Golf Swing Advice, The Golf Slice

Golf Swing Fault Advice


When we're talking about golf and swing faults, there is one fault that stands head and shoulders above all the rest, although technically it's not a swing fault but the result of a swing fault, we won't go splitting hairs about it, it makes it a bit easier to explain this way. A golf slice is easily the most common swing fault in golf, all golfers, and new golfers in particular, will, at some time, have to deal with it. Most commonly, it happens on the tee with a driver, but almost any golf club (except the putter) can produce a golf slice, if this sounds like you then you need to improve your golf swing.

There are many ways to produce a golf slice, I'll explain how to do it here just in case you want to experience one, just kidding, although a slice has a baby brother called a fade shot in golf which is a very useful shot to have in your armoury. The first way of producing a slice is by getting the golf club on the wrong swing plane during the downswing. The tendency is to take a backswing using the correct swing plane but getting out of line during the downswing and getting into an outside-to-in swing plane. This causes the club to come across the golf ball at impact and impart a lot of side spin.

The second way to produce a golf slice is for the club to impact the ball with the clubface in an open position (the toe of the club is behind the shaft or heal of the club), this has the same effect as an out-to-in swing plane, it imparts side spin on the ball. Have a look at How To Hit The Golf Ball Straight.

I said there are many ways to produce a slice but I've only named two. That's true, these are the two causes of a slice, but there are many ways to produce these two golf swing faults, either singly or both at the same time which gives a really bad golf slice, most golfers find trying to correct a golf slice very difficult and can spend years without getting to the root cause of it.

If your swing plane is too upright, and everything else is correct, then the club will follow an out-to-in swing plane on the downswing. This is an easy one to correct, it is usually a fault that occurs only with the driver and happens because the shaft of the driver is longer than the other woods. You need to stand a little further from the ball and make the swing more around yourself, it follows a little shallower path than the other woods.

Your grip can cause you to slice, a strong grip is when your hands are behind the club, a week grip is when your hands are, surprise surprise, when your hands are in front of the club, it's the week grip that can cause the problem, during the down swing your hands re-align to the perpendicular, this opens the face of the club and, hey presto, a golf slice. Various other combinations can cause this as well, a week left hand grip and a strong right hand grip can cause all sorts of problems, mainly because most of us have one hand stronger (in actual strength) than the other and when your hands are badly aligned the stronger hand tends to take over.

The best way to grip the golf club is with your hands parallel to each other, that is, with your palms exactly facing each other and both of them perpendicular to the ground. This helps your hands to work together, and the centrifugal effect of the down swing encourages your stronger hand into the perpendicular position anyway, so it is generally better to start off this way.

The most common cause of the golf slice is over hitting the ball, or trying to hit too hard. On the golf course it is precision and balance that is required, not power. Speed of the club head through the impact zone determines distance, again, not power. New golfers seem to have trouble with this concept.

When you hit too hard it causes your body to get ahead of your hands during the downswing. It also causes you to slide your hips forward, it puts your club in an out-to-in swing plane. Put all this together and your body in front of your hands causes the face of the club to open, a slice. The out-to-in swing plane causes the club face to come across the ball, a slice. Both together, a wild golf slice.

The cure of the golf slice, in this case, is to have a controlled swing, accelerating the club head through the impact zone, concentrate on hitting the golf ball correctly and let the golf club do the work it was designed to do. If your driver is the only golf club causing your slice then perhaps your basic golf swing is not yet ready for the driver, keep it in your golf bag for a while and use your 3 wood, it will go further than the sliced shot will and it will, more than likely, produce a straighter shot. Also bear in mind that a 10.5 degree (or less) driver is a less forgiving club than a 12 degree driver, maybe just changing to a more lofted driver will help to cure your golf slice.

Concentrating on keeping your right elbow (right-handers) close to your body throughout the golf swing, especially the downswing, helps to promote an in-to-out swing path, and a slightly closed stance has also been known to help some players say goodbye to their golf slice problem.

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