In this article we’ll show you how to fix your slice. We’ll also cover why you slice your driver but not your irons and give you some great ways to practice hitting a draw. After 15 years of coaching golf, the following information is the best approach I’ve found for fixing a slice quickly and effectively.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is a slice?
- 2 What causes a slice?
- 3 Begin with your golf grip
- 4 Check your left wrist position
- 5 Improving the release of the golf club
- 6 How to correct a slice – Technique
- 7 How to practice fixing your slice
- 8 Fixing your swing path
- 9 Why do I slice my driver but not my irons?
- 10 How to fix a slice with a driver
- 11 How to fix a slice in golf – summary
What is a slice?
A slice is a shot that curves left to right through the air (for a right handed player). A classic slice starts left of the target and travels too far right (red line above). However, you may also suffer from a push slice (blue line above) which starts right of your target and curves further right.
The cause of the slicing ball flight is the same for both shots above.
What causes a slice?
A slice is caused when side-spin is imparted on your golf ball, causing the ball to curve during its flight. Many golfers incorrectly assume this side spin is caused by an out-to-in swing path (cutting across the ball) but this is incorrect.
The reason your golf ball slices is because your club face is open to your swing path through impact – a small but very important detail.
This small misunderstanding is the reason why so many golfers struggle to fix their slice, they focus on changing their swing path, not fixing their club face angle.
If your club face is 3º open to your swing path at impact you’ll have a solid fade, and if you reach 6º open or more you’ll be slicing your way round the golf course every time you play.
Six degrees may sound like a large value, but it isn’t. To demonstrate, the right hand image above has a club face precisely 6º open to the swing path. This is a slicers impact position. The left-hand image is what you need to create to completely remove your slice.
If you glance between to two images there isn’t much difference at all. Engrain these images in your mind – this is the change you need to make to fix your slicing.
The following sections gives you a simple guide to improve your club face and fix your slice for good!
Begin with your golf grip
How you hold the golf club dictates where the club face points relative to your entire golf swing.
Shifting one or both your hands round by 4-5º can instantly fix your slice. A weak left hand grip is by far the most common cause of a slice. Watch the video below to learn how to check and fix your golf grip.
When you have your left hand in this new position you’ll notice the badge on your golf club faces away from you, rather than pointing towards your target.
You’ll also notice it now feels like you’re mainly holding the golf club in your fingers, rather than in the palm of your hand. This new grip will help square up your face at impact and will also help you hinge your wrists during your backswing. Meaning you will not only fix your slice but also gain more distance.
Check your right hand grip
Although it is less common, some golfers can have a good left hand grip, but a weak right hand grip.
Again, this weak right hand grip makes squaring up the club face a challenge. Check the video below to see how you can improve this if you feel it is an issue.
At this point you may have all the information you need to go ahead and fix your slice, if this is the case do jump on to the how to practice and swing path sections below. If not, read on, as next we cover the two less common reasons for a slice.
Check your left wrist position
Once you have gripped the golf club your left wrist will be responsible for mediating the relationship between your club face and golf swing. The more extended (cupped) your left wrist becomes, the more open the club face will be. The more flexed (bowed) your left wrist is, the more closed your club face will be.
Some golfers have a great grip, but have an extended left wrist during their backswing, downswing and through impact.
The result is an open club face and a wild slice. To resolve this issue simply make 1/2 swings with the feeling of a flexed (bowed) left wrist. Keep this feeling as you swing back, down and through your shots.
Improving the release of the golf club
The third and final reason you may slice the ball is a poor release through impact. Many golfers feel they have to flick at the golf ball or roll their wrists, but this is generally because they have a poor grip, as outlined above.
Once you have a sound grip the ideal release involves very little movement in your wrists or hands. Instead, a great release comes from the forearms rotating through impact. This is far more powerful and controlled than flicking at the golf ball.
Check out the sequence below.
Try copying the same sequence in front of a mirror or window. Notice how rotating your forearms provides a consistent and controllable way to square up the club face compared to flicking your wrists.
Hitting pitch shots (40 – 80 yards) with these steps above will help you learn how to square up your club face and start hitting a draw on a controlled and repeatable way.
How to correct a slice – Technique
Rather than looking at these steps as ‘perfect positions‘ that you must master, view each one as a dial you can use to hit more of a draw/ less of a slice.
The more you implement each, the more you will draw. The less you carry out each principle the more you will slice.
This article has discussed them in order of their importance:
- Left hand grip
- Right hand grip
- Left wrist position
Always start with the grip before you move onto the in-swing principles. The golf swing is a sequence of events, it is important to master your setup and grip before worrying about what happens during your golf swing.
How to practice fixing your slice
Now you know how to fix a slice let us look at how to practice at the range. Grab a 7-iron and make a few practice swings with your new swing changes, get the feel of the new movement – for most of you this will be your same golf swing with an improved grip. Your swing will feel wildly different with this new grip, however it will look exactly the same to those watching you. For your first five shots at the range make a smooth swing and over-exaggerate your desired swing change.
I don’t care where the golf ball ends up (it will probably end up a long way left of your target) just make sure the ball curves right-to-left through the air. Keep tweaking your grip / left wrist position / release until you get the ball flying with the ideal amount of draw.
Don’t beat yourself up if you miss-hit a few shots, your body needs a few attempts to learn how to hit the ball with these new adaptations. Once you have achieved 4-5 draws in a row move onto ironing out the start direction of your shots.
