The Golf Slice Problem
This is a very often asked question, especially from new golfers, a golf slice is the most common fault in the game of golf. Golfers with this fault very often suffer from it for years, if not their whole golfing lives and their long term successes in curing it are few and far between. There are many other faults in golf, some of them contribute to producing a golf slice. Here's a quote from "The Gist Of Golf" by Harry Vardon:
"All the good shots in the game (all, at any rate,
except the putt, which is a thing apart) are founded
on the principle of the body turning on a pivot
instead of swaying back and then lunging forward
at the ball. ' That pivot is the waist. ' No
doubt everybody who has made the slightest study
of golf appreciates this piece of orthodoxy, but
the number of people who disregard it, even though
they realise its importance, constitute about half the
golfing world. Why do they fail to observe the first
law of the true swing?"
Printed in 1922, Harry Vardon was referring to the late 1800's and early 1900's, it can be seen that the faults today are pretty much the same and just as widespread as they were in those times.
Most golfers, including new golfers, who are struggling to correct a golf slice problem, are only doing a couple of things wrong and, mostly, they are simple things to correct. There is no need for new golfers, or indeed even more experienced golfers, to struggle with a slice problem, it is correctable, why they find it so difficult to cure is because of faulty expectations of what they should be able to achieve with their present swing.
You can see amateur golfers every day on the golf course making essentially the same mistakes. They have seen their peers making 250 yard to 350 yard drives and expect to be able to do the same. They try and accomplish this by utilizing the full golf swing that they see every other golfer making, even if they do not yet have the skill to perform the full swing correctly, they also assume that they have to hit the ball harder to make it go further. Have a look at How To Hit The Golf Ball Straight.
The longer the backswing, the more room there is to go out of line and get the golf swing plane all wrong. The same is true when we try and hit the ball hard, the harder we swing at the ball, the more out of line our swing gets, using a full swing coupled with hitting the ball hard only produces wild and erratic shots and total inconsistency.
A half back swing is more than enough to get the golf ball to travel over 200 yards with a driver if done correctly, and, as a bonus, will lead to excellent golf swing consistency. You should address the ball with both hands parallel, the back of the left hand facing the flag and the back of the right hand facing in the opposite direction, the left wrist should remain flat (forearm and back of hand should form a straight line) throughout the backswing until impact is made.
Make the backswing by turning your shoulders until your left arm is parallel to the ground with the butt (grip end) of the driver pointing directly at the golf ball, this puts you in the correct swing plane. Initiate the down swing by, again, turning your shoulders, the acceleration should gradually build up through impact and delay un-cocking your wrists. The follow through should end up with your right arm parallel to the ground, try and avoid a full follow through at this stage, this should prevent you from trying to hit the golf ball hard.
You can practice this half swing without a ball, just swinging back and forward concentrating on the left arm parallel to the ground at the top of the back swing and the right arm parallel to the ground at the top of the follow through, remembering that the butt of the club should point at the golf ball at the top of the (shortened) back swing and un-cock the wrists as late as possible. This should ingrain the feeling of the swing into your muscle memory, an important thing to accomplish.
When you have this done correctly, you can proceed a stage further. When your left arm is parallel to the ground during the backswing, instead of having the butt end of the club point to the ball, cock your wrists a little more and have the butt point further back on the target line, try straight across from your back foot. Try and keep the tempo the same on the downswing. This will increase the arc distance that the club head will travel and will allow a greater speed for the club head through the impact zone.
If you continue in this way, working systematically towards a fuller swing, you will find, quite easily, how far you can go before your golf swing breaks down. Once you lose that straight predictable shot, you will know that you have gone too far, simply return to the swing where everything worked well and practice that a bit longer. Don't rush this process, allow it to happen naturally over a number of weeks, or even months.
To answer the question at the top of this article, "Can I cure my golf slice?" Yes, you can, and if you follow the above method it should get rid of all the little faults that combine to give you the golf slice in the first place, practice it for a while and your whole swing will begin to fall into place. Once you have confidence and consistency, you can try lengthening your swing very gradually, but get the basic golf swing right first.