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Friday, May 20, 2011

Destroy Your Slice

1. Align & Visualize

To draw the ball,the first thing you need to have is the right image. Begin by setting your sights on a spot to the right of your target. This is your starting line. Now, imagine your ball beginning on that line (illustrated in white, above) and curving left, back to the target. Visualizing your shot will send valuable information to your muscles and help turn that image into a reality.

When setting up for a hook, it’s a good idea to close your stance a touch, as well. (Note how my left foot is slightly closer to the ball than my right.)

Just Right! My Club’s On Plane
Too Tall! My Arms And Shoulders Don’t Match

2. Bend Forward

A steep swing encourages an open clubface and, thus, a slice. To fix this, you have to swing on a flatter plane, and that starts at address.

Begin by bending over more during setup. This steepens your shoulder plane. Your arms now will swing on a flatter plane, allowing you to create a neutral, shallow hit. A flatter arm swing also will encourage your clubface to close through impact, thus bending the ball to the left.


3. Check Your Grip

Improper grip position and grip pressure are two of the biggest factors that cause a slice. To ensure that you keep the ball out of the right rough, I want you to first make sure your hands are in a position that encourages a closing clubface. This means adopting a neutral or strong grip where both hands are rotated more to the right on the shaft. Secondly, realize that the harder you squeeze, the more likely you’ll slice! If you really want to bend it left, make sure you adopt a grip where the hands and arms are soft and relaxed. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the tightest pressure, I want you to feel that a hook would happen at a level “3.”

4. Counterbalance

To keep yourself in balance and swinging on plane, it’s imperative that you “counterbalance” your body tilt and arm swing. In your followthrough, your eyes, arms and club shaft should mirror the club’s original address plane. Your spine angle will tilt to the right 90° to the swinging shaft. A swing that has momentum to the left, along with a spine that tilts to the right, will create stability “up the middle,” allowing you to swing aggressively and in balance.

5. Shoot For The Corner Pocket

Most people think a solid strike is into the “back of the ball.” In reality, a solid hit that curves left strikes the ball’s “inside” corner.

To help visualize this, imagine you’re standing on a pool table. As you swing, I want you to strike the inside of the ball as if you were driving it into the table’s right corner pocket (denoted by the red “pushpin”). This gets the club traveling on a path from inside the target line to outside the target line, encouraging a right-to-left spinning shot. Most golfers do the exact opposite, striking from the ball’s outside corner, thus pulling or slicing the ball from left to right. As long as your clubface continues to close through impact and you hit the ball’s inside corner, your slice will be gone forever.

6. Work Your Waggle
Waggle Straight Back = Inside Delivery
Waggle Too Inside = Over-The-Top Delivery
To deliver a more inside path to the ball (and thus eliminate your tendency to slice), rehearse a “waggle” where the downswing works below the backswing’s path. Set two balls on the turf, one on the target line and another just to the inside. Loop the clubhead over the outside ball on the backswing, then over the inside ball on the downswing. Take the same waggle shape into your full motion, and your slice will be a thing of the past.

7. Front Loader Drill

To get some extra roll from your tee ball, it’s best to swing your club with a drawing action. To feel the proper hand motion needed to get the clubface working this way, try my “front loader” drill.


Set up with your clubhead past the ball and the face “closed,” then transition into your backswing. Don’t knock the ball off the tee! After you transition into your downswing, make sure your hands pass through the same “closed position” you had in step one.

Cards Face Up

Cards Face Down
8. Spread The Cards Drill

In order to combat your slice, you have to feel your clubface closing through impact. (Remember an open face at impact is what produces the dreaded banana ball.)

To feel your clubface closing, try this Las Vegas-inspired drill. First, imagine you’re standing at a dealer’s table holding an entire deck of playing cards. Start at address and “swing” to the top. Take a look at the deck of cards. They should be “face up.” If they’re face down, your “clubface” is shut; if the cards point too far behind you, your face is open—neither of which is good.

Cards Face Up
Hook The Cards
From there, I want you to make a swinging motion that travels around your body and to the left so the cards face down as if you’re going to spread them on an arc around the table (see photo at right).

Just imagining the card dealer’s table should help you build an arcing “swing.” Remember, as you swing your arm in an arcing motion to match the shape of the table, to turn the cards face down in a circular sweep!

This will help you draw the ball. Slicers, on the other hand, have either little rotation or rotation that occurs way too late in the swing. If you think, “turn the cards down early and with authority,” you’ll get your swing off to a good start and add some extra snap!

Once you’ve rehearsed this drill without a club, pick up your 6-iron and swing with the same feeling you had with just the cards in hand. As you hit through the impact zone, feel the club turn over. Your slice will soon be gone!

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