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BernieM

I hit DRAW shots at the Driving Range but I SLICE on the course

17 posts in this topic

I've been playing golf for 2 years now and when I'm at the driving range I hit either straight or draw shots with my driver, I very rarely hit any slices no matter how hard I hit the ball.  Whenever I play a round at the course I very rarely hit a draw or straight shot with the driver, it's usually a big fade or a slice.  I've tried to slow down my swing speed, I make sure my alignment is still the same but it doesn't seem to help.  Any ideas on what the problem is and how to fix it?

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When you say draw do you mean it starts at the target and goes left or starts left and goes farther left? Likewise when you say slice do you mean it starts at target and goes right or it starts right and goes farther right? It's important to recognise the difference because the shape of the ball flight relates directly to the swing path and club angle at impact.
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The ball starts off straight at the target then draws to the left at the Driving Range, on the course it starts left of the target then goes right

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Happens to me sometimes too. I believe it's part of the mental game. For me a draw is easier to hit fat because the clubhead bottoms out right around where the ball is, instead of after the ball like on a steep cut shot. And when I'm on the range I'm working on this or that, and it's okay if I hit a few of them fat.  But on the course, hitting a fat shot is effectively a lost stroke, so I change my swing subconsciously to a steeper angle trying to make sure I don't hit it fat.

It comes down to either forcing myself to watch out if I start to get steep (need yet another swing thought?), or coming to trust that I'm going to hit the draw cleanly. I have no actual advice for you.

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The ball starts off straight at the target then draws to the left at the Driving Range, on the course it starts left of the target then goes right

Ok. You are obviously swinging on an out to in path. At the range you are able to square your hands enough, relative to your swing path, to be able to hit it straight. At the course you aren't able to square your hands enough, hence the slice. In itself an out to in swing path isn't a problem, as long as it isn't too severe. The only trouble is you have to have good club head control, as you have noticed. Now, why you are able to square the face better at the range is the question. The first things I would check are tee hight and ball position. If you have those rubber tees at the range, difference in tee hight is a strong possibility. Simply, the higher a ball is teed the greater possibility for it to hook/draw and vice versa for a lower teed ball. With ball position, the farther forward you have the ball the more chance you have to square your hands and hence the more likely it is you might hit a pull draw like you do at the range.

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Ok. You are obviously swinging on an out to in path. At the range you are able to square your hands enough, relative to your swing path, to be able to hit it straight. At the course you aren't able to square your hands enough, hence the slice. In itself an out to in swing path isn't a problem, as long as it isn't too severe. The only trouble is you have to have good club head control, as you have noticed.

Backwards. If he was swinging out to in with a face squared to the target he would be hitting fades/slices. Ball starts straight at the target and then curves away from the path. The path is going left so the ball will curve right. A fade.

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Backwards. If he was swinging out to in with a face squared to the target he would be hitting fades/slices. Ball starts straight at the target and then curves away from the path. The path is going left so the ball will curve right. A fade.

Maybe I didn't explain that clearly enough. When I say he squared his hand enough to hit it straight I mean the ball finished straight on his target line not thefflight was straight. When it goes left he is obviously over rotating the club at impact and hitting a pull I.e. straight left ball flight.

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Originally Posted by norrisedgar

Maybe I didn't explain that clearly enough. When I say he squared his hand enough to hit it straight I mean the ball finished straight on his target line not thefflight was straight. When it goes left he is obviously over rotating the club at impact and hitting a pull I.e. straight left ball flight.

On the range:  "The ball starts off straight at the target then draws to the left at the Driving Range", - square face, in to out path - that's a nice shape - opening the face a degree might give a nice little push/draw (IMO desired)

On the course:  "it starts left of the target then goes right" - closed face, out to in path - On the course, he might be hunching up during the swing right at impact creating a pull/fade - relax and swing/stretch for 1st base (like at the range)

All Ernest was noting was that he wasn't clearly hitting out to in, just only at the course, likely in to out at the range.  So it depended upon which shot you were talking about.  You were commenting on his course swing.  Ernest talking about the range time

Crappy problem since both face angle AND club path are varying from practice.  I suspect a good instructor here might have a few ideas on what can cause both shutting the face and in2out switches simultaneously vs practice swings

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Originally Posted by norrisedgar

The first things I would check are tee hight and ball position. If you have those rubber tees at the range, difference in tee hight is a strong possibility. Simply, the higher a ball is teed the greater possibility for it to hook/draw and vice versa for a lower teed ball.

With ball position, the farther forward you have the ball the more chance you have to square your hands and hence the more likely it is you might hit a pull draw like you do at the range.

Sorry I didn't have this in my last comment at the time - just noted it and missed my window of time to edit.

