Not All Slices are the Same

Not All Slices are the Same

Golfers know that even a bad day on the golf course is better than a good day at the office, but having a good day on the golf course is best of all. For those who tend to slice the ball to the right, a good day is hitting the ball straight and keeping out of trouble. Nothing is more frustrating than hitting a long shot off the tee or in the fairway and ending up in the woods to the right with a difficult lie.

A slice occurs when the ball is hit so that it spins clockwise, causing it to sail off to the right. Dubbed a “banana ball” because of the shape of the trajectory, a slice is not always easy to correct. However, it is important to address the issue early on before it becomes a habit, because a player can lose yardage on the shot by slicing the ball to the right. The good news is that once you analyze the problem and find out why you are slicing the ball there are many remedies for the golf slice.

Types of Slices

Pay attention and take a good look at the path your ball takes off the tee the next time you play golf. Determining what type of slice you have is the first step in correcting the problem. If your ball starts out straight as an arrow toward the target and then curves right at the end, you have a straight slice. On the other hand, if your ball trajectory starts out to the left and then curves to the right, you have a pull slice. A push slice occurs when the ball path starts out to the right and then curves even further to the right. Some golfers try to solve the problem by aiming more toward the left. However, without determining the cause of the slice and applying the proper solutions, aiming left can make matters worse.

Check your Clubface Angle

Just a slight variation in the alignment of your clubface can severely affect your accuracy. If your alignment is off by just 1.5 degrees when you address the ball, your ball can land 70 feet to the right of your target. In order to hit the ball straight, your clubface has to be straight on impact. Golfers who slice the ball to the right hit the ball with the clubface open to the right so that the ball is hit at an angle. This causes the ball to curve as it flies through the air.

Check your alignment to make sure the clubface is square to the ball before you begin your swing. Your shoulders, hips, knees and feet should all be square to the target. If your feet and body are lined up toward the right, you have a closed stance. If they are lined up to the left, you have an open stance. Look at your grip to be sure that your left hand is not too far underneath the club. Right-handed golfers should be able to see two knuckles of the left hand.

Check your Swing Path

For golfers with a straight slice, where the ball flies straight and then curves right at the end, a simple adjustment to the angle of the clubface on impact may be all that is needed to correct the slice. However, for a pull slice that starts out to the left and then flies right and the push slice that starts out right and then ends up even further to the right, you may have to make some changes to your swing path.

The pull slice may be the result of an out-to-in swing path. The out-to-in or over the top swing may be correct on the backswing, but instead of following the same line on the downswing the golfer comes down outside the line and the overcorrects by coming inside the line with an open clubface, forcing the ball left and then right. One drill to correct the out-to-in swing is to drop your right foot back approximately ten inches, and then modify this motion and adapt it to your swing.

The push slice, where the ball starts out to the right and continues even more to the right, is also typically caused by the swing path of the downswing. With the push slice, the golfer has an inside-out swing path. This can be caused by allowing your arms to come through before your shoulders, standing too close to the ball and allowing your hips to move ahead of the impact area. In order to correct a push slice, go back to basics. Make sure that at the point of impact you are back to the same position as you were when you addressed the ball initially, maintain a smooth rhythm and keep the face of the club in the center of the ball.

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Hitting a Punch Shot

So you’ve found your ball stuck behind a tree in the woods. You have a small clearing but a large branch is keeping you from hitting your normal shot. You need a punch shot. The perfect punch shot is a low trajectory shot that will allow you to gain maximum distance by keeping the ball low to the ground. In today’s Golf Tip we will discuss how to hit a proper punch shot.

When hitting a punch shot you want to select a low lofted club like a 4 or 5 iron to help minimize the height of the ball once you hit it. To his a punch shot you will need to place the ball in the back of your stance. You will want to choke down on the grip just a little bit so the club is not fully extended from your hands.

When attempting a punch shot it is best to use a hand position that is known as the forward press. This simply means your hands are pressed forward in front of the ball. You will want to take a half to three-quarters swing and a half to three-quarters follow through after striking the ball.

Punch shots are ideal in shallow rough and pine straw from the woods. Do not attempt a punch shot from the deep rough because it is harder to control and likely you will chunk it.

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