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Can't cure my slice!


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I'm fed up with this slice off the tee with my driver!

I think I know why I'm doing it. When I swing my shoulders get ahead of my arms and hands (instead of coming together as a triangle/unit at impact), which is bringing my club path across the ball from the outside to the inside. The ball starts out straight along my target line (implying I suppose that the club face is "square" at impact) and then veers off to the right. I've had them go 100 yds down range and go 150 yds off to the right, so you know I'm putting some hellacious clockwise side spin on the ball!

I've tried all sorts of things to fix this, but the most success I seem to have is in focusing on firing through on my right side at impact. The old "shake hands with the target" adage. When I get that right the ball will go straight, but what usually happens with this is that I end up playing a fade off the tee: starting the ball down the left side of the fairway and fade it back into the center or right side of the fairway. I can play this way, but obviously I run into problems on holes that aren't set up for playing a fade.

I only have this problem with my driver. All my irons go straight. The longest iron I have in my bag is my 4, and it's a club I like (a pure shot goes 200 yds easy). I have also learned to like my hybid (a 19 degree 3). I can easily play a draw or fade with my irons, or hit it straight. The main swing flaw with my irons will be with the club face at impact and that only results in the ball being off line to the target left or right.

That's the wierd thing. Why can I hit my irons all day long with nary a slice, but pull out my driver and the ball ends up in the next county to the right?!?

The only thing I can figure is that when I swing with my irons the club path is very upright, almost on a vertical plane. My driver though is on a flatter swing plane. Trying to swing my driver more like my irons generally has me taking a divot, and even then I can still produce a slice. I struggled with my hybrid until I realized that it needed a more upright iron swing, and now I can smoke my hybrid 220 yds. So I wonder if a more iron like approach with my driver is the way to go?
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I'm fed up with this slice off the tee with my driver!

Close your shoulders at address by pulling/dropping your right shoulder back (away from the ball) and down. You should feel like your shoulders are pointed right of the target. Then tilt your torso away from the target a little, as if you were looking at the back of the ball instead of the top of it. Then when you start your backswing, pull the club away from the ball with your shoulders, not your arms. Your arms should feel stationary relative to your shoulders, whereas your shoulders should be turning relative to your hips. Then swing through, starting the swing with your hips, and letting the shoulders follow, with your arms just going along with the shoulders passively. If you've done it right, your shoulders should be square to the target instead of open at impact, and your arms should never have moved all that much relative to the shoulders. This should make the clubhead move through the ball instead of swiping across the ball.

-Andrew
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Thanks for the reply.

I'll print this out and give it a try. I've never tried anything with my shoulder set up before. I always go with the shoulders square with the target line, so it might help? Makes sense least ways.

This slice business is terribly frustrating. Even when I'm driving well I really never know when I'll step up and spin one off into oblivion. That puts a lot of pressure on my scoring, trying to come back from a drive that is over a hundred yards off line is problematic at and best and catastrophic at worst. Do that a few times in a round and your score is shot. Plus it has a very demoralizing effect on me to where my mental game never gets rolling.

Thanks again...
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Thanks for the reply.

It's hard to tell where your shoulders are pointed without an outside point of view. Have someone stand behind you in your normal set-up, and tell you where your shoulders are pointed. I think it's very likely that they're pointed left and you just don't realize it, and shoulders pointed left causes your left arm to pull the club face across the back of the ball instead of moving through toward the target.

-Andrew
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Maybe take a look at your shoulder turn to ensure you're in the proper position when you start your downswing. If you feel that your shoulders are way ahead of your hands on the downswing, make sure on your backswing that your left shoulder almost touches your chin and your back is almost if not fully facing the target. This should put everthing in sync.

I'm thinking that when you start your downswing and shoulder turn that if your body hasn't fully rotated but your hands are all the way back and you begin a downswing, your shoulders are already ahead of your hands giving you the big slice.

Or try teeing the ball up higher and hovering your driver as high as the ball is on the tee. This will help stop the clubface from being open at impact.
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A very frustrating experience. One with which most of us deal at one time or another. You are probably coming over the top. One can have a pretty decent backswing and still have this problem. Setup can help but sometimes it all falls apart when we start the downswing. Do this drill to verify this is the problem:

Take a shoebox and put it on the ground. Put it on the opposite side of the ball from the side which you address the ball. Set the long dimension parallel to the target line with the front edge even with the back of the ball or maybe an inch in back of the ball. If you set your club on the ground squared up behind the ball there should be about an inch of space between the end of the clubface and the edge of the box.

