Category: Golf Tips
Cure Your Slice
On the Practice Tee
with Joe Giles
PGA Professional and
Southern Ohio PGA Teacher of the Year
The pure slice, or the shot that starts to the left of the target and spins wildly to the right, is a result of a down-swing path that starts from outside the target and finishes inside. Typically the reason for the improper path is that as the player starts the down-swing with too much right side, causing the left side to open too soon, forcing the club to first swing out, then be re-routed to the inside. It feels like an aggressive swing, but actually most of the potential speed is wasted pulling the club-head inside the intended path, which creates all the unwanted spin. Another cause may be an incorrect club-face position at the top of the back-swing. If the face is pointing to the sky and the toe is pointing to the right, this will cause an outside to inside path every time.
Now let’s talk about how you would prevent these two swing flaws from happening. Grab a club and take a slow motion back-swing. At the top of your back-swing check a couple of critical positions. Make sure the shaft of the club is parallel to the target, and cock your wrists so that the toe of the club is facing the ground. The face will be pointing to the right. Now, slowly start the down-swing. It’s important that you pull the butt-end of the club down with your left hand, returning the club to a position so that the shaft is parallel to the ground, your wrists are still cocked, and most importantly imagine a laser beam shooting from the hole in the bottom of the grip. The laser beam must be pointed slightly to the right of the target. This confirms that you are now swinging from a slightly inside to outside path. A slice path will have the beam aiming left of the target.
Once you arrive at this position you must now release the club properly. Slowly un-cock your wrists and return the club to a square position. Next, let the left hand make a circular motion which catapults the right hand outward. You’ll notice that in a flash the club-face has gone from being behind you, to being flung in front of you. The right arm is extended now, while the left is slightly bent. Your swing-path has just rotated through the hitting area, rather than being pulled through. The speed of the release should now pull the right side to the target.
If you practice these tips, I can’t guarantee that your slice will vanish, but at least you will be headed in the right direction. The path is the key, it’s not as easy as following the yellow brick road, but you’ll feel like a wizard when you start hitting the ball straight, or even a little right to left.
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