The most common error for the recreational and beginner golfer is a slice. This strike is a ball that curves, rather like the curve in a ripe banana, from left to right for the right-handed golfer.
In this article, we will be talking to the right-handed golfer and the lefties will just have to change left and right.
Below are eight fixes for your slice:
• Grip. Make sure you have a stronger grip. Rotate your hands to the right until you see three knuckles on your left hand. Also make sure you don’t grip the club too tightly. Grip the club in your fingers, not your palms.
• Aim and alignment. Most slicers aim too far to the left. Make sure you aim the clubface square to the target and align your body parallel to the target line.
• Ball position. Slicers play the ball too far forward in their stance. Move your ball position back, more toward the center, and this will help you make contact with the ball in a path out to the target.
• Clubface. Most slicers take the club back too far inside, causing the clubface to open. You should feel like you “push away” the club straight back with your left arm.
• Path. The slicer has a forward swing path that is outside-in across the ball, causing it to start left of the target. To fix the slice, you need to make contact with the ball on an inside-out path to the target.
• Be aware of your right elbow and shoulder. The slicer typically has a “flying” right elbow at the top of the backswing. You need to keep the right elbow closer to your body and bent until impact. Early straightening of the right elbow causes you to swing from the top and across the ball. Also keep your right shoulder behind the ball at impact.
• Proper weight shift. On the forward swing, the left hip must shift toward the target and rotate so that you can get your right side through the ball. Leaving weight on your right side and falling back is a common error of a slicer.
• Divots. Check your divots. If they are pointing left of your target, you will usually slice the ball.
I suggest that you learn how to “draw” the ball and your slice will disappear.
Dr. Jean Harris is an LPGA Master Professional and teaches at local courses. firstname.lastname@example.org; golfdoctorjean.com