By Alison Curdt, PsyD, PGA, LPGA
The #1 cause of a slice is a discrepancy between the face angle and the path the golf club is traveling. For a right-handed golfer, when the club face is pointed more rightward than the direction the club travels (let’s say leftward), the golf ball will spin away from the golfer creating that nasty banana slice! If you are in a rut and cannot get the ball to stop moving right, here is the simplest and quickest way to get your ball to stay on the golf course.
There are several ways players will mistakenly open their club face to create a slice. Some open it in the backswing excessively and some golfers under rotate their hands in the downswing. Repositioning the hands on the grip (making the grip “stronger”) can be a quick way to increase your chances of squaring the face at impact, however this can often be very uncomfortable for the player.
Try a “knuckles down” approach to keep the clubface square to slightly closed in the takeaway position, top position, and down swing sequence. Fair warning-if done properly, your misses will be more left biased with a pull shot. However, you’ll instantly gain distance since the ball won’t be curving, and you’ll stay on the golf course.
You’ll have a feeling of your lead hand knuckles facing downward in the backswing, away from you at the top of the swing, and again facing downward in the downswing. Keep checking to see if the face of the club matches your spine angle to give you a good sense whether the face has opened or kept square.
Keep in mind if your club path is still one that swings more leftward (out-to in) you’ll experience pull shots to begin with (shots that fly left with little to no curve). As you learn how to square the face, and build some confidence on reducing the slice action, you can then begin working on improving the swing plane and body rotation to match up for a straight shot. Try this out to slay your slice!
Alison Curdt, PsyD, PGA, LPGA
Wood Ranch Golf Club
Golf Digest Best Young Instructor
2016 SCPGA Teacher of the Year
2015 LPGA National Teacher of the Year