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Struggling with a slice

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hi all I have golfed for many years and have struggled with a slice the whole time. I have made it my mission to at least change a slice to a fade.  I am trying to work on my swing.  I was golfing in the high 80s or low 90s and now cant even seam to get to those numbers again.  I have taken lessons a couple of times in the past and and would rather find a less expensive way to keep working toward my goals.  I recently read a book titled Two Steps to a Perfect Golf Swing.  The book describes a couple of positions that you should obtain in the swing at take away and at the top of the back swing.  It seams to have helped me understand the swing plane better.  Is it realistic to think that I can get rid of a slice and build a good swing using forums and online golf instruction rather than personal lessons? 

post #2 of 17

I think the key to success is being able to analyze your own swing and then determine what you need to do to correct it.  If you don't understand why you're slicing then you can go crazy following tips.  One of the benefits of an instructor is his/her educated eyes diagnosing the reason for your slice - and then giving you drills and techniques that are tailored for your body type, physical limitations and swing. 

 

I think you can do it by yourself but you have to work really hard at it.  You should take and review lots of video.  You can get good feedback by posting your swing videos here - but you also need to study the swings of others so that you can start to "see" what's going on with your own swing.  You can hit a slice any number of ways - it's important to understand why you are slicing before you try to fix it.

 

I take lessons sparingly - because, as you've noticed, they are expensive.  So I try to go to 1 lesson every 2 to 3 months.  My teacher uses video - and we review the things he thinks I should work on and he gives me some techniques and drills.  Then I work on it on my own - using my own videos and whatever other relavant information I can find to try to achieve the things he is telling me to achieve.  When I feel like I've achieved them I go back for another lesson.

 

I will also go in for a lesson if I feel like I've made a large change in my swing or if I am totally struggling to learn something he showed me.  I only take about 4-6 lessons a year but I feel like I get a lot out of them and would progress much more slowly just on my own.

 

I do think you can totally do it on your own - but unless you're gifted - it will take a lot of hard work.

post #3 of 17

1.   Buy a video camera and tripod.

2.   Use it - on the range, in your back yard, anywhere.

3.   When you've gotten over the shock/horror, analyze your swing honestly and carefully, then make the necessary changes.

4.   Repeat 1 through 3, indefinitely.

post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thank you both for the great advise
 

post #5 of 17

Depends on the slice

 

Lay down a club on the ground, between your feet. Hit a few shots, does the ball travel left of that club then slice back right. Or does the ball start right of your target line and keep going right. 

 

If its the first, its a lot more difficult to fix. That is a swing path issue, and your comming over the top. The reason is, you put so much slice spin on the ball, due to negative path your club is taking. So you can have a relatively square face to the target, and still hit a slice. This one will take some work. I would seriously look through a lot of the main threads on this forum for tips on the 5 keys of the golf swing. 

 

IF its start's right and goes right, then its a clubface issue, i would work on maybe closing it down a tad, or mayb its ball position, to far back in the stance, or you can strengthen your grip a bit. 

post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by techforay View Post

Hi all I have golfed for many years and have struggled with a slice the whole time. I have made it my mission to at least change a slice to a fade.  I am trying to work on my swing.  I was golfing in the high 80s or low 90s and now cant even seam to get to those numbers again.  I have taken lessons a couple of times in the past and and would rather find a less expensive way to keep working toward my goals.  I recently read a book titled Two Steps to a Perfect Golf Swing.  The book describes a couple of positions that you should obtain in the swing at take away and at the top of the back swing.  It seams to have helped me understand the swing plane better.  Is it realistic to think that I can get rid of a slice and build a good swing using forums and online golf instruction rather than personal lessons? 

 

1 - understand what is happening. If your ball is slicing right, your clubface is aiming further right of you path at impact.

 

To turn your slice into a fade (my recommended advice for you), find a way of closing the face more. I would try the following route, but it is pretty individual what would work or not.

 

1 - strengthen your grip. Close the face at address and grip it as normal. Then with your hands on the grip, rotate the club back to neutral - this will automatically set a stronger grip position for you

2 - add a bit of face rotation through impact. Rehearse in slow motion the act of the clubface closing (rotating) through impact.

3. Just shut the face at address a little and then grip it. Try to rehearse the clubface coming back to this position at impact (or more closed).

 

 

The above advice doesn't address the swing path, but it will turn your slice into more of a manageable fade. Plenty of players played great golf like this - Paul Azinger was a very closed face fader, as was David Duval.

post #7 of 17

First question I want to ask is where is the ball starting?  Most slicers start the ball left, so closing the club face is only going to start it more left.

 

I would recommend you work on your path, which is probably too far to the left.  Why is the path too much across the ball?

