For casual and high-handicap golfers, a slice can be extremely frustrating. Watching your golf ball sail to the left or right instead of straight toward the pin is enough to make anyone throw in the towel. But don’t give up just yet. In this guide, we’ll explain exactly what causes a golf slice and how you can fix it.
What is a Slice in Golf?
A slice is a golf shot that curves away from a golfer’s dominant hand. For right-handed players, a sliced ball will travel right, while a sliced ball will travel left for left-handed players. Though there are intentional slice techniques, the fade shot being the most popular, most slice shots made by casual golfers are unintentional and detrimental to your game. While you're most likely to experience a slice when using a driver, you can also slice the ball with your irons and fairway woods. Read on to learn what's causing your slices and how to remedy it.
Why is a Slice Bad?
Slicing the ball is unfortunate for many reasons. With a slice, the golf ball travels way off the course of your intended target and doesn’t yield nearly as much distance as a straight shot. Slices take your ball off track, adding strokes to your game, and often leave you way over par on every hole. If you consistently find yourself in the rough, you know exactly how frustrating a slice can be.
What Causes a Ball to Slice?
Several factors contribute to a slice. Here are some of the most common reasons why casual golfers slice the ball.
An Open Clubface
One of the biggest factors contributing to a slice, an open clubface describes the angle of the clubface in relation to the ball. An open face is angled over 90 degrees away from the ball, either to the right or left, depending on your dominant hand. Keeping your clubface square to the ball will drastically reduce the frequency of slices.
An Open Stance or Outside-In Stance
When trying to fix a golf slice, many golfers try to overcorrect by adopting an open stance in relation to the golf ball. This means their hips, feet, and shoulders are aligned either to the left or right of the target. The irony is that the more you try to correct a slice by altering your stance, the more it will travel in the opposite direction. By keeping your stance square, you’ll hit fewer slices.
Poor Grip on the Golf Club
A bad grip can ruin your game. A weak or improper grip makes it near impossible to square the clubface to the ball. To improve your game and reduce slices, adjust your grip on the club.
Improper Weight Distribution
An over-the-top downswing is another contributor to sliced shots. This happens when you don’t shift your weight properly throughout your swing. There’s usually too much weight on your back foot, and you pull your club too far away from your body. It often looks like you’re chopping the golf ball instead of swinging at it. The result? A major slice.
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5 Steps to Stop Slicing The Ball With Your Driver And Irons
A majority of slices are hit with drivers and irons. Learn how to avoid hitting slices with these five easy steps.
1. Fix Your Stance
The first thing you want to do to stop slicing is to fix your stance. Start with flexed knees, not locked, and feet shoulder-width apart–widen your stance slightly from there when using a driver, woods, or iron. Angle your front foot slightly toward your target while keeping your back foot perpendicular to the target (at a 90-degree angle).
2. Adjust Your Grip
As a general rule, avoid holding the club directly in the palm of your lead hand. Instead, try holding the club more with the fingers of your lead hand. This gives you more flexibility and control with each swing. Keep your palms parallel with each other and turn away from the target.
3. Square the Clubface
Make sure to square the clubface at impact to avoid slices. The key to this is correcting the angle of the club face on your downswing. As soon as you start to swing down, turn your lead hand towards the ground. Make sure the club face meets the ball at a 90-degree angle. Practice this movement slowly at first until it becomes natural.
4. Distribute Your Weight Evenly
Even weight distribution helps prevent swinging over the top. Keep your spine straight, and aligned with your knees and feet. When swinging drivers and other long clubs, keep more weight on your back foot. Turn with your hips, not just at the waist. If you turn with just your waist, only your upper body is moving, which makes your weight distribution completely uneven.
5. Get More Forgiving Clubs
Sometimes, it’s all in the gear. Forgiving clubs with flexible shafts are enormously helpful for casual golfers looking to improve their game and stop slicing the ball. Stix clubs help you swing further and straighter so you can spend more time on the green and less time in the rough.
That’s a Wrap on Golf Slices
Sometimes, all it takes is the smallest adjustment for your game to improve–and in some cases, all you need is new equipment! We hope this guide has given you some hope that you can actually correct your golf slice so you can enjoy the game once again.
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