The slice is one of the most common ball flight problems known in golf. It happens to all of us, at one time or another. Those who encounter a slice only sporadically should not make drastic changes to their swing. Instead, chalk it up to Fate and move on. But for those who often see their ball flying off to the right side of the fairway, some advice.
First, let’s figure out why a ball slices in the first place.
A slice happens when there is horizontal spin on the golf ball. In other words, sideways spin. If you were able to look down on a slice ball at impact you would see the ball spinning clockwise.
This clockwise spinning is caused by the club face being open as it strikes the ball. As the ball takes flight, it has no other option but to go to the right. The more severe the spin, the more dramatic the flight to the right will be.
The key to curing a slice is getting the club face back to square before it hits the ball.
There are many reasons a club face can open up on you. Here are the most common:
Improper Grip: How you hold the club in your hands can determine whether or not the club face can get back to square at impact. If your grip is overly weak or overly strong chances are good you will slice or hook the ball every time. You want a neutral grip which will allow the face to get back to square on impact.
Standing Too Close or Too Far Away: Some golfers may be in the habit of standing too close to the ball or too far away from the ball at address. This can lead to the golfer having to use his or her arms too much as they come back on the downswing in order to get the club face to come into contact with the ball. It can also result in balance problems which can easily lead to opening the club face, resulting in a slice.
Improper Hand Action: Other than holding the club, the hands should not play a major role in the golf swing. If your hands (and wrists) are moving all over the place there is no telling where they will be at impact, and this means there is not telling where the club face will be at impact, too.
It is also important to remember that clutching the club too tightly can result in missed hits as well.
Heavy Hitting: One of the most common ways golfers create a slice is when they try to hit the ball too hard. You have a prefect swing tempo for each of your clubs. When you attempt to exceed that tempo by “smashing” the ball, chances are good you will hit a poor shot, and this poor shot will often be a wicked slice.
In order to cure your slice you have to put in the time to determine what specific problem is causing your club face to open. This can take time, but it is time well invested.
If you simply cannot figure it out, visit your local pro and have them take a look at your swing. Many experienced golf pros can narrow down a slice issue very quickly.