Sick of wrecking your score with banana balls off the tee… and other places? No worries. Today we'll teach you how to fix a slice forever (all by yourself) - in 5 simple steps.
Here's everything we'll cover in this article:
- What's a slice
- Why a slice is terrible for your game (and soul)
- Causes of a slice
- How to eliminate a slice from your game
I pulled from the best instruction on fixing a golf slice on the interwebs and put it together in one simple guide. This is one you'll want to remember and come back too.
First - What is a slice in golf?
For right-handers, a slice is a golf shot that curves excessively to the right of its starting line. For left-handers, the ball turns the opposite way from its start line.
There are two versions of a slice. (Explained from a right-hander's perspective)
- Classic slice - your ball starts left of your intended target or start line and then curves excessively to the right - ending up well to the right of your target.
- Push slice - your ball starts right of your intended start line or target and moves further right - missing even further right of your target.
Why is a slice bad?
A slice is bad for a few reasons:
It's a weak & uncontrollable shot: A slice is caused by a glancing blow (more on this below); thus, it can't be and isn't a powerful golf shot.
- The wind will affect a slice more.
- Some shots will go high.
- Some will go low.
- And you have no control over either.
You can't aim for a slice: You can't aim far enough left (for right-handers) to accommodate the excessive curving of a slice. It will ALWAYS end up left of you where you want it to go. The standard advice is to aim more left to make up for your slice. It don't work... at least not with any reliability.
You lose a LOT of distance: Not a thing handicap golfers can afford. Giving up distance, especially off the tee, makes the game much harder.
You will score poorly, and your handicap will be a billion (about): No control and no distance.
Expensive: Yep, you read that right. Sliced golf balls (especially off the tee box) end up in the trees, or the water, or somewhere else you won't find them. Ask me how I know.
What causes a slice in golf?
A slice is caused by an open clubface in relation to the swing path at impact.
There are degrees to this, meaning the more or less open the clubface is to the swing path, the more or less the ball will slice.
A clubface 3 degrees open to your swing path at impact gives you a nice playable, repeatable fade.
Arrive at impact with your club 6 degrees open, and you'll hit a slice.
On the other hand, if you hit your golf ball with a closed clubface in relation to your swing path, you will get a draw or a hook- depending on how closed.
Why do I slice with my driver but not my irons?
Backspin vs. Sidespin - You are more likely to slice with your driver because drivers create less backspin and have the potential to generate more sidespin (depending on how open or closed the clubface is at impact)
- Lofted clubs create more backspin, which partially negates sidespin. Drivers have the least loft, so mitigate sidespin much less.
Club length - Longer golf clubs are harder to square at impact for most golfers. Drivers are the longest clubs in your bag and average around 45.5 inches these days. Your 7-iron is likely about 37 inches. We both know which one you (and me) hit better.
The good news - Fix a slice with your driver, and your irons are automatically taken care of.
How to fix a slice with a Driver (or any club)
Part 1 of our Golf Slice Fix - Strengthen Your Grip
The biggest deciding factor on where your golf ball goes is where your clubface is pointed. We've already established that it's open to your path at impact when you slice. So naturally, we're going to get you to fix that first.
Strengthen your grip: Most high handicappers and slicers have a weak or neutral grip. Their hands are more on top of the club when they take their grip.
- Start by putting your left hand on the grip in your normal position, then rotate it to your right until you see two to three knuckles when looking down at address. (we can adjust this later)
- Next, take your right hand and place it more under the club's grip - making it "stronger."
This makes it easier for you to close the clubface, and you should see your shots going dead left if done right.
It's preferable to see your shots going dead left. We don't just want to see "not slices." We need to see hooks or pulls left to start. So, we will make sure you maintain control of the clubface throughout your swing.
- Keep your clubface pointing toward the ground as you take the club away.
- Close your clubface by bowing your left wrist at the top of the backswing and keep it there as you swing through.
