Here are two words that every golfer who has grass stains on his shoes has heard and dread. Slice and Hook.
The top players, those who have mastered the game, actually use these types of shots to get around things that may be in their way. When this happens, those words become fade and draw and they can be a powerful weapon in golfer's arsenal of shots.
But for the rest of us, they're just mistakes we make and off we go shagging our wayward ball.
This article is about the slice. We'll discuss the hook later.
The slice, where the ball curves severely from left-to-right through the air, is a very destructive shot. The slice is such a common mistake that entire books have been written on the subject. It is also so common that nearly every golf has experienced it.
So what causes a slice?
It is caused by a combination of an out-to-in swing path and an open clubface. The degree to which you slice the ball is totally dictated by these two factors. The most common cause of an out-to-in swing path is an open address position.
Now there are some players who think they can solve this problem by aiming their bodies well to the left of the target. Well, if you do that, you're just asking for trouble and, rest assure, you'll get trouble. When you start out wrong (in this case, your address is way off), the chances that things will go downhill quickly are only magnified.
In this case, the player is thinking that if he aims way left the ball will fly way right (his slice is already presumed) and he'll end up just fine.
When trying to hit the ball straight you should always set up correctly with your shoulders, hips, and feet square to the target line. If you're not sure if you're square or not, hold a club up to your chest, make sure it's squared up to to the line of your shoulders. Then look down at the shaft, sight along the shaft and see where it's pointing. The very end of the shaft (the grip) should be pointing to your target.
It's important to start out square and stright because once the club gets outside the ball-to-target line in the downswing you're more than likely heading for trouble and there is very little you can then do to to stop the slice.
To prevent this from happening try this simple mental tip.
When you address the ball, imagine there is another ball positioned three to four inches ahead of the real ball. As you start the golf club down, aim to strike the actual ball but also try to keep the club travelling along the path to the imaginary one. This mental picture will help you to keep your downswing on an in-to-out path and prevent that golf slice.