One of the most frustrating shots that plague amateur golfers is the dreaded slice.
The shot looks ugly in the air, goes a fraction of the distance of a straight shot (or draw), and can make it hard to shoot lower scores. It can get really old stepping onto the tee box and being terrified if there is water or OB right. Dreading of what might happen with yet another banana slice.
So how do most golfers try and fix their slice?
Then what happens?
An even bigger slice!
Which is even more frustrating and why a lot of players retire their driver and resort to 3W.
Don’t get me wrong, if you’re hitting a slight fade then you should aim to the left of your target and play the soft, left to right cut. But if you are slicing the ball, aiming farther left is only making your miss even worse.
There are tons of ways to fix golf slice and improve your golf swing. In this blog post, I’ll cover what causes a slice golf shot, techniques to change your swing path, and simple drills to help you hit it straighter.
Let’s get into it…
What is a Sliced Golf Shot?
First off, if your swing produces a golf slice, just know that you aren’t alone. While I don’t have any hard proof of a golf industry study, there is no question the slice is the #1 miss for 99% of amateur players!
For a right-handed golfer, a slice goes left to right for one reason — because of an open club face.
The shot loses distance as it curves left to right, instead of straight, and creates side spin.
What Causes a Slice in the Golf Swing?
Like anything in golf, there is rarely one single thing causing a specific shot. But the only reason you slice the ball is that the club face is open at impact. The key is to identify why your club face is open (or wide open) at impact.
This can happen for a variety of reasons that lead to all kinds of poor swing habits. Here are the most common causes.
#1: Swing Path (The Most Common Cause)
The main reason the club is open at impact is that you come into the ball with an over the top swing motion. Since you are coming over the top it will usually start left and slice back to the right.
How far right the ball curves depends on how open the club face is at impact. If you hit a cut with irons, this miss is magnified with a driver since it’s a much longer club and has less loft. Since most drivers are 8-11 degrees of loft, it produces a much bigger left to right shot than a higher lofted iron.
Overall, this path will lead to a steep downswing and lead to some errant golf shots. Luckily, there are tons of training aids, drills, and other strategies that we’ll cover to address this issue head on.
#2: Bad Alignment
Alignment is one of the foundations of playing good golf. How you address the ball sets up the rest of your golf swing, makes it easier to have the proper swing path, and not have an open clubface at impact.
But as I briefly mentioned in the beginning, some golfers make the slice worse by aiming farther left, especially with a driver. The logic makes sense “If I’m hitting a slice, just aim farther left.”
While this seems like a good solution, it actually makes you more likely to hit an even bigger slice. I’m sure you’ve seen one of your buddies try this and end up pull slicing it even more, leading to even more frustration.
Don’t worry, if you’re one of the many slicers who want to find a different solution, we’ll help you fix your slice with proper alignment.
#3: Weak Grip
Another reason for a slice is a grip that isn’t strong enough. There are three types of grips in golf; weak, neutral, or strong.
A weak grip tends to promote a slight left to right shot, while a strong grip promotes a draw. Ideally, you want to have a neutral grip so you have a straighter ball flight and have the ability to work the golf ball both ways.
For some reason, most golfers have a weak left hand (assuming you’re a right-handed golfer), which has a direct effect on club path. A weak grip tends to lead to taking the club too far inside, which leads to a steep, over the top move on the downswing.
I had this issue for a long time in my own golf swing and it also led to an improper weight transfer too. Since I came too far over the top, it often left too much weight on the backside, and would lead to hitting up on the golf ball. This meant a ton of thin shots, which isn’t the end of the world with a driver (since the ball is teed up) but big misses with the irons.
It’s incredible what happened once I strengthened my grip. It fixed my path and weight issues and led to longer distance with better contact. More on fixing your grip down below.
#4: Active Upper Body
In the golf swing sequence, you need to move your lower body, not your upper body first. As weight shifts to your lead foot, then you can begin to twist the torso down toward the golf ball. Unfortunately, many slicers start the downswing with their upper body, especially on a driver swing, and lead to big misses.
