Step-By-Step Slice Cure

As we all know, the slice is the bane of every high handicapper’s existence. If you’re in the market for a golf course home never buy one on the right side of the fairway about 200 yards from the tee as your window repair bill might be higher than your mortgage.

In my many years of teaching it never ceases to amaze me how many career banana ballers have absolutely no idea why it’s happening. I often joke to my students that it’s not because you talked back to your ninth-grade math teacher. But I’m pretty sure that some of them think that it’s precisely the cause.

No, it’s actually because your clubface is open at impact. It can be a pull slice where the clubhead path is outside-in or a push slice where your path is coming too much from the inside. In both cases the clubface is far too open relative to the path at the moment of truth.

So, what do we do about this perplexing quandary? Step one is to check both grip and alignment. If the grip is too weak (either hand or both hands turned too far to the left for a right-handed golfer), I’ll have them turn their hands more to the right into a stronger position until they can see at least two knuckles on their left hand. I will make sure that from an alignment standpoint their toes, knees, hips and shoulders are all parallel to each other and to the target line. When grip and alignment are out of kilter the downswing becomes an endless series of compensations. We don’t want compensations.

Then I will check their clubface position when the shaft is parallel to the ground halfway back (P2 for you knowledgeable folks) and also at the top of the backswing (P4). At the halfway back position, the clubface should be tipped forward slightly so it matches your spine angle. At the top it should match your lead forearm angle. If both positions are successfully reached, then I move on to a laundry list of other solutions.

Step one (all references will be for right-handers) is to ask them to soften their lefthand grip pressure in the downswing. For those hitting small slices this is often enough to square the face. If that doesn’t get the job done, step two is to have the back of the lefthand facing the target at impact. Ball still moving right? This time feel the left thumb passing the hand through impact. If that fairly extreme step doesn’t have it flying down the irrigation line I will say to them “I don’t care what you have to do but hit it off the planet to the left.” Then I demonstrate. Then they either hit it dead left or dead straight, never to visit the right side forest or pond again. And, they head to the parking lot with a big smile on their face!

John Marshall
Golf Instructor
Cell: (404) 405-1403

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