How to Get a Slice Out of Your Golf Swing

By Brian Hill

A sliced golf shot is one that bends -- sometimes radically -- from left to right (for right-handed players), often with the ball ending up in the rough, trees or other trouble on the right side of the hole or fairway. A less severe left to right trajectory is referred to as a fade. Many good players deliberately hit a fade and have learned how to position it precisely where they want. A slice, on the other hand, is something golfers seek to correct.

Rotate your hands slightly to the right so when you look down at your grip, three knuckles on your left hand are visible and the "V" formed by your left thumb and forefinger is pointing slightly to the right of your chin. This is termed a "strong" grip and makes it less likely you will strike the ball with the clubface open and produce a slice.

Check your stance and alignment. Look at where your feet, hips and shoulders are pointed. Make sure you're not lined up with your body aimed to the left of the target, which promotes a slice. Don't stand too close to the ball -- U.S. Open winner Curtis Strange recommends that the left hand be at least 4 inches from the left thigh at address -- and position the ball no farther back in your stance than 3 inches from your left heel. These two errors can cause you to meet the ball with the clubface in an open position.

Start your swing on the correct plane. Make a smooth takeaway extending your arms away from your body -- don't snatch the club up with your hands. Doing so can cause a swing plane that's inside the target line on the backswing, which promotes a slice.

Make a smooth transition to the downswing. Don't slide your hips toward the target during the downswing. The instruction book "Private Lessons" suggests imagining your left leg as a pole firmly placed in the ground, and turning your body around that pole rather than sliding laterally.

Focus on forearm rotation. As you swing through the ball, make sure your right arm naturally rotates over the left. This allows the club to return to a square position at impact rather than remaining open, causing a slice.

About the Author

Brian Hill is the author of four popular business and finance books: "The Making of a Bestseller," "Inside Secrets to Venture Capital," "Attracting Capital from Angels" and his latest book, published in 2013, "The Pocket Small Business Owner's Guide to Business Plans."

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