If you're here reading this article, chances are that you are slicing you driver. You stand up to the ball with your big stick and give it a rip, only to look up and see that the ball is sailing high and right with very little distance. It's often enough to make you want to quit the game altogether.
Thankfully, a slice is a really common problem for most golfers and there are countless articles and videos out there telling you how to fix your slice forever!
The hard truth is, we're all going to slice our driver at some point, all we can do is try to build a golf swing and mindset which reduces the amount we slice the golf ball and how destructive those nasty slices are.
Read on, and let's try and sort that slice out.
Why am I slicing my driver? What causes a slice in golf?
There are a few things in the golf swing that can lead to a slice. The most common are swing path and club face control.
If you have an outside to in path, your swing will take the club head outside the line of the golf ball, before coming back across the line of the ball to make contact. This compensation in swing path leads to a shot which has a lot of cut spin.
Many golfers can play with an out to in swing path just fine, so how does this lead to a dreaded slice?
If you combine an out to in swing plane with an open club face at impact, this is the perfect recipe for a big booming slice.
How to correct a slice in golf
I'm assuming all of this is sounding familiar to you. Don't worry I've got you. We're going to step through all things which cause a golf slice from alignment to poor grip and ball position.
The key is to stop bad swing habits from becoming too deeply set in your golf game and we can do that by focusing on some key fundamentals.
Before you know it you will hopefully be hitting smooth controlled draws or Dustin Johnson style power fades.
To keep things simple, we'll assume you're a right hander. If you're a lefty, flip the directions and use the same steps.
How To Fix a Slice Off The Tee: 5 keys to straighter drives
- Ball position
- The golf grip
- Tee height
- Hip rotation
Key 1: Check your alignment
On my channel I play with a lot of guys who slice the ball. Some have learned to manage this shot on the golf course and master their stock ball flight. What they have in common is that they understand their shot shape and align their body to aim their shots to compensate.
Now this works for those who don't want to completely overhaul their golf swing, but if you want to fix your slice, you are going to have to start aiming more down the middle.
BDog on my channel used to aim miles right, and hit big pull fades. This is a classic anti slice set up issue and actually makes things worse over time. Aiming right makes most amateur golfers come "over the top" in their swing. The ball starts left and then goes further left if the club face is closed or right if it's open.
It's not a sustainable way to play golf as it requires perfect club face control and pretty impeccable timing.
BDog has worked on aiming more down the middle and makes practice swings with an exaggerated in to out swing path. This counteracts his bad habits and leads to straighter golf shots. Check out this video where BDOG had a lesson to fix his driver slice.
Key 2: Ball position
Ball position is one of the fundamentals of the golf swing and is quite simple to understand, but it is very often misinterpreted by beginner golfers.
Google any article on ball position and it will tell you have the golf ball in line with the heel of your lead foot for the driver swing. This is on the whole, good advice but it needs to be matched up with other swing fundamentals to work properly.
I see so many guys with the ball teed WAY to far forward for their swing path. They end up reaching for the ball and by the time they hit the golf ball, they have an open clubface and there is no chance of hitting the ball straight.
If you're struggling with a slice, trying moving the ball back in your stance a bit. Not a massive amount, but somewhere a couple of inches forward of centre. It might feel weird to start with, but it should encourage you to hit the ball with an in to out swing path and make contact with the club face when it's more neutral.
Give it a try and see if it's moving where you hit the ball.
Key 3: Check your grip (golf grip to fix slice)
The golf grip is controversial. I know this. There is no such thing as a perfect golf grip and many players make do with what they have. JMac from my channel uses a 10 finger baseball grip, Didi has one of the weakest golf grips on the planet and mine changes depending on which way the wind is blowing.
However, on the whole, golfers who have a slicing issue have a weak grip. This means that their left hand is showing too few knuckles and their right is showing too many. I've written an article on grip you can check out here for more detail.
If you think you have a poor grip, you first need to work out what effect it's having on your club face at impact. It's still possible to slice the living hell out of a golf ball with a strong or neutral grip so again it's all about working out the match ups in your fundamentals.
Changing your grip is going to feel strange, so I'd recommend trying it out at the driving range first, or by using a grip trainer tool to groove the feeling.
Once you start to see a change, take it out onto the golf course and let rip.
Key 4: Tee height
Tee height is something many golfers overlook when trying to fix their golf slice and I think it's a really important part of the puzzle.
I think that most amateur players tee the golf ball too high when using their driver. YouTube gurus trying to sell new equipment and golf forum experts saying stuff like "tee it high, let it fly" have led to an epidemic of sky marks on the drivers of us normal players. Yes, hitting up on the golf ball is great for adding distance, but if you're striking the ball all over the face of the golf club it doesn't make that much difference.
It also doesn't help that you hear the commentators on the TV talking about teeing the ball low to hit a "squeeze cut" or something like that. What we need to remember is that we're amateurs, and we need to try and make contact with the middle of the golf club as often as possible.
A consistent tee height will make this easier. As a general rule, no more than half of the golf ball should be visible above the crown of your driver head. If you can find a plastic castle tee which is this exact height, then perfect. This will allow you to always tee the ball up the same height, meaning you're hitting shots with one less variable. It might feel like the ball is a bit low to start with, but trust me, you will find the middle of the face more often and give yourself a fighting chance to fix a slice!
Key 5: Hip rotation
If you've ever played baseball or cricket, you will know the importance of a full and committed hip rotation in making a good swing of the bat. If you haven't played either of these sports, you should try them.
I see so many golfers (noticing a trend here...) who get stuck on their right side through their golf swings. They rely on their arms and hands to "swing" the golf club and this all adds up to creating a nasty slice. A steep swing where the club gets "picked up" is also very common.
Getting onto the front foot and using your upper body in tandem with your hips and legs might sound complicated, but really it's about making an athletic move through the ball. Jim Furyk was and is famous for his loopy swing, but he rotated hard through the downswing and was able to create a lot of power. He said that his main swing thought was about turning through and completing his swing which is something we could all learn from.
Try taking a few practice swings where your belt buckle finishes facing the target. Don't be tempted to quit on your swing if you feel like it's not quite right. Your brain will learn the feeling of a full rotation and getting onto your left side will be a breeze.
Slicing driver but not irons
Your driver is a much longer club than your irons and the margin for error in the golf swing is much smaller. Any issues with grip, ball position, alignment and strike will all be exaggerated and most players make it much worse by swinging out of their shoes with the big dog in hand.
Hitting your irons well also requires you to hit down on the golf ball with the golf club, hopefully taking a divot as you go. The low point of an iron swing is very different to hitting a driver where where actually want to hit up on the ball if possible, with a positive angle of attack. I have written a full article on the driver vs. iron swing which you can read here, and it gives you all of the information you're going to need to take the best parts of your irons swing into your driver game.
Slicing the golf ball can be totally demoralising, and make you feel like you will never be able to properly play golf. All of the keys and tips I have given you in this article are things that have worked for me and amateurs I have played with over the 20 odd years I've been in the game. Some will work and some won't as it's really, really tough to get rid of old swing habits.
If in doubt, go and see a PGA Pro for a lesson and get on the right track. Good luck!