As the great Ben Hogan said, “The downswing is initiated by turning the hips to the left. The shoulders, arms, and hands — in that order — then release their power.”
If you’re slicing the ball chances are you are almost always starting the swing with your shoulders or arms, not your lower body. When you have an overly active upper body it will cause you to rotate and pull the ball with an open club face. This creates the annoying pull slice that plagues the majority of amateur golfers.
Your overly active upper body could be because of an incorrect plane on your backswing, quick transition or lack of flexibility.
Go here to learn about how a slice differs from a hook and why the fix for each is different.
10 Ways to Fix Your Slice and Play Better Golf
Here are ten solutions to help minimize your slice and maybe even turn you into a player who draws the golf ball.
1. Check Your Equipment
Before getting into the mechanics and adjusting your ball position or swing plane, let’s talk about playing the right golf clubs.
Golf is already hard enough, don’t make it harder with equipment that doesn’t match your swing. Your equipment can have a huge effect on the flight of your golf ball and switching a few things might fix a slice.
Evaluate Your Shaft
The first thing to evaluate is your shaft flex. If your shaft has too much flex it makes it much more difficult to square the face at impact and use the right shaft and help you fix your slice.
Here is a general guide for shaft selection for your driver based on the carry distance and swing speed.
- X Flex (Extra Stiff) – Ideal for swings of 110mph or higher and a driver carry distance around 270 yards. These are usually reserved for scratch golfers and professionals (who might also use TX or Tour X-Stiff).
- S Flex (Stiff Flex) – Perfect for swings of 95 to 110mph and driver carry distance between 240 to 270 yards. This is usually great for players who shoot in the 80s or 90s and make an aggressive move at the golf ball.
- R Flex (Regular) – This is great for swing speeds of 85 to 95 mph which should carry a driver from 200 to 240 yards. Typically, golfers who shoot 90-100+ on a given round.
- A or M Flex (Amateur or Senior) – For swing speeds of 75 to 85 mph and a driving distance between 180 to 200 yards.
- L Flex (Ladies) – For swing speeds of 75 mph and below with average driver distance less than 180.
You can test your swing speed by using a personal launch monitor or check with a golf store near to test your swing. Once you have your swing speed, make sure your shafts, especially your driver shaft, don’t have too much flex.
Adjust Your Golf Club
Once you have the right shaft, Also, most drivers today have adjustable club face settings. If your driver does come with a tool, make sure you have it set to neutral or draw biased setting. The last thing you want is your club face promoting a fade at setup.
In our guide to the best drivers for a slicer, we recommend the perfect driver to bring that slice back into the fairway. It’s important to note though that these clubs have offset which can lead to a miss the other way.
2. Strengthen Your Left Hand
Sometimes a new grip is needed, especially if you suffer from a big slice. Don’t let poor grip fundamentals limit your potential and ruin your game on the golf course.
As you know, it’s really hard to play good golf when your ball is moving 20+ yards left to right off the tee. While a new grip might feel strange (especially if you’ve been gripping that way for a while), a stronger grip is needed.
It will take time to change your grip as it’s easy to get comfortable going back to your old swing habits. But over time, you absolutely can strengthen your grip.
Not only will a stronger grip help you correct your swing path and clubface issues, it will also add more power. Sometimes by massive amounts with every club in your bag.
Buy a Grip Trainer
If you want to feel the proper left and right-hand grip, the SKLZ golf tempo and grip trainer is a great investment in your game (and cheap too). You can use it to feel a good grip with both hands and work on your tempo too. Even a few minutes at home each day swinging this club will help you begin to fix that weak slice.
Here’s a grip trainer that we recommend. (Please note, this only works for a right-handed player).
Better Grip Pressure to Stop Slicing
Lastly, don’t forget to check your grip pressure as well. While most players want to “grip it and rip it” with the driver, this is 100% the wrong mentality.
