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Published: February 18, 2014
WHAT IS A SLICE IN GOLF?
A slice is the most common miss for amateur golfers. For a right handed golfer, it is simply a shot that flies with a curvature to the right. Let's look a little more closely at this and the most common golf swing fault that most associate with a slice.
OVER THE TOP SLICE IN GOLF
Most amateur golfers have a swing plane that is horizontally shifted to the left of the target line with a swing path that is working out to in at impact. That's the wordy definition of an over the top slice in golf, let's visualize what is happening through impact using the capture from my launch monitor below.
Club face angle and path are what are most important here. The path of the golf club is traveling 2 degrees to the left, or what is commonly referred to as "out to in" or "over the top". The club face angle at impact is 5.1 degrees to the right, or open. This is effectively "cutting across the ball" with an open club face which cause the golf ball to spin on an axis tilted to the right.
GOLF BALL SPIN AXIS
The ball only spins in one direction and it spins around its axis. Many golfers believe that a ball has both backspin and sidespin, but this is simply not possible.
In the case of a slice, the spin axis will be tilted to the right as can be seen below:
On this shot, the golf ball was spinning on an axis that was tilted 9.8 degrees to the right. The spin axis is represented by the blue line. The more severe the slice in golf, the more this axis will be tilted to the right.
HOW TO FIX A GOLF SLICE
Step 1: Fix the Swing Plane
While the club face angle at impact is predominantly responsible for whether or not you slice the golf ball, fixing the club face angle alone won't help you fix your slice if your swing path is out to in.
If you have an over the top golf swing and square your clubface up to match your swing path, you will simply hit a big pull and end up miles left of your target. Therefore, the process should be to fix your swing path and plane first.
Once you fix your swing plane, fixing a slice in golf comes down to just one more thing - the club face.
Step 2: Fix the Club Face Angle
Once you have your path and plane straightened out, literally, you need to square up the club face angle to your path.
Learning how to control the club face can be done through multiple drills, depending on what your exact swing fault is.
How to fix a slice in golf comes down to just two things, plane and path.
Checkpoints for Practice
- Bow and rotate the left wrist as you start the downswing. For the most part, this will happen naturally and that’s a good thing as this gradual rotation encourages a full release.
- A slightly stronger grip will leave you with a clubface that is slightly shut at the top. This is ok, having this slightly shut club face at the top makes it significantly easier for the average golfer to square the club face at impact.
- Having a slightly stronger grip can and will steepen the swing plane slightly. Having a swing plane that is very slightly steeper than, say, a parallel swing plane is perfectly ok and even preferential.