Home » Golf Instruction

Control your wrist, and control your slice

Chuck EvansBy Chuck Evans,
Special Contributor
Golf ball
View large image
A slice is caused by one thing, the angle of the club when it makes contact with the golf ball. (.)

You're standing on the tee with water right and think, boy I don't want to hit it right. What usually happens next? The ball doesn't go into the water because it wants to. It go in the water because it has to!

You did everything absolutely perfect to produce this slice and send your golf ball to a watery grave. So how do you fix this abomination of a shot? First, you will need to know what a slice is and what some of its causes are.

A slice can start anywhere but then curves back to the right - for a right-handed player. The amount of this curvature can be small or great depending on the clubface angle when the ball leaves the clubface.

If you are slicing here's a quick check list to narrow down why.

1. Ball location - having the ball too far back in the stance will not allow the clubface to close properly. A player's hand spped also affects ball location. Fast hands need to play the ball back and slow hands more forward.

2. Hinge action (the control of the clubface transmitted through the left hand) - Faulty hinge action can lead to slices, hooks, pushes, and fades. But properly educated hands can even compensate for off plane motions.

3. Right arm action - Not straightening the right arm through impact allows the clubface to remain open. These three are the basic reasons for slices, but there could be more depending on the player.

Some misnomers about slices

1. Clubhead path controls initial ball direction.

This is one of the worst pieces of advice ever given. Why? The ball will always leave the clubface, at a right angle to the clubface, regardless of the path the club is swung on unless there is enough time and force to alter what's known as the Venturi Effect.

2. A strong grip eliminates a slice.

Yeah right. We've all heard this and I bet you've even tried it. You probably took a lesson - or two - from the local pro and have spent a few dollars (or even a few hundred) to get rid of that nasty slice.

Heck, you might have even tried to fix that nasty thing yourself! But you quickly realized after hundreds of golf balls...it did not work. You heard me. It didn't work, never has, and never will.

If you want to eliminate a slice, or a hook, you MUST learn how to control the clubface through the proper use of the left wrist. That's all there is to it.

Chuck Evans, G.S.E.D., a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher, is one of only 31 golf instructors worldwide designated to hold a doctorate in golf stroke engineering. He is executive director of instruction for the Medicus Golf Institute and has served as director of schools for the PGA Tour Golf Academy, and as director of instruction for the United States Golf Institute. He is also the author of "How To Build Your Golf Swing."

 
Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment
  • This article sucks

    Primevci wrote on: Sep 21, 2013

    I was a bad slicer and changed from a neutral grip to strong and it fixed my slice then I over did the strong and hook the ball telling people that a grip won't fix the ball flight is stupid take this article with a few pounds of salt try it next time u go to the range

    Reply

  • You're laughably wrong

    Sean wrote on: Apr 30, 2013

    Control your left wrist through impact? You must be a 30 handicap if you believe that's possible to do consistently.

    Reply

  • Slice

    Anon wrote on: Aug 27, 2007

    Item 1. under misnomers is misleading. It seems to state that clubhead path isn't important. But, an outside in swing can cause a sideways spin on the ball and therfore cause it to slice.

    Reply

      • RE: Slice

        chris wrote on: Nov 1, 2010

        changing your grip WILL help with your slice.....it helped with me ALOT....night and day difference......ALOT of PROs use super strong grips for this reason(see john daly)..

        Reply

      • RE: Slice

        Chuck Evans wrote on: Dec 28, 2007

        As stated, the clubHEAD path does NOT control the initial direction of the golf ball. That is a function of the clubFACE. An "outisde-in" stroke does NOT cause a slice. You can swing along that path all day and IF the clubface is square to that path when the ball leaves the face then it is simply a pull.
        The important thing to remember is that the ball will ALWAYS leave the clubface at practically a right angle to the leading edge.
        For more information on this see;
        http://www.golfnewsupdate.com/ShowArticle.asp?CategoryID=3&ArticleID=221
        chuck

        Reply

      • RE: Slice

        Harry Coffey wrote on: Dec 27, 2007

        Whenever I "feel the ball in my hands" I get a great shot. It helps me at 64 years old to choke down a little on the club and take a nine-iron instead of a full wegde. Still a long ball hitter, it is humbling to back off, but the birdies keep on rolling in!
        VR// Harry

        Reply

  • Chuck Evans golf tip

    Frank Coyle wrote on: Aug 13, 2007

    Where is the rest of the article???
    Simply control the left wrist??
    How? To be continued?

    Reply

      • RE: Chuck Evans golf tip

        Frank wrote on: May 27, 2008

        How do I practice controling my left wrist at impact?

        Reply

      • RE: Chuck Evans golf tip

        Chuck Evans wrote on: Nov 4, 2007

        I will re-state. Clubhead path DOES NOT control the initial direction of the golf ball. The ball will ALWAYS leave the clubface at 90 degrees to the leading edge. A slice is NOT caused by swinging "out to in." You can swing out to in and have the clubface pointed to the right and THAT is where the ball will start NOT on the direction the club is swinging.
        To control the clubface via the left hand it must be trained to execute whatever action you want the club face to do.
        1. Layback
        2. Close
        3. Close and Layback
        Each of these motions produce different trajectories but all give straight away flight. If you are slicing the ball then you have a couple of things to look at.
        1. Ball position - too far back and the club cannot close quickly enough.
        2. Hand speed - slow hands play it more forward, fast hands play the ball farther back.
        3. Faulty clubface motion - usually an under roll of the whatever Hinge Action you have chosen to use.
        Whatever you decide to do make sure that at Low Point - the left shoulder - the clubface is at a right angle to the target line. Heck you may even feel like the back of your left hand is facing the ground at Impact. But if it where then you would hit nothing but low duck hooks!
        Chuck Evans
        www.medicusgolfinstitute.com

        Reply

  • slice

    B.J.smith wrote on: Jul 24, 2007

    Good article, but how do you control left wrist?

    Reply

      • RE: slice

        michael seaman wrote on: Aug 21, 2007

        how do i square shoulders at adress when using driver they are aways going left of traget (slice) help

        Reply

          • RE: RE: slice

            rich wrote on: Mar 1, 2011

            watch shawn clement top 25 tips. watch it fly long and straight transformed my driving now best club in my bag

            Reply

  • spellcheck

    Dave Lynch wrote on: Jul 9, 2007

    Please have someone spell check this material, thank you.

    Reply

      • RE: grip

        william wrote on: Apr 23, 2013

        I just regripped by clubs after finding out that I needed an oversized grip for my hand size.
        Immediately I got a small fade that was sort of alright, but occasionally a strong fade that I really didnt want to see at all.
        I have started strengthening my grip with my left hand and then taking my right hand grip and all day today I got the most fantastic shots Ive had since I started playing 19 months ago. Danged near got an eagle on a par 5 and was getting really great long shots down the fairways most of the day.
        I have definitely learned the importance of the grip the last few days.

        Reply

Comments Leave a comment