A dreaded slice is often a frustrating shot for a golfer. Before beginning this article, let’s see what is slice shot. The type of golf shot where the golf ball bends from left to right while on the flight (For a right-handed golfer) is known as a “Slice.”
However, what is worse is that the shot loses distance when moving in the sideways and creates a sidespin. First, it is to be kept in mind that a slice refers to a 1 shot missed among 99. As a result, one might feel lucky in this case assuming that they belong to that 1% who have this nightmare.
There are mainly three types of slices. They are: Pull Slice, Push Slice and Standard Slice. The pull slice begins from the left of the target and finally slices back towards the right. A push slice starts from the right of the target and slices even further at last. It is the most negative one.
Likewise, a standard slice begins down the target line and ultimately goes right.
How Does a Slice Shot Occur?
To be very brief, a slice shot maybe caused by the combination of some occurrences:
- It’s serious outside in club path.
- Clubface is open relative to the path.
- The clubface is pointing to the left of the target.
When these factors are seen, the ball will start from left of the target and will spin intrusively towards the right side.
In this regard, it’s important to know how to stop and fix a slice to become a good golfer. Hence, this article will cover ways to stop slice and will also teach several drills to ensure straight shots.
Why Does a Slice Shot Occur?
Before going to the steps of stopping slice, let’s look into the cause behind this shot. There is rarely one single thing that can create a specific shot in golf, but based upon “Ball Fight Laws”, the only reason to slice the ball is when the clubface is open.
Therefore, one should identify why the clubface is open. One of the reasons for the clubface being open can be the top swing motion of the ball. The ball will usually start from left and slice back towards the right. How much it will go towards the right depends on how far the club face is open.
This can happen for some reasons. They are stated below:
Reason 1 – Active Upper Body
According to Ben Hogan, “The downswing is made by turning the hips to the left. The shoulders, arms, and hands be in order, then release their power.”
If the shot always turns to a sliced one, one is still starting the swing with their shoulders or arms, and not by their lower body. If one has an overly active upper body, it will cause them to rotate and pull the ball using an open club face. It will create an annoying pull slice that frustrates the amateur golfers.
The overly active upper body could be because of an incorrect plane on their backswing, quick transition or maybe lack of flexibility.
Reason 2 – Bad Alignment
When some golfers aim to the left, they make the slice even worse. This seems like a good solution and keeping this in mind, one can escape slicing on the primary basis.
Reason 3 – Weak Grip
An open clubface is promoted by a weak grip of butter fade. Nevertheless, if the fade has turned into a huge slice, one needs to change the grip.
Solutions for Slice Shots
Enough of the reasons why so, now moving towards the four answers to help to stop, or at least minimize slice shots.
Check Your Equipment
Equipment can play a significant role in the flight of the golf ball. Golf is already hard enough. It is foolish to make it even harder with equipment that doesn’t match the swing. The first thing to evaluate in this case is the shaft flex. It will be difficult to square the face if the shaft has too much flex.
On this account, it is necessary to test one’s swing and make sure that the shafts, especially the driver shaft, don’t have too much flex. General guides are there for shaft selection for the driver, and it is based on the carrying distance and swing speed. Besides, modern drivers have adjustable clubface settings.
If the driver comes with a tool, it is to be made sure that it is being set to neutral or draw biased setting. The last necessary thing is the clubface that promotes a fade at setup.
Adjust Your Setup
To quit slicing the ball, one should work on their swing path. If he or she is coming over the top, will have to work on creating an inside to out swing path.
The easiest way to do this by slightly dropping back the right foot which will naturally create an inside to outside swing path. This will ensure more room to swing out towards the target. Again, a lot of slices are generated by the top motion on the downswing.
When adjusting the setup, one should check the grip as well. Most players have grips that are weak. Therefore, grips are to be made stronger. This is possible by turning hand towards the right when the club is gripped. It will consequently promote a more closed or square face.
Lastly, a player should not forget to check the grip pressure as well. It is 100% sure to be a wrong mentality to go for “Grip it & Rip it” with the driver. That’s because in reality, the driver should have the lightest grip pressure other than a bunker shot.
Tension will be created in the arms because of a “Death Grip.” This results in attempts to guide the ball instead of swinging it free and out towards the target.
Here are 3 drills to change one’s over the top habits. They are:
Drill #1: Practice a Baseball Swing
This is the first drill that you should familiarize yourself with if you really want to stop that slice. Without further due, let’s hear about the drill.
Practice is to be done using a baseball swing with a 7-iron where one will have to wrap the club from behind and around their body. It should be such a way as if they were hitting a baseball. However, the club level should be kept under concern.
After a few swings, the hands are to be rolled over sooner. This will accelerate the feeling of squaring or even slightly closing the hands. A square clubface helps to create a straight shot.
On the other hand, a slightly closed clubface will help to produce a draw. This step is to be repeated for about 10-15 times on the range before one hits the driver.
Drill #2: Muscle Confusion Drill
Funny name for a drill, aye? But don’t fall for the name as this will take you quite some time to master and it must be mastered if you really want to defend against that slice.
To get rid of the confusion, one should make as much of a backswing as he can with the help of a six or a seven iron. While doing so, he should keep his feet together. In the meantime, the club should be lower than normal since the feet are kept together creating a narrow swing path.
