Slice is one of the most common mistakes in golf, but it can be caused by many elements. Robin Symes identified 3 errors that cause slicing and helped to craft easy and effective drills to fix your swing.
Drill no. 1: Error Push Slice
If you are a player whose golf ball starts to the right and then slices further to the right while in flight, then there is no doubt that at impact your clubface is open (pointing right of target), and also open relative to the direction of your swing (Swing Path).
You can be sure that your clubface is open. What you cannot be sure of is where your swing path is. It could be:
- Right of the target. This will produce a shot that starts a little right of the target and then curves a little more right but probably not that bad, only a Small Push Slice.
- On Target. A swing path on target, with a club face open to target will produce a ball that starts right and slices more to the right – a Push Slice.
- Left of target. A swing path to the left, with a clubface open to the target will also produce a shot that starts to the right and curves further to the right. This will be a Severe Push Slice.
Please note that with all 3 of these, your clubface is open to the swing path, creating a Push Slice, just different amounts.
If you can learn to square your clubface in the downswing so that your clubface matches the path of your swing, you will be sure to stop the ball starting right, and the slicing further to the right. Try this feeling in your swing.
Motor Bike Drill
- Place your left hand on the club as you normally would, holding the club parallel to the ground in front of you.
- Now flex (flexion) your left down, the same way you would on a motorbike when you want to accelerate.
- Make your backswing as normal, and start your downswing flexing your wrist in the same way. This will be sure to close the clubface to your swing path, fixing your open clubface.
Now that your clubface is not open, you can start to understand where your swing path is:
- If you now have a draw shot, your path was right of the target. Great!
- If your ball is now starting on line and flying straight, then your swing path was good, On Target. Great!
- If your ball is now starting left and flying straight left, then your swing path was to the left of the target. You will now need to learn to change your path more to the right. There could be a few reasons for this but the main fault I see for a swing path being to the left is the upper body starting the downswing.
Drill no. 2: Error Body Movement
One of the first things I see a slicer do, when trying to fix their slice, is pull their right foot back, closing their stance and lower body. They believe by closing their stance, it will help them swing more from the inside, in an effort to create a draw. Actually, the result is quite the opposite. A major cause of a slice is the upper body turning faster than the lower body in the downswing, meaning that the arms and club move onto an outside plane. By closing your lower body, you are only creating a situation where the lower body cannot rotate and lead in the downswing. The shoulders will dominate and create an impact where the shoulders are more open than the hips. This is an impossible position to hit a draw from.
In fixing your slice, if you can achieve a movement where your lower body is faster than your upper body in the downswing and at impact, your shoulders will be closed to the target with the hips open, and you will be sure to have the swing path from In-To-Out (swing path to the right). A way to get the feeling for this is the opposite of what you and most slicers have been doing:
Slow and Fast Drill
- Pull your left foot back. The toe of your left foot should be in line with your right heel – an open lower body position.
- While you have opened your lower body position at address, I want you to close your upper body a little. This is the feeling of body position you should be trying to achieve at impact.
- Start your backswing from this position, trying to return to the same position at impact. The key is to keep your shoulders SLOW in the downswing, and your hips leading. Try keeping your hips moving FASTER than your shoulders for as long as possible.
- Once you have the feeling from the drill, repeat the feel with a regular stance.
Be sure to check upcoming blogs on more fatal errors that cause a slice.
Drill no. 3: Error Swing Plane
Another common mistake players make in trying to fix their slice is starting the backswing by swinging the club inside the correct plane in the move away. Again, the natural thinking is the more you swing on the inside in the backswing the easier it will be to swing from the inside on the downswing. If this was the case, it would be very easy to fix a slice! What actually happens when someone starts the swing on the inside is they turn their shoulders too quickly, completing a full 90 degree shoulder turn well before the top of the backswing. With most players not flexible enough to keep turning, the only option to finish the backswing is to lift the arms independently. This will result in the arms lifting up into a very high position and looping down on the outside in the downswing, increasing the out – to in path at impact. This swing has more planes than British Airways!
Again, the fix is to do quite the opposite to what most players are trying to do to fix their slice. If you look at the great majority of players who draw the ball, they will tend to swing on a steeper plane in the backswing to that of the downswing – a little outside in the backswing, and inside on the downswing.
- Place a soft object (a head cover is a good start) about 1 meter on the ground behind the club head.
- Have the feeling that you are going to start the backswing on the outside of the object and swing down on the inside.