One major factor in achieving lower scores while playing golf is the ability to control the direction of your shots. Most amateur golfers have a tendency to slice the ball.
While slicing can happen with any club, it is usually more pronounced with the driver. A slice is caused by the club face cutting across the ball at impact. Swinging the driver from outside to inside across the ball imparts clockwise rotation of the ball in flight. This spin makes the ball curve to the right (for a right-handed golfer) in flight. A slice is born!
Golf Swing Tips to Avoid the Slice Shot
1) Grip Check: To avoid slicing the ball, your grip should be neutral and strong – find your natural hand position. Hands should be relaxed yet strong and rotate toward the right side of the club (unless you’re left-handed). An excellent way to practice hand rotation and see how it affects flight direction: head to the driving range and hit a few shots with different grip rotations. Ensure your grip is strong but not too tight. Both hands should be turned away from the target with your palms parallel to eachother. A too tight grip won’t allow your hands to release upon impact. With practice, you’ll learn what works for you. If your grips are old or lacking stickiness, try a new type of club grip you're more comfortable with.
2) Swing Plane: A ball that slices right may mean the player was likely outside of their swing plane. Rather than hit the ball “square,” they “cut across” it. To hit the ball so it soars straight, you need an “outside-in” swing plane. Practice this by placing a second golf ball behind and inside the one you plan to hit. When you start your backswing, focus on moving the inside ball. This should result in an “outside-in” swing plane. From here, swing over the ball and hit it. Square the clubface by rotating the outside edge over the inside edge of your heel during the entire swing through impact. With practice, you will start to see a right-to-left ball flight.
3) Avoid the Chicken Wing: If your left arm bends (for a right-handed golfer), instead of staying straight through the swing – this is the chicken wing. And it happens to everyone – at one time or another. By bending the left arm, you’re forcing the club to slow down, cutting across the ball. A slice is born. This is usually the result of gripping the club too tightly and trying to hit “at the ball” instead of swinging through the entire motion, hitting the ball along the way. Cure the chicken wing swing by making three-quarter-length practice swings, allowing the club to release easily through impact. Make sure your arms reach full extension and rotation.
A sliced shot is the dreaded right curve of the golf ball’s flight. Unfortunately, it affects many an amateur golfer… even a seasoned player, now and then. Recognizing that you may have a slice situation is the first step to eliminating it. At the end of the day, no matter what, always listen to what the ball tells you. Check out more tips for excelling at your golf game.