What Causes a Golf Slice? | How to Fix a Slice
How to Fix a Slice
It is one of the most common swing mistakes. There is a lot of incorrect information out there suggesting how to fix a slice.
A slice describes what happens when the flight of the golf ball curves from left to right (for the right-handed golfer—the opposite for lefties). Many golfers have looked on with disappointment, and sometimes abject horror, as their golf ball curves in the characteristic path of a slice.
Paging through golf magazines or watching tutorials online frequently offer three outdated suggestions: strengthen the grip, rotate the forearms (or hands), or slightly close the club face.
Unfortunately, none of these suggestions are a panacea for a fade. They don’t provide long-term solutions.
There is one key relationship that dictates any curve in the golf ball—assuming the golfer is hitting the ball in the center of the club face—and that is the relationship between the path (the direction the club is swinging at the moment of impact) and the club face.
A slicer will often aim their shot (or set up their path) slightly to the left of the target. They will often combine that slightly-left path with a square or open club face.
To hit a nice, high draw, the right-handed golfer needs to align their path slightly to the right. The golfers who are capable of consistently hitting a high draw have a path swinging anywhere from 2-5 degrees to the right.
They combine that path with a club face that is slightly open to the target line (1 or 2 degrees open to the right). Technologylike FlightScope can help a golfer diagnose the specific issue causing their slice shot. In other words, to what degree the golfer is setting up a path too far to the left and where the club face falls in relation to that.
It is difficult to diagnose what specifically is going wrong in the individual golf swing without the help of a golf instructor or a tool (like FlightScope). However, below I offer some key exercises that can help any golfer improve their swing and cut down on slice shots.
When a student sends a message "hitting it better then ever and finally controlling the ball." This is why I love my job. #proudcoach
— Todd Kolb (@toddkolbgolf) June 16, 2016
Keys to fixing your slice
If you are a golfer who often hits slice shots, you have likely come across all kinds of so-called miraculous, immediate fixes that promise results. All kinds of tips, tricks, and strategies are out there. It’s confusing to muddle through all of them to find the solution that will best suit you and your golf swing.
Often, golfers think they have to go through a major swing overhaul, but that is often not true. The key to hitting consistent high draws are not mysterious, and there are several things that good golfers do to hit those consistent shots.
Below, I offer three exercises that can help any golfer improve their swing. Keep in mind that a nice, high draw is the result of a path angled slightly to the right, and a club face that is slightly open. There are three small tweaks you can apply to your stance and swing that can help you start putting the ball right where you’d like it to go.
“There is one key relationship that dictates any curve in the golf ball—assuming the golfer is hitting the ball in the center of the club face—and that is the relationship between the path (the direction the club is swinging at the moment of impact) and the club face.“
– Todd Kolb
1. Left Arm High, Right Arm Low
One suggestion is something I call “left arm high, right arm low.” When you set up to hit your golf ball, make sure your lead arm—the left arm for a right-handed golfer—is slightly higher than your right arm.
When your left arm is slightly higher, it will cause you to swing the club up and to the right, and the ball will turn over. This creates a nice, natural draw.
2. Left Hip Left
Another exercise to try out is what I call Left Hip Left. This asks you to adjust your setup to change the ball flight. This suggestion builds on Left Arm High, Right Arm Low. When you go into your regular setup, take your lead hip —which is going to be the left hip for the right-handed golfer—and bump it over your lead foot.
Believe it or not, that simple adjustment will help you draw the golf ball. Bumping the hip slightly over allows me to swing the club to the right, which is often a challenge for golfers who hit slice shots.
3. High Handle
The last tip I have to help on how to fix a slice shot involves your setup again.
It is something I call “high handle,” and it has two parts. After practicing “left arm high, right arm low” and “left hip left,” add in this next tweak. Raise the handle slightly and also slightly forward. The second part of this “high handle” exercise is to keep the high handle on the finish.
By this I mean that when you finish your golf swing, the handle should be nice and high. The video below explains this more in-depth.
Hopefully this helped you understand a little bit more about what causes a slice and how to fix it. Remember that a slice is the result of the relationship between the swing path and the club face angle.
Slices are caused when the path is aimed slightly left and the club face is square or open. Practice the three tips above— “Left hand high, right hand low,” “left hip left,” and “high handle.” Doing so can help you start to make consistent high draws.
If you want to learn more on how to hit a draw, click on the image below. The “Tour Draw” will help you!