Take a swing. If you hit the box you are coming over the top and have an outside in swing. One solution or drill to correct this problem: Put a tee down into the ground about 4" in front of the ball and at about 1:30 or two o' clock (right field). Try to swing the clubhead at that path to the ball rather than trying to hit dead center in back of the ball.

This is a good trial solution. You need to have someone look at your swing to detect other possible faults.
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I used to have a terrible slice on my drive, too. The thing that really helped me out was lowering my backswing. I was using a more vertical backswing like I would hitting an iron, but it caused a pretty severe outside-in motion and sliced every time. So I kept bringing it down a little at a time until I got rid of that outside-in swing.
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I used to have a terrible slice on my drive, too. The thing that really helped me out was lowering my backswing. I was using a more vertical backswing like I would hitting an iron, but it caused a pretty severe outside-in motion and sliced every time. So I kept bringing it down a little at a time until I got rid of that outside-in swing.

Agreed... whenever I start hitting it right... with any club... I just tell myself Low Long Around... Keep your takeway low with a longer backswing and keep it around your body.

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Simple fix,don't let your left arm pass your heart on the back swing,take three quarter swings and it will be perfectly straight or a with a draw.
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When I have this problem I close my stance a little and remember to let my hands drop. A lot of times my wrists are too tense and I end up cutting accross the ball.
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Dont block them. Drive through that ball and dont be afraid to get some weight over to your left foot (especially if you tee the ball forward in your stance).

I get tons of power and distance and draws by hitting from the inside of the ball, teeing it forward off my left toes and driving through, shifting my weight towards my left foot. Youll be cranking them in NO TIME.
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Thanks guys for all the advice. I'm printing it out and I'll slowly begin incorporating it at my next range session.

I really liked the suggestion regarding the shoe box. Hopefully that can help me to groove a straighter club path through impact.

Thanks again!
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  • 3 weeks later...
Close your shoulders at address by pulling/dropping your right shoulder back (away from the ball) and down.

I can't remember if I rep'ed you for this post. The button for doing so is missing? Anyway I've come a long way in curing my slice. It's been a combination of things, but primarily the cure involved dropping my right shoulder and pulling it back slightly. This creates a slight tilt of my torso away from the target. I've also slightly strenghtened my grip by griping the club with my left hand with my fingers and wraping my palm and thumb around the club (thumb ends up right of center on the club). Right hand grips as normal (although emphasis is put on a finger grip too) with the right thumb wraping slightly left of center. I suppose what all this does is put the club face on a straight trajectory through the impact zone. Most of the time my ball flies arrow straight. I will occasionally slip into my old ways and let a slice back in but I think it's because I'll straighten my shoulders prior to take-away. The primary swing flaw I'm having now is chunking the ball (hitting the ground 6-8" before I hit the ball). There's always going to be something to work on I suppose?!?
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Starting from the beginning I have many bad habits that cause slicing of driving. The following are what I've learnt from my mistakes:

Check that I have full and smooth shoulder turn at the back swing. This will ensure body and hands are in sync. If it is still bad after 1-2 holes, I will loosely tuck my right elbow slightly in front of the right hip all the way from BS to DS.

Check that I have not broken my left wrist at impact. This is associated with using too much right shoulder to hit the ball. With right shoulder hit, the shoulders will need to be square at impact which means one must cup his left wrist to allow the club face to square at impact. With such swing type, one can usually get away with iron shots but not driver. There is a quick check/(fix?) to this bad habit. During the address after the club is in position, with club head stationary, move the butt end and point it to the zipper. If one hit this shot straight, it is likely that one have this "right shoulder" problem.

Check that I am not swing too hard during the BS such that I cannot balance and control the club in my hands. It will result in quick transition, casting at top and total right side hit with weight on the back foot. This will result in slices occasionally depending on how well I balance the right with the left.

Hope this help.
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It depends if your swing is more upright or flatter, but if your swing is upright (like mine), then this may help you.

I find I need to make sure the shaft leans AWAY from the ball (target) with the driver. Otherwise I invariably slice the ball or pull hook it. Use that, and swing the club out to 2nd base (as though you were aiming over the short-stop), turn your hands over and see if you can get that ball hooking back towards you. Don't forget to strengthen your grip if the face isn't getting square. Our first issue for you though is to get the path straight, then fix the face.
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Note: This thread is 2547 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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