for Better Golf: Cure your slice
Editor's note: This is the last in a series of
five columns on common golf problems.
By Josh Perry
July 23, 2008 | Getting rid of a slice in your golf
swing is not easy. But there are some things that you
can practice on to help minimize or get rid of your
slice altogether. This won't usually happen in a day,
so be prepared to practice these tips on the driving
range as well as on the course.
One way to help if your swing is causing the problem
is to have someone watch you hit a few balls. The tendency
for people who hit a slice is to take the club head
inside on their back swing and outside on their follow-through.
This is called an in-and-out swing. Having someone watch
for this will help you know if this is what is causing
you to hit the ball the way you do. If this is your
problem, try stepping away from your ball and take a
few slow practice swings trying to keep your club head
on the same path on your backswing as well as on your
follow-through. This is easier with someone watching
you, making sure you are keeping your swing on that
path. Setting up a mirror behind you so you can see
for yourself is another way of doing this. After practicing
this for about 20 practice swings, try stepping up and
hitting a ball doing that same swing. Remember that
you don't have to swing at full speed. Slow your swing
down and make sure you are replicating that same path
swing when hitting a ball.
A lot of times when people are hitting a slice it
is sometimes due to their grip on the club. First of
all, if your knuckles are white when gripping onto the
club then you are gripping it too tight. People who
slice usually have grip that is too strong. What I mean
by this is that, if right-handed, the person's fingers
are on top of the club so that when they address the
ball with the club, the right hand knuckles are facing
up toward the face. With a good grip, the palms of your
hands should run parallel with your club shaft to the
ground. Your knuckles on both hands should be facing
outward. Your right thumb should be the only thing fully
visible to you when you're addressing the ball.
Foot placement is another way to send a ball flying
out of control. For slicers, their feet do not usually
run parallel with the ball to the intended target at
address. Most times the front foot is open to the target
at address. When stepping up to the ball like you're
going to hit it, take a look at your stance to see if
your front foot is pointing you to the left of your
target for a right hander. If you swing lefty, your
front foot would be a little right of the target. When
trying this at the range pick a target and take a club
and lay it down on the ground so that it is aimed right
at whatever you want to aim for. Line your feet up to
the club on the ground and hit a few balls. If you have
an open stance this will feel really different at first
but keep hitting balls. The tendency for people trying
new things with their swing is to think that it feels
too weird so they don't try it anymore. Most times people
don't hit the ball that well their first couple times
trying something new, but it will come.
One last thing to remember is to follow through with
your hips. When swinging, most people either come through
their swing too much with their hips causing a hook,
or cause the ball to move to the right because of not
following through enough, causing the hands to delay
coming through the ball. Your legs should start your
down swing and your hips and hands should move through
the swing around the same time. Practice doing this
without a ball and with a reduce swing. Take nice slow
swings and make sure that your hands, shoulders, and
hip all move through the swing at around the same time.
Make sure that when you come through the ball that you
are snapping your wrists.
Trying all of this at the driving range first will
help makes things a little easier on the golf course.
Don't be discouraged if there aren't immediate results.
Golf is a muscle memory sport so it may take a few days
at the driving range and on the course to feel comfortable
with the new adjustments and to see the changes in the
ball flight that every golfer wants to see.