The experts agree that over 80% of all golfers slice the ball. The percentages are in favor of saying you’re one of them, right? Well, here is an easy-to-use method to understand and fix your slice!
Here we go…
A sli… I mean, banana ball, can be dissected into three parts:
- Swing path
- Face angle
- Contact on the face
We’ll break each down.
[su_highlight]BONUS ALERT! To help fight a slice, it helps to know how to hit a draw. You can get a step-by-step checklist you can take with you to the range. Keep reading to find out how to get it! [/su_highlight]
The swing path is responsible for 20% of the overall ball flight. Specifically, the initial 20% of the flight.
If your shoulders are aligned square to your intended target line, the ball will start on that line. It may not be the correct target line, however.
The ball will always, always, always start where the shoulders are pointing. Always. If you want to find where they should be pointing, stand behind your ball. Look down the ball, towards a target down the fairway. Now, if you’re a righty, take a sidestep to the left, while continuing to look down the fairway. Allow your eyes to follow your step. See that new target? That’s where your shoulders should be pointing!
If you allow the shoulders to remain pointing at the ball’s target, your shoulders will close, creating a push scenario. If you overcompensate and leave them open, it creates a pull scenario.
- If the face is square to the target, the ball will fly straight
- If the face is closed to the target, the ball will draw/hook
- If the face is open to the target, the ball will fade/slice
Since the face angle is responsible for the remaining 80% of the ball’s flight plan, it’s pretty important that we get this right. But how?
My favorite drill is one I got from AJ Bonar, when he used to write for Golf magazine. Yes, it’s that same “Truth About Golf” guy… The idea really isn’t new, but his was the first time I’d ever heard of it.
The thought is, your driver is actually a big screwdriver, and as you come into impact, you want to “turn the screw”.
Many teachers will tell you about releasing your body (which is true) is a good way to fix your slice, but they don’t tell you what to do with your hands. It should be “natural”…
WTF? How does a new golfer, or one that’s only been able to get lessons from those 50-word magazine articles, going to know what’s “natural”?
Honestly, when I first started, I thought that a body release would get the job done “naturally”, as well. Why I believed that when I was a baseball player for the majority of my childhood, I have no idea. The only time I wanted my hands to stay open was when I tried to hit it to the opposite field- translated into golf, that’d be a slice!
There’s more to the release than that. Maybe that Bonar guy is a “snake oil” salesman; maybe he’s not. I don’t know him, don’t own his DVD’s… but that article made a lot of sense to me.
Think about it for a second: if your hands are just there and you turn your body, what will your hands do? They’ll keep the face OPEN at impact. Maybe not if you’re super-flexible, but I’m guessing many of us aren’t. The hands HAVE to be involved!
Another way to think about this is to check your forearm position. Take the club back, and look at your arms. Note their position? Now, slowly take it past the impact position; your hands should be above the hips. In a perfect world, your forearms will have switched positions (sometimes referred to as “rolled over”). In essence, what it looks like after impact should be almost a mirror image of what it looked like in the backswing.
Basically, this is two different ways to say the same thing, so hopefully one or the other visualization works for you!
Contact on the Face
Let’s take a second to discuss Gear Effect.
You know how gears work, right? Well, the horizontal curvature of the driver’s face (the bulge) adds sidespin to the shot. Imagine the big gear above is the driver, and the little gear is the ball:
- When the ball is struck out on the toe, the driver rotates clockwise, ever so slightly, while the ball rotates left.
- When the ball is struck on the heel, the driver rotates counter-clockwise, ever so slightly, while the ball rotates right.
The premise of gear effect is that, while the shot starts out in the wrong direction, the spin imparted by the “gears” will bring the ball back to the fairway.
Slices occur when the ball is hit off the heel, many times accompanied by an open face. The ball’s already starting in the wrong direction, and the slicespin that’s added to it from the heel hit makes it worse!