First of all, I'll preface with this:
This Article written by Erik J Barzeski on ball flight laws should be considered mandatory reading for all in this thread.
Now to the details:
I'm new to golf, very new... you could call this my rookie season. I'm also a natural born slicer. When I first hit the driving range a few months ago my slices were severe. I cut down on that thru learning a proper grip, getting in the habit of turning my hips, shifting my weight forward, adjusting my stance to be a little more comfortable and relaxed... That took me from massive push slices to just regular slices with a push sometimes... u know the kind that still rarely find the fairway but at least aren't out of play every time.
Well thanks to the article referenced above, I recently began to think more analytically through my slice issues and had a massive "AHA" moment yesterday. Normally, when I take practice swings, its with the purpose of loosening up, and getting a generic feel of the swing in hopes that I make good contact with the ball. For the most part I would abandon the practice swing altogether after the first few hits.
But because of the info in that article, I've recently been more and more conscientious of what my club head is doing and what's happening to my ball flight as a result. I began to notice that my ball flight was initially straight then slice, and I began to take note of what my club path looked like through the downswing. (Note: this was not with the aid of a video recording, but simply from my point of view as the blurry figure of the head would swing through.) I began to notice that the path very much appeared to be outside in (predictably so for all the golf veterans reading).
So last night at the range I watched carefully during my practice swings and noticed again the outside-in motion of the club head. I took several more swings until that path more resembled an even looking "semi-circle" (my terminology here). Once I had the feel of the adjusted swing, I just stepped up to the tee, aligned the club face at address, and swung away. The results were amazing! I belted my first 5 or so shots straight down the fairway with absolutely no hint of slice. The quality of the contact I was making with the ball really showed as these shots were going 250+. I must have hit a good 75-80% of my balls like this. Any time I began to see curvature in the flight path, I would just step back, "re-calibrate" my swing so-to-speak, then head back to the tee to duplicate it. Sure enough, every time, the ball would sail straight down the fairway again.
Prior to this, a good day at the driving range would see maybe 20 balls or so (out of a large bucket) go straight with the remainder being variations of slices and pulls/hooks from over-correction. Last night was something different, it was somewhat of a paradigm shift for me. I know its a little premature to say that my slice has been cured, but the jump in consistency for me last night is something I can't ignore. I can't wait to get back to the range (tonight or tomorrow) and see if I can repeat those results.