How To Stop Cutting Across The Golf Ball

PGA pro Alex Elliott offers some great advice on how to stop cutting across the golf ball through impact

A drill to help golfers stop cutting across the ball
(Image credit: Kenny Smith)

Getting out of bad habits that have been ingrained for an extended period of time takes patience and perseverance. And as with everything in golf, you need to get on top of the basics first if you desire success, especially if you’re cutting across the ball. 

That includes things like mastering the perfect ball position, how to aim, and posture. But once you’ve done that, Alex Elliott's training tips in the video and article below will help you develop a better swing pattern that’ll stop you slicing it for good.

The beauty of this is that it’s so simple to set up. First, if there is a line on your ball, point it towards your target. From there, you want to create a gate to swing the clubhead through that will really exaggerate the opposite move to what you’re battling.

This can be done with balls or tees, placing one behind and to the right of the ball you intend to hit as well as one in front and to the left as below. A visual focus like this is a great way to encourage an in-to-out path as it creates a feeling and an image you can take with you to the course.

In tennis terms, it should feel like you’re whipping a wicked topspin forehand, something that's particularly useful for those who struggle with slicing the driver or with how to stop toe strikes. Once you’ve set the drill up, raise your driver off the ground and take some initial practice swings to really get a sense of what you’re trying to achieve. Then give it a go and see how you get on.

A face-on view of a gate drill that will help golfers to stop cutting across the golf ball

This simple gate drill will help you stop cutting across the ball 

(Image credit: Kenny Smith)

It’s an exaggerated way of practising that helps you learn the difference between feel and real and should work you into a nice middle ground. And another reason it’s effective is because with the tees or balls in place, you should get some feedback as to whether you are swinging the club through the gate you’ve created.

As a side note, we’d recommend using tees to start with to ensure no damage is done in the event of any mishaps.

Over time, the benefits of honing this move will be plentiful. For one, it will improve the quality of strike and allow you to get more power in your golf swing, which will also lead to increased ball speed and distance.

Not only this, but you'll have more margin for error to actually hit more fairways. So, what are you waiting for?

Alex Elliott
Top 50 Coach

Location: Mottram Hall 

Alex spent a great deal of time learning the game from fellow northwest golfer, Andrew Murray, who was a European Tour regular from 1979 to 1995. He spent three years on the European Tour caddying for Andrew’s son, Tom, before taking his PGA qualifications. His passion for the game and personality in front of the camera has helped him to create a thriving social media platform on Instagram and YouTube, where he offers a whole host of tips and advice to help viewers shoot lower scores.

Most significant influences on your teaching:

Mike Bender's book, 'Build The Swing Of A Lifetime', which I read during my PGA qualifications. He uses so many different tools to help students deliver the club better when hitting the golf ball. Andrew Murray, too. He helped form the way I interact with golfers and simplified what can be a complex game for a club golfer.

Advice for practice: 

I like to get students to work in sets of five golf balls – three drills shots to two course shots. The drill shots have no consequence, but with the two course shots, I ask the student to create a green or fairway and go through a full routine.

Greatest success story:

One of my students hadn’t played golf for ten years - he'd lost his love for the game. After watching my online Instagram and YouTube content, he came for several golf lessons and has now joined a local golf club. Knowing I've helped get someone back into golf... you can't beat that.