Cures for Slicing the Golf Ball

By Steve Silverman

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Golf is supposed to be a fun and relaxing game enjoyed by players who exhibit exemplary sportsmanship on the course as well as strong decorum. However, that idea is often put to rest when listening to a golfer who has just sliced a shot from the tee into the water hazard or trees on the right. The slice is one of the most common golfing errors, particularly among high-handicappers and beginners.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging
  1. Go to the driving range and concentrate on keeping the ball straight down the middle. There are times when you will want to hit the ball to the left and other times when you will want to hit it right. But basically, hitting a straight shot will help you become an effective golfer. If you are trying to hit the ball straight and the ball takes a bananalike curve to the right, you are slicing the ball.
  2. Fix your grip. One of the primary reasons for slicing the ball is a grip that is too loose. Golfers hear the instructions all the time: "Take an easy swing" and "don't choke the club." As a result, they take it too far the other way and don't grip the club securely enough. Many teaching pros recommend that a golfer's grip should be at 4.5 or 5 on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 representing the loosest and 10 representing the tightest grip.
  3. Line your shoulder up with the target. Poor aim is another reason for a slice. If your shoulder is square to the flag stick or the target on the fairway that you are aiming for, you should come up and under the ball and hit it straight. However, if you are aligned incorrectly, you will compensate with a right to left or left to right swing. If you come across the ball in that manner, a slice (or a hook) is the likely result.
  4. Stand the proper distance from the ball. If you reach too far for the ball or stand too close, it is impossible to take a proper swing at the ball. Standing too far away from the ball means that you will likely hit the side of the ball rather than directly underneath. That sidespin will cause a slice. Stand about 21 inches (give or take 3 inches due to the length of the club) from the ball to give yourself an opportunity to put a good swing on the ball.
  5. Rotate your hips and shoulders fully when you swing the club. Beginners are always in a rush to see their shot. Consequently, they speed through the downswing with their hands so they can finish their shot sooner and admire their handiwork. Consequently, they will not turn their hips and shoulders fully and their swing will cause a slice. A smooth and unrushed swing will help the golfer hit a straight shot.

Tips & Warnings

  • Mistakes happen all the time on the golf course. You will hit the ball into the bunker and into the water hazard. Don't let the mistakes affect your next swing.

About the Author

Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.