Golf Tips - Fixing your Slice - Keeping Your Back to Target

By Joe Sullivan

Golfer tee shot backswing

I try to gear most of what I say towards the slicer, but there is only so much that can be said about the slice without making things too complicated.

We already know that there are only two reasons why someone can slice the ball - Over the top or open clubface at impact - That's it! There are no if's, and's, or but's about it!

Having said that, there is not that much more for a slicer to look at other than 'The SELFish Four'. If you can do what is preached in that system, you will become good. Period!

There are, however, hundreds, or even thousands, of different swing feels and thoughts that can pertain to the core fundamentals preached in 'The SELFish Four'. You and I could probably sit around the clubhouse for hours talking about all of these things. Maybe it has to do with your feet, or thighs, or fingers, or toenails, or earlobes, or whatever. There are literally a ton of these thoughts and images that have been used by people over the years to help them strike the ball better.

Because some of these' feels' can be of value, I will occasionally throw out a few of my own that I think will help you achieve a) the correct swing path and plane, or b) a square clubface.

What's especially important to note, however, is that what I say has not only worked for others, but it's also been tried by me and has worked for me. That's why I say them with confidence.

You will most likely never hear me tell you to do anything with your own golf swing that I don't know for sure has worked for others, and that I can also back up myself. If you have seen my video, you will understand what I mean by this.

So this tip has to do with one of those images or 'feels'. As a matter of fact, it is an all-time classic thought that I received from a pro out at the Detroit Golf Club a couple years back. Its essence is as follows?

Keep your back facing the target at the start of the downswing.

What this 'feel' will do is keep your club to the inside on the downswing. If you open your shoulders real quick, and NOT have your back face the target, this will throw your club to the outside, and lead to an over-the-top swing, and hence a bad golf shot. This is a problem slicers are notorious for having.

So when you reach the top of your swing, do this?

  1. Feel that your hips bump slightly laterally, then begin to turn out of the way.
  2. The key is to keep your back facing the target for a split second longer as you make this initial move with your hips. You should feel that your back resists against your lower body. Your upper body stays still, your lower body begins firing, your golf club is automatically dropped into the slot, your golf ball goes straight and far!

This is a great thought on full shots where it can be controlled by the body, because this thought is essentially just a turning of the shoulders on the back swing, holding them there for a split second, then letting them fire through. So practice this with full shots, and not so much half-shots or short ones which require more arms and hands.

Columns ©1999 Joseph K. Sullivan and GolfLink Inc. All rights reserved.

Read More Professional Golf Tips and Watch Instructional Golf Videos