You know the routine… the fear, the heart-thumping and dry throat. Despite your poor attempts to block the thought from creeping into your mind, you step up to the first tee and see the hazard to the right. You hold your breath and hope that your regular slice will miraculously give you a break and give you a shot on the short grass. Lo and behold, as soon as it leaves the driver head, you know where it’s bound. You knew as soon as you hit the ball that it was going to banana-bend out of sight to the right (or left, as the case may be).
Sound familiar? If a slice is your regular enemy, then here are a few tips to get things back on the straight and narrow. Note: comments relate to a right-handed golfer.
Tip 1: Move the ball back in your stance
Assume your normal set-up, then move your whole body approximately two inches to the left. This should help you push through the ball straighter and reduce the likelihood of a slice spin at contact.
Tip 2: Close your stance
Again, after taking your usual setup, move your left foot forward a little (or your right foot back). This will adjust the trajectory of your club as it strikes the ball.
Tip 3: Practice a swing adjustment that makes you swing “inside-out”
This can be done by coming inside on the downswing, pushing your hands out on the follow through or moving your body slightly left as you move through the ball. The inside-out swing will impart a draw spin.
Tip 4: Check your grip
It might be that a small adjustment will help. Bring your right hand more over your left hand; a slight adjustment would mean that the club would close earlier on the swing.
Tip 5: Move your hands further left towards your left hip at address
Take a visual record of your hands being in your normal address position, and then move them slightly at setup, while keeping the clubface perpendicular to the desired line.
Tip 6: Keep your weight moving onto the front foot through the downswing
Deceleration and/or “back-footing” will increase your likelihood of cutting the ball. Transferring your weight to the left foot and moving right through the shot will have the desired result of avoiding the slice.
Tip 7: Visualize hitting a hook
See if this helps to adjust your positioning, swing plane and contact. While it might feel counter-intuitive, you could be surprised how this approach facilitates a minor adjustment to occur. The trick is to become hyper-aware of any small alterations that you make so that you can replicate the shot.
Tip 8: Get a lesson
When I asked my club pro on how to fix a slice, he said, “Get a lesson!” He reminded me that fixing a slice is usually a very minor adjustment and it would be different strokes for different folks. Getting that lesson and then taking yourself off to the range to practice your newly implemented adjustment is perhaps the best advice of all.
It is unlikely that adopting all eight tips is needed to fix your slice. Consider your own game and get a feel for the tip that rests easiest with you and doesn’t feel too weird. You don’t want to “fix” your slice by introducing some other serial problem that requires a further remedy.
— Nancy Incoll