In this step, a player should make sure that he is not moving any part of his body. Instead, he is letting gravity to drop his arms. The right elbow should hit the side and allow the clubhead to fly out. If it’s done perfectly, it will make the end of the butt club come up closing it to the face.
This is a practice drill and requires no golf balls at all. If one is doing this in a wrong way, the club will wrap around his body and will produce a pull slice.
Another caution is that, once the slice is fixed, these drills should not be continued. Unnecessary repetition of this drill might result in developing a casting move in the swing.
Drill #3: Hank Haney Slice Drill
This is the last drill that you should practice. Just because I placed it in number three doesn’t mean the drill is less important.
A golfer should swing his driver roughly a foot off the ground. This will automatically level up the swing and will help to promote the inside to outside swing path. It will also help one to feel the clubface from turning over.
Accordingly, he should feel himself squaring the clubface roughly 2 or 3 feet behind the golf ball during the practice swings. This will give a feeling like his left hand is squaring up ultimately turning the clubface.
Thus, the drill should be practiced with 5-10 swings. This will help a lot to promote a swing path towards the right as well as squaring the face. It will also help one to create a slight draw if done accurately.
Don’t Aim Left
As mentioned earlier, aiming to the left will only make the slice miss even more towards the right. Instead of aiming to the left, one should try to tee off the right side of the box. This will result in more fairway and room to work. It is a short-term fix to adjust one’s aims and won’t help the bigger issues that are causing the slice.
Square the Club Face Earlier
A clubface often determines if one slice draws or hits the ball straight. The higher swing speed and longer shaft of a driver make squaring the club to be the most hardest. Moreover, if one is hitting a monster slice, the clubface should be kept open. He must work on squaring up the face sooner on his downswing.
There are some final thoughts on the slice and ways to prevent it. These will be discussed in this portion. Ultimately, a player should not settle for the weak slice with their irons and woods.
That might be a miss, but it doesn’t mean it has to be that way always. One can change his swings by selecting the right equipment and practicing the drills mentioned above. If a single miss has ruined the game for some time, one should not lose hope since it is fixable in the long run.
Likewise, nnce a player learns to swing on the right path and square the clubface, he will be able to hit the golf ball farther and straighter than ever. At the sssame time, he has to make sure that he practices these tips on the range instead of trying to implement on mid-round.
However, if one notices that, the slice seems to be getting worse with rounds being continued, he shouldn’t be afraid to switch to a 3 or 5 wood of the tee. The driver can help and keep the ball in play more often since it is the hardest club to square up and clubbing down.
How to Fix Slice?
Now, let us see some ways to fix a slice so that a golfer doesn’t need to get frustrated. Although some are already mentioned in the ways that deals with how to stop the slice, here’s a quick review of 3 techniques to fix a slice. These are stated below:
Slice Fix #1: Moving to a Square Stance
A slice is connected to an open batting like stance. Indeed, it is most likely that, whenever one produces slice, his feet are aligned towards the left of the target. In most of the cases, golfers will aim towards the left of the target while doing a slice.
They do so to ensure enough room for the ball to spin on it’s right. Ultimately, the ball comes to rest. This type of stances is at the helm of club paths (outside-in) which is reciprocal to the slice.
It is relatively easy to solve an issue concerning on the open batting stance. One should not position his feet in such a way that they point towards the left of the target.
Instead, he should simply bring in his left foot and keep it parallel to that of the target line with the right foot. This parallel position is popularly known as “Square Stance.” It is imperative in solving the slice issues.
Slice Fix #2: Moving to a Stronger Grip
The situation mentioned above designates the club path. As explained earlier, a slice indicates nothing but the result of a specified and combined situation of both the clubface angle and the club path.
However, the latter step to fix a slice involves examining the clubface to ascertain the reason for the face to be open to the path.
As stated before, the reason for the club path to remain open is probably because of the grip is very weak. No doubt that a weaker variety of grip results releasing of the hands and club like in a lazy manner. This eventually makes the clubface open to the path efficaciously.
In that sense, moving to a much stronger grip is the best solution here. How to make the grip stronger has been mentioned already. This stronger grip will help to square up the clubface rather than just keeping it open.
Slice Fix #3: Moving to an Inside Club Path – Inside Square
We have already cut out the possibility of a club path (outside-in) that is being produced by a wrong stance. Now we can move on to the actual path of the swing. It requires looking at the essentials of the golf swing.
Accordingly, the swing includes giving more effort other than just simply looking on its position setup.
Just like its name, a club path (outside-in) ensures the club head leads from the target line or outside of the target line. After crossing the line, the club moves inside since it is rotated around the golfer’s body. Such type of a club path might be the result of a wrong takeaway.
Similarly, that indicates the club is being taken back outside of the target line. Sometimes it may also come as a resultant error of a top swing. Whatever the case is, the club should be taken to the square during the takeaway. Thus, when the shaft is parallel to the ground, the butt end of the shaft should point straight forward.
Our Final Thoughts
Most golf lovers struggle and get frustrated with a slice because they fail to understand the cause. The physics behind a slice centers around mainly two factors: the swing path and the clubface. When one starts following the reason behind a slice, he can concentrate on correcting it and stopping it as well.