We all have watched those movies in which golf seems like a calm, composed, effortless game. Just dress-up fancy, hold the club, hit the innocent small ball, and it will go right into the hole.
Only when you get your hands “dirty” on the course do you realize that golf can be as tricky and frustrating as any other big-balled game. Especially when you make the perfect shot, and the ball goes straight towards the target, like a draw, getting your hopes high, but then all of a sudden, mid-shot turns to the right, further right, and further right. Becoming the most exasperating slice.
In the next shot, you intentionally hit the ball more toward the left, but it keeps going to the right. Unless you’re left-handed, then it would turn to the left.
Well, the news is, you are not in this alone. Plenty of golfers face the slice when they first start. So, the important question is, why do golfers slice the ball? And how to get rid of it.
Let’s dive a bit deeper into this guide.
What is Slice in Golf?
A slice is a shot that curves dramatically to the right (for right-handed golfers) or to the left (for left-handed golfers) and misses the intended target. It’s a shot that can send shivers down the spine of any golfer, from beginners to pros, and a number of factors can cause it.
Most commonly, a slice is caused by an “over the top” swing path, which means the club moves outside of the intended swing path during the downswing, causing the clubface to open and the ball to spin out of control. Another common cause of a slice is an improper grip, which can cause the clubface to be open at impact.
Why do golfers slice the ball?
From my long experience of slicing for quite a long time and later overcoming it, I will tell you the most common reasons golfers slice the ball.
When you try to fix your shot without understanding the science behind the slice, the chance of you getting it right is very thin.
#1: Having a weak grip
The first thing to consider while trying to fix the slice is your grip. There are three types of grips in golf: a weak grip, a neutral grip, and a strong grip.
A weak grip is when your hands are rotated too much toward the target. Many people have a natural inward rotation in their hands. So when they try to hit a square club face with a weak grip, the hand will rotate too far inside, ending up with an open club face. The ball will turn out in a left-to-right direction, causing a slice.
#2: Open club face
An opened club face is one of the biggest reasons for a slice. When your swing does not end up in a square club face, the ball goes into a side spin motion and turns to the right, causing a slice. A weak grip mainly causes an open club face.
#3: Poor Posture
Having checked the grip and the club face, check your posture. A posture too upright causes all the weight to fall on the heels. Similarly, if you arch your back a lot, taking a too-hunched-over posture will cause the ball to go all over the course.
Golf needs flexibility. If you are not supple enough, you cannot make a swift smooth swing. An upright posture makes your backswing rigid, resulting in an uneven downswing and an open or closed club face. Ultimately causing a slice.
#4: Poor Alignment
The distance between the position of the ball and the golfer in his setup causes him to see the ball toward the left.
Imagine a line being traced from the ball lying on to ground to the target. Now, take your set-up, view the target, and imagine a line there. The discrepancy between the two lines is the main reason for this mis-hit.
This also makes sense; if my ball is going right, and I can see the target toward the left, why not hit more left? Well, it’s not this simple. Hitting left in this situation will cause your ball to slice even more. You need to realign your body with the target.
#5: Opening the arms too much
Another reason why do golfers slice the ball is due to opening the arms too much.
Keeping your underarms open, away from the body, can result in an open club face. The golf swing is a circular motion. If you open your hands too much, the back swing will go too over the top, and the fourth swing will go more toward the inside. This will cause an open face, and your ball will go from left to right, causing a dreadful slice.
Fix your Golf slice
I know firsthand the frustration of hitting a slice shot. But fear not, for I’ve come up with 5 working tips on how to fix a slice and get your shots back on track. So grab your clubs and let’s get started on improving your game!
1) Strengthen your grip
Most golfers get rid of the slice just by fixing their grip. To straighten your grip, stand in the hitting position. Let your hands hang naturally, and observe the position of your left hand. Now hold the club from the left hand, mimicking its natural position. You should be able to see one or two knuckles of the lead hand at the address. Now place the right hand such that it covers the left thumb, with one or two knuckles visible, rotated away from the target. Now your grip is good to go.
Danny has covered some amazing tips on being a better gripper, so spend your next 10 minutes watching his video embedded underneath.
2) Hit a square club face
If you observe an open club face, follow these three steps, and your shot will be slice-free. First of all, check your grip. If it is weak, make it neutral or stronger. Secondly, do not hold the club too tightly. Applying excessive force on the shaft can cause the club face to turn on the inside, creating a slice. Lastly, practice holding the club in your fingers rather than your palm. It will make working at the club easier for you. Following these steps, hit the club face square and straight.
3) Correct your posture
Fixing your posture will eliminate the chance of the ball slicing repeatedly. To correct your posture, stand straight, facing the target. Bend your body from the hip joint just enough so that you can make a swift backswing in a circular motion. This tilt will distribute the weight equally throughout your body, and added flexibility will give you a balanced swing, eliminating the slice.
4) Fix the alignment
To fix the alignment problem, use an intermediate goal. Pick a spot near your target line from behind the ball. Get in position, and aim for that intermediate spot first. Keep your body perpendicular to the face and hit the ball so that it starts right at the intermediate goal. Now, the ball will not slice to the right, and you will get a draw.
5) Keep your arms toward the body
This correction technique involves keeping your underarms closed toward the body, which aids in hitting a square club face. Move your upper body in a circular motion, keeping the elbows closed, and hit the ball swiftly. This will add a push from your body into the swing, resulting in fixing the slice.
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To say the least
Hopefully, now you know why do golfers slice the ball. If you are stuck in a ball-slicing cycle too, recognize your mistake and try to fix it by making these amends. If you still cannot overcome the slice yourself, consider talking to a qualified PGA professional about it. They have specialized instructional programs to help with your grip and game.
Making these adjustments might initially feel uncomfortable, but with time and practice, you will eventually get used to them. Golf is a game of practice. The more you play, the better you get. May luck be with you!
Frequently Asked Queries
What is the most common cause of a slice?
Among the most common causes of a slice is a weak grip. Poor alignment following it. Practice a better grip position and a straighter set-up to overcome these flaws.
What grip is best to prevent slice?
There are multiple reasons that help prevent a slice. A strong grip best eliminates the chance of slicing completely. Practice walking the club through fingers instead of palms.
How do you get rid of a slice?
To get rid of a slice, strengthen your grip, hit the club face square, fix your posture, alignment, and flexibility, and keep your arms towards the body during a swing.
Does grip size affect slice?
Thicker grips tend to cause a lot of slices, while thinner causes hooks. Choose a grip that is thicker towards the shaft and tapers toward the club face to help you perform the best.
A guy with a charming face following his passion (both Golf and Blog) from Kansas. Bryan is the writer and creator of IAmLearningHowToGolf.com, loves golf, but he didn’t start playing until he was in his 20s. He’s not a pro by any means, but he’s put in the time and effort to get pretty darn good. Bryan’s main goal with this blog is to help other golfers improve their game and have more fun on the course. He does this by writing informative, relatable, and down-to-earth content. When he’s not golfing or writing, Bryan enjoys going on hikes, spending time with his family, and watching movies sometimes. For any queries reach out to him at Bryan@iamlearninghowtogolf.com.