- Weight is not far enough forward at impact

- Left wrist isn't flat at impact, meaning the left wrist is cupped with the club head overtaking the hands, path will be across the ball.  Solid impact position would have the grip end forward of the club head.  

 

Good resources to check out

 

http://thesandtrap.com/t/61376/5sk-video-thread#post_781529

http://thesandtrap.com/t/61376/5sk-video-thread#post_783068

http://thesandtrap.com/t/61376/5sk-video-thread#post_785397

 

post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvmac View Post

First question I want to ask is where is the ball starting?  Most slicers start the ball left, so closing the club face is only going to start it more left.

 

 

This is the point MV - we want him to start the ball more left so that his shot doesn't end up right of his target like it has been. As clubface is the most determinant factor of dierction, this would be the most efficient change. The clubface would also get more matched to the path - so there would be less curvature.

 

Quote:

I would recommend you work on your path, which is probably too far to the left.  Why is the path too much across the ball?

- Weight is not far enough forward at impact

- Left wrist isn't flat at impact, meaning the left wrist is cupped with the club head overtaking the hands, path will be across the ball.  Solid impact position would have the grip end forward of the club head.  

 

I agree that path change could be a long term solution, but the two are not mutually exclusive, they work in conjunction with each other. A higher handicap player would also tend to have more problem changing path without supervision from a coach - would you not agree?

 

Why is the path too much across the ball? In most cases it is a reaction to the ball going right - instinctively a player will want to swing more left. Or, physical limitations can cause this to be the issue from the start - either way, a face change will deal with the psychological elements and overcome the physical (if that is the problem). It is rarely just a case of lack of education imo - but I do deal with players of different levels on the whole, so I respect your opinion.

 

If a player has a predominant left path due to poor body action, putting more weight on the left will only shift path more right through d-plane effects. It will essentially produce a square path but with a left swing direction - it will also mean the player is hitting the ball too much on the downswing - not great for driver. Add to that the fact the face is going to be more open to the swing curve at this point, the ball will likely slice more - or become a block fade at best.

 

players tend to lose their wrist position at impact due to the fact that their path is too left. This is their way of adding loft to the face to get some kind of flight on it.

 

Maybe I didnt understand your suggestions - but I would suggest with a face change first - or if you are going to hit the path, go with changing the swing direction, not just manipulating the d-plane.

post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Young View Post

 

This is the point MV - we want him to start the ball more left so that his shot doesn't end up right of his target like it has been. As clubface is the most determinant factor of dierction, this would be the most efficient change. The clubface would also get more matched to the path - so there would be less curvature.

 

 

Yes but remember, the feeling of closing the club face or rotating the forearms more will rotate the path more to the left.  

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Young View Post

 

I agree that path change could be a long term solution, but the two are not mutually exclusive, they work in conjunction with each other. A higher handicap player would also tend to have more problem changing path without supervision from a coach - would you not agree?

 

I'm just trying to give the best advice I can with the information provided.  I don't like telling a slicer to close the face more when they probably already have the face aimed left at impact, dorsi flexed left wrist and elbows pulling apart (typical slicer).

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Adam Young View Post

 

If a player has a predominant left path due to poor body action, putting more weight on the left will only shift path more right through d-plane effects. It will essentially produce a square path but with a left swing direction - it will also mean the player is hitting the ball too much on the downswing - not great for driver. Add to that the fact the face is going to be more open to the swing curve at this point, the ball will likely slice more - or become a block fade at best.

 

Why would the swing direction still be to the left?  I want to get it rightward or as close to a positive swing direction as possible.  

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Young View Post

It will essentially produce a square path but with a left swing direction - it will also mean the player is hitting the ball too much on the downswing - not great for driver. Add to that the fact the face is going to be more open to the swing curve at this point, the ball will likely slice more - or become a block fade at best.

 

So you're saying the weight shouldn't be forward at impact?  Obviously you can get a positive AOA with the weight forward, it is actually preferred.

post #10 of 17
Make no mistake about it - we like to fix the path because that's what most golfers are doing wrong. Changing the path works for us every time when it's the way to go. Change the face to point left more and the golfer will begin hitting the ball too low, too.
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for your help.  I have some really good stuff to work on.  This is a great forum. 
 

post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvmac View Post

First question I want to ask is where is the ball starting?  Most slicers start the ball left, so closing the club face is only going to start it more left.

 

I would recommend you work on your path, which is probably too far to the left.  Why is the path too much across the ball?

- Weight is not far enough forward at impact

- Left wrist isn't flat at impact, meaning the left wrist is cupped with the club head overtaking the hands, path will be across the ball.  Solid impact position would have the grip end forward of the club head.  