Jon Rahm, Dustin Johnson, and Colin Morikawa are prime examples of today's pros with a bowed left wrist at the top of their backswing.
Part 2 of our Golf Slice Fix - Control your clubface through the golf shot
I want you to feel the sensation that the toe of your club rotates and closes through impact.
- Roll your right forearm over your left forearm through impact and follow through. This is one part of releasing the clubface as opposed to holding on.
- Don't flip your hands, which is harder to predict.
Part 3 of our Golf Slice Fix - Change your path into the golf ball
This is where you start hitting the ball straight or even with a nice little draw. We know an out-to-in swing path contributes to a slice. So we'll fix that by ingraining the opposite - an in-to-out swing path.
How to do it:
- Place an obstacle in the way of the wrong swing path. We have two versions of this.
- Grab your headcover and place it to the right of your ball just outside your swing path. You will swing to the inside of the headcover on our preferred path.
- Place a ball bucket or something else on the opposite side of the ball and to the right just outside your swing path. Hit balls missing that bucket.
Also - Fix your posture
The average golfer doesn't hinge properly from their hips and uses too much knee flex. This posture leads to crowding the ball and forces a steep out-to-in swing path.
We'll reverse this for you in a couple simple steps.
- Stand up straight with your club in both hands and press it against the top of your hips.
- Bend forward from the hips making sure to hinge forward from your hips
- Grip the club as you normally would when preparing for a shot
- Bend your knees slightly once you feel slight tension in your hamstrings
- Your club should be resting lightly on the ground.
- Keep your weight between your heel and the middle of your feet.
Additional critical points for swinging on your correct path
- Keep the distance between your elbows consistent throughout your swing. They have a tendency to separate and lose their relationship with each other.
- Don't lunge into the ball with your upper body and arms at the start of your downswing. Initiate your swing from the ground up.
- Try to keep your right elbow in front of your body during your entire swing. This promotes an inside track into the ball and keeps it connected and in sync with your body turn.
Part 5 of Our Golf Slice Fix - Improve Your Contact
You want contact to be centered or even slightly toward the toe. In addition, shots struck towards the toe have more right-to-left spin because of the way clubs, especially drivers, are designed. All this means you are more likely to hit a draw.
Just grab a can of cheap foot powder spray and practice making contact just off-center and slightly toward the toe.
How to Practice to Fix your Golf Slice
Only ever swing at half or three-quarter speed when you're trying to groove a new move in your swing. This is how the pros practice. This is not how we amateurs practice. So you'll notice there's a slight difference in how we perform.
An example of a range session putting this into practice when fixing your slice.
- Grab a 9-iron. It has to be a short iron, but it also has to be an iron with which you can curve shots. It's harder to do with wedges.
- Take easy swings, only taking the club back to about three-quarters.
- Hit a bunch of shots until you are consistently hitting draws or hooks
- Go up to a mid-iron you are most comfortable hitting. Say a 7-iron
- Go through the same process above.
- Grab your driver and go through the same process
Now you can start playing with your grip, how closed you keep the clubface, and how hard you release to start dialing in the exact amount of right-to-left curve you want.
Go back to half or three-quarter shots with a short or mid-iron if you find yourself slicing again. You've likely started swinging full-out and lost some tempo and rhythm.
How to Fix a Slice During a Round
It's always the fundamentals when your swing goes sideways. First, it's ok. It happens and can be fixed.
- Check your grip. Make sure you see 2 or 3 knuckles on your left hand and that your right hand is a little under the club
- Keep your clubface closed or facing toward the ground in your takeaway
- Make sure your left wrist is bowed at the top of the swing and keep it there throughout the swing
- Release your right forearm over your left forearm through impact and into your follow-through.
- Make sure your posture hasn't gotten sloppy.
Thanks for checking out Golfer Geeks' guide on how to fix a slice. Want to really ingrain this new move? Head over to our tips for how to better use your time at the driving range. This one's also a killer.