#10 The Slice - come to stay

Published on   2023-02-16 by Kai

Golf is physics. This statement is always particularly unpleasant for me, since I was already a physics loser in school. Currents are a mystery to me, but also formulas like "work = force x distance" or the "law of conservation of momentum" were Bohemian villages. In addition, physics and mathematics are closely intertwined and the latter was and is not exactly my hobbyhorse.

Golf is physics

Nevertheless, in life - and thus also on the golf course - I have to come to terms with the fact that everything I do is subject to physical laws. So is the golf swing and the flight of the ball, which is ballistic.

On that note, here's a nice sketch by the great Peter Frankenfeld, who is not talking about a golf ball, but a rifle bullet; but in general, of course, both are subject to the same conditions. (Please forgive the little and somewhat dusty silliness).

What I want to get at with this text is, unfortunately, for many golfers (attention: I refer in this text with the directional information to right-handers, i.e. players who always hit the ball away to the left of their own accord!

This term describes a special trajectory of the ball. With the slice, the ball starts straight ahead, but in flight it takes an increasingly sharp right turn and thus usually lands far away from the desired target area; often not only in the rough, but also in the woods next to the actual course, or in the worst case on the fairway of the parallel hole (don't forget the warning call "Fore!").

Unpredictable appearance

The almost diabolical thing about the slice is the fact that it appears abruptly and then often comes to stay. For the most part, it is not clear why the ball slices, and so it is not obvious how to correct this error in the swing setting.

And therein lies the real crux. As I have already described in another article, troubled golfers often try to find and fix the error with their own means - i.e. without the help of a pro. So it is with many mistakes, including the slice.

Don't fight mistakes with mistakes

It is not uncommon for the result to be either a completely off-center stance during the swing or an incorrect, left-facing alignment before the swing so that the ball ultimately lands in the targeted area on the fairway despite the rightward turn.

It goes without saying that these cannot and must not be solutions. So if you suddenly find yourself slicing your balls and don't want to resort to a lesson with a trainer, you should carefully turn the screws, of which there are many when it comes to swing setting: Stance - alignment - swing plane - power - grip - club face alignment, etc.

Unfortunately, as is so often the case with problems in golf, the slice is often the result of a combination of various small errors. Without being able to name a patent remedy against the slice, which is the right way for every golfer, I would like to point out a few indicators for the slice.

One possible aspect is the swing curve, where the ball is hit from the outside and the club head is then moved further inwards, towards the body. This creates a spin across the direction of flight, which eventually causes the ball to spin away in flight. Often the wrong swing plane is the source of the trouble here.

Various triggers

Another possibility is a club face that is too open at impact. The club face is not at right angles to the desired trajectory, but is turned slightly to the right as seen by the player, i.e. it is open. Since the blade is still at the correct angle at address, a closer look at the swing plane is also required here.

I know the third alternative from my own experience: I gripped the club incorrectly. The hands were placed too openly on top of each other. There was - unnoticed by me - a lack of proper control over the swing.

Pro has important advice

Since I've been gripping more tightly and automatically aligning my arms closer to the center of my body when I address the ball, the balls (mostly) fly straight again.

A tip from a pro at the Röttgersbach Golf Club in Duisburg helped me a lot. He recognized my problem in passing and was able to give me the right tips in just a few words. The slice is - at least currently - no longer my problem. (At this point I would like to thank him very much).

Interaction of factors

Unfortunately, it is often not enough to change only one aspect to get rid of the slice. As in so many cases in golf, it is rather the interaction of various factors, which is why I can only urgently advise to fight a slice - as well as other penetrating mistakes - with the help of a trainer.

In general, the slice is a typical driver problem, or is most pronounced with the driver shot. It also occurs with iron shots, but usually does not have such drastic effects.

Hook - the mirrored twin

The mirrored twin of the slice, the "hook", in which the ball describes an increasing left turn after the start, also occurs as a fault, of course, but is - o physical miracle - much less common. Nevertheless, also in this case I can only emphatically refer to the help of a pro.

Previous article in the series: How to Golf 9: An often ignored mistake

Next article in the series: How to Golf 11: Keeping your composure

Share on   Facebook   Twitter   LinkedIn  
Email   Whatsapp   Telegram
This post was published in
How to Golf