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25 years of slicing


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I'm a first time poster, so I thank everyone in advance for your patience with this:

I've been playing golf for over 25 years and play approximately 3-4 times per year.  Not nearly often enough to be good, in other words.

For the past 25 years I have been slicing and/or pushing the ball from the tee about 85% of the time.  The only consistency in my drives is that the ball almost always goes about the same distance and lands in about the same place every time (on the driving range), which is between 2:00 and 2:30 (if 12 o'clock is straight down the fairway).  I never, ever use my driver on the course.  I always use a 3 wood because as bad as the 3 wood can be, it's far worse with the driver.

I have tried repositioning my feet, starting with my hips pointed to the left, repositioning the ball in my stance, altering my grip, shortening my backswing, etc.  My brain knows to square the clubface, to swing inside to out, etc. It simply doesn't translate to the swing.

So far, the only thing that works consistently is to use an off-set driver I started using this year. With the off-set driver I hit very well and consistently straight.

That being said, I don't want to have to rely on a 'crutch' like that.

So:  do I give up on improving my swing and accept life with the off-set driver, or what?

I haven't taken any lessons because I'm not sure a lesson would help.  Which is why I'm asking.

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First welcome to the forums.

Lessons would help.  You have tried to correct it for 25 years by yourself and that didn't seem to work, try a lesson.

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1) Slices are hardly caused by an open clubface. They can, but its rare. Most of the time the clubface is closed to the target line, and open to the swing path. there are two angles that matter in determining were the ball goes.

2) Equipment wont help you, you need a lesson. What your doing is swinging over the top. This can be caused by a lot of things, what you need to do, and its tedious but its the best way. Get back to the basics. Get your foundation, and build from there.

That being said, post your swing here on the forum, and get some advice. Also look through the 5 key's videos. I recommend all the drills for keys 1-3 first. If you get those down, you can really work on your club path more effeciently. But master 1 key then go onto the next.

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I sliced the ball with my driver for years before I started actually playing consistently and taking my scores seriously.  Then I took 2 lessons, found this forum, started analyzing my swing, etc.

After trying different methods this is what fixed my slice (and even gave me a draw which turns into an occasional hook now that I need to re-correct).  On my irons I hit the ball straight because I don't have to think about rolling my wrists at impact. I guess they just work correctly without having to think about it.  With my driver, I was leaving the club face open. It wasn't a problem with my swing path.  Now when I hit the driver or 3-wood, I have to actually concentrate on rolling my right wrist at impact to square the face.  Go to the range and get a bucket of balls and when you're coming up to impact with your driver, try to actually close  the club face too far so that you'll hook it.  After you get the feel for that and start hooking it straighten it back out by not rolling that wrist over quite so much.

That is what worked for me.

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The definition of insanity.....

"Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result."  -  Albert Einstein

I'm gonna have to get on the "get some professional help" bandwagon.  At least post a video of your swing and some of the resident swing gurus can give you some insight and some drills that will be able to help.

http://thesandtrap.com/f/4180/member-swings

Welcome to the forum!

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An interesting test for over the top swing is to bring a shoe box with you to the range.  Put the box even with the right side of the ball (assuming your righty) and 12-15" back from the ball.  If you swing over the top you will bit the box.  It will make you not swing over the top and you may find the slice greatly diminished.

I was you to a degree and I did a swing rebuild.  A golf swing is not intuitive, hard to correct by yourself.

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Originally Posted by twoton

...golf for over 25 years and play approximately 3-4 times per year.

You have played only, 75 to 100 rounds over 25 years? IMO, you are pretty good for someone who plays this little.

Coaching has helped me tremendously this last three months. Everyone I know has told me that good swing mechanics goes a long way to improving your game. It is just starting to work for me.

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I wouldn't call myself pretty good--my best round of nine was 47. LOL. I'll work on the wrist roll. That's a motion that doesn't come naturally to me. And yes, I'll finally look into lessons. Part of this quest is i am expected to participate in a fundraiser in Sept and I don't want to embarrass myself. And thanks for the welcome!
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If you can shoot 100 at the fundraiser, you will be right in the middle of the curve.  No need to lose face on that.  There is nothing obvious or intuitive about the correct golf swing. It's un-natural so takes long training to master.  Once a person starts incorrectly swing the club, for you and me years ago, to unlearn and start fresh is very tough.  How do you un-learn your mother tongue?  The good golfers have learned that this is leg game, the rest of us see something different and think golf is an 'arm game' hence we misuse our upper body: to our great detriment as golfers.

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Every member here has given you good information and what works for me may not work for you.  I hit a power fade and love it.  I don't want to hit a draw and I have been a 1 handicap but now a 9.  Try this and if it works after 30 balls you've fixed it, if not back to the drawing board.  Grip the club with the left hand for a right handed golfer so you see 3 knuckles.  Bring the right hand over the left thumb so you only see the one knuckle of your right index finger.  The feeling is that your right palm is in the gap of the left thumb and left index finger.  The grip pressure is a 3 in the last 3 fingers of the left hand and a 1 on the right hand.  Waggle the club and it will feel oily not tense.  Tee the ball so the top of the driver is even with the equator of the ball.  Set up square stance ball played off the left breast pocket.  Swing the driver straight  back with you shoulders do not roll your arms or hands, at the top make sure your

left wrist is flat and your left arm is over you right shoulder. Left arm straight or flexed not bent. Make sure the shoe box is by the ball as posted.

