How to Fix Your Slice by Changing Your Grip

By John Elliott, Jr.

You know that your bad shot is my income, right? Sure you do. Who do you go to when you are not hitting the ball the way you want to, you don’t go to your doctor, you go to your golf professional. So let’s talk about that slice. Let’s turn the terminology around, let’s talk about how to hook it, not what to do to get rid of your slice.

How to Hook (to Get Rid of Your Slice)

Obviously if you get rid of your slice the ball is either going to go straight or hook, there are only three choices in golf, the ball is either going to curve to the right, curve up or it is going to curve to the left. All three of those curves are controlled by the face of the club. So the question becomes, what controls the face of the club, and in its simplicity it is your hands.

Grip Controls the Clubface

Your grip. Now here is the bad news, people hate changing their grips. What they are really saying is that they are going to be married to that slice forever, because the slice goes away when the hands are put on the club in the proper manner. Now let me explain something to you about the proper manner, when my hands and arms hang by my side they turn inward.

Incorrect Grip and Rotation

When you grip incorrectly your left hand, if you are a right handed player, has been rotated to the left of where you hand and arm naturally hang. Once it is rotated to the left it can no longer rotate through the swing, so what it ends up doing is that it lets the clubface arrive back to the ball open.

Let’s turn that around. If this is where my hands and arms naturally hang, if I take my left hand and I turn it inside of where it naturally hangs, and then you say to me, John, relax your hand and arm, well then it turns back to where it originally was. Now if I do the same thing with the clubface, if this is natural, and I now turn my left hand to the right, it is now in an unnatural position. And if you say, John, let your arm return to natural, well when it does the face closes. That is how you hit a hook.

3 Factors That Cause You to Slice

Reverse all of that information and now you know why you slice. Your hands control your clubface, your clubface controls your spin, and your spin controls your motions. In other words, you either like it or you don’t like it. Slicing is not much fun unless you are trying to go around something, because it takes distance off the ball, it takes the thrill of hitting it solidly right out of the shot because when you are hitting it with an open face the ball coming off the face feels kind of dead. You want it to feel very alive.

Correct Rotation Cures Your Slice

So as you are gripping make sure that your left hand is not in a natural position, make sure it is rotated fractionally to the right so that when it comes in to the impact area it will be turning back to natural which will shut the face down. Next time I see you I want you to tell me how good you have gotten at hooking the ball. No more of this, gosh I am so tired of slicing I have been doing this for 20 years. Let’s get that out of there, let’s learn how to hook and then learn that the golf course has another side to it called the left side. You have never been over there before. It will be like playing a new course every time you tee it up.

Category: Slice
Sub Categories: Grip, Hands

About the Instructor

John Elliott, Jr.
John Elliott, Jr.
St. Andrews Golf & Country Club
3N441 Route 59
West Chicago, IL 60185
Tel: 630-231-3160

John Elliott, Jr., is listed as one of Golf Magazine's Top 100 Teachers and Golf Digest's #39 instructor in the world. He is the head professional at the Country Club of Ocala in Ocala, Florida.