Is there anything more frustrating in golf than hitting a massive slice off the tee?
Unfortunately, it’s a shot that most golfers know all too well. The ball starts off in the middle of the fairway only to curve right and typically end up in the rough, fairway bunker, or worse.
Some golfers battle this shot for years or more which can lead to endless frustration off the tee. But today our goal is to help you stop slicing and develop a square clubface at impact.
When you learn how to straighten out a slice or even hit a draw, you can take your game to new heights. Keep reading to learn why a slice occurs and proven strategies to avoid one of the most disappointing shots in golf.
Stop Slicing Your Golf Swing
Before getting into the best golf tips to cure a slice, let’s define what is a slice in golf and what causes it with a driver.
A slice in golf means the ball curves left to right in the air for a right-handed golfer. It’s common for golfers to pull the shot to compensate which leads to a pull slice.
As Eric Cogorno elaborated in this YouTube video, “You need to understand that you don’t hit a slice because you’re too far over the top. You don’t hit a slice because you hang back on your right foot.”
Going in depth further he says, “You don’t hit a slice because your ball position is off or your setup’s off. You hit a slice because your clubface is open to the path.”
The number one cause of a slice is from a clubface that is open to the path at impact.
While a slightly open face (known as a fade) is a coveted shot in golf, a slice is a confidence killer.
Slices occur mostly with longer clubs in the bag like a driver and fairway woods but can happen with irons too. There are a few variations of a slice based on the path of the club:
- Pull slice: This is when the ball starts left of the target from an outside to inside swing path. It’s more “playable” than a push slice but still leads to a lot of missed fairways and hurts total distance.
- Push slice: This is when the ball starts right of the target from an inside to outside swing path and keeps curving right. A push slice can lead to some huge misses and potentially lost golf balls as it starts right and keeps going right.
A slice in golf is so frustrating because it kills both distance and accuracy. This is why it’s vital to make it your number one priority to stop slicing.
When you straighten out your ball flight it will add tons of distance (sometimes 15–20 yards), hit more fairways, and have a huge impact on your mental game.
Here are five proven strategies to help you fix a slice and even learn how to hit a draw. Please note, these golf tips are based on right-handed golfers.
Five Tips to Fix your Golf Swing Slice
1. Strengthen Your Grip
If you want to change your clubface at impact, start by evaluating your grip. The grip is one of the most important fundamentals in golf as it’s the only part of your body in contact with the club.
Change your grip, change your game.
There are three types of grips in golf; strong grip, neutral grip, and weak grip. Each type of grip makes it easier to hit certain types of shots.
A strong grip is when the left hand is more over the club and the right hand is more underneath it. The V’s of your hands will point more toward the right side of your head. This type of grip position makes it easier to square the clubface and even hit a draw.
A neutral grip is when the left hand and right hand are positioned in the center of the club. The V’s of your hands point more toward your head at address position. This type of grip position makes it easier to square the clubface for a straighter ball flight (as does the Straight Stick training aid).
A weak grip is when the left hand is more underneath the grip and the right hand is more over the club. The V’s of your hands point more toward the left side of your head. This type of grip position makes it harder to square the face at impact and leads to a fade or slice. It’s also the most common grip among amateur golfers.
So, what grip fixes a slice?
A strong grip will help cure a slice. A weak grip – specifically with the left hand for right-handed golfers – is one of the main reasons why golfers hit the dreaded slice. A stronger grip position makes it easier to hit a straight shot and possibly even hit a draw.
If you’re hitting a lot of slices off the tee, start by strengthening your grip. Get your hands turned clockwise on the club and more into a neutral or strong position.
Changing your grip will likely feel very uncomfortable at first but it’s one of the most effective ways to straighten a slice. It might take a lot of balls at the driving range before your grip feels comfortable but when it does, it can transform your ball striking.
2. Check Your Alignment
The second tip to help fix a slice is to check your alignment. If your alignment is off it can lead to a lot of swing issues, even with a neutral or strong grip.
In terms of alignment, one of the most common mistakes that amateur golfers make is aiming right – without knowing it. When you’re aimed right of the target, your mind realizes this mistake subconsciously and tries to make adjustments during the swing to get the ball back toward the target.
This is why the majority of golfers who suffer from a left to right shot, hit a pull slice.
Think about it like this; your mind knows you’re aimed right of the target and tries to correct it mid-swing. But the only way to get the ball back toward the target is to come over the top and pull the club left. Paired with an open face at impact, this leads to a pull slice.
