Why Do I Only Slice with My Driver?
Why Do I Always Slice With My Driver but Not With My Irons? Finally Learn the Answer to Golf’s Most Aggravating Question.
“Why do I constantly slice with my driver, even as my iron shots keep getting better and better?”
I hear this complaint from a lot of golfers. They’re out there hitting beautiful, high shots with their irons. But when they step up to the tee, they end up slicing the ball right into the weeds.
Honestly, it all comes down to one simple concept:
You can’t use the exact same swing for both your irons and your driver. Those two types of clubs are designed differently, with different shaft lengths and different lofts. They are made to achieve different goals.
And until you understand those differences, you’re going to hit the ball into the weeds again and again.
If you’re one of the many golfers who keeps asking, “Why do I only slice with my driver?” stick with me. I am going to explain why and give you some tips for fixing your driver slice just by adjusting your setup.
Let’s get into it.
How to Fix a Golf Slice with a Driver
When it comes to understanding a slice in golf, you have options.
You can do a deep dive, uncovering all the secrets of why you slice the ball and practicing drills to fix it. As a golf coach, I’m all about his option, because I think golf is fascinating and drills are fun.
However, I also know a lot of golfers just want to fix the problem quickly so they can start enjoying their time on the golf course a little bit more. If this is you, you’ll find just about everything you need to know in this article.
On the other hand, if you’re the deep-dive type, I highly recommend checking out some of our other articles on fixing the slice.
You can also download our free ebook, Science of the Slice. This book covers everything you could ever want to know about why we slice the ball and how to fix it. We talk about center of gravity, pressure points, the sweet spot, and a whole lot more.
For now, just know that if you’re constantly slicing your driver, the solution can be found by asking yourself why you can’t hit the ball with your driver as well as you do with your irons.
Answering the Question, “Why Do I Only Slice with My Driver?”
One of the biggest mistakes a golfer can make is assuming that their best iron swing should also be the best golf swing for their driver. It’s not.
Because whether you realize it or not, you have a different goal for your irons versus your driver. In both cases, you want to hit the ball in the sweet spot and get some distance.
But you do this with an iron by hitting down on the ball, just before the low point of your golf swing. I like to use the analogy of an airplane. When you hit the ball with an iron, you want to hit it just as the “plane” (your club head) is landing.
The opposite is true of your driver. When you hit the ball with your driver, you want to catch the ball on an ascending motion. This would be just after the low point of your swing, when the “plane” is taking off.
These differences affect your swing path. If you don’t account for that and instead use the exact same golf swing for both shots, you’re going to have trouble with one or the other.
This is why one of the most common complaints throughout the history of golf is, “I always slice with my driver!”
So, how do you fix it?
Key Swing Checks to Fix a Golf Slice
Again, there are a lot of aspects of your swing to consider when you’re trying to fix the slice. But for now, we’re going to take a close look at your driver setup.
Now, if you can swing it, I recommend using a LiveView camera to work on issues like this. The LiveView provides live, mirror-image video of your golf swing. You can watch the video on any smart device and even draw coaching objects on the screen. This helps you check for alignment in your hands and hips, improve your swing plane, and about a million other things.
For our purposes here, you can check your setup by drawing two vertical lines: one that passes through the ball and one inside the lead foot. (If you don’t have a LiveView camera, just visualizing these lines can help.)
Now, what checkpoints are we looking for in the setup?
As you take your setup, we’re going to look at three elements of your setup:
- Where is your lead hip?
- How are you establishing aim with your feet?
- Where is the club head?
I’ll walk you through each of these checkpoints one-by-one, keeping it simple so you don’t get bogged down in the physics of golf. First, let me lay the groundwork for why these checkpoints matter. The better you can understand this, the easier it is to adapt.
Why Do My Iron Shots Go Straight but I Slice with My Driver?
So now you understand why you can’t use the exact same swing for both your iron shots and your driver shots.
But why is it that most golfers are more likely to slice with their driver than with their irons? Why does everyone have the exact same problem when it comes to irons versus drivers?
It’s because hitting your driver is just a lot harder. And it’s all because of that upward angle of attack.
The Hula Hoop
Imagine the path of your club head like a hula hoop. Now, when you take your golf swing, you don’t keep your club shaft perfectly vertical, right? It has a natural lean to accommodate the distance between your golf ball and your hands.
That means when you imagine that hula hoop, you have to imagine it tilted towards your body. Because of that tilt, the path of the hula hoop may be square to the target or slightly right of the target on the descent, but it’s going to move back towards the left on the ascent.
It’s the same issue with your club head.
When you swing your iron, you hit the ball before you hit the low point. This means your club head is maintains whatever aim you set up through the moment of impact. In other words, all you have to do is aim and swing through.
But your driver is different. With your driver, you hit the ball after the low point, when club head starts traveling more to the left (if you’re right handed).
This is why you have a much easier time hitting straight golf shots with your irons . . . and why you have to have to adjust for your driver. You need a driver setup that makes it easier to hit up on the ball and accommodates for the change in direction.
Here’s what you need to do.
Setup Tips for Straighter Drives
Let’s go back to those three elements of your setup and take a look at them one-by-one.
At the moment of impact, you want your lower body more forward (toward the target) and your upper body leaning away from the target. Think about bumping your lead hip forward and as you keep your head back.
This puts you in the perfect position to hit up on the ball so you get the height and distance you want for a long draw.
Now, the best way to make sure you find that position at the moment of impact is to find a similar position at setup. AS you settle in at the tee:
Bump your lead hip over the lead foot. If you have a LiveView, check to make sure:
- Your trail hip is inside the trail foot.
- Your lead hip is over the lead foot.
- The vertical line reaching up from the inside of your lead foot passes along the inside of your lead leg.
Also be sure to keep your head back at setup.
When you start from this position, the natural momentum of your backswing and downswing bring you back here in time for impact.
This is where we address that pesky hula hoop problem.
If you are a right-handed golfer, you want to get a slightly rightward aim to fix your golf slice. If you’re left-handed, you want the opposite.
But, as you now know, the upward motion of your club head takes you just slightly off course as you swing through. To prepare for this, aim a bit more to the right in your setup.
When you take your golf stance, adjust your feet. You probably stand with your feet square to the target. For your driver shots, I want you to try stepping your lead foot just a tiny bit forward, towards the golf ball. We’re not going for a huge change, just a small adjustment.
Now your feet are directing your swing path slightly to the right of the target. This helps you get that nice, controlled draw.
Full disclosure: I don’t know why this last tip works; I only know that it does. In fact, just taught it to one of my tour professionals this last week. It’s just a magic move that works every single time.
When you take your driver setup, don’t let your club head touch the ground. Instead, hover it in the air right behind your golf ball.
It might sounds too simple to be a real solution, but try it for yourself. See if it works. In my experience, it always does.
Next Time You’re at the Golf Course . . .
If you’re ready to stop asking “Why do I only slice with my driver?”, try these three easy tips. If you’re sick of hitting it flush with your irons every single time only to slice it off the tee, change your driver setup and see if it improves your game.
The next time you step up to the tee:
- Bump your lead head toward the target and keep your head back.
- Aim your stance slightly to the right (left if you’re left-handed).
- Hover your club head behind the golf ball.
Then come back here and let us know:
Did It Work for You?
Was this advice easy to follow? Did it help stop slicing your driver? Do you have any tips of your own to share?
Jump into the comment section and let us know!
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