One of the most common problems afflicting golfers is the slice. The slice is a shot where the ball starts off to the left or on target and bends to the right of the target (or the opposite for left-handed golfers). A slice can occur for a variety of factors, but fixes and drills exist that can cure a slice with a little hard work and practice.
A misaligned grip is often one of the causes of a slice. A grip that helps avoid a slice will be a neutral or a strong grip. For right-handers, that means the hands are rotated toward the right side of the club. The V’s formed by the thumb and pointer finger should point between the golfer’s neck and right shoulder. To understand how the position of the grip influences the ball flight, rotate your hands slightly on the club and hit a few shots on the driving range. The strength of the grip can also influence the ball’s flight. To help mitigate a slice, use a relaxed grip. That will help the club turnover easily during the swing.
Golfers who slice sometimes have difficulty finding the correct swing plane. When the ball is sliced, the golfer is likely outside the swing plane and “cutting across” the ball, rather than hitting it square. A straight shot results from an “outside-in” swing plane. To reinforce that feeling, place a head cover or another golf ball just behind and inside of the ball you are going to hit. On the take back, focus on moving the extra ball or club head. If you do this, it’s likely that your club will start in the correct swing plane, and less likely result in a slice. This drill can also be done while waiting on the golf course with a leaf in place of the extra golf ball or head cover. Another benefit of this drill is that it will help golfers make contact on the club’s sweet spot.
To help correct a slice, focus on swing timing. When a slice occurs, the clubface is open at impact because the club and body are not moving in tandem. To help the body and arms move together, address the ball. Bring the club back to about waist level and hold; at this point the toe of the club should be straight up in the air. Begin the downswing and follow through, holding the club at waist height on the follow through. At this point, the toe of the club should be facing straight up in the air. This drill helps to enforce the timing necessary to eliminate a slice, while also improving the takeaway and follow through.