Blog, Rob wilkinson

3 of the main reasons you slice the golf ball

The main reasons you might struggle to contain your slice…

If you have a ball flight that curves to the right regardless of what direction you start the ball then this is the article for you!!

Here weare going to go through 3 of the main reasons why this happens. 

Get ready…this could be a game changer!!

1. The Path of your club is travelling too far to the left.

Path of your club is the direction your club head is travelling in just prior too, during and just after you have struck the ball. There are only 3 paths that you can have they are…

In to out – swinging the club head to the right

In to in – swinging straight towards the target

Out to in – swinging the club head to the left

So all else being equal a path that is travelling too much to the left WILL ACTUALLY SEND THE BALL MORE TO THE RIGHT! This can be incredibly frustrating to someone who has never come across this before as every bone in your body suggests to swing it further to the left to stop that ball diving across the fairway to the right. 

    • If you drive the ball 200 yards
    • Have a path that is 4° to the left (and a square to target clubface)
    • That ball will curve 40 yards to the right

2 Club-face is OPEN…

So with the above now being slightly clearer it is not just your club path that does the destruction. YOUR CLUB-FACE IS A KEY PART! 

So if you have a path that is traveling to the left you physically can’t hit a draw (without the help of gear effect, see below for more) but if you manage your club-face correctly you are able to hit a beautiful small fade. 

If however you manage your club-face poorly and leave it wide open to your path and the target you better be ready to watch the ball curve over your fairway and too the right and possibly in to trouble.

What I mean by manage your club-face correctly is a path that travels left is fine, if we hit the ball with a minimally open face it will curve with a gentle shape. If we miss manage the face by leaving it open to our path and our target it’s out of control and going right.

3 Gear effect…

The least known detail in the ball curving to the right. 

This is generally only seen in your woods and mostly in our drivers. 

Strike is king in golf, if we’re hitting it off centre all sorts of shapes can appear, mostly ones we don’t want!!

Gear effect has a massive effect on curvature in our shots. If you are striking the ball out of the toe of the club this will promote and more draw biased shape with less slice. If we are hitting from the heel side this promotes more fade with less hook in our flight.

It is often that we have seen lessons swinging the club on a great path with an ideal face angle only to consistently strike the ball off centre promoting curvature in their flight. This is not to be overlooked it’s the first thing we measure when you have a curvature problem, strike it well first then look at path and clubface control.

Next time you’re at the range

If you’re struggling with the aspects above here is how I would go about fixing it.

  1. Look in to which of the above impact factors is causing the issue. 
  • Change club path if you want to straighten out your slice.
  • Look at changing your clubface angle at impact to hit a functional fade.
  • Make your strike more central to limit gear effect curvature.
  1. Specifically work on this area only up the range, introduce exaggerated feel to change, a drill, change of technique. (Ask in store for our advice on changing…we’ll be happy to help).
  1. Don’t just bash balls with your driver, think about using your practice time to make a change. Introduce a structure to your practice, think about hitting between targets on the range as a practice fairway.

Rob Wilkinson

PGA Professional

Peter Field Golf Shop