The slice is one of the most horrendous golf shots you will ever see. Some of the most experienced players often find themselves slicing the ball and losing it in the trees or water, leading to penalties.
In simple terms, a slice is a type of shot in which the ball’s trajectory is the opposite of what was intended. For instance, consider a right-handed golfer who takes a shot with a driver, for him, the ball should go straight or slightly in the left direction.
However, if he ends up slicing the ball, it will move towards the right direction in a curved trajectory. For a left-handed golfer, the ball will move in the left direction.
Many seasoned players intentionally do the slice, but it happens occasionally. In most cases, players slice the ball due to a mishit and end up wasting time and moving the ball further away from the hole. A slice is sometimes also known as a banana ball.
This article will share some valuable information on how to stop slicing the golf ball and the different ways to achieve that. But first, we should know what causes a slice.
What causes a golf ball to slice
Slice is primarily caused when a player hits the golf ball with an open-faced club. This can either be caused due to poor posture or improper swing of the club.
In most cases, it is caused by the player’s swing technique when he’s attempting to strike the ball in outside to inside swing motion and opening the face in the process. This open face then swipes across the ball, imparting a slice spin and changing the trajectory in the process.
Another reason is the infamous coming over the top swing. This is one of the most resented golf swings and golfers struggle to avoid this during games.
Here, the club will most likely make contact with the outside of the golf ball, resulting in improper impact and putting the ball in a massive spin, causing it to slice horribly. Players usually end up doing the coming over the top swing when they’re under pressure, stressed, or are trying too hard.
These two are primary reasons for the ball to slice. However, there may other reasons too. For example, players who tend to start the swing with their shoulders or arms instead of their lower body tend to slice the ball more often.
An active upper body will cause you to rotate and increase the chances of hitting the ball with an open-faced club. Another reason could be your grip which needs to be firm and strong to avoid slicing.
How to Fix a Golf Slice
There are several ways to stop slicing the golf ball, and each one of them is almost equally effective. However, to see a considerable difference in your technique, you must choose one of the methods and practice it diligently.
You should also understand that you won’t be fixing the slice in a single day; it might take a few weeks or sometimes months to master these techniques.
Here are some tips on how to stop slicing the golf ball. Please note that these techniques are for a right-handed golfer. If you’re a left-handed golfer, then switch the left and right positions mentioned below.
Technique 1: Perfecting the grip
- Before hitting the ball, make sure your stance is square and not open. This means that your hips, arms, shoulders, and feet should be aligned left of the target line.
- Also, make sure that you’re not holding the club in an open position. Like your body, the club face should be square and not in an awkward position.
- Next, you’ll have to fix your grip. Many players hold the club with a weaker grip. For a right-handed player, this means placing your left hand too far down under the shaft, and the right hand is too far over the top.
- The best way to fix your grip is to place your left hand’s fingers below the shaft and rolling your palm around and over the top. You should be able to see two knuckles of your left hand.
- Then, you need to place your right hand a little to the side of the grip rather than above. Essentially, you should hold the club with your right hand’s fingers instead of the palm.
- Now try hitting the ball. You’ll notice that the shot is much straighter and aligned towards the left, avoiding the slice in the process.
Technique 2: Control the club face during the back swing
- Grip the club as mentioned in the first technique.
- If you’re a slicer, you’ll tend to open the club face while taking the club away as you prepare to take the shot.
- Ideally, when you take the club away, the club face should be facing downwards rather than outwards.
- Next, when your arms are fully extended backward when you’re just about to swing, make sure to bend your wrist slightly. The goal here is to ensure that your left hand’s top is facing the sky when your arms are fully stretched back.
- Finally, take a shot, and you’ll notice a considerable difference immediately. Practice this technique until you stop slicing completely.
Technique 3: Control the club face as you follow through the shot
- Many slicers tend to open the club face as they follow through the shot. As they do this, their arms get farther away from each other which leads to the opening up of the club face.
- The goal here is to keep the arms as close to one another as possible during the follow-through.
- Begin by gripping the club as mentioned above.
- Take a shot in such a way that your arms allow the golf club to rotate after you hit the ball.
- The best way to do this is by trying to cross your forearms as you follow through. What this means is that your right forearm should extend slightly further than the left one, crossing each other in the process.
- Some of the most renowned golfers use this technique to avoid slicing.
Technique 4: Modifying your path into the golf ball
- A slice often occurs when a player hits across the golf ball, swinging the club almost diagonally towards the left.
- The key is to keep your swing as straight as possible and avoid veering towards the left. Some players try to keep their swing as rightwards as possible.
- We suggest placing a soft object like a towel or a cloth slightly behind and on the right of the golf ball. The objective is to create an obstacle to make you wary of a leftward swing.
- Now take the shot and while doing so do it with an inside path to encourage a draw golf shot.
- When combined with all the earlier techniques we have mentioned, this technique can dramatically improve your golf shot and reduce the likelihood of a slice.
Technique 5: Change where you strike the club face
- The most common cause of slicing the golf ball is when players hit the ball with the heel side of the club. It may be due to their personal playing styles or the fact that the heel is the part closest to the golf club’s shaft.
- However, you must change this if you want to fix your golf slice.
- To fix your slice, you’ll have to try and hit the ball with the toe end of the club. The strike location on the club has a massive influence on the trajectory of the ball.
- The more the strike location is towards the heel, the higher the ball’s tendency to slice, and vice versa.
A golf slice is one the scariest nightmares for golfers and often leads to time wasting and losing a game, with a slight pinch of humiliation and embarrassment.
However, if you apply the five techniques we have mentioned and blend them according to preferences, you’ll notice an immediate improvement in your slicing tendency. The key is to practice as much as possible till you gain mastery in any particular technique.