Slicing has only one cause… an open clubface at impact. That being said, there is a multitude of reasons for causing your clubface to be open, anything from your equipment to your follow-through. Most swing faults, including slicing result from poor fundamentals. The following tips are three ways to turn that slice into a solid draw.
Strengthen Your Grip
Your grip is your only connection to the golf club and its position on the club has a lot of influence on your ball flight. When you grip is in a weaker position, (fingers under the grip) it will leave the clubface open at impact. In order to help square the clubface, we need your grip to rotate so your fingers are further on the side of the club. The image shown is that of a neutral grip… I would like to see your hands in a slightly stronger position or turned more to the left than shown. This new position will get your wrists more active in the downswing, helping you to rotate through the impact zone quicker which should help straighten that left to right ball flight.
The number one cause for a banana ball is too much tension in the arms and wrists. This added strain will tighten and slow the muscles needed for the quick transition of power into impact. Your amount of lag will decrease, swing speed will slow and rotation will diminish, this ultimately leaves the clubface open at impact, with reduced power. To fix this, you need to loosen up before each shot. This is why professionals commonly use a ‘waggle’ before each shot. Have a friend grab your forearm and arms after you’ve setup up for a shot… each part should be able to wiggle rather freely. The tension in your grip should pretty light as well… light enough so that if you were gripping an open tube of toothpaste it wouldn’t be leaking all over your shoes!
Flatten Your Swing Path
An upright swing, as shown by the blue line reduce the amount of rotation your wrists and arms make coming into impact, making it difficult to square the clubface. This is an unfortunate consequence of hitting balls of range mats, where hitting down on it encourages better contact.
You will need to flatten your swing path, by making it more horizontal or baseball-like (shown by the red line). I will commonly get my students to swing their clubs as if there were playing baseball to get a better feel for this position. Apart from simply swinging flatter, you will also likely need to stand further away from the ball in order to make room for this new swing path and ensure better contact. Conversely, this dramatic swing change may even involve you being re-fit for your clubs.
The next time you’re on the range and struggling with your slice, take these suggestions to heart. Sound fundamentals will only help improve your game.