what is a slice in golf

A “slice” is a golf stroke in which the golf ball twists drastically in the air.flightfrom the left to the right (for a right-handed golfer). The slice may be played on purpose, although it is more often than not the consequence of a mishit. Slices are the most prevalent issue for both recreational and handicap golfers. The form of a sliced shot changes for right-handed and left-handed golfers (though the reasons are the same – more on that below):

  • For a right-hander, a slice curves to the right;
  • For a left-hander, a slice curves to the left.

(Because we’ll be using right-handedness in all of the examples that follow, lefties will need to invert any directional aspects.)

A slice and afade shotshare the same shaping (curving to the right for a right-hander), except that a slice is more severe. “Banana ball” is a slang name for a slice.

The slice is the opposite of ahook shot.

A sliced shot may begin to the left of the target line and then bend significantly back to the right. Alternatively, the ball might start on the proper target line before curving right. A shot that begins right of the target line and bends farther right is referred to as a “push-slice.”

What Causes a Slice?

A sliced shot is created by the clubface colliding with the golf ball during open position. This may be due to setup or swing issues that cause the face to open, or to an outside-to-inside swing path that effectively opens the face by “wiping” or “swiping” across the golf ball, imparting “slice spin.” (Slice spin is a clockwise sidespin for right-handed golfers and a counter-clockwise sidespin for left-handed players.) Coming over the top refers to cutting over the ball at contact on an outside-to-inside swing path.

These are the two main reasons of a slice, and when combined, they may result in a much more severe slice.

How to Stop Slicing Your Shots

Is your golf game plagued by the dreaded slice? With the suggestions below, you may be able to stop slicing your shots. Start by checking out several of your fundamentals to make sure simple setup problems aren’t causing that slice.

  • Check that you are not grasping the club with the face open. Set up with your clubface square unless you’re intending to hit a shot that bends right (slice or fade) or left (hook or draw). Or, on the backswing, are you spinning the club open? Backswing a few times, but stop when the club is parallel to the ground. Your club’s toe should be pointing straight up. If it’s “lay off,” pointing behind you, you’ve already got an open clubface.
  • Check that you are not starting with an open attitude (feet, hips, shoulders aligned left of the target line). Just like your clubface, your stance should be square.
  • Check that your grasp is neutral and that you are not utilizing a weak grip (hands turned too much to the left for a right-hander).

To permanently eliminate the inadvertent slicing, both the clubface location and the swing path must often be addressed.

There are manyYouTube videos from golf teachers focusing on the slicing. And remember that the draw shot is the opposite of the slice, so teaching yourself how to draw the ball is also a way of eliminating the slice.

In golf, it is usually ideal to rectify a problem by addressing the underlying reason, such as clubface position, swing path, orsetupissue. But equipment can help, and making equipment changes can be of benefit to golfers who slice. See:

Hitting the Slice Intentionally

We all consider the slicing to be a terrible thing, a mishit that should be avoided. That’s always true when the slice pops up unintentionally, as is mostly the case with recreational golfers and high-handicappers.

However, there are times where being able to purposely play a slice would be really useful. Like hitting a big, sweeping curve around that tree that’s blocking a straight path to the green.

How do you play a deliberate slice? There are several ways, and you may need to combine two or more depending on how big a curve you are trying to play:

  • Open the clubface at address;
  • Open your stance and position your body to the left of the target line, but grip and swing normally.
  • Weaken your grip (see video linked above for more on strong/weak/neutral grips). This involves rotating your hands to the left on the club handle if you’re a righthander.

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