What Causes a Golf Slice and the Easiest Way to Fix It

Golf instructors Hank Haney and Brendon Elliot explain why you slice in golf, and how to fix it!

, GolfLink Writer
Updated February 28, 2024
Golfer at the top of his backswing
    Golfer at the top of his backswing
    Michael Svoboda
    Getty Image license

No matter what level of golfer you are, or even if you are a non-golfer, you have most certainly heard the term “slice” before. A slice is a common problem for many golfers and can be a frustrating flaw to deal with. 

What is a Slice?

Essentially, a slice occurs when the ball curves from left to right for right-handed golfers and right to left for left-handed golfers. 

Are you one of the many golfers plagued by this often unsightly shot? If you are, keep reading, because I will discuss what causes a slice and teach you how to fix it.

What Causes a Slice?

Two main factors cause a slice in golf. An open clubface in relation to your swing path at impact can cause a slice. This means that the face of the club is pointing to the right (for righties) or left (for lefties) in relation to your clubhead path at impact. 

Regarding your path, an outside-to-inside path in relation to your target line combined with that open clubface mentioned above creates a slice. This means that your clubhead is moving outside the target line to inside the target line during the downswing. 

When this happens, it puts clockwise sidespin on your ball, which causes it to curve left to right in the air for righties and the opposite for lefties.

The severity of these flaws determines the severity of your slice. If your clubface is only open a degree or two, and your path is only a degree or two over the top, you’ll notice a slice shape but probably have a playable shot. However, if your face and path and significantly open and over the top, respectively, your slice will be more dramatic.


5 Checkpoints to Fix a Slice

Now that you have a better understanding of what causes a slice, I’ll teach you how to fix it. Here are a few ways to correct a slice, which will lead to a better golf game overall.

1. Check Your Grip

One of the first things you should do if you struggle with a slice is check your grip and make sure your grip is not too weak. 

A weak grip is one where your hands are turned too far to the left for right-handed golfers and too far to the right for left-handed golfers. 

A weak grip often causes an open clubface at impact, contributing to a slice. Try adjusting your grip to a stronger position, with your hands more in the center of the club.

Women gripping a golf club with slightly strong golf grip

Strong Golf Grip: How to Grip the Club to Hit Straighter Shots

2. Adjust Your Stance

Another factor that can contribute to a slice is an improper stance. Right-handed golfers need to make sure that their feet, hips, and shoulders are aligned parallel left of the target line. The opposite is true for left-handed golfers, whose feet, hips, and shoulders should align parallel to the right of the target line. 

This helps ensure you have a correct swing path and are not swinging outside to inside.


3. Focus on Your Backswing

The next step to fixing your slice is to check your backswing. As you take the club back from your setup, make sure it moves straight back, with your arms, hands, and club together in one piece. 

This helps ensure that you are not taking the club too far to the inside on the backswing. A backswing that moves too far to the inside often leads to an over-the-top and outside-to-inside path.

A proper backswing is crucial to set you up for a good downswing and impact.

4. Practice with Alignment Sticks

Alignment sticks are a great tool for fixing a slice. Here’s a great alignment stick drill for fixing a slice.

Place two alignment sticks on the ground, one parallel to the target line and one perpendicular to the target line. This will help you visualize your alignment and swing path and see any adjustments that may be needed.


5. Work with a Golf Instructor

One of my most repeated tips to golfers is to have a qualified professional coach or instructor help you out. 

Working with a golf instructor is helpful if you struggle with a slice and are not making improvement on your own. In fact, having that relationship with a coach before issues come up with your swing is my broader advice. 

A qualified PGA or LPGA instructor can analyze your swing and help you make the necessary adjustments to fix your slice or any other issues you may be having with your game.

Final Thoughts

A slice is a common problem for many golfers, but not an insurmountable one. By focusing on your grip, stance, backswing, and swing path, as well as using tools like alignment sticks and working with an instructor, you can correct a slice and improve your golf game relatively quickly. 

Remember, it takes practice to ingrain new feels and movements in this game, so keep working at it, and don’t get discouraged. With the correct understanding of an issue and putting in the time to fix it, you will always come out the other end successfully.