How to Hit a Slice

By Sandy Retsky

To hit a slice, you have to change your setup, not your grip or swing. It is simple to learn how to intentionally create a clockwise spin on a shot, which makes the ball curve from left to right. You will benefit from this shot on a dogleg right and when you want to curve around a tree. Your goal is to develop a simple swing that you can easily repeat. Instructions here are for a right-handed golfer. For a left-handed golfer, switch the words "left" and "right."


Difficulty: Moderate
Step 1
Check your body setup. For body alignment, place a club on the ground aiming the shaft slightly left of the target. The club shaft is the start line of the shot, before it curves to the right. Align your shoulders, chest, hips, knees and feet parallel to the start line at setup and impact. There is more than one "correct" distance between your feet (try shoulder width) and ball position relative to your feet (try inside left heel).
Step 2
Check your club setup. There are three possible clubface positions: open (facing right of the start line), square (perpendicular to the start line), and closed (facing left of the start line). You want your clubface position open (facing right of the start line, perpendicular to the target) at setup and impact. The sole of your club should be flat on the ground at setup and impact. The more you aim to the left and simultaneously open your clubface, the bigger the slice.
Step 3
Check your grip. Grip the club firmly, not tight or loose. There is more than one "correct" grip (try the overlapping grip). Although the grip is not the primary focus here, it is important that your grip controls your clubface position at setup and impact.
Step 4
Check your swing. There are three possible clubhead paths: inside-out, straight and outside-in. You want your clubhead path to be straight (parallel to the start line) at setup and impact. Your swing controls your clubhead path. A slice loses distance (open clubface increases loft) compared to a straight shot so you need more club than a straight shot.
Step 5
Practice on a driving range. The flight of the ball gives you instant feedback. Make adjustments to intentionally slice. Start with an easy swing and gradually swing harder as you feel more comfortable.

Tips & Warnings

Look at your swing on a regular basis. Most digital cameras record videos. Ask a fellow golfer to take a video from a side view and a back view. Save your video to check for consistency over time.
You must have a good swing to intentionally slice, which may be tough for beginners. If you apply these instructions to a bad swing, the results will be difficult to predict.

About The Author

Sandy Retsky caddied at Baltusrol in Springfield, NJ and owned a software consulting business in New York, NY. He is a partner at Reverie Winery in Napa Valley and Butterfly restaurant in San Francisco. He has been writing for since early 2009.


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