods (even though the ball started left of center). An open face is dangerous, but the out-to-in swing path is the far more lethal swing flaw. That's why it's Step 1 in our 3-step plan to set your game straight.
Tour pros count the number of slices they hit in a season on one hand, and offer some good advice to help you do likewise.
73.5% (6th on Tour)
"Most people try to fix a slice by hitting the ball straight. You'd be better off hitting a really big draw or a hook and working your ball back to straight. If you try to take a slice and work it back to straight it's never going to get there."
68.8% (28th on Tour)
"The farther you line up left of your target, the farther you'll hit it to the right. With that being said, you've almost got to feel like you're swinging toward right field and putting some hook spin on your ball."
68.7% (30th on Tour)
"Shift your weight properly so when you get to the top of your backswing your weight is on your right foot. As you go through the ball get your weight back over to your left side. At the end of your swing, you should have 90% of your weight on your left foot."