Most slicers have an out-to-in swing path. This isn’t the cause of a slice, it is your inner-athletes’ response to swinging with an open clubface. If you didn’t have an out-to-in swing path you’d struggle to keep the golf ball on the planet!
Now your club face issue has been resolved we can work on refining your swing path.
Fixing your swing path
Just like the club face section above I will write this in stages. The first step is most important and will help most golfers who read this, if you’re still stuck move onto the next step and so on.
A simple way to create a square or in-to-out swing path
The simplest way to create an in-to-out swing path and stop slicing is to place an object, like a head cover or the basket (as shown below) just outside the golf ball and 6 inches behind the ball. Your task is to simply make a backswing and downswing that avoids the basket.
With your new club face position this will result in a beautiful draw!
You may need a few attempts, and please do begin with smooth swings, but as you progress with this drill you will soon start to hit beautiful, powerful draws that start right of your target.
As you become more confident keep working on extending out as you move through impact. Continue to tweak your grip, left wrist and release to create your ideal amount of draw.
Check your posture
If you struggle to hit the ball straight with this drill and you cannot get rid of your steep swing into the ball make sure you check your posture. A swing plane that is too steep causes an out-to-in swing through impact and is often the result of a poor posture at setup. Many slicing golfers setup with too much knee flex and not enough flex forward from their hips.
This may sound trivial, but results in less room between your hands and your body. Not a problem at setup, but during your downswing your body should rotate through towards your target. At this point your hands have no room to swing back into impact. Instead, they create a new path further out towards the golf ball.
Check your posture in a mirror or window, if this is something that appears to be an issue check out this simple drill below. Your key aim is to create some great angles and ensure that when your arms hang down there is sufficient room between your hands and waist.
Poor posture is the number one fix for a stubborn out-to-in swing. Yes, a posture change will take some getting used to, but it will be worth it. Great posture is a foundation of great ball striking.
When making this change make sure you create your new setup with your weight pressing through the middle of your feet.
Having your weight too far on your toes or heels will make creating a straight swing path more of a challenge – for more information on mastering your posture and golf stance check out this article.
Golf slice practice – Bringing it all together in
As discussed previously, when you head to the range begin by focusing on improving your club face. Once you are hitting a nice draw slowly work on improving your swing path to start the ball right of your target.
Start by hitting 10 shots with a wedge or 9-iron working on these changes.
Next, hit 10 shots with a 7-iron, start with three-quarter 7-iron swings and slowly work up to hitting shots at 80-85% of full speed.
As you progress onto your driver you will naturally want to swing faster and your old swing habits will come out.
Rather than hitting 20 bad shots in a row with your driver, switch between your 7-iron and driver (5 balls each), trying to feed you good habits with an iron swing into your driver swing.
How to fix the slice on the golf course
Again, it will take a little practice before your golf slicing is a thing of the past. When playing on the course keep the club face first approach. Don’t beat yourself up when you pull-hook the ball down the left side of the course. Instead, remind yourself that you made a great swing, but your were just missing an in-to-out swing path.
If your ball does begin to slice, get back to checking your golf grip, left wrist angle and release. Building a swing that consistently closes the club face will force your body overtime to create a straight or in-to-out path.
This next golf tip will feel strange, but if you can start aiming right of your target on the golf course you will accelerate your progress. When you aim right of your target you’ll force your body to hit a draw, which will make you really focus on embedding the clubface changes we’ve discussed in this article.
Why do I slice my driver but not my irons?
One of the most common questions from slicing golfers is how they can to fix a slice with their driver.
If you slice the ball with your driver you will be making the exact same swing with your irons too. Why do your irons not slice? It is because the additional loft on an iron creates more backspin (4 – 8x more than a driver).
This additional backspin keeps the ball more stable and reduces the negative effect of side-spin that causes a slice.
How to fix a slice with a driver
To fix your slice with a driver, you will need to improve your swing with all clubs – by following the advice in this article. Checking how to grip a driver against the video above should be your first step. A few other top tips for getting rid of that nasty driver slice are as follows:
Make sure you have the ball positioned just inside your front foot with driver (read more here). Having your ball too far back in your stance doesn’t give you time to square up the face of your driver and is a simple way to kill your new draw.
Next, make sure the ball is teed up an appropriate height. Ideally you should have half the golf ball above the driver head when you are setup ready to hit. This encourages a sweep rather than a hit down which will help you release the driver correctly.
Finally, try three-quarter length swings with your driver. Golfers who consistently slice with their driver but are great with all other clubs often collapse their arms and wrists at the top of their backswing – this makes squaring up the club a real challenge.
If you can hit great drives with a half or three-quarter swing then this is a strong sign your current driver swing is too long.
You can also checkout this article explaining the drivers that will help reduce your slice. New equipment isn’t the complete answer, but having the incorrect equipment, such as a driver with too stiff a shaft will really hinder your progress.
How to fix a slice in golf – summary
Slicing the ball can be frustrating, most golfers play the game constantly battling a slice. Hopefully this article has given you a great guide to fixing that nasty slice with your irons and driver. Below is a quick summary:
How to fix slice in steps
- Improve club face (grip / left wrist position / release)
- Improve swing path (check posture if struggling)
- Practice until changes feel natural
- Focus on fixing your club face first on the course
I sure hope this has been helpful as I do love helping golfers improve. If you have any questions just leave them below and I will do my best to get back to you.
Also, if you would like a free weekly article to improve your golf game come join the golf insider weekly post.
Happy golfing – Will @ Golf Insider UK
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