Table of Contents
What is a Golf Slice?
A golf slice is a shot that starts to the left of your target (for right-handed golfers) and then curves sharply to the right in the air. A slice is caused by an open clubface at impact, which imparts a left-to-right spin on the ball. A slice can also be influenced by an outside-to-inside swing path, which means your club is moving from outside the target line to inside the target line as you hit the ball.
What is a Golf Hook?
A golf hook is a shot that starts to the right of your target (for right-handed golfers) and then curves sharply to the left in the air. A hook is caused by a closed clubface at impact, which imparts a right-to-left spin on the ball. A hook can also be influenced by an inside-to-out swing path, which means your club is moving from inside the target line to outside the target line as you hit the ball.
How to Fix a Slice
A golf slice can be fixed by making some adjustments to your ball position, grip, club path, and club alignment. Let’s go over some common symptoms of a slice and how to fix them:
Ball Position Within Your Stance
If your ball is too far forward in your stance, it can cause your clubface to open at impact, resulting in a slice. To fix this, try moving your ball slightly back in your stance, so that it is aligned with your left chest (for right-handed golfers). This will help you square up your clubface at impact and reduce the left-to-right spin on the ball.
You can also try taking your rear foot and making a small step away from the ball. With your rear foot further from the ball and your front foot closer to the ball, you will have the ability to align the clubface with the ball and have a better swing path.
Gripping the Club
If your grip is too weak, meaning your hands are turned too much to the left on the club (for right-handed golfers), it can also cause your clubface to open at impact, resulting in a slice. To fix this, try strengthening your grip by turning your lead hand slightly to the right on the club (for right-handed golfers). This will help you close your clubface at impact and reduce the left-to-right spin on the ball.
Wondering how much you need to turn your lead hand on the grip? First of all, your lead hand is the one that wears a glove. You should turn your lead hand enough on the grip that you can see the logo on your glove. Typically, you will have 2-3 knuckles visible to you when gripping and addressing the ball. This will give you a much better chance at hitting the ball with a square clubface.
Club Path & Swing Technique
If your club path is too outside-to-inside, meaning your club is moving from outside the target line to inside the target line as you hit the ball, it can also cause your clubface to open at impact, resulting in a slice. To fix this, try swinging more from inside to outside, meaning your club is moving from inside the target line to outside the target line as you hit the ball. This will help you create a more neutral or even slightly draw-biased spin on the ball.
Here are a few drills you can try to improve your swing path:
- Place a tee or an object about 10 inches behind and 2 inches outside of your ball. Then try to swing over or slightly inside of that object as you hit the ball. This will help you create an inside-to-outside swing path and avoid slicing.
- To help you get a better feeling of the inside-to-outside swing path, stand backward so that your back is facing the target. Line up your driver with the ball and hit the ball. Power and distance aside, you may notice that your ball went straight. Standing backward to your target requires you to swing around your body, which is resemblent to the inside-to-outside swing path. Right after taking on a swing with your back to the target, go ahead and address the ball as you normally would and take another shot. Your mind and body will have adapted to your previous shot and promoted you to a better swing path. Try repeating this a few times to internalize the correct swing path.
If your clubface is not aligned with your target at address, it can also cause your clubface to open or close at impact, resulting in a slice or a hook. To fix this, make sure you align your clubface with your target before you take your stance. Then align your feet, hips, and shoulders parallel to your target line. This will help you create a consistent and accurate alignment for every shot.
If you’re unsure whether or not you are aligned properly with your target, try this:
- Address the ball like you normally would and line up your feet, hips, and shoulders the best you can to the target
- Without moving or turning, take your club and hold it across your chest with the grip pointing toward the target. This will tell you where you are aiming.
- If your shoulders are not aiming at the target adjust your hips, shoulders, and feet so that your club is pointing toward the target across your chest.
How to Fix a Hook
A golf hook can be fixed by making some adjustments to your weight transfer, club path, ball position, and club alignment. Below, we will break down the common symptoms of a hook and what you can do to fix a hook:
Turning & Movement
A lot of golfers are taught to keep their heads down and focus on the ball through the swing, but sometimes this becomes excessive and can lead to a hook. When your head and shoulders are too far back through your swing, the arms will roll forward and cause the club face to close to the point that your ball will hook. You need to allow your upper body to swing through the ball with your arms and legs.
Through your swing, the shoulders need to move through the target line and your head should not move back. The component of turning through your swing, which includes your head and shoulders will help you avoid the hook. What you can do is take an alignment stick or even one of your clubs in your bag. Depending on the club you are hitting with put that alignment aid in the middle of your stance. As you take your swing, focus on getting your body to turn through the middle of the alignment aid and toward the target.
Golf Swing Takeaway
Most golfers on their takeaway are probably focused on keeping the clubface square with the ball, which can lead to overcompensating. While this will help you avoid the slice, some golfers tend to “hood” the face of the club and bring the club inside with a clubface that is now closed and ready to hook on impact.
In order to have a proper takeaway that will promote a square clubface, try aiming at your target with a neutral grip and put your trail hand out as if you were going to shake someone’s hand. Now, swing your lead hand and look at how the clubface is more square with the ball.
Here’s another drill you can do which is as simple as pausing your swing mid-takeaway. When you are halfway through your takeaway, pause your swing and look at the top edge of your club. If it is parallel with your torso, then you are on the right track to a square clubface when you hit the ball.
If your ball is too far forward in your stance, it can cause your clubface to close at impact, resulting in a hook. If you have the ball too far forward in your stance, the path of your swing will have already passed the point where the clubface would be square with the ball. To fix this, try moving your ball slightly back in your stance. This will help you square up your clubface at impact and reduce the right-to-left spin on the ball.
If you’re still wondering if you have the ball positioned correctly in your stance, follow these steps:
- With your feet together stand directly across from the ball
- Take a small step with your foot toward the target
- With your other foot, take a full step backward away from the target
This should give you the proper ball position with your stance when hitting with the driver.
Understanding the difference between a golf slice vs hook is an important step in making the right adjustments to your swing. Remember to practice these tips and drills regularly and monitor your progress. We found our drives off the tee box have greatly improved after implementing these drills into our time on the range.