 

Good resources to check out

 

 

This (Flat Left Wrist) is one of the greatest golf youtube videos of all time.  If there was a free golf video hall of fame, this video would have it's own dedicated wing.  It would be at the end of a very long narrow hall, playing on an ipad on a pedestal encased in thick lucite and with motion-detector laser-beams all around it.  It's a good video . .is what I'm trying to say.

post #13 of 17
Quote:

Originally Posted by mvmac View Post

 

So you're saying the weight shouldn't be forward at impact?  Obviously you can get a positive AOA with the weight forward, it is actually preferred.

 

you can also be well behind the ball at impact with a driver and have a lot of pressure on your front foot, even though the mass of your body is relatively neutral. This is how a lot of the guys bomb it.

 

Why is having weight forward and positive AOA preferred with driver?

 

Quote:
Yes but remember, the feeling of closing the club face or rotating the forearms more will rotate the path more to the left.  

To an extent yes - but the amount of face closure will far outweigh the shift in path. It is just an option that I and all the guys I play with use as a tool. I know it needs to be used in the right hands, but so does eveything. A stronger grip can sometimes make someone slice it more - I think I remember Iacas saying this happens to him. For the majority of people, getting the clubface to close through impact is simple and effective. Not always the best fix though, I agree

 

 

Quote:
I'm just trying to give the best advice I can with the information provided.  I don't like telling a slicer to close the face more when they probably already have the face aimed left at impact, dorsi flexed left wrist and elbows pulling apart (typical slicer).

Sometimes a slicer gets rid of those wrist and elbow positions when they close the face effectively through impact, and sometimes they can change their swing direction more positive and still maintain those positions (which would cause a problem for low point, which would also have to be rectified).

 

What is wrong with having a face aiming left at impact - that is how I hit my fade shots, and every tour pro who fades it does the same.

 

 

Quote:
Why would the swing direction still be to the left?  I want to get it rightward or as close to a positive swing direction as possible.  

Oh, my mistake. I mis interpreted what you said as to just hit more downward on the ball to compensate for the (likely) left swing direction.- something which would lower the flight too much - whereas closing the face would not have as detrimental effect on trajectory (as I can demonstrate with my high fades)

post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 

I should have mentioned above that I have done the club face thing to help correct my slice.  It has somewhat. What I am really interested in is correcting my swing path.  I have had an outside in swing for a long time.  Until this discussion i did not understand why. Everyone of my divots points dead left.  I believe from all the discussion above ( and i appreciate all of it) the thing I need to work on first is keeping my wrist flat at impact. I know messing with my swing path is going to cause problems for awhile.  But I am so tired of all the inconsistency in distance and contact and eventually I would love to see a ball draw.   Thank you all for your advice

post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by techforay View Post

I should have mentioned above that I have done the club face thing to help correct my slice.  It has somewhat. What I am really interested in is correcting my swing path.  I have had an outside in swing for a long time.  Until this discussion i did not understand why. Everyone of my divots points dead left.  I believe from all the discussion above ( and i appreciate all of it) the thing I need to work on first is keeping my wrist flat at impact. I know messing with my swing path is going to cause problems for awhile.  But I am so tired of all the inconsistency in distance and contact and eventually I would love to see a ball draw.   Thank you all for your advice

 

Fair enough. I have made a swing path change before and it wasnt easy, but the rewards are often big when (and if) the change is successful. 

 

There are many ways to change your path. The info MVmac and Iacas give will be good stuff to follow. I also experiment with a very instinctive approach to it - when I want my path more left I literally just rehearse and visualise the club swinging left through impact (plus whatever face angle I want to see) and keep adjusting the feeling until I find the flight I want. I do the same for a draw also. My advice to you is to start with small swings first, until you can learn to strike the ball nicely with the path you want - then just add speed.

 

Don't be afraid to experiment with extremes also (too much in to out for example). I have done a lot of messing around with swing path, and now have the ability to vary it by as much as 90 degrees (45 left to 45 right) if needed. This makes it much easier to refine the path when you get down close to neutral, or where you want to be.

post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
I hope I see the big rewards eventually Adam. I have golfed for a long time an I have really not improved much. I have joined a club where I can play unlimited golf and purchased a discount range membership. I amready to do some hard work and this forum is going go help. Thank you all very much.
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Young View Post

 

you can also be well behind the ball at impact with a driver and have a lot of pressure on your front foot, even though the mass of your body is relatively neutral. This is how a lot of the guys bomb it.

 

Why is having weight forward and positive AOA preferred with driver?

 

 

Hey Adam, yeah we mean pressure when we say weight, tends to make it easier for the "masses" to understand.  Obviously don't want the center of mass/head to be that far forward.  The average PGA Tour player has between 80-95% of his pressure on his front foot at impact. The average amateur has 55%.  Getting that pressure forward gives the golfer something to "push" off of.  Use the ground to extend the legs and hips and get that handle to raise.

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