Why Do I Slice My 3 Wood? (3 Causes)

The slice with the 3 wood occurs when the clubface is open to the swing path.  This can be a result of a poor setup, an over the top move, or the golfer trying to help the ball in the air.

For most golfers, the longer the club and the less loft, the harder it is to hit the ball straight.  For the weakest golfers, the slice can be a major problem as it takes away plenty of distance from the golfer due to the side spin and glancing blow that often happens.

Let’s get right into the ball flight laws and explain he slice.

The slice in golf is a result of the open club face relative to the swing path.  So even if the clubface is 5 degrees closed to the target line, if the swing path is 10 degrees left of the target line you are going to have a shot that starts left and slices to the right.

Here are some basics to remember:

  • The ball will start in a direction relative to the direction of the clubface at impact.
  • From there, it will curve away from the swing path.

A couple of quick examples:

  • If the clubface is 3 degrees closed with a swing path 7 degrees left, the ball will start left and slice to the right.
  • If the clubface is 3 degrees closed (same as above) with a swing path that is 5 degrees right, the ball will start right and draw or hook to the left.

A couple of takeaways:

  • The clubface will often impact the general start line with the swing path playing a major role in the side spin created.
  • You can hit a draw or fade with an open or closed clubface, as the swing path will have a major impact on the curve created.
The slice with the 3 wood takes away way too much distance and control of the shot!

Why Do I Slice My 3 Wood: 3 Potential Causes

Now that we understand the ball flight laws and the physics behind the slice, let’s look at some swing faults that often result in a swing path left of the clubface, which will create significant side spin and the dreaded slice.

  • Poor Setup
  • An Over the Top Move
  • Trying To Help the Ball in the Air

#1: Poor Setup

The poor setup that often causes a slice is when the shoulders are open or aimed well to the left.  The golfer will often swing along his or her shoulder line which causes a path that is well to the left of the clubface.  The quick fix is to be able to see your left or front shoulder out of the corner of your front eye.  Square up those shoulders or even slightly closed them to help produce a more balanced swing path. 

Another way to check your shoulder alignment is to setup your smartphone behind you and take a video of your setup.  Check several times in a row and help get those shoulders square or even slightly closed.

#2: A Over the Top Move

The over the top move often results from the golfer feeling like he or she is going to have a wide open clubface.  As a result, they swing out and across the ball, creating a swing path that is too far left.  Or from the top of the swing, they fly their shoulders open as their first move, creating a swing path way too far to the left.

The easy fix is to feel as if you are swinging out to the right or have the thought of keeping that front folder closed a second longer in the downswing.  This helps keep the swing path more to the right.

If you are really struggling with this move, I would recommend checking out the teachings of Jim Venetos and using his swing approach as a drill to train your front shoulder and to eliminate the over the top move once and for all!

#3: Trying To Help The Ball in the Air

Some golfers lack the confidence of hitting the ball high enough with the lowest lofted clubs such as a 3 wood.  As a result, they will try to help the ball in the air and open up the front shoulder, creating a swing path too far to the left.  

Hitting a 3 wood is as if you are trying to land an airplane on the ground.  Get too steep and you crash.  Get lifted and you crash.  Let the club (airplane) land smoothly and just nip the ground as it passes the hitting zone.  This will help flatten out your swing path and keep it from going too far to the left.

Learn to eliminate your slice and take your golf to the next level!

Final Thoughts: Get To Work

You have several thoughts you can use to fix your problem and to eliminate hte slice with the 3 wood.  The slice takes away so much distance and can be frustrating.  You don’t have to hit a slice!  Find your fix.  If you want additional tips on eliminating the slice or even hitting a draw, check out some of the links below to additional posts.

My Secret To Golf Improvement

Let’s face it, in order to get really good at golf, we must practice frequently.  About give 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:

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