How a Stake Can Stop a Golf Slice

By M.L. Rose

A slice can be a golfer’s worst nightmare. One moment the ball is flying through the air, the next it’s veering sharply to the right, into the rough, or maybe the woods, or even into the fairway of the wrong hole. For right-handed golfers, slices are typically caused when the clubhead moves across the ball from right to left, relative to the target, at impact, imparting spin on the ball that makes it curve in flight. A variety of swing problems can cause a slice. For example, you may be tilting your upper back toward the target on your backswing.

Obtain a metal or wooden stake, approximately 2 to 3 feet long, that can be stuck into the ground. The shaft from an old golf club also will work.

Find an area for this drill. A backyard works fine because you don’t have to hit the ball.

Choose a spot just beyond the ball to place the stake. When you set up in front of the ball you will be facing the stake, with the ball about midway between you and the stake.

Push the stake into the earth, angled at 75 degrees relative to the ground. Place it so it will be angled toward your back foot when you take your stance in front of the ball. You can measure the angle with a protractor, or estimate the angle, which doesn’t have to be precise. To estimate, hold the stake vertically, with the bottom end touching the ground, then incline the top end one-sixth of the way toward the ground. Push the stake into the ground to secure its position.

Pick up a club and take a normal stance in front of the ball.

Begin your backswing, but stop when you reach the top of the swing. Compare the angle of your upper body with the stake. The angles should ideally be the same, or very close. Keep practicing this drill until your upper body is aligned properly every time.

About the Author

M.L. Rose has worked as a print and online journalist for more than 20 years. He has contributed to a variety of national and local publications, specializing in sports writing. Rose holds a B.A. in communications.

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