Golf Slice Cure – Why do you Slice?
Have you ever watched or played tennis before? Hopefully you’re familiar with it a bit, because this analogy will really help illustrate a point and hopefully you’ll see the correlation between golf and tennis and be able to translate it to your thought process.
I would liken the golf slice to the “drop shot” in tennis. During a long volley one player sometimes attempts a drop shot if their opponent is deep on the baseline. They do this to hit the shot shorter and to stop the ball quicker with the side/back spin they put on the tennis ball. Likewise, the golf hook is very similar to the “topspin volley”. Generally volleys hit from the baseline in tennis have topspin on them and spin forward when they hit the ground making them bounce further and get deeper into the opponents court. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to hit those topspin volleys on the golf course and make your golf ball spin forward when it hits the ground instead of backwards? Well by learning how to eliminate the slice and instead have a bit of a hook or draw on the ball, you will in effect be able to do that. There is certainly still a time and a place for the “drop shot” (slice or cut) on the golf course, but not every shot.
Getting back to the golf side of things, let’s discuss briefly how a slice and a hook come to be. Where does that spin originate? Obviously you know that the only contact your club has with the ball is at impact, correct? And the only time you can impart spin on the ball is at that impact point. So the problem lies in the angle in which your club face strikes the ball and the direction in which your club is swinging (inside or outside) through the ball.
Let’s first start with the “outside-in” swing path. You’re most accustomed to this anyway if you’ve read this far. But let’s define what we mean by inside and outside so that we’re all in understanding. When you address the ball, the space between yourself and the ball is referred to as the inside, while the space on the opposite side of the ball from yourself is labeled the outside. And if you were to draw a line directly from the ball to your target and extend that line in the opposite direction behind the ball, this will determine whether you’re on the inside or the outside of the ball.
On the “outside-in” path, you can probably imagine that your club head during your downswing toward the ball is on the outside of that imaginary line we drew and then strikes the ball and then your club head finishes through the impact zone on the inside of the ball. This seems like the correct remedy to hit the ball to the left doesn’t it? Most golfers believe that. But most golfers don’t understand the physics and the science of the golf swing. Contrary to what most golfers who slice the ball believe, by hitting the ball with this approach, this ultimately sends the ball to the right. It may seem that by cutting across the ball (another term that is used in conjunction with slicing or the “outside-in” swing) you will hit the ball to the left. Many of you are able to start the ball toward the left, but the spin that is on the ball ultimately curves the ball to the right leaving you with a shot that is short and in the rough on the right side.
On the golf hook page on this site, I illustrate just how spin is put on the golf ball at impact, and the factors that go into making the ball spin the way it does, to the left or the right. You can also go to the swing drill page that I talk about weight transfer to see how the lack of weight shift from your right to left side at impact and follow through will keep your ball slicing and never have a chance to turn over to the left.
In order to hit the ball straight, or with a draw, you have to be committed to the swing. You have to complete the entire swing. The swing can't stop or get lazy at impact. I notice that happening with a number of people that I get paired up with when I go out and play. They are almost wishing the ball to go left. Golf swings that are tentative and scared will consistently have trouble with hitting the ball with a slice. You can't go just half way and hit and hope.
You have to bring your follow through all the way around your body and rotate you hips and rotate the club around on a proper swing plane. So many slicers just quit as soon as the ball is struck. They finish high and never completely rotate around and transfer their weight. You've seen the tour players on TV, they all finish on the their left side as this graphic shows. Too many slicers of the golf ball, never get to this position, and all too often stay on the right side or flat footed, off balance or even falling backwards at impact.
Many golfers who slice the ball suffer from a reverse pivot, which is pretty much like it sounds, the reverse or inverse of what you should do on your backswing. In the backswing, instead of your spine angle being behind the ball, it actually drifts the opposite way and shifts in front of the ball. So when at the top of the swing, the only way to get the club back to the ball is to shift your weight backwards to where it should've been in the first place. And this move shifts your weight back behind the ball at impact, and results in a huge lack of distance, and more often than not, a nasty slice, because the weight can't be transferred to the left side, and the proper hip and shoulder rotation can't take place physically. It's impossible. If you are one that struggles with a "reverse pivot", you need to revamp your swing, and start over to see the results that you want.
I would strongly encourage those that slice the ball, and especially if you have a reverse pivot, to get your hands on this full swing golf video (you can view a sample of that video below) that will start from the very beginning and mold a golf swing to how it should be done. Bobby Eldridge has been a golf pro teaching the golf swing for over 30 years and really addresses every aspect of the swing and the importance that it has. He'll lay the foundation that you can build solidly on.
Do yourself a favor, and invest a little bit of money to get this DVD, because it will change the way you swing the golf club, and it will bring enjoyment to the game of golf that you may not have experienced before. The foundation to your swing is the most important, and building it properly reduces having to compensate for parts of your swing that are lacking. When this happens, you're constantly chasing the lagging part of your swing, and this results in hurting the parts of your swing that are done properly. So have Bobby explain this to you from the start, and mold your swing the right way. This is an investment into your golf game that is well overdue if you've come this far. Purchase this video, you won't regret it.