Whether you are an amateur golfer or you’ve been playing golf for some time, a slice is one of the most frustrating mistakes that keep coming up. Unfortunately, most amateur golfers do not know that this mistake can be fixed. No wonder you’ll often hear people ask what a slice is in golf.
So, what is a slice in golf? A slice is a type of golf shot in which the ball curves away from the player’s dominant hand. This means that the golf ball will dramatically curve to the right for right-handed players. The keyword here is “curve,” meaning that it won’t be a slice if the ball goes straight right.
A golfer may play the slice intentionally, but it usually happens as a result of a mishit. It can lead to a significant loss in the distance while causing your shot to miss the target. It’s important to note that the shape of a sliced shot will differ for left-handed golfers and right-handed golfers, although the causes are mostly identical.
Causes of Slices in Golf
Despite being such a popular mistake for amateur golfers, slices can still be fixed (read best golf balls for slice). However, before fixing the problem, you must determine the cause. Below, let’s review some of the common causes of a slice in golf.
1. Open Club Face
This is perhaps the most common cause of a slice. Studies show that most golfers would experience a slice because of this reason. An open clubface typically gives you a contact that is not square. Many players say that the contact feels like a “sideswipe.”
One common cause of an open clubface is a wrong grip. Remember that a wrong grip would typically mean your hand position reflecting in the face.
The best way to adjust this is by turning one of your hands away from your target. For instance, right-handed golfers would rotate their hands to the right.
2. Arms Moving Too Far Away From The Body
Another common reason why a slice may happen in golf is separating your hands from your body.
Remember that you can stabilize a square clubface by keeping your underarms close enough to your body throughout your golf swing. This ideology typically means that you’ll easily open the face if your underarm moves away from your busy during a downswing or backswing.
To effectively do this, you must understand the circular nature of the golf swing. Allowing the natural curving to play out with your arms close to your body would make you more likely to have a square clubface.
3. Bad Posture
Everybody should know this one – a bad posture can disrupt almost everything. When it comes to golf, you should know that making your posture too upright while allowing some forward bend from the hip joint will disrupt your ability to take a backswing.
Standing too upright would also force too much weight on your heels, causing you to make a backswing that’s too upright. Any attempt to swing in this posture will produce a slice path on the downswing.
Of course, golfers are built differently, and you’ll need to find a point of balance to ensure that your backswing hits the right target.
4. Keep Your Lead Too Stretched Out
It’s pretty easy to confuse tension and width in a golf swing. While width would increase power, you should not misunderstand it to mean that your lead am would stay straight.
Straightening out your lead arm can make it difficult to relax your lead elbow and fold on the forward swing. Keeping your lead arm too stiff for too long while taking a forward swing will not only open the clubface and cause the ball to slice, it’ll also delay your ability to release the clubface and change the ball’s speed.
One of the best ways to control this is to maintain split hands while practicing your swings. This way, you’ll learn to relax and fold on your forward swing while delivering a square face at impact.
5. Righty Playing Lefty (or Vise Versa)
Playing golf from a side other than your dominant arm can often cause your call to slice. Playing like this will make your lead arm so strong that it begins to delay the natural release of the clubface during forward swings.
Essential Tips For Stopping a Slice in Golf
Now that we’ve talked so much about slices in golf and what causes them, you are probably wondering how you can play correctly without experiencing these problems.
The key to fixing a slice is understanding the need to square your clubface to the direction of the swing path to stop your ball from slicing. Leaving your clubface open to the path of the ball will cause it to slice.
Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to remedy the situation intentionally. It’s important to find which of the remedies would suit your playing style and stick to it. That cleared; here are some of the common fixes to slices in golf.
Adjust your grip
If you meet a veteran golfer to help you, the first thing they’ll probably tell you is to adjust your grip. It’s the most common fix for a golf slice.
A poor grip may be the most significant cause of a slice in golf. After all, your grip is your only connection to your club. You’ve probably heard people say that “a good golf starts with a good grip.”
While that’s true, you’ll need to understand what grip is a good grip. As explained above, holding the club in the palm of the lead hand with your trail hand on top of the shaft would limit your ability to square the face, and your shots will be weak.
This common grip problem can cause players to start coming over the top while trying to square the clubface. To fix this, I typically advise golfers to maintain a good grip of the club with as many fingers as possible. This way, your grip will be tension-free, while you’ll acquire the correct wrist angles and square the club properly to avoid having an open face.
Apart from being the most common golf slice fix, a good grip is also the simplest fix you can try.
Proper positioning of the ball
Another simple but effective fix for a golf slice is the proper positioning of the ball. Ball positioning plays a vital role in determining how you come into impact. It doesn’t just affect the club’s path, it also affects the clubface and the swing’s low point.
This may not be a one-size-fits-all solution, but most players discover that part of the reason for slicing the ball is the overly forward position. Forward balls make hitting the ball first a little more complicated than it would have been.
Monitor your stance
One of the first steps to eliminating a golf slice is taking a proper stance. I typically advise golfers to find a point between being too wide and too narrow when talking about this. A wide stance will make the weight shift pretty difficult, and the regular ball strikes less likely.
Most times, when people’s stance affects their shots, it’s either because they continue aiming more and more left. This kind of hit would make squaring the clubface impossible because your shot would go dead left where you are aiming.
We’ve also seen slicers aiming too far right. This kind of aim can force you to come over the top and hit a pullback towards your target.
Recap: What is a Slice in Golf?
Golf slice is a popular problem in golf, especially for amateur golfers. As explained above, it causes the golf ball to move from the dominant hand of a player. Yes, it’s correctable, but you must first understand the reason why you keep hitting a slice in golf before trying to correct it.
One of the most common causes of a slice in golf is open clubface. Other factors like bad posture may also affect s player. However, you can correct it by applying the tips explained above.