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Old Aug 20th 2014, 11:44 am   #1
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Default How I Cured My Slice

Started playing golf 3 decades ago, but had a gap of about 10 years until I took it up again last year. For most of that time I didn't carry any woods because I invariably sliced them: played a 3 iron (sometime a 1) off the tee, which often went as far as--and straighter than--many of my co-players' drivers, but still not as far as a driver should.

However, bought myself a new set of clubs last year, including a 3 hybrid. Provided I swing that like an iron and not a wood, it goes straight. But I still didn't take the plunge and get a driver (I had an ancient one, but rarely even put it in the bag).

However, a few months ago I bought a modern driver, determined to make it work. First impressions were good, but still the majority of the shots were slices, and usually the big banana ones I'd been used to before. Had a lesson, and the pro recommended I close the face dramatically, which worked to some extent but seemed like a bodge rather than a fix--I knew my swing was still out-to-in, and closing the face was merely masking that.

I did a lot of research on line, and came across an article in Golf Digest (I think) which used 3 methods to train/encourage slicers to swing in-to-out. Of the sample slicers, the most successful and long-lasting method was what I tried, and for 3 weeks now I've been slice-free and can actually feel that I'm hitting the ball differently.

This is what they recommended and what I did. On the practice ground, lay a putting guide stick in the direction you want to hit the ball, touching the tee. Consider this to be at 12-6 on a clock face. Lay another stick at an angle equivalent to 1-7 on a clock face, with the two sticks intersecting at your tee. (Actually, I took a couple of long tees and scored the grass on the driving range in two lines in the same positions as the sticks would be, using my 3 hybrid as a guide. Not sure how you’d do that on a practice ground with plastic turf, but luckily mine’s outside on real grass…)

With the tee at the intersection and intending to hit the ball in the direction of the 12-6 stick, try to swing along the path of the 1-7 stick, that is in-to-out. I’m not sure exactly how the various bits of my body are moving differently from before, but I can feel that my shoulders and knees are different. It felt very strange at first, with lots of complete mis-hits. However, with a fair amount of time on the practice ground I can now hit most shots cleanly, and without even a hint of fade, let alone slice. Just dead straight. It’s not quite as successful yet in play in respect of mis-hits, but the slice has gone completely. I still favour my 3 hybrid of the tee for tight fairways, but when they’re open I use the driver and its long (for me) and straight. Really good feeling.

I also incorporated two other things: making sure that my feet are rock solid throughout the back swing (I had a tendency to lift my left foot), and ensuring that the first movement is a drawing-away of the club head with no flexing of the wrists (watch Rickie Fowler’s ¼ practice swing before he drives).

Just thought I’d share this.
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Old Aug 20th 2014, 12:49 pm   #2
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Default Re: How I Cured My Slice

Interesting.

So long as you don't have to carry the sticks around during a round in case your slice comes back.

I personally prefer random slices and hooks that are totally unpredictable and usually happen when my game was going great..

I've heard a lot about hybrids helping with your game but I prefer to just stick with the driver off most tees and the irons for everything else.

How's your handicap?
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Old Aug 20th 2014, 1:09 pm   #3
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Default Re: How I Cured My Slice

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Interesting.

So long as you don't have to carry the sticks around during a round in case your slice comes back.

I personally prefer random slices and hooks that are totally unpredictable and usually happen when my game was going great..

I've heard a lot about hybrids helping with your game but I prefer to just stick with the driver off most tees and the irons for everything else.

How's your handicap?
You'd look a bit daft with the sticks on the 1st tee. Just need to replicate how you hit it on the practice green.

The shop I bought my clubs from gave me honest advice: I was thinking I needed a 3-hybrid in addition to a 3-iron, but they said there'd be no circumstance in which I'd need a 3-iron if I had the hybrid. Even in relatively long rough the hybrid works.

Whereas before I'd have used a 3-iron off the tee, I can now hit the hybrid farther than I used to hit the iron, and just as straight. So where the fairway's less than wide, the hybrid is the obvious choice and isn't that much shorter than the driver anyway.

