Slicing is probably the biggest swing flaw in golf. I run into players on the course that slice all the time. Many players taking golf lessons from me slice. And newsletter readers are always asking me to provide golf tips on correcting a slice. Needless to say, slicing does little to help your golf handicap. But if you're a slicer and you're determined to eliminate it from your game, you first need to know why you slice.
The root cause of a slice, as I've often written in my golf tips, is an open clubface at impact. The solution is simple at least on paper. Change the open clubface to a square or slightly closed clubface at impact and you'll rid yourself of the problem. However, depending on factors like, your build and your suppleness, the reasons why your clubface is open at impact may be quite different from those of another player.
One professional instructor broke down slicers into four types- the "pull-down twister," the "one-way turner," the "one-piece up-lifter," and the "up-and-down bobber." While some instructors might disagree with the breakdown, it's useful when it comes to talking about slicing. Once you know the type of slicer you are, you'll find it easier to correct the problem. It'll be like taking a free golf lessons from a professional teacher.
The "Pull-Down Slicer"
The Pull-Down Slicer features a dominant left side. Usually, she's easy to recognize on the course. She positions the ball too far forward at address, sets her left hand even or slightly ahead of the ball, and positions her right hand on top of the left. Her left arm is overly tight and rigid. At the start of the swing, she pushes the club straight back along the line of play and uses an arms only swing. The result: an outside-to-inside swing path, with the clubhead trailing behind the hands.
If you're a pull down slicer, the easiest way to overcome this flaw is hitting balls with the right arm only a drill I've discussed in my golf tips. Position the ball inside your right heel, which sets your right hand and your right shoulder lower at address, and encourages you to swing from inside along the target line. You'll have to really cock your wrist to do this, but the added wrist cock helps you square the clubface.
The "One-Way Turner"
The One-Way Turner has difficulty pivoting fully during his swing. It may be because of his build. He's usually overweight, has a big chest and/or short arms, or is just not supple enough. Whatever the reason, he's just not able to make a full shoulder turn or an uninhibited swing. Men seem to fall into this category more than woman.
One of two errors usually occurs with this type of slicer. He tries to square his clubface on the downswing by turning his body too much, which leaves his clubhead far behind the ball and the clubface open at impact. Or, he makes a feeble attempt to route the club onto the correct path with his arms, resulting in an outside-to-inside swing. Either way, he slices.
Some players just can't make a full turn. If a big turn isn't possible, learn to play a controlled fade. I don't usually recommend this in golf instruction sessions but sometimes there's no recourse. A couple of adjustments at address help. First, open your stance and aim left. Second, strengthen your grip by turning both hands to the right, promoting more solid contact.
The "One-Piece Up-Lifter"
Frail women often fall into the category, but you'll find men in it, too. The problem: setting up to the ball too upright, which generates an upright swing, since the club feels lighter that way. The swing also has too little body rotation. And the arms become disconnected from the body causing the club to travel along an outside-to-inside swing path.
If this is your problem, bend more at the hips. Now take some practice swings, making a conscious effort to "flatten out" your swing. Try swinging the club around your body more and cocking your hands earlier than you usual. By swinging around your body and cocking your hands, you'll correct the outside-to-inside swing path. You'll also generate more clubhead speed, resulting in more power.
The "Up-and-Down Bobber"
Tall people usually fall into this category, but you'll find short people there, too. Regardless of your stature, it results in poor posture at address. So you end up being either too upright in your stance or too bent over. By being too upright or too bent in your stance, you instinctively make mid-swing adjustments that lead to a slice.
To eliminate this type of slice, correct your posture. To escape a too upright posture, bend more at the hips. At first, you'll feel you're too close to the ball, but in time you'll get used to it. To escape a too bent over posture, set your spine more upright at address by bending at the knees more and widening your stance slightly. At first, you'll feel too far from the ball, but like the too upright golfer, you'll get used to it.
If you're a slicer, you probably fit into one of these four categories. The key is figuring out which one. Once you know that, you can make the proper adjustments and rid yourself of your slice once and for all and probably improve your golf handicap.
Copyright (c) 2007 Jack Moorehouse