This is why checking your aim regularly is so important – simply improving alignment at address can lead to a better swing path. When it comes to proper alignment you’ll want to check your feet, shoulders, and forearms.
Your feet should be parallel left to the target which makes it easier to get the club started on the proper path. Lay a club or alignment stick down at the driving range to keep your feet properly aligned.
Next, make sure your shoulders are square to the target. So many golfers have their shoulders open which also makes it easier to open the face at impact, while closed shoulders make it easier to swing from the inside and hit a draw.
Finally, don’t forget about forearm alignment too. If you watch your swing from a down the line view you’ll want to see some of your left arm which means your right arm is tucked underneath properly.
3. Improve Your Takeaway
The first two tips will likely have a profound effect on your club path and face at impact to cure a slice. But if you’re still hitting a weak slice off the tee, your takeaway might be to blame.
Similar to alignment, your takeaway has a compound effect on the rest of your swing. If you open the face early in the swing, it’s very hard to square it by the time you reach the golf ball.
To fix a slice, start by evaluating if the face is open, square, or shut when the club is parallel to the ground. As Eric mentioned in the YouTube video, “I need you guys to get that club face tilted slightly down toward the ground or even towards the ground.
The logo on your golf glove should point down toward the ground at this checkpoint. When you keep the face square or slightly shut during takeaway, it makes it much easier to keep it square to the path at impact.
4. Hit Hooks in Practice
To fix a slice you need to get your mind comfortable seeing a different shot pattern. Instead of trying to go from slice to straight shot, start over by correcting the issue to hit a hook (right to left shot pattern).
With a stronger grip and better takeaway, it’s easier to roll your hands over on the downswing to hit draws and hooks. After doing this for 5–10 shots your mind will get comfortable seeing a different shot pattern and then you can work on the path.
5. Improve Your Path
Once you start seeing the ball curve right to left, it will make it much easier to improve your swing path. As Eric mentioned in the same video, “Once we get this club face closed and the ball’s curving to the left, now I’m going to be able to start to fix that downswing path.”
The problem is that so many golfers try to fix their path before they fix the club face.
Just like improper alignment, the mind knows if you have an open face. So if you try to change the path this will lead to a push slice which leads to a ton of trouble off the tee. While a pull slice isn’t a favorable shot shape, it’s at least playable.
However, when the face is shut, your mind will understand that a change of path is needed to get the ball started on the right line.
Bonus Tip: Play With the Right Equipment
The final tip to help you straighten out a slice is to check your equipment; specifically your driver head and shaft.
We saved this tip for last as it’s more of a “band-aid” fix as opposed to diagnosing the key issue(s) of why a slice occurs. But if you’ve tried all the previous tips and are still hitting a slice, your equipment might be to blame.
If you have an adjustable driver, add more weight to the toe of the club so it’s heavier and easier to square at impact. Or, adjust the hosel settings for a draw biased setting.
Once the clubhead is set, don’t forget to evaluate your shaft. Professional golfers swing fast enough for extra-stiff shafts while amateur golfers might need a regular or stiff flex. Less flex (known as a softer shaft) makes it easier to create plenty of lag and square the club at impact.
Heavy, stiff shafts require more speed to square the face at impact. Switching to a lighter shaft or one that has more flex can naturally make it easier to reduce a slice.
At the driving range experiment with different club head settings to see how it changes your distance and trajectory. If you have a personal launch monitor, test out each setting and notate how it changes club speed, ball speed, launch angle, and distance.
If you find yourself asking, why is my golf ball not going straight?
Always think face first – then worry about the path. If your golf ball is curving left or right it’s because the clubface is closed or open at impact position.
Nearly every golfer who has ever played this game has fought a slice at one point or another. So if you’re in the midst of your battle now, keep swinging and remember to fix the face then the path.
Start by identifying the cause of the slice – which could be one of several reasons like a weak grip or poor alignment. Work on changing the face first – by hitting hooks – then adjusting your path.
Here’s a quick recap to stop slicing:
- Strengthen your grip.
- Improve your alignment.
- Check your takeaway for a more closed face.
- Hit hooks in practice to see a new shot pattern.
- Change your path so it’s more inside to outside.
When you learn to square the face, then you can have the proper swing path which leads to straighter, longer shots. Each golf tip above, paired with the right driver and shaft will lead to more confidence off the tee.
If you want more help fixing your slice make sure to check out Hank Haney’s Slice Fix. This is a proven method from a top instructor that has helped thousands of golfers fix their slice once and for all.
Or, if you want even faster results to cure a slice, VIP coaching with PGA Tour Level Instruction might be right for you. Click here to learn more now.