How Do I Avoid a Golf Slice?

By Clint Hale
Fortunately for all golfers, hitting a slice is a curable condition.
Fortunately for all golfers, hitting a slice is a curable condition.

The dreaded slice is an unfortunate part of many golfers' games. Even elite professionals such as Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson occasionally find themselves on the wrong end of a golf slice, whether off the tee box or fairway. A golf slice, simply put, is a golf shot that veers strongly away from the desired target--to the right for right-handed golfers; to the left for left-handed golfers. Fortunately, there are ways to go about avoiding a golf slice.

Ensure proper body motion while preparing for and engaging in a swing. While bringing the club head up in backswing, try to keep the back straight, as pulling inside too quickly or reaching out can lead to improper spine angle, which in turn can result in a wicked slice. Once it's time to coil the shoulders and torso, it is vital to keep distance between the hands and chest, as bringing the two close together is a surefire way to slice the ball.

Keep the body straight. Some golfers attempt to aim strong in one direction, hoping the slice will "even out" and land on the fairway. While this may work on occasion, more often than not a golfer will overcompensate and either hook a ball even farther off target, or "overslice" and still end up with a poor result.

Focus on downswing. While the body may be in position for a proper swing, keeping it in line during downswing is imperative for avoiding a slice. On every swing, focus on swinging the arms and hands down from the inside to keep the clubhead in proper plane. While uncoiling the body, the right elbow, or left elbow for left-handed golfers, should be in proximity to the right hip, or left hip for left-handed golfers.

Maintain proper form during follow-through. A surefire way to check the proper angle of a swing is to look at the hands and arms after a swing is made. Golfers should release straight down on the swing, and there should be no ill-fitting or twisting motion of the body. As such, the hands and arms should remain straight and pointed directly outward after impact is made.

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