Why the secret to solving your slice begins on the takeaway
Editor’s Note: Baden Schaff has been a PGA teaching professional for 17 years and is the co-founder of Skillest, a digital platform that connects golf students with golf coaches across the world for online lessons. To learn more about Skillest and to book a lesson of your own with Baden, head over to Skillest.com or download the app in the app store.
The solution to your big slice is more often than not found in the opposite of what feels right.
The solution may sound counterintuitive, but as we all know by now, that’s the nature of the beautiful game we play.
Slicing is an infliction that most golfers know all too well. I see it all day, every day at my academy, which gives me a great insight into the mind of a slicer. And what I’ve found is that slicers are created not because of some physical limitation, but from a conceptual misunderstanding.
Golfers are just trying to hit the ball straight, but it’s the attempt to straighten your ball flight that gets people in so much trouble. The solution to your big slice is often caused by trying to not slice the ball.
Slicers instinctively try to correct their slice by trying to keep the clubface closed on their takeaway. This concept is disastrous for a couple of reasons:
- The delofting or shutting of the club on the backswing means that at some stage it will have to open to get the ball up in the air.
- This leads to a classic slicing move of shutting the club on the backswing only to open it on the downswing — which is exactly when you don’t want the clubface to be opening.
- Golfers who shut the face on the backswing also tend to hang on their back foot as they try to get the ball off the ground.
This combination of things throws the natural order of your swing completely off, and generally leads to thin shots and that flight path we all hate: a big curve out to the right.
So, what’s the solution?
As the clubface moves away from the address position it should stay square to your sternum, which in effect will look like its opening to the target line. But this will allow your body to move in the correct direction as you reverse the order on the downswing.
So, remember that golden rule: Golfers who shut the face too much on their backswing have to open it back up on the downswing, while golfers that allow the clubface to open slightly on the backswing will shut it on the downswing.
Which of these two moves will slice it? The former of course. But just start small and build up your confidence. If you already hit it right (as a right hander) it might feel incredibly counterintuitive to have the face pointed in that direction as you move the club away. But I guarantee you it’s the path to better ball striking, baby draws and being able to hit every club in your bag.
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