The High Cut Cowboy, the Power Fade, and the Slices. Get Rid of them Forever!
You just sliced three drives in a row that put you in trouble on the right side of the holes. So you step up to the next tee, and figure “I’ll aim more right and it will just swing back.” Sound familiar? You pull the trigger and hit the ball dead straight down your target line, which happens to be into the left trees. NOT AGAIN!
If you hate to see your golf ball slice, then you are not alone. So many golfers struggle with this ball flight, and it’s hard to figure out how to fix this problem. So first, let’s talk about what you’ve heard before and how it goes in one ear and out the other: “You really cut across that one”, “Look, it went too high, put it back in your stance”, “Just drop your back foot further back, that’s what Hogan says”, “If you just turn in and close your club face before you swing, it’ll stop slicing.”
Let’s stop listening to all of that. It’s for the best.
Here are the reasons you slice the ball:
- Your hands move towards the golf ball at the top of your golf swing, which makes the club tend to be more upright (steep).
- This in turn forces you to make an athletic move that pulls your hands closer to your body as you come through impact. This forces the club head to move from the outside of the golf ball, to the inside (out-to-in club path).
- As a result, your hands don’t release the club head and the clubface stays open. This is what produces the golf shot that starts right and continues going further right.
- You hit down on the golf ball with this open face and club path. We want to hit up on the ball with the driver, so any time you put it further back in your stance, you’re hurting yourself more than helping.
(Want to understand ball flight laws in more depth? Check out this article from Kevin Dietz: http://www.saskgolfer.com/understanding-determining-factors-ball-flight/)
- Next time you set up on the range, do me a favor and put your golf club across your shoulders and look where the lead end is pointed. I bet you it’s WAY left of your target (Or right if you are left handed).
- Now think of an imaginary line coming from that golf club. Does it point to the ground down range or into the sky? My bet, the ground. If not, that’s good!
- Your thumb and pointer finger make a “V” together. Where does that V point? Your lead shoulder (Weak grip) or your back shoulder (Strong grip). The weaker the grip, the more likely you are to leave the clubface open.
Ok. If you recognize a few of these things from your own swing, we can start to draw a picture of why the ball slices. Now lets figure out what we are going to do to make you stop slicing the golf ball and to be more consistent off the tee.
First things first, lets start with the grip. Stop listening to the guy who tells you to just turn your club head in or close the face before you swing. NO. Let the club lay how it’s designed to lay. Grip the club with your top hand first; I want you to be able to see 3 knuckles. Then, grip the club with the bottom hand. That “V” we talked about – let’s make sure it’s pointed to the middle of your chest or your back shoulder. Now you have a stronger grip. It will feel odd at first, so put in some work with this!
From here, I’m not going to get very technical. I could tell you that you need to flatten the shaft at the top to activate the lag effect, while re-routing the club under the plane to maximize club head speed through the impact zone, changing the spin axis of the golf ball to be tilted in an optimal direction. No, I’m not going to say that. Instead, I’m going to make this super simple!
Golf is athletic. So let’s think of this through the eyes of a different sport for a second. If you had a baseball on a t-ball stand, at waist height, and I told you to hit that ball as far as you could. You would want to hit it up in that air because of what high school physics taught you. Knowing this, your front hip would be a little forward, your shoulders would be pointed up in the air (lead shoulder higher than back shoulder), and that front shoulder would most likely be pointed at your target. THAT is the position we are going to get into.
Back to golf now. Tee that ball up, about ½ a ball above the top of your driver, and put the ball in front of your lead foot. YES, in front of your lead foot (It’s going to feel weird). Take that stance we talked about for hitting the baseball. The thought you need to have is to hit it as high as you can (Just a practice thought). Now, LET ER RIP!
That. Is. it!
Practice this move, and what will consequently happen is your golf club will start to attack the ball from the inside and hit the ball in an upward direction. The ball will spin less and you will hit more fairways. It is that simple. No need to complicate things.
Thanks for taking the time to read. I hope this helps your game! As always, if you are after some more in depth help, give me a shout and I’ll happily help!
Below is a video going over this simple change that we have talked about! Good Luck!
PGA of Saskatchewan Professional Garrett McMillan is a regular contributor to the SaskGolfer community. For help with your golf game, contact Garrett at The Golf Academy of Regina.
Garrett McMillan / PGA of Saskatchewan / Royal Regina GC & The First Tee Indoor Golf Centre
Contact Garrett at www.golfacademyofregina.com
The PGA of Saskatchewan is a part of the PGA of Canada, which was established in 1911, and is the second oldest and third largest professional golf association in the world. The PGA of Canada is a non-profit Association comprised of 3,700 golf professionals across the country. The PGA of Canada develops, promotes, and supports members in living a better life and earning a better living. The Association consists of the National Office located in Acton, Ontario and nine Zone Offices across the country.
Saskatchewan is one of the smallest provincial PGA of Canada sections, yet has some of the most highly educated and trained Golf Professionals in the country. There are many PGA of Saskatchewan Members who dedicate a significant amount of time devoted to Instructing and Coaching golfers of all abilities and ages. For a complete listing of PGA of Saskatchewan Members who can improve your golf game, please visit their website at www.pgasask.com