Take something that you can lay flat on the ground at a 45 degree angle from the inside of the ball that will line up to the butt end of the grip at back swing stop position. ( I use cloth tape or marker paint}.  On the down swing pull the butt of the club toward your left knee, your hips turn your back faces the target as long as possible swing your arms and the club head to the inside of the ball at the one O'clock position toward the ball.  3 feet before you strike the ball roll your right hand over you left.  Left hand is square( flat) at impact  This is what I do and it works for me.  I do it in slow motion first and then hit a practice ball.  You have to leave the hands out of the swing until the roll of the right hand.  Then like post said find out how much you have to roll the right hand over the left.  There are a 100 different methods, you just have to find one that works for you.  This is old school but is has worked for many.

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Thanks for the input, guys.

As an update, I seem to have made some progress. Quite unexpectedly.

I searched a couple Youtube videos and realized a fundamental mistake I had always made but never noticed and therefore never made an attempt to fix.

I had experimented with different ball placement over the years, from mid-stance to outside my left foot.

On Saturday, I tried the new "fix," and I think it worked.  I positioned the ball inside my left heel, made sure my left knuckles were up, turned my right hand so my palm was slightly up...then I tried the new fix.  I aligned the club to square in the center of my stance, instead of aligning the club directly behind the ball. In other words, I grounded the club 6"-8" inches behind the ball.  This could have been the missing link.

Because no matter where I positioned the ball, I had always aligned the club directly behind it.

This time, the "fix" actually fixed the problem!  I hit a lot of balls, and only a few were ridiculously awful slices.  More importantly, I was hooking the ball--sure, a hook can be bad, but for a lifelong slicer a hook is a wholly new experience.  Most important, I realized that little tweaks, like moving the ball more to center, twisting my knuckles more or less, aligning the club different distances behind the ball all had an effect (significantly, a compounding effect) on the ball's flight.

Best of all, aside from a few swipes with the 6 iron, I used only the driver.  My driver hasn't gotten that much fresh air since I bought it about 10 years ago.

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Originally Posted by twoton

More importantly, I was hooking the ball--sure, a hook can be bad, but for a lifelong slicer a hook is a wholly new experience.

Harvey Penick used to say that the best way to fix a slice is to learn how to hit a hook, then fix the hook. Keep at it.

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Yeah Harvey Penick said a lot of stupid things. Just fix the slice-Don't go all car mechanic on students.[quote name="geauxforbroke" url="/t/68646/25-years-of-slicing#post_875001"] Harvey Penick used to say that the best way to fix a slice is to learn how to hit a hook, then fix the hook. Keep at it. [/quote]
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Originally Posted by twoton

I'm a first time poster, so I thank everyone in advance for your patience with this:

I've been playing golf for over 25 years and play approximately 3-4 times per year.  Not nearly often enough to be good, in other words.

For the past 25 years I have been slicing and/or pushing the ball from the tee about 85% of the time.  The only consistency in my drives is that the ball almost always goes about the same distance and lands in about the same place every time (on the driving range), which is between 2:00 and 2:30 (if 12 o'clock is straight down the fairway).  I never, ever use my driver on the course.  I always use a 3 wood because as bad as the 3 wood can be, it's far worse with the driver.

I have tried repositioning my feet, starting with my hips pointed to the left, repositioning the ball in my stance, altering my grip, shortening my backswing, etc.  My brain knows to square the clubface, to swing inside to out, etc. It simply doesn't translate to the swing.

So far, the only thing that works consistently is to use an off-set driver I started using this year. With the off-set driver I hit very well and consistently straight.

That being said, I don't want to have to rely on a 'crutch' like that.

So:  do I give up on improving my swing and accept life with the off-set driver, or what?

I haven't taken any lessons because I'm not sure a lesson would help.  Which is why I'm asking.

Its a club face issue - simply, face open to the path of the club head.

You might find it helps you learn to square the club face (when you are on the range practising) if you deliberately set up with the face wide open . Your subconscious will come into play as you swing and you could experience dramatic improvement.

Give it a try. I have seen this work on countless occasions.

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Originally Posted by BirdieNumNums

[quote]My driver hasn't gotten that much fresh air since I bought it about 10 years ago.[/quote]

Hope you have a newer model, if not, go get fitted!

I have Wilson Pro Staff Mid-size driver, 3, and 5 woods.  Looks like the only place I can find them online now is on eBay. I bought them after trying lots and lots of clubs at different stores, and they were the clubs that felt best.

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I'll throw my 2 cents in here by contradicting most everything else that has been posted. Your OP stated that you play only 3-4 times a year and you did not indicate that this was going to change. You also said that your concern was not being embarassed at your fundraiser outing. If these two statements are true, paying for lessons and/or being fitted for a new driver are incredible wastes of money! It will do you no good at all. Lessons will not instill anything if you only pick up a club once every three or four months and a new driver will only make a prettier display in your garage. I would suggest what you have already found, look at youtube. You can get some decent information for free, and with a little effort you can get good enough not to completely embarrass yourself. Another great idea is to post a swing video here, there are alot of great guys who can offer alot of great information IF they have a video of your swing.

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