How Do I Stop Slicing A Golf Ball?

One of the most frustrating shots in all of golf is the shot that slices or curves significantly to the right for the right handed golfer.

If you were to sit on any par 4 or 5 on a golf course on a summer weekend, you would see amateur after amateur hitting a slice.  It is the number one most common swing fault of beginners and high handicap players.

It is difficult to control due to the extensive amount of curve and it takes away significant distance.  The slice is not a shot that any golfer would want to play long term.

The good news is that we can fix your slice and make golf fun.  There is nothing better than splitting the fairway with the driver that goes somewhat straight or has a slight fade or draw to it.

Which leads us to the main questions for today…

How do I stop slicing a golf ball?

The number one key to stopping a slice is getting your swing path to the right of your clubface.  For example, if your clubface is 2 degrees open at impact, your swing path should be 3 degrees or more to the right.  This will actually produce a shot that draws.

Golf Myth Busted: You can hit a draw with an open club face, as long as your swing path is right of the clubface.  Too many golfers try to significantly close the face, which causes them to come over the top and slice the ball.

When the golfer comes over the top, the swing path goes way left and it is near impossible to get the swing path to the right of the clubface at impact.

On a hole like this a slice is a tough shot to play. It is difficult to star the ball far enough left and if it doesn’t slice you are out of bounds.

Key Understanding: Ball Flight Laws

To understand what is taking place here, we must understand the ball flight laws.  After we have an understanding of the ball flight laws, we can jump into some simple drills and steps you can take to eliminate the slice forever!

Generally speaking, the ball will start in the direction the club face is pointing at impact and curve away from the swing path.  For example, if the club face is 3 degrees open and the path is 7 degrees to the left, you will produce a shot that starts right and slices to the right.  This is due to a 10 degree difference in your golf swing.

Complete post on ball flight laws

If your club face is 3 degrees closed, but your path is 12 degrees left, the ball will start left and curve significantly to the left.

The ideal math up for a slide fade is around 1-2 degree left with the club face and 3-4 degrees left with the swing path.

For a draw, the golfer will want a slightly open face at impact of around 1-2 degrees with a swing path that is 3-4 degrees to the right.

Ultimately, the key is that the golfer is able to control the start line of the shot and the amount that it curves.  

Any shot that curves too much, whether it is a hook or slice makes the game difficult.  On the other hand, trying to hit the perfectly straight shot will be near impossible and I would highly recommend trying to develop a swing that results in a slight draw or fade, depending on your shot preference and swing makeup.

The number one swing fault with the slice looks like the following:

With the traditional pull slice, a shot hit by many high handicap players, the ball will start left of the target line and then curve to the left.  This means the clubface is closed relative to the target line. Let’s say the club face is 3 degrees closed. Then let’s say that the path is 6 degrees left of the target line.  We have the following:

  • Clubface: 3 degrees closed
  • Swing Path: 6 degrees left

This means the ball will start left and then curve away from the swing path resulting in a fade or a slice.

Why does my golf swing slice to the right?

Why Do Ball Flight Laws Matter?

If you can understand the basic concept, you can make corrections on the course and understand what is actually taking place.  Too often golfers can receive the same old advice from their playing partners or default to general golf instruction that they think will work.  Have you ever heard any of the following:

  • Keep your head down
  • Swing easier
  • Make sure you close your club face

All of these pieces of advice are actually poor tips that won’t fix your issue more than likely.  The key here is to read your ball flight and understand the relationship between clubface and swing path.  There are simple things you can do to correct your clubface and swing path during a round of golf or in a post round practice session.

While a fade is a perfect shot for this hole, a slice gets you in the trees or the bunker to the right if it slices too much.

Stopping the Slice in Golf – 5 Simple Steps

  • Set up to the ball and drop your right foot back about 6 inches.
  • Close your shoulders about 10-20 degree
  • Setup the club square to the target line
  • Go ahead and swing along your shoulder line, making about a 50-75% swing but simply swing with your arms

What we are trying to accomplish here is the feeling of your arms creating an inside to out swing path along your closed shoulders.  We need to get the feel or the ball starts right of the target and draws.  Once we get that feel down and are successful, we can move onto full swings.

Once you can get the feel of turning a ball over right to left, it will feel like magic and you will get the sense of the swing path needed to draw a shot and eliminate the slice once and for all!

Once you can hit 20 shots in a row with a ball drawing, it is time to turn to the next step, the stock shot drill.

Hook vs Slice: What is the difference?

The Stock Shot Drill

All golfers need a stock shot.  

Whether this is a stock shot draw or a stock shot fade, the golfer needs confidence in their start line and the direction the ball will curve.  The fade and the draw both have some advantages, but the slice is something we cannot live with if we want to get our game to certain levels.

  • Set up an alignment stick down your target line about 8-10 feet in front of you.
  • Set up a second alignment stick about 2-4 feet right of the first alignment stick.
  • Go ahead and attempt to hit the ball through the gate.
  • Assess how many times out of 20 you are successful.
  • Write this number down and repeat this drill for as long as you play golf.

This drill helps you control your club face and get the ball started to the right.  If the ball is not curving back towards the target, you might need to get your path more to the right.

Fade shot in golf (What, When, Where and How)

Next Steps: Use The Two Drills

Go ahead and use these two drills and train yourself to get your path to the right and have a slightly open club face.  This will produce a push draw.

If you are struggling to keep your path to the right, you are most likely opening your shoulders too much and coming across the shot.  Work on the feeling of keep your shoulders closed or your back to the target.

A true game changer. Practice drills and get immediate feedback on every shot. See below for more details!

My Secret To Golf Improvement

Let’s face it, in order to get really good at golf, we must practice frequently.  About three years ago, I made the leap and invested in a golf simulator build for my garage.  I went with a SkyTrak Launch Monitor and the TGC software and can now play over 100,000 courses including Augusta, Pebble Beach, Bethpage Black, Whistling Straits. St. Andrews and many other of the top 100 courses in the world.

This golf simulator setup, which is more affordable that you might imagine, has been a game changer.  I can now play golf everyday of the year regardless of rain, snow, cold weather or time of day.  I can practice or play rounds of golf.  I can stand in the 11th fairway at Augusta and with the auto-rewind feature I am able to practice my approach shots from various differences.

It is worth checking out through Rain or Shine Golf as they offer some incredible packages along with financing offers that are difficult to beat.

Some direct links to Rain or Shine Golf for pricing and financing:

Take Action – What You Can Do Today to Get Better

What does this mean for you?  I believe in the following recipe to get better:

1 – Improve your motion in the golf swing by identifying a golf instructor.  Here are some options:

Here is a list of golf instructors that we have reviewed:

2 – Train to swing faster and improve your swing speed.  Here are some options:

Looking to gain more Speed and Distance in your swing. Two Options:

3 – Understand course strategy and work to break through your next barrier.  Here is a series on breaking through:

We have provided guides on how to break 100, 90, 80 and 70. Check out more below, if interested.

4 – Practice Frequently

Did you know that I build a golf simulator in my garage and have played over 500 rounds of golf on my SkyTrak system?  It has been a game changer and one worth checking out. Here are some of my other posts on golf simulators frequently asked questions:

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