In reality, your driver should be your lightest grip pressure other than a bunker shot! A “death grip” will only create more tension in your arms. This causes you to try to guide the ball instead of swing free and out toward the target.
3. Adjust Your Setup
To quit slicing the ball you might need to work on your swing path. If you’re coming over the top you need to learn how to shallow the golf club.
Again, most slices are caused by an over the top motion on the downswing. This occurs from a steep downswing without enough lag.
Here are some things to consider in your setup (aside from grip, which we covered) to help your swing path.
While some golfers aim too far left, others aim right which actually promotes a slice. This is called an open stance. If you’re aimed right at the target and you don’t realize it, then your mind knows you need to pull it back and come over the top to correct your poor aim.
So if you’re aimed way right, you will come over the top with a steep swing path. Instead, try to aim left with your feet and keep your shoulders square to the target. This is known as an open stance and can help you clear your left side more, which leads to straighter and more powerful golf shots.
With a driver, you want the golf ball off your front foot (right foot for left-handed golfers). If it’s further back in your stance, it’s easier to get steep, not have a proper weight shift, and lead the golf slice we all hate.
The ball needs to be more off your front heel so you hit up on the shot and increase launch angle. Not only will a more forward position help you learn how to stop slicing driver it will add extra distance too.
Remember, so much of golf happens before you ever swing the club. Master your setup to fix driver slice and play better golf overall.
4.Swing Like a Baseball Bat
If you have any past baseball experience, it might come in handy to help you cure that nasty slice. Anytime I find myself going through a slump and slicing the ball, I love doing this drill and helps create an outside- in path.
Here are the steps to get started.
Step 1: Grab a 7-iron and practice a baseball swing where you wrap the club behind and then around your body as if you were hitting a baseball. Keep the club level and feel the hands rotate around and turn over which will help you hit more draws.
Step 2: After a few swings begin to roll your hands over even sooner. This will promote the feeling of squaring or even slightly closing your hands at impact. A square clubface will create a straight shot and slightly closed will help produce a draw.
Do this 10-15 times on the range before hitting your driver on the range.
This drill also works if you need to fix a slice on the golf course. If you’ve had a few errant drives, on the tee box when other players are hitting shots, do this drill a few times. It should help you get back to square and improve your golf swing mid-round.
5. Use the PlaneMate Trainer
If you slice the ball, chances are you’re like many golfers and probably invested in a lot of different training aids. Some are great and will help you fix an open clubface while others aren’t worth it and a total waste of money.
One training aid that we can’t talk about enough is the PlaneMate swing trainer. If I had to pick one training aid to fix a slice, it would be this one. This is a unique training aid that lets you feel a better takeaway, which allows you to shallow the golf club.
While it might feel strange, it will force you to feel a better left shoulder position and get your right elbow in the proper spot. Plus, what’s great about this training aid is that you can use it with golf clubs and train your body for a better swing.
Or, you can hit shots with it and you can hit it with any club in the bag. It works great for chip shots and you can use the different bands to hit full swing drivers too. A tremendous investment in your game.
6.Try the Muscle Confusion Drill
If you’ve been slicing the ball for a while, sometimes you need to “confuse” your body and mind to feel the proper changes. While the baseball drill is great, the muscle confusion drill is another powerful way to learn how to hit the ball with power and start swinging more consistently.
Step 1: With a 6 or a 7 iron, keep your feet together and make as much of a backswing as you can. The club should be lower than normal as your feet are together creating a narrow swing path.
Step 2: Without moving any part of your body let gravity drop your arms. Your right elbow should hit your side and allow the club head to fly out. This should make the butt end of the club should come up close to your face.
This is a practice drill that you do not do with a golf ball! If you are doing this incorrectly the cub will wrap around your body producing the pull slice.
7. Stop Aiming Left
As I mentioned, when you aim left only makes the slice miss even more to the right. Don’t compensate by thinking you need to aim left even more in the opposite direction of your slice. This will compound the issue!
