What causes a slice in technical terms? A slice is caused by an open clubface in relation to your swing path at impact. I see so many students work on their swing path first trying to fix their slice when, in reality, 80 percent of where the ball goes is due to the clubface. With this being said, why would you not fix your clubface issue first? Clubface is 80 percent of the determining factor of the direction the ball goes. In this article I’m going to show you some drills to fix your clubface first to get rid of the dreaded slice.
One of the biggest reasons people slice the ball is because they have an open clubface at impact. With this being said, if you slice the ball, the most important thing to work on first is closing the clubface through impact. This can be done by starting with a strong grip, as I demonstrated in a previous article. To promote a strong grip, you want to hold the grip in the fingers of your lead hand and have the logo of your glove on top of the grip where you can see the logo of your glove and two to three knuckles. You also want the trail hand to be underneath the grip where you can see a little bit of the palm of your trail hand. The biggest thing with the trail hand is to make sure the thumb of your trail hand is pointed down the grip and not wrapped around the grip like a baseball bat. (If your trail thumb is wrapped around the grip like a baseball bat, this can cause many inconsistencies).
The first drill will teach you how to rotate your forearms in order to close the clubface through impact. Start by holding your club at chest height with your arms extended in front of you with your club and arms parallel to the ground. From here, swing the clubhead back level to the ground and make sure your lead wrist is flat as you swing the clubhead back, rather than cupped. Cupping the lead wrist on the backswing opens the clubface. Once you have done that, swing the clubhead back keeping the lead wrist flat/bowed, then swing the clubhead back to the center of your body (your starting position) and then rotate your forearms over where they cross each other.
The next drill will help with the swing path and clubface on the backswing and start of the downswing. For this drill, grab a ball and get in your golf setup. From here, rotate to the top of your backswing, keeping your lead wrist flat/bowed; from here, I want you to keep your back facing your target and swing your arms down, throwing the ball in the ground without allowing your shoulders to rotate. When your shoulders start the downswing by rotating, this opens your clubface and makes your path out-to-in causing a slice. Focus on allowing your arms to move the club down and start the downswing, rather than rotating your shoulders to start your downswing. Keeping your back facing the target as long as you can on the downswing will help promote a draw.
This final drill is going to focus on closing the clubface as well as the swing path through impact. Tee up a golf ball and place your club on the ground on your target line at a 45-degree angle outside of the golf ball. Now place an alignment stick here at a 45-degree angle. Next, lay your club down on your target line in front of the golf ball at a 45-degree angle inside the golf ball; from here, place an alignment stick in the ground at a 45-degree angle. You now have barriers to swing through. I want you to practice swinging your club back at a slight arc inside your target line just going to hip high for length of swing and, from here, trace the same arc back to the ball. From here, allow your forearms to cross where the clubface points toward the ground as shown in my correct picture after impact. Practice hitting shots with a hip-high to hip-high-length swing until the ball starts pulling left of your target, and then hit some shots full swing and you should see some of the straightest shots you’ve ever hit! Cheers to the slice being gone! Time to crack open a cold beer and celebrate!
As always, if there is a drill or swing question you would like for me to address, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kirsten Pike is the lead Teaching Professional at Las Colinas Country Club. To improve your scores follow her on Instagram at kirstenpike_golfinstruction and visit kpikegolf.wixsite.com