Slice Control

Sometimes the best way to cure a slice is to embrace it



This Article Features Photo Zoom

Hitting a slice isn’t all bad. If you can minimize it, then control it, a slice is actually one of the most repeatable shots you can hit. A “fade,” which is also known as a slice that still finds the fairway, can produce a long drive that has just enough backspin to prevent the ball from rolling away from you and into the rough. Let’s take a look at how to turn your slice into a fade with a few simple steps.


Criss-Crossed

Too-Open
Criss-Crossed
If you’re crooked at the start, you’re likely to be crooked at impact, as well. In this photo, my lower body is aimed right (in an effort to prevent coming across the ball—or so I think), but my upper body is still way to the left. This setup position is typical of most slicers who tend to have a big, bellowing slice that starts right and slices even farther to the right. Also typical are reverse pivots caused by little room for the hips and lower body to rotate through impact with the ball.

Too-Open
The obvious slice fix is to aim farther to the left, right? Not so. If you’re a slicer, the more you aim to the left, the more pronounced your slice will be. As you can see here, my upper body and lower body are, in fact, aligned, but my clubface is still facing the fairway. This means I’m going to cut across the ball and make my slice bigger. Also, when you open up too much and don’t reposition the golf ball relative to your stance, the ball effectively moves back, making the slice even worse.

Fix Your Alignment

Square
When all else fails, square up the ball in a parallel fashion with the toes aligned with the shoulders and the hips square at address. In the photo, I’m still aiming slightly to the left to accommodate a fade, but being in a squared position will lessen my fade and help me hit more consistent tee shots. With practice, I can get a better feel for picking the targets with which to align my body and allow the ball to fade gently away from it.

Great Slicers
“You can talk to a fade, but a hook won’t listen,” says Lee Trevino, whose reliance on what he dubbed a “power fade” helped the Merry Mex win six majors, not to mention nearly 90 professional events. His fade was manipulated by a thorough rotation of his body—a necessary move, considering his stronger-than-normal grip. Other great players known for hitting fades include Fred Couples (who, like Trevino, also had a strong grip), Ben Hogan, Greg Norman, Vijay Singh and Tiger Woods, each of whom has used the controlled slice (fade) to win majors. Reason being, fades generally are easier to control because they roll back into the fairway and not away from it. Of note, Hogan spent years perfecting the fade in an attempt to literally block out half of every hole he played (the left side). What happened? He won nine majors and 64 PGA Tour events.


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