Fix Your Slice Forever – Part 3
By Chris Foley
Slicing the ball would be the biggest ball flight error I see on the lesson tee and over the course of the golf season we will be sharing with you why you slice and how to fix your slice for good.
A slice is undesirable because it curves away from the target too much, generally doesn’t go as far, and the golfer has less control of the ball.
To correct your slice, you need to understand what causes the ball to curve in the direction that it does. The golf ball curves because of the relationship between the face and the path of the swing. Where the face is pointing at impact has the biggest influence on where the ball starts. The path of the swing is the direction of the swing in relationship to the target line. When the face is open in relationship to the path the ball is going to slice.
By knowing how to influence the path/face relationship you can correct your slice and play better golf.
This month we are going to focus on influencing the path of the golf club. The path of the club is the direction of the swing through impact relative to the target line. When we slice the ball the path of the swing is to the left and the face is open in relationship to the path. To eliminate the slice, the path needs to be to the right. Another way of saying this is the path needs to be in to out.
A golfer’s set-up has a big influence on the path of the golf swing. We covered the grip in depth in last month’s article, but if the golfer’s hands are in a position on the handle of the club that causes the clubface to be open the player will tend to try and square the club with the path of the swing. This causes the path to be more to the left.
The other influence on path in the set-up is the player’s alignment. Most golfers who slice the ball will tend to align to the left to accommodate the ball curving to the right. The problem with aligning more to the left is that the more you align left, the more the path of the swing goes to the left creating a bigger slice. Shoulder alignment in relationship to a players body also influences the path. If the shoulders are open in relationship to the golfer’s body alignment and the target line the path is going to tend to swing more leftward.
The forward swing is a result of the set-up and the backswing. Where the club, arms and body travel in the backswing determine whether the forward swing is leftward or rightward. Golfers with leftward paths tend to swing the club too low and around in the takeaway and then the left arm gets too much across the chest and the club too steep in the second half of the backswing. When the arms and club are in this position the tendency will be for the club to get steep in the transition and the path to move to the left.
The other major influence on the path of the swing is the transition between the backswing and the forward swing. The transition is the timing of how the lower body, upper body, the arms, and the club move in the forward swing. When the path is leftward the lower body is rotating too rapidly in relationship to the arms and club, or the upper body has moved toward the target too soon.
When trying to fix your slice, think about these influences to get your path more rightward.