What Causes A Slice In Golf? (Solution Included)

Technically speaking, the slice is a result of a club face that is open to the swing path.  Regardless of if your path is out to in or in to you, you can still slice the ball if your club face is open to the path.  There are numerous swing movements or flaws that causes the slice.

Tired of slicing the golf ball and losing significant distance?

Tired of fearing the entire right side of the course because of your slice?

Do you wish you could hit a straighter ball flight and maybe even a stock draw shot?

Then you are at the right place! 

I will take you through the the following:

  • Causes of a slice in golf (Understand Ball Flight Laws)
  • Explain the different types of slices in golf
  • Solution to fix your slice in golf
  • Knowing your numbers

Golf is a difficult enough game when you can hit the ball straight, but when you add a slice that not only curves off the golf course, but robs you of any distance, the game is nearly impossible.

Many amateur golfers fight the slice, but there are some simple solutions you can put into place to fix that dreaded slice. 

Many of the best golfers in the world play a power fade, which is different than the slice based on the angle of the path and spin rate that results.

Do trees on the right side of the fairway make you nervous? Learn how to hit a draw below.

What Causes A Slice In Golf – Some Key Understandings

Let’s start with the causes of the slice in golf and try to understand the ball flight laws.

Understanding The Ball Flight Laws

Why? If you understand the ball flight laws you can start to become your own swing instructor and make corrections on the range or the course by reading the flight of your golf ball.  Understand the ball flight laws is step one in fixing your slice.

Golfers that slice the ball have no idea about the importance of the relationship between the club face and the swing path.  They simply think they need to get the club face more shut. 

This often results in the golfer swinging further to the left and having a near impossible time of getting the club face to be left of the swing path.

The slice becomes worse and worse as the path can get 10-15 degrees left and even if your club face is 8 degrees left, you will still slice the ball.  It will be a massive banana style cut shot that is miserable to play.

As you progress in your game and get rid of the slice and then look to improve, these ball flight laws will remain true and help you in your journey to get better.

Too often golfers turn to the video of their swing when everything you need to know can be read off of your ball flight.  Did you know that your ball flight can tell you the following:

  • Where your club face was at impact.
  • If your swing path was left or right of the club face.

Once you know these two items you can make the corrections by checking out our 2nd Tip on understanding what swing thoughts can help you get the proper matchups.

So let’s dive into the ball flight laws:

  • Generally speaking, the golf ball will start where the club face is aiming.
  • The golf ball will then curve away from the swing path.

There are two different lines that we must understand.  The target line and the start line.  The best golfers start the ball left or right of the target line and then curve the ball back towards the target.

Example 1: Traditional Pull Slice (MOST COMMON SWING FAULT)

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.

Example 2: Traditional Push Draw

THe shot that many golfers desire to hit is the push draw.  I know growing up, I would watch all of the good golfers at my golf course and see them hitting a draw that would start to the right and curve back towards the target.  Here are the numbers on a push draw and n example.

  • Clubface: 2 degree open
  • Swing Path: 3 degrees to the right

This means the ball will start to the right and then curve away from the path, resulting in a slight push draw.  In this example if the clubface was 1 more degree open at 3 degrees open and and match the swing path the shot would be slight push to the right. 

Example 3: The Pull Shot

So now that you are getting the idea of the ball flight laws, let’s show what would cause the pull shot.  

  • Clubface: 5 degrees closed
  • Swing Path: 5 degrees closed or to the left

With these numbers the ball would start left and stay left.  Since the face and the path are matched up. If the path were one degree left or right the ball would draw or fade.

How that we have an understanding of the new ball flight laws let’s get into the causes of the over the top issues that often produce examples 1 and 3 above.  

The Different Types of Slices in Golf

Type 1: Pull Slice

In example 1 above, the pull slice is the most common swing fault and slice issue that high handicap golfers face.  This is a result of a swing path that is way too far to the left and the club face can’t possibly get left of the swing path. 

Even if the golfer somehow managed to get the club face left of the swing path, the result would be a major pull draw that could be 40-50 yards left of the target. 

When you consider that golfer was probably aiming down the left side to start with, the woods or houses are typically the end result.

Swing Issue:

Many golfers get to the top of the golf swing and fear that their ball is going to slice to the right so they start down aggressively with the upper body, causing a path way too far to the left. 

This results in the shot that will start left and slice right.  If you somehow match up the club to the path, you will hit a pull shot.  If there is only a slight different the ball will slice moderately. 

If there is a major difference, the ball will slice severely and end up on the right side, robbing you of major distance!

