Step 1: Determine Your Divot
Open Clubface With Incorrect Path Slice
This creates divots that move extremely left of the target line and shots that slice out of control. The correct fix is to develop a swing path that’s less out-to-in and to learn to square the clubface at impact. The incorrect fix is to try to swing even more left or to hit with a closed clubface. This type of slice is the ugliest of them all, and fixing it is definitely a challenge. However, developing a swing path that’s less severe will make squaring the clubface easier.
Incorrect Swing Path Slice
This creates divots that move somewhat left of the target and shots that start to the left and then curve back across the target line. The correct fix is to improve the swing path by moving it more down the line and less over the top. The incorrect fix is to experiment with different clubface positions in an attempt to compensate for the faulty path. The sad truth about this type of slice is that it’s the result of a faulty swing path that travels from outside to in and across the ball. Fixing this problem will take some time and effort.
Open Clubface Slice
This type of slice creates relatively straight divots and shots that start along the target line and drift to the right. The correct fix is to square the clubface at impact. The incorrect fix is to swing farther left in an attempt to keep the ball on line. The good news about this type of slice is that it’s simply the result of a faulty clubface position, which can be relatively easy to fix. If this is your type of slice, you can take solace in the fact that your swing path is relatively sound, as illustrated by the direction of the divot, which is actually a bit to the right.
To beat your slice, you first need to determine if it’s your downswing path or your clubface angle at impact that’s faulty, or both. This can be determined by analyzing your divots and ballflight characteristics. To begin, find a grass practice range and lay a club or piece of colored string along your target line. Once you’re fully warmed up, place a ball on the inside of the club or piece of string and execute a normal, full shot. If you don’t make solid contact the first time, simply move down the shaft or string and hit another ball from that spot. The key is to hit a shot that represents your “normal” ballflight and to create a clearly recognizable divot in the process. Continue to hit several shots until you feel you’ve made at least a couple of clear divots that have resulted from what you’d consider your typical shots.
Once you’ve done this, take a look at the shape and direction of your divots and consider your normal shot shape. If your divot runs fairly parallel to the target line, and your shots tend to start toward the target and then drift to the right, you most likely have a correct swing path but an open clubface at impact. This is the easiest slice to fix because all it requires is a correction of the clubface position as it passes through the hitting zone.
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 that’s fairly square. To fix this type of slice, you’ll 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 that’s causing your slice, you’ll be significantly closer to straightening it out than you were before you started the process.