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4 tips to stop slicing the driver
Hitting a slice not only results in a loss of distance, but it's also far less accurate than a shot hit with a straighter ball flight. In the video and article below, Nick Drane, PGA Professional at the Titleist Performance Centre, explains how to eradicate this card-wrecking shot once and for all...
The most common cause of the slice among amateur golfers is poor set-up. The set-up fundamentals are key, because they dictate how you swing the club. Whilst golf swings at the highest level of the game differ quite drastically, the address positions do not. That's because these are the foundations that enable you to move in the right way. If you are struggling with a slice, this is the first place to start.
1. Ball Position Inside Left Heel
Getting the perfect ball position with every club is vitally important. With a driver, you want have an upward angle of attack. This requires the sternum to be further behind the ball at address and as you swing. Note how I have the ball just inside my left heel, while my right shoulder drops slightly lower than my left at address. This creates an angle that helps me to hit the ball on the up. Be careful not to position the ball too far forward, as this will encourage you to swing more across it.
2. Set Up Behind The Ball
Your arms, hands and shoulders should be relaxed at address. You don't want to be 'on top' of the ball. This causes the shoulders to point to the left, and encourages an over the top clubhead path - so you'll cut across the ball (opens in new tab) (as shown directly above). This means the ball will start left, before curving viciously to the right.
3. Check Your Grip
With a weak grip, the 'V' shapes made with your thumbs and your hands point to the left of your head. What this does is make it difficult to square the face through impact. Generally, I like to see the Vs of thumb and forefinger pointing towards the right shoulder (as above). This makes it less likely that you'll leave the clubface open at impact, causing the left-to-right spin that creates a slice.
So, at address, check that you can see two, or even two-and-a-half knuckles on your top hand to ensure the grip is neutral. Watch the video above and see how I put this all together to make a solid swing, one that flies straight and long. Note how my weight moves onto my right side during the backswing and onto my left side in the follow-through.
4. Get Custom Fitted
As well as following these fundamentals, I recommend everyone, no matter what level they play at, gets custom fitted. The fitter should be able to find a set-up to help guard against your most destructive shot. It might be that closing the face a fraction, for example, will straighten out your start line and help you to stop slicing the driver.
Michael has been with Golf Monthly since 2008. As a multimedia journalist, he has also worked for The Football Association, where he created content to support the men's European Championships, The FA Cup, London 2012, and FA Women's Super League. As content editor at Foremost Golf, Michael worked closely with golf's biggest equipment manufacturers, and has developed an in-depth knowledge of this side of the industry. He's now a regular contributor, covering instruction, equipment and feature content. Michael has interviewed many of the game's biggest stars, including six world number ones, and has attended and reported on many Major Championships and Ryder Cups. He's a member of Formby Golf Club.
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