Tuesday, August 1, 2006
Slice No More!
Destroy the banana ball in 4 easy steps
If your divot runs on a right-to-left diagonal from the target line and your shots tend to start left of your target and slice well to the right, you most likely have a swing path that travels too far from out to in, but a clubface position at impact thats fairly square. To fix this type of slice, youll have to correct your swing path by learning to swing more along the target line, or even a bit from the inside.
Finally, if your divots move significantly from right to left and are fairly deep, and your shots move dramatically to the right of the target, you probably have both a faulty swing path and an open clubface position at impact. Fixing this type of slice is the most difficult because it requires the most work. However, by understanding exactly what it is thats causing your slice, youll be significantly closer to straightening it out than you were before you started the process.
Step 2: Rotary Or Level
After youve determined the actual cause of your slice (faulty path, faulty clubface angle at impact, or both), you need to figure out what type of downswing you have. Basically, every downswing is driven by a dominant force thats either a pulling (rotary) or pushing (lever) motion.
A rotary-driven swing is one in which trunk and hip rotation is the primary force that moves the club. This type of swing has the player turning his or her body counterclockwise (for a right-handed player), with the club being dragged around through impact. Ben Hogan, David Duval and Lee Trevino are examples of players with rotary-type downswings.
In contrast, a lever-driven swing is one in which the right hand and forearm are the primary force in the downswing, along with some hip rotation. In this type of swing, the shoulder and chest rotation are delayed as the right hand and forearm power the club down into impact. Retief Goosen and Craig Stadler are examples of lever swingers. Its important to note that both models start the downswing with a transition move called slotting, which is followed by varying degrees of hip rotation. To successfully fix your slice, its critical that you match the method of your fix to your downswing type, so take some time to properly determine if youre a rotary- or lever-type swinger.
A rotary-driven swing is one in which youre trying to turn left (for a righty) as fast as you can to create clubhead speed. The trunk and chest rotation pulls the club in the downswing along with hip rotation. The key point to look for in the rotary swing is that your hips and trunk have both rotated open to the target line at impact and that your right arm is bent to keep the club on the correct downswing path. Try freezing your impact position or putting yourself on video to see if this is your move. In the accompanying photos, notice how the yellow shaft in my belt loop is facing well left of the target line, while the one on my shoulders is less so, indicating that my hips have led the motion. This is the true mark of a rotary swinger.
A lever-driven swing is one in which the shoulder rotation is delayed in the downswing as the arms drop and the right hand and forearm are the primary movers of the club through impact. The key point to look for in the lever swing is that at impact, your shoulders are parallel to the target line and your right arm is straightening as the right wrist remains bent. Notice in the photos how the yellow shaft in my belt loop is pointing significantly less to the left than it does in the rotary swing. This indicates the swing relies less on rotation and more on lever action.
Step 3: Match Your Grip
To ensure you have a square clubface angle at impact, its critical to find a grip that matches your downswing type on a consistent basis.
If youre a rotary swinger, you require a stronger grip than a lever swinger because your shoulders are open at impact. A stronger grip counters the open impact position by keeping the right hand and elbow bent and tucked in toward the body, which in turn lowers the right shoulder and keeps the clubhead on the correct path. All of these things add up to a square clubface and an open body at impact.
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