Every golfer has experienced a “sliced” ball at some point in time, and anyone who tells you otherwise is probably lying. According to a survey conducted by Golf.com, 70% of respondents say slicing is their “greatest golf sin.” That’s a pretty bold statement given the countless number of hurdles golfers face on a regular basis.
While some golfers may brush this phenomenon off as a minor issue, it can have a devastating impact on your game if not properly addressed. As the ball changes trajectory, it slows down while simultaneously veering off its original course. In other words, sliced balls are less accurate and travel less distance.
The Mechanics Behind Slicing
Slicing occurs when the ball’s trajectory shifts to either the right or left. Even if the ball travels straight when you initially make contact with the clubface, it may still change direction in mid air. To remedy this problem, you must first take a step back to identify exactly what’s causing your ball to slice.
One of the most common causes of slicing is hitting the ball with an open clubface. This occurs when the heel leads the toe at the moment of impact; therefore, creating backspin on the ball and causing it to slice, or fade, to either the right or left. Ideally, the clubface should be straight, with both the heel and toe adjacent to one another.
Another cause of slicing is a weak grip. Holding the club with your thumbs loose and/or faced down is a serious mistake that can lead to slicing. Maintain a strong, but not overly tight, grip through the swing with your fingers in the right position (see below) to ensure clean contact with the clubface.
Tips To Beat The Slice:
- Maintain a strong grip with your hands facing away from the hole and your palms parallel.
- Don’t lock your knees; keep them somewhat loose with a small bend.
- Keep your feet spread about shoulder-width apart.
- Hold the club with a firm grip that allows you to maintain control while still preserving the fluid motion of the swing.
- Use a closed stance in which your front foot is set closer to the target line.
- Pull the club farther back so the club’s toe and heel align at the point of impact.
- Keep practicing and you will eventually beat the slice!
Check out the Junior Players Golf Academy blog for more golf tips and tricks!