Do You Have A Slice-Hook Swing?
By Greg Schulze, PGA Master Professional
Sounds like a silly title, but ALL players have “elements” within their set-up and swing which by themselves would PROMOTE an off-line starting line and/or curve combination. The key to NEUTRAL/CONSISTENT GOLF is to have an equal number of slicing and hooking elements so that they would “cancel” each other out and create a swing which produces shots with the best chance of landing in the fairway or on the green. For example, if you have 3 slice elements and 2 hook elements in your swing you should see a little fade, conversely, if you have 4 hook elements and 3 slice elements, you should see a little draw. The problem occurs when these numbers get too lopsided. If you have 6 slice elements and only 2 hook elements, don’t expect anything but a big slice. The key to PROGRESSIVE GOLF is to understand how to make the “ledger” balance.
Most players assume that the optimal goal of long-term development would be to reduce the total number of elements on both “sides of the ledger” to zero. Motor skill research disagrees with this reasoning. The goal is NOT to attempt to become some golf “robot” with no flaws, but to UNDERSTAND both root causes and effects of all possible ball flight directions. In other words, I really don’t want “one slice and one hook element”, it’s better to have COMMAND of many ways to produce many shot patterns on the course. Neutral/consistent golf does NOT come from zero “errors”, just an equal amount on each side of the slice-hook ledger whose causes are crystal clear to each player.
During my lessons, I often use a slice/hook worksheet to list set-up, backswing, transition and downswing-into-impact observations. To explain the ball flight pattern seen by my student, I simply show and explain the worksheet and we proceed with a plan to balance it out.
Challenge – How many of you think you could list the slice elements and hook elements within your current set-up and swing? Wouldn’t it be nice to understand this list? If your answer was no, consider a visit to your favorite PGA Professional and get your ledger balanced!