Cure the Slice...Forever

Doug Hammer Scottsdale, AZ (Sports Network) -- How many of you want to shoot lower scores? Cure the Slice...Forever

Do any of you slice the ball? Even occasionally. My guess is just about everyone's hand just went up. Would you like to get rid of that slice? Of course you would. Slices look bad, cause you to lose golf balls, and cost you distance. There is not much positive about a slice unless you are playing a dogleg right.

So, the first step in correcting that slice is to ask yourself "Why do I slice?" How many of you think you know the answer? Hopefully, all of you. You slice because the clubface is open in relation to your swing path and target line. That is the bottom line. A golf ball curves because the open face imparts sidespin on the golf ball. Period.

I hear this get misdiagnosed constantly. Most of the time I find that students feel they slice because they swing "over the top" or outside to in with their swing path. That is not the case. It doesn't help anything, but that is not the case. Most of the time, slicers swing over the top as a result of the slice. When a golfer sees an errant curve to the right, instinct takes over and that golfer begins swinging to the left thus, creating an over the top swing path.

A good swing starts with a perfect grip
I bring this up because I often see golfers try, and then fail, to fix their slice by trying to fix their swing path without fixing the clubface first. Lots of fixings there...too many. If you try to swing more from inside to out (which would be swinging more to the right) with an open face, you are going to hit the ball farther right than where you started. At least, if you swing over the top, the ball may start left of target and slice back, making you look like you planned to hit that shot. The moral here is you cannot fix a slice by simply fixing your swing shape; you must address the clubface.

How do we get the clubface to behave during the swing? We look at three major areas of improvement. The first is the grip. I have attached a photo of an ideal, neutral grip position. In the proper grip, the club should be positioned in the fingers of both hands making it easy to rotate and hinge the wrists. Your natural arm hang position will determine the position of the hands on the club. Let your arms hang to your sides, notice how your hands turn inward slightly. This is the position your hands should be in on the club. Most people open up their hands to put the grip on, which promotes a grip that is too much in the palms. Do you wear holes in your golf gloves? That is the first sign of a grip that is too open and in the palm of your hand.

The second place to look to correct your clubface would be your grip pressure. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most grip pressure you can put on the club, you should hold the club at about a 4. Most people hold the club way too tight, especially slicers, because you are trying to maximize your distance. This is the biggest killer of distance in the golf swing as too much grip pressure does not allow the wrists to hinge and rotate properly during the swing. Get loose before you swing. There are many ways to do this - deep breathes, waggle the club during your pre-shot routine, or have a beer!

An example of an open club face.
Finally, the club must rotate properly during the swing. You can check this in two places - does the toe of the club point to the sky when the club is at hip high in the backswing and does the toe point to the sky at hip high in the follow through? A great drill would be to swing any club from hip high to hip high and practice feeling and checking the rotation of the toe of the club. You can take that drill to the next level and practice calling your shots. In other words, try to hit the ball left by over rotation the toe in the follow through, then try to hit the ball right by under-rotating the club. And, finally, try to hit one perfectly straight by finding the right timing of the rotation. Do this drill every time you practice and you will be working the ball like a tour pro in no time!

Doug Hammer * Director of Instruction * Troon North Golf Club p 480-585-5300 ext. 251 * f 480-585-5161 * 10320 E Dynamite Blvd. * Scottsdale, AZ 85262 Managed by Troon Golf? *

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