Instead of aiming farther to the left, try to tee off the right side of the box. This will give yourself more fairway and room to work the ball off the left side of the fairway or rough. Adjusting your aim is a short-term fix but won’t help the bigger issues causing your slice.
8. Square The Club Face Earlier
Your club face at impact determines if you slice, draw or hit the ball straight. The higher swing speed and longer shaft of a driver make squaring up this club the hardest. Again, if you are hitting a monster slice your club face MUST be open at impact. You need to work on squaring up the face sooner on your downswing.
Use this drill from Tiger’s ex-swing coach, Hank Haney.
Hank Haney Slice Drill
Step 1: With a driver, hover your driver roughly a foot off the ground. This will naturally level your swing and help promote the inside to outside swing path. It will also help you feel the clubface turning over at impact.
Step 2: On your practice swings you want to feel yourself squaring the clubface roughly 2 or 3 feet behind the golf ball before impact. It will feel like your left hand is squaring up and turning the clubface.
Practice this drill with 5-10 practice swings the next time you’re on the driving range. Ideally, this will help promote the swing path to the right and squaring the face at impact. This drill will help you create a slight draw if done correctly.
9. Get the Right Eyeline
Another training aid that can help your ball flight is the Eyeline Golf Speed Trap. It’s a relatively affordable training aid that can help you learn how the path of your swing impacts your shot shape.
The device itself is pretty simple; it’s a board with four foam training rods in which you place to hit different types of shots. If your goal is to fix your slice, you would adjust them, so the rods point more toward you. Then, as you swing the club, if you make contact with the rods you will get immediate feedback that you came over the top.
Having a visual reminder is nice because it will train you to come more from the inside path on your downswing, which will straighten out your club face. Plus, you can use it to train yourself to hit straight shots or if you draw the ball, help you hit cut shots too.
What I love about it is that you get instant feedback and with enough repetition, can retrain your path. Plus you can hit golf balls with it and easily carry it in your bag since it’s so portable or use it at home.
You can grab an Eyeline speed trap here if you want to give this a shot.
10. Use Golf Club Spray
As noted in this YouTube video from Rick Shiels Golf, you need to know where you strike the golf ball. Using spray (we like Strike Spray) you can quickly figure out where the club is making contact with the golf ball.
All you need to do is spray the club with it and it will leave a white mist on the face. Then, hit 3-5 golf balls and see where the mist has disappeared.
If you use the spray and identify a pattern toward the heel, make sure your address position is set up in the middle of the club.
I know it sounds simple but sometimes you might be unconsciously set up toward the heel which leads to a slice (or a bigger slice). But it’s usually other things like grip and swing path, but sometimes it is as simple as adjusting the driver to the golf ball in the middle of the face.
Final Thoughts on How to Fix a Slice
Remember, when the clubface is open, it will lead to golf shots going right aka a golf slice.
Even if you’ve struggled to fix this issue before, just know that eliminating the slice is possible and easier than you might think. You don’t have to settle for a slice forever!
But to get the right path and square the face at impact, it might take some time and practice to feel the new feeling. If this miss has plagued your game for some time, understand that it might be overnight but it is absolutely fixable in the long run.
- Change your left and right-hand grip.
- Use the training aids mentioned and training grip.
- Ensure the ball is more in the front of your stance with the driver.
- Double-check your alignment and make sure your right shoulder is aligned with your left shoulder.
And use the drills provided to groove your path on the driving range.
Once you learn to swing on the right path and square the clubface at impact you will hit the ball farther, higher, and straighter than ever. Make sure you practice these tips on the range instead of trying to implement mid-round.
If you notice the slice seems to be getting worse as the rounds continue, don’t be afraid to switch to a 3 or 5 wood off the tee either. Since the driver is the hardest club to square up due to length/loft (it also curves the most), clubbing down can help you keep the ball in play more often.