Handicap's coming down, but by a combination of factors: more practice (and better-structured practice), course strategy, not battling with a hangover, and taking a lot more care over each shot. Not banana-ing tee shots also helps.
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Old Aug 21st 2014, 11:01 am   #4
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Default Re: How I Cured My Slice

I find the hybrid irons very useful for distance ‘putts’ from off the green (and beyond the fringe generally) as well. They are a lot more controlled than chipping and there’s often less ways of making a mess of the shot i.e. no thinning it, getting right under the ball etc.

Interesting technique for curing a slice. I’ve also suffered the same issue, generally only with a driver, even a 3 wood tends to be reasonably straight. My problem (I think) is keeping my wrists open at impact so not sure if this’ll help, but will give it a go.
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Old Aug 21st 2014, 6:03 pm   #5
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Default Re: How I Cured My Slice

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I find the hybrid irons very useful for distance ‘putts’ from off the green (and beyond the fringe generally) as well. They are a lot more controlled than chipping and there’s often less ways of making a mess of the shot i.e. no thinning it, getting right under the ball etc.

Interesting technique for curing a slice. I’ve also suffered the same issue, generally only with a driver, even a 3 wood tends to be reasonably straight. My problem (I think) is keeping my wrists open at impact so not sure if this’ll help, but will give it a go.
Hadn't though about using a hybrid for a "long putt", will try tomorrow. Trying to get consistent with my new 60 degree lob wedge--absolutely fine at home with foam balls, but bloody lethal when playing in anger: fine when it works, disastrous when not...

Was behind a group of 4 last time I played, a couple of Europeans and a couple of Arabs--caddies, maybe, playing illicitly. Anyhow, they had really unorthodox swings, the more effective of the two only having about a 2/3 backswing but huge (really huge) amounts of wrist action. Bastard hit it long and straight off the tee every time. So much is timing.
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Old Aug 22nd 2014, 8:29 am   #6
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Default Re: How I Cured My Slice

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Whereas before I'd have used a 3-iron off the tee, I can now hit the hybrid farther than I used to hit the iron, and just as straight.
You should probably consider buying another hybrid then to fill the gap you've just created between the 3h and 4i.

Slices get a bad rap. I remember being in the grandstand on the first tee during the 2010 Ryder Cup and watching Bubba Watson hit a 60 yard slice right into the middle of the fairway.

Glad you've sorted your though. Although I wouldn't get to fixated on not lifting the left heel during the backswing. Jack Nicklaus used to lift his left heel after all
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Old Aug 25th 2014, 2:55 pm   #7
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Default Re: How I Cured My Slice

I've only played the Old Course at St Andrews once, on a business trip after I'd been playing about a year. All week my driving had been going great - straight down the middle, and long enough to be last one to play 2nd shot on most holes. I even won the longest drive competition on the Jubilee Course.

When we got to play the Old Course at the end of the week, it all went to ratsh!t - slicing everything, but doing it so consistently that by the 4th or 5th hole, my caddy, a dour old scottish chap, started lining me up aiming about 45 degrees left I started making the fairway off the tee, but my game was still pants, and I didn't make a par all round.
Then we got to the 17th. Caddy said "hit it as hard as you can, straight down the middle"
"really?" I asked, very unsure about this insane advice.
He just pointed, straight down the middle.
So, I did as I was told, and hit it as I had been doing all week - massive slice, straight over the corner of the hotel, and ended up rolling up just short of the apron! Longish chip on, putt, birdie!! Caddie that gave me a look that said "I told you so - remember that in the end of round tip! (I did)

18th hole, I looked at the caddie, and he just shrugged, so I lined up to give it a wellie. Got it away nicely, but then the slice came in and the next thing we heard was massive "booooiiiiiinnnnngggggg" as it bounced off a builders lorry parked on the road off the right hand side of the fairway. The driver shot out like a bullet out of a gun, looking round to see what was happening, and pretty soon noticed my party laughing their socks off. The laughs turned to cheers as we watched where the ball landed.....it had taken a huge deflection, back on the fairway, rolling up the hill towards the green. OK, I ended up in the valley of sin, but hey, I was happy. Best chip of the week onto the green putt, second birdie!! Even the lorry driver clapped

I still came in well over a hundred, but those last 2 holes are the ones that I will remember the longest, of all the rounds I've played.

