How to cure your golf slice
If there’s one thing I kept getting asked over and over it’s “how do I cure my golf slice?”.
There are many theories and most golf magazines would offer a solution or two in most editions on how to fix a slice. Unfortunately most don’t seem to work and in many cases can exaggerate the fault rather than fix it.
Below is my take on a golf slice and the best method for reducing the severity of this annoying and powerless ball flight.
You need speed
If you want to stop slicing the ball you’re going to need to swing the club with some speed. Swinging with speed helps you overcome many of the problems of slicing the ball. This is the first step. I’m telling you this because many instructors initially like to change your grip – they want to strengthen it and make sure you can see more knuckles or have the V’s pointing at your shoulder.
But this doesn’t work that well.
You see, when you’re trying to grip correctly you rarely can swing that fast. The grip feels uncomfortable and the swing slows down. I see this over and over an still wonder why so many people obsess about the grip.
My opinion is that the grip is a “one percenter” – it’s just not that important if;
- You choose a comfortable hold on the club
- You’re able to swing the club at your maximum speed
When you can hold the club in a way that allows you to swing quickly your grip is perfect. Don’t believe me?
Check out the guys on the US PGA Tour – they all have different grip methods. Some grip the club strongly and others weakly. The only thing they have in common is a grip method that allows them to move the club with speed. Very few of them have the so called “classic” or “traditional” grips.
You can spend a lot of time fussing with your golf grip but my advice is don’t waste too much time on it, you have better things to do.
Forget about the club face
A surprising element I see while coaching is golfers getting distracted by the club face.
Let me explain more.
One of my favourite training aids is a club without a club face. The shaft and grip are normal but the club head is perfectly round. This means the golfer can hold the club in any way and swing it. In nearly all cases the golfer will swing this club very well. Their focus is on “swinging” or “hitting” and the results are excellent.
But then something strange happens.
When I give them their own club they become tight and can’t swing in the same powerful manner. They become concerned about the club face and too much attention is on keeping it square during impact.
The free flowing swing with the faceless club head has been replaced with a careful, slow and somewhat ugly swing. You have to see the difference to believe it but it has happened so many times that it is not a coincidence but something holding many golfers back.
The solution is to swing the club without concern about the club face. It’s for this reason I like using my training club – you can get the same results with any object that isn’t exactly like a golf club – a baseball bat or stick can offer good results. The trick then it to integrate that swing when you use your golf clubs.
Apply energy to the target
This might sound obvious but if you’re not applying power to the target then it’s unlikely the ball will finish there. Golfers who slice the ball almost always are applying power out to the left. The ball starts left of the target and slices (spins) back to the right.
A little left to right is fine but if it gets severe it becomes difficult to control. If your slice is out of control then the following exercise will help.
Throw your club to the target.
Grab an old club and see if you can throw (with a golf type motion) towards the target. Many golfers initially start by throwing the club to the left – but with many anti-slice theories replaced with the objective of “throwing the club straight” this problem is quickly rectified.
Be sure to use old clubs and start slowly. It’s not about throwing clubs far and hard but rather on getting them to travel straight.
When the club travels straight you’re applying power in the right direction. You then can make the same swing without letting go of the club and hopefully you’ll see an improvement with your ball flight.
Swing first – worry later
Ultimately I think the severity of the slice can be mimimised when you can swing first and worry about results later. I am yet to see a golfer that doesn’t have a reliable natural swing – the hard part is to get that swing to the surface.
All of the worry, annalysing and concern makes the game difficult. When you can bite the bullet and swing the club with freedom and lack of fear some good stuff happens;
- You’ll find extra speed and power
- You’ll reduce tension and strain
- More likely to apply power to the target
- A more natural and consistent golf swing appears
- You naturally align the club face at impact instead on consciously trying to control it
- The game becomes easier
- You’ll have more fun
- Something remarkable will happen
And most importantly you’ll see less of a slice and an improved ball flight. This doesn’t mean you’ll start drawing the ball and hitting it over 300 metres (you may) but you should see some improvement and extra distance. This is good.
From a coaching point of view any improvement should be seen as a success. You’re able to build on this success and keep improving over time. It’s not a quick fix and takes some commitment but it does offer a whole lot more than the latest edition of your golf magazine.
Let me know your thoughts by submitting a comment below.