Type 2: Push Slice

The golfer in this siution has an open face relative to the target line.  This will get the ball to start to the right, but the fae is also right to the path. 

In this situation, the the path might only be 2-3 degrees left of the target, but if the face is 2-3 degree right of the target the ball will start right and curve right. 

This shot is frustrating and then often leads to the pull slice, because the golfer tries to manipulate the club and get left to keep the ball left.  This just compounds the situation.

Swing Issue:

Typically the hands are somewhat slow to impact or the path gets too far to the left of the target.  If the golfer can remain a bit more patient from the top of the swing the path can stay more right and the golfer can get closer to hitting a shot that starts right and either draws or goes straight. 

Even a slight push fade is a decent shot that many professional golfers have played over the years.

Solution to Fix Your Slice

Many books have been written and videos created to help golfers fix their slice.  I believe the number one swing issue that causes a slice is an overactive upper body that turns and twists and the arms stay connected to the body, resulting in a major pull slice.  The most dreaded shot in golf.  

If you have reached the point where you are sick and tired of hitting slices, you have to check out this drill that is based on the Jim Venetos approach to golf.  If you end up following his swing approach that is fine, but at a minimum try it as a drill to learn the feeling that it takes to hit a draw.

Back to the ball flight laws briefly.  We know that in order to hit a push draw the club face actually has to be to the right of the target line.  I know this may go against your understanding that you have to “close” the club face. 

The club face is actually open to the target, but closed to the path.  See Example 2 above. 

So our goal is to get our path 3-4 degrees to the right and the club face to be 1-2 degrees to the right.  This will result in a push draw.

Try this drill to get a feel for a draw shot:

  • Setup with 70% of your weight on the front foot.
  • Go ahead and close our shoulders, dropping your right shoulder back.
  • Keep your club face pointed at the target or slight right of the target.
  • Try to stay still and only swing your arms along the path of your shoulders.
  • You are seeking to create a path out to the right. 

The ball should start right and curve back to the left.  If it didn’t you are probably shifting or moving around too much.  The goal is to feel the motion in the arms and hands to produce this draw based shot. 

Remember, the number one flaw of major slices is when you move your upper body way open causing a path to the left.

Once you get a feel for a draw shot, try this drill to build a stock shot that is a push draw.

  • Set up an alignment stick 6-8 yards straight out from your ball.
  • Set up a second alignment stick that is 3 yards to the right of that stick.
  • Go ahead and see how many times out of 10 you can hit the ball between those two sticks.
  • The goal here is to get your ball starting to the right of the target line.
  • Once you can do this at least 6 out of 10 times, start to notice the curve of the ball.  If the ball curves slight back towards the target, you now have a stock draw shot.
  • If the ball isn’t curving back, your club face needs to go a bit more left or your path a bit more right.  Keep in mind the ball flight laws.

Know Your Numbers: Consider a Launch Monitor

The prices of launch monitors today make owning one much less expensive than even 5 years ago.  For between $500 and $2000 you can own your very own launch monitor that can be used indoors or outdoors. 

Take it with you to the driving range or use it as part of your golf simulator at your house.  Even if you don’t have the full fledge golf simulator setup, a mat and a net can provide some excellent feedback for you.

The purpose of this recommendation is you need quality feedback in your journey to fix your slice!  The feedback you will receive includes:

  • Club Speed
  • Ball Speed
  • Swing Path
  • Spin Rate
  • Side Axis
  • Launch Angle

We need to your your swing path to help you fix your slice.  Monitor this with a launch monitor.

One other data set often overlooked is spin rate.  Too many people do not understand the impact that spin rates have on distance. 

Did you know that if you swing 105 yards with around 2000 RPM spin rate your driver will fly around 270 yards, but if your spin rate was too high in the 4000 RPM range, the ball will only carry around 240 yards.  Yes that is right!  You can lose 30 yards just based on spin rate!  This often happens with those ugly slices.

That is why the launch monitors are so important to have!  And know you can afford one.  I would recommend one of the following three launch monitors listed below:

Know your numbers with a SkyTrak Launch Monitor!

Some Instructors To Check Out Who Teach a Draw Shot:

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:

One last thing that has helped me gain significant distance is the SuperSpeed Training System.  This overspeed based system where you train every other day for about 10-15 minutes with different swing sticks can help you increase your swing speed by 5-8% which can be 20-30 yards.  Who wouldn’t want an extra 20-30 yards.  Plus it helps improve your mechanics.

SuperSpeed Golf – Use Discount Code Golfjourney365 for some savings!

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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