Ps - my slice never really got cured, and I too resorted to 3i or occasionally a fairway wood off the tee, and got down to a consistent 88-92. Haven't played for a few years now - arthritis in knee, lower back and right shoulder are not really conducive, but I still miss it.
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Old Aug 28th 2014, 5:57 am   #8
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Default Re: How I Cured My Slice

Interesting stuff Bahtat. My driving was always massive slice. One day I did some reading and just tightened both hands on my grip. I NEVER do a full backswing, probably about 60%, but accelerate through the ball. If I do a full one, it's going on the next fairway to the right.

Sorted it out for ages, even got up to the 260-280 range consistently. Few weeks back it ****ed off, to the point I couldn't persevere with it and was taking my hybrid off the tee. Struggled but worked out I wasn't getting my body though and rotating. When I get my body turning down the fairway and through on impact, bang straight.


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I find the hybrid irons very useful for distance ‘putts’ from off the green (and beyond the fringe generally) as well. They are a lot more controlled than chipping and there’s often less ways of making a mess of the shot i.e. no thinning it, getting right under the ball etc.
Great shout. I use mine all the time for long greens when you're just off the front for example, flag at the back. It's basically a 'chipper putter'. Which I'd never heard of until I saw someone with one in their bag. It takes some practice, but is as effective as the old bump-and-run with a 6/7/8 iron.

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Hadn't though about using a hybrid for a "long putt", will try tomorrow. Trying to get consistent with my new 60 degree lob wedge--absolutely fine at home with foam balls, but bloody lethal when playing in anger: fine when it works, disastrous when not....
60 degree is one of my favourites. You feel so brave looking down at it thinking you're about to give it a full swing....if you thin it, you know you're in whole worlds of shit, but when that ball rockets up and stops fairly dead, you feel like such a pro.

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Old Oct 3rd 2014, 9:28 am   #9
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Default Re: How I Cured My Slice

I changed to a stiffer shaft and this really helped, I also realised that trying to blast my way around the course was a wast of time( and balls ),
Some of my best rounds have been using a 4 iron of the tee, shorter drives yes but straighter with often just a 7 or 8 iron left to the green on the par 4s.
As our pro said the best way to get the ball to stop on the greens is to " clean your clubs and keep them clean ".
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Old Sep 19th 2015, 8:04 am   #10
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Default Re: How I Cured My Slice

The laws of golf:

24 LAWS of Golf — Swing by Swing Golf

Oh so true...
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Old Sep 19th 2015, 8:08 am   #11
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Default Re: How I Cured My Slice

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60 degree is one of my favourites. You feel so brave looking down at it thinking you're about to give it a full swing....if you thin it, you know you're in whole worlds of shit, but when that ball rockets up and stops fairly dead, you feel like such a pro.
And I find them so much easier to use out of sand than a sand wedge. To the extent that it's now my default club for bunkers, the other being my 3 hybrid for fairway bunkers with any distance left to the hole and if the ball's not plugged and the bunker lip's not too high and... ok, maybe not default, but I use it quite often.
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Old Sep 20th 2015, 5:48 am   #12
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Default Re: How I Cured My Slice

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And I find them so much easier to use out of sand than a sand wedge. To the extent that it's now my default club for bunkers, the other being my 3 hybrid for fairway bunkers with any distance left to the hole and if the ball's not plugged and the bunker lip's not too high and... ok, maybe not default, but I use it quite often.
I'm basically the same. 60 for a short bunker shot at edge of green. 56 for slightly away or a long way on green to flag, 21 degree hybrid for fairway bunkers - grip an inch lower and swing purely with arms, no legs. Works well.
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Old Oct 16th 2015, 10:02 am   #13
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Default Re: How I Cured My Slice

As a follow-up to my original post (curing a long-term sliceby learning to swing in-to-out (“ITO”):

