The golf slice is the most common ball flight error among golfers. For a right handed player, the slice is described as a shot that starts to the left of the target, and then ultimately curves to the right of the target. For a left handed golfer, the ball starts to the right and curves to the left. It has been estimated by most teaching professionals that at least 80% of all golfers slice the ball.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of bad advice in the world of golf when it comes to providing good information how to cure the golf slice. Some pros will simply tell you to set up to the ball with the club face closed (aimed to the left for a right handed player) to your target line, and it will ultimately be square to the target at impact. Other pros will tell you to swing out to right field, and still others will tell you to rotate your hands through the hitting zone.
Fortunately, there is a better way. First of all, it is necessary for the golfer to gain an understanding of the swing plane and how it affects ball flight. Golfers who tend to slice the ball as I have defined typically attack the ball from outside, or above the swing plane. In other words, for a right handed player, the swing path is coming in from the right and heading to the left. Since the right handed player is standing beside the ball, a good swing will result in the club attacking the ball from the inside, rather than the outside.
A swing plane that is coming in from outside and above the correct swing plane, or plane angle achieved as you address the ball (the angle of the club shaft) also has a tendency to result in the club face being open to the swing path at impact. This causes a rightward spin on the ball, which causes it to curve to the right.
There are basically two types of swings that will cause the club to attack the ball from outside the swing plane. The first is a swing with a loop, where the right handed player pulls the club too far inside on the take away, and then loops the club at the top of the swing that it attacks the ball from the outside in the down swing. The other type is simply one in which the player’s alignment and set up result in a steep outside takeaway that and failure to loop the club back to the inside in the down swing. In other words, the club returns to the ball from the same direction as the take away.
In both cases, the cure is quite easy. In the first instance, the golfer must simply learn to reverse the loop they have in their swing. Instead of pulling the club too far inside in the takeaway, and looping it back to the outside in the down swing, they should do the opposite, and perform a take away more to the outside in the back swing, and then loop the club back to the inside in the down swing. Jim Furyk’s swing is a perfect example of this move. Ultimately, the golfer wants to find the happy place in the middle and execute a swing that is more on plane in the back swing, which makes it easier to keep on plane in the down swing.
In the second instance, the golfer needs to feel what it is like to swing the club on a flatter swing plane. One way to do this is to perform a number of swings at chest level, then drop the club about a foot, perform more swings, and keep dropping the club about a foot at a time until it is set up at ground level. A flatter swing plane allows the golfer to square the clubface more easily at impact.
In both cases, it is a good idea to practice these drills with a ball on a tee. When you are able to hit a draw off of the tee consistently, you will be ready to hit the ball of the ground with confidence. Ultimately, getting rid of the slice requires a golf swing that is more on plane, and one in which the lower body starts the down swing. Most golfers slice the ball because of a poor swing plane and poor sequencing of the body.