I did exactly this with my fairway woods.  I'd have a different setup at the range vs when out playing.  (I was thinking more at the range).  So on the course, when i'd tee up a 3w or 5w I'd forget my fairway wood setup and put it up front like a driver.  I'd get a very different flight (more fades and slices)....and the occasional snap hook ( unconsciously trying to adjust when it's too late ).  I have to be very conscious to hit the 3w off the tee just like I'm hitting it off the ground from a good lie.....Then no problems....straight and far.  Definitely tee and position good to look at.  (as well as the amount of tension one carries on the course vs the range)

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The harder I swing, the more OTT (over the top, outside to in, etc.) I swing.  I think people are more inclined to try and clobber the ball on the course because they think it can fly further.  You let your hands and arms drive the club to the ball instead of the momentum of your body, and that always means you will be pushing the club away from your body on the downswing.  At the range there is nothing to prove or improve by swinging hard, so maybe you're making more fluid movements when accuracy and distance aren't required (at the range).

Also if you play public courses, most tee boxes are slanted.  If you are slanted downhill (ball below your feet), the natural tendency of the landscape will want to fade the ball for you.  So it's possible you aren't even making a huge error to get a resulting fade.  A slice usually can't be blamed on the lie though (at least on a tee box) and you are doing something wrong.

BTW when people say outside-to-in (it was a difficult concept for me to understand just by the term "outside to in" or "over the top") it just means if you are right handed, when you start your downswing your club comes down from the right side of the target and crosses across the ball as the club heads left of the target.  That will always result in a clockwise spin on the ball, which is what causes a fade/slice.

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Originally Posted by rehmwa

On the range:  "The ball starts off straight at the target then draws to the left at the Driving Range", - square face, in to out path - that's a nice shape - opening the face a degree might give a nice little push/draw (IMO desired)

Your right, my bad. Sorry guys.

As you say this means he is swinging on two different paths, very odd in my experience, normally people have a set path on all their shots.

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Originally Posted by rehmwa

Sorry I didn't have this in my last comment at the time - just noted it and missed my window of time to edit.

I did exactly this with my fairway woods.  I'd have a different setup at the range vs when out playing.  (I was thinking more at the range).  So on the course, when i'd tee up a 3w or 5w I'd forget my fairway wood setup and put it up front like a driver.  I'd get a very different flight (more fades and slices)....and the occasional snap hook (unconsciously trying to adjust when it's too late).  I have to be very conscious to hit the 3w off the tee just like I'm hitting it off the ground from a good lie.....Then no problems....straight and far.  Definitely tee and position good to look at.  (as well as the amount of tension one carries on the course vs the range)

I have a similar problem with my 3wood. I can hit perfect draws up the range off the mat but on the course off the tee I top it 6 out of 10 times. I won't say any more cause this thread is Bernie's problems not mine .

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Sounds like alignment is quite likely an issue on the golf course.

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Sounds like alignment is quite likely an issue on the golf course.

Yeah, I always makw sure I line myself up with a point a few feet in front of me, say a divot or something, it is much easier then trying to line yourself up with something 200 yards away

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Originally Posted by norrisedgar

Yeah, I always makw sure I line myself up with a point a few feet in front of me, say a divot or something, it is much easier then trying to line yourself up with something 200 yards away

It is easier on the range to get the line of swing and the feet lined up.

Certainly if the feet are (unknowingly) open stance to line of shot while on the course that straight shot might turn into a slice.

I normally hit a push/draw.  So if if I'm finding I'm fading off for some reason (driver)

1st - I just take a few swings and eyeball my clubpath.  If that's not an issue

2nd - I'll close my stance a bit (not just turn closed, but I'll setup straight back as usual, and then close a little extra by drawing my trail foot towards it's heel direction, but still pointed up square to lineup) - that'll usually do it.  It might just be placebo for me to control my in/out angle, but that's what does it for me.

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Originally Posted by rehmwa

It is easier on the range to get the line of swing and the feet lined up.

Certainly if the feet are (unknowingly) open stance to line of shot while on the course that straight shot might turn into a slice.

Or right, resulting in someone feeling they need to swing left to get the ball to the target.

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Thanks Fellas,

I think that on the course that I may be swinging from out to in or trying to steer the ball, but I don't do this at the range.  The course has lots of trees and skinny fairways whereas at the range it quite open and I don't worry about the trees.  I may also be tightening up under pressure of match conditions as it's a member only course and I play competition several times a week. I do get lessons, but the lessons are at the driving range, my instructor doesn't see me at the course so he doesn't see what changes.  I think I'll need to have a game with my instructor on the course under match conditions.....

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