In golf, the slice is a ball that curves to the left. It usually results from a shot where you have pushed or pulled your hands away from your body on the downswing and therefore not pivoted enough through impact with the golf ball. You end up hitting it fat and slicing it off to one side of the fairway or out into a hazard.
What Causes A Slice?
There are many reasons why you might be slicing the golf ball.
Firstly, your grip pressure is too strong so that you cannot get the club around at a fast enough speed through impact and start to hit behind it. Your wrists could also be flexing too much leading to an inside-out swing path.
Alternatively, you may not have rotated your hips far enough at impact to square up the club face and be hitting down on the ball with too much force.
This leads us onto one of the most common causes for slicing, which is using a slice or "draw" type grip. This typically involves holding the club tightly in your left hand and releasing it in your right hand.
This is quite a common fault, where golfers try to improve their distance by over-gripping the club in an attempt to hold the shaft still at address. This leads to a restricted motion through impact and therefore causes problems for your swing path because you cannot get around fast enough.
The slice can also be caused by improper grip pressure when you are using a "pinch" or "Vardon" grip. This requires you to lightly squeeze your hands together on the club, with one thumb on top of the other in order to keep the shaft still while gripping down and around it toward your left forearm.
You need to make sure that you are not too loose with your grip pressure here, because if you are the club will twist back into your hands rather than moving in a smooth motion through impact.
To learn how to stop slicing the golf ball step by step, keep reading...
Get a good grip on the club
It all starts here so make sure you get it right from the off. The grip is such an important aspect of your game but it's surprising how many people don't get this part right!
Remember, with a slice the club face at impact will be open to the swing path rather than square on or closed (as would be the case if you hit a draw) so make sure you're gripping down on the club as well as forward, at least with the little finger knuckle.
When you grip too much inwards (with your thumbs and forefingers), or down towards the shaft, your club face will be pointing left of your target line at impact rather than directly at it and this will cause a slice.
Get your grip right and the rest should fall into place.
Set up square to the target line
This is another important part of curing your slice. Fixing your stance can make all the difference!
Your feet, hips and shoulders should be set parallel to the target line, so your feet should be pointing directly at the target line and you should be facing parallel to it also.
Your hips will likely want to turn in slightly (unless you are an expert player) but try to reposition them.
If you can get your head over the ball this way then great! If not, try a couple of different stances and see which works best for you.
Make sure your left arm is straight and in front of you at address
Don't just rest it on or behind the ball as this will make it feel like there's nothing behind you when you swing.
Standing closer in to the target will also help - if your backswing feels short, then move your feet forward a little bit until you can complete a full backswing without hitting yourself on the left arm with the club head.
This will help to create a good swing plane which if all goes well, should result in the ball flying off towards the target line as opposed to across it!
Keep your right hand relaxed and not too tight
One of the problems with slicers has a stiff right hand. The club will tend to push from underneath during the back swing, and slice is an inevitable result. Ensure that your grip is relaxed even though you want to have a firm grip on the club.
The right hand should be as active as possible in the golf swing.
Reduce loft on your putter
Another reason for slicing is that the angle between the club and your wrists is too steep. You have to reduce loft on your putter if you want a more neutral angle between your hands at impact.
Having too much loft will make it harder to bring the club face square to the target line at impact.
Hit down on the ball when putting
The better players can usually get more loft on their putter than the bad players. This will help them achieve a square club face at impact; and hence, less chance of slicing.
What you have to do is set up with your eyes over the ball so that when your head moves back in the downswing it can't move too far away from where it was at address.
If it does, then the flat club face will improve your chances of a square contact with the ball.
Swing down with an even tempo
To prevent a slice, keep your club head down as long as possible in your backswing before you make contact with the ball.
This will ensure that when you go into impact, your body is straight and at an angle that will allow for a powerful swing.
The slice is a common target in any golfer's game, but there are many things you can do to prevent and overcome it like those mentioned above.
If you are still battling the slice, making these simple changes to your game will help you start getting more solid contact with the golf ball and feeling better about your game.
Good luck and happy golfing!