Initially I developed a cure by swinging ITO, but withoutaddressing the fundamentals of my swing. I achieved an ITO swing with some fairly ugly hip and leg work—it was reasonably effective while it lasted (about6 months), but in the last 6 months I’ve been unable to replicate it consistently. So the slices have crept back in, with both my driver and 3hybrid. My location, and workload when I’m back in UK, make lessons from a pro difficult to arrange. I did see one about a year ago (who works in the localAmerican Golf in UK), and he concentrated on my grip—effectively closing the club face at address so that at impact my natural out-to-in swing path and hands ahead of the club head were neutralised: that resulted in the club face being more-or-less square at impact, but the path of the club was stillout-to-in, so still imparting unwanted left-to-right spin and wasting energy. Isaw the same guy again when I was home last, and he repeated the advice and setup a £400 driver with adjustable weights, giving good results with the simulator. But I still felt that masking a bad swing with a different grip wasn’t the wayto go. (In fairness to him he didn’t advise that I buy the driver, just gets ome lessons from him…)

So I managed to squeeze in a lesson with the pro at my local course. I was going to take just my driver and 3 hybrid, but my wife sensibly said take an iron as well. I wanted a lesson only on how to sort the drivingout. 90% of the lesson ended up being with my 7 iron, analysing my swing with both the simulator and video. My iron shots are fairly good, so I was surprised(stupidly, I guess) that I was also hitting those out-to-in. Merely because Iwasn’t turning my upper body, and just using my arms. I’d seen thatcomment/advice written a few times before, but given the number ofhigh-handicappers (like me) who naturally slice, I’ve never actually noticed that comment/advice being given a high profile. 40 minutes of getting meturning my upper body properly with a 7 iron saw an ITO swing, 10% increase in club-head speed, straighter shots and more distance. The last 10 mins of the lesson was trying to do the same with my driver, but I continually mis-hit.

I had one chance—the following day—to play in UK. I tried to put the pro’s advice into action (turn upper body and arms as one movement, slightly stronger right-hand grip, ball further forward in stance): incredible difference. I duffed two drives, but the rest were straight and long; hybridwas straighter and longer than I’ve ever hit it, and irons were at least a clublonger than before (on a par 3 which I’d previously needed an 8 iron to reach, I hit a 9 clean over the back of the green). Basically on the back of one simple piece of advice and one lesson (turn upper body and arms as one movement, rather than relying mainly on arm movement). Will play on Sunday back in the sunshine, and see if it’s stuck…

Just thought I’d share for any other slice sufferers. (Also perhaps highlights the sense of getting lessons after (or, better, before) spending thousands on clubs, membership, green fees, travel etc etc…)

PS Apologies for some of the words running together--have cured the paragraphs running together only for some of the words to do so...
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Old Oct 16th 2015, 9:21 pm   #14
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Default Re: How I Cured My Slice

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[/FONT][/COLOR][/SIZE] Just thought I’d share for any other slice sufferers. (Also perhaps highlights the sense of getting lessons after (or, better, before) spending thousands on clubs, membership, green fees, travel etc etc…)

PS Apologies for some of the words running together--have cured the paragraphs running together only for some of the words to do so...
Golf pro's are worth their weight in gold.

I'm amazed at how many people at my local pub blow money on rounds and clubs but never improve.

I alternate between course and range and have got in the habit of seeing a pro 3 times a season to make sure those fundamentals are not letting bad habits creep in.

Rebuilt my swing last season and it was painful but really reaped the rewards this year.
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Old Oct 18th 2015, 5:55 am   #15
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Default Re: How I Cured My Slice

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[SIZE=3][COLOR=#000000][FONT=Calibri]As a follow-up to my original post (curing a long-term sliceby learning to swing in-to-out (“ITO”):
Great post. I've been struggling recently. Lost a club length in every department. What used to be a perfect pitching wedge now needs a 9. Can't figure it out, have tried different things myself but recently decided that rather than spending a fortune on a round every weekend I'm going to get some lessons and hit the range. It's the only way.

Problem is similar to you though mate, timing. I'm swamped until end of the year. Thinking to just coast through, playing a bit less until January and then hit it hard with a package.

Keep up the good work though.
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