One of the critical moments in any golf swing is the transition from backswing to downswing. A lot of instruction in this phase of the swing is geared toward what the lower body is doing, which is important but doesn't always fix a slice. To straighten out a slice, focus on getting your left arm moving in the proper direction as you start down.
By doing this, your club will strike the ball with the path and face angle that produces solid contact and eliminates the slice. Here are a couple of things you can work on to improve your transition, with LPGA Tour rookie Therese Koelbaek demonstrating.
When a slicer starts the downswing, the left arm moves excessively outward and away from the torso. This mistake sends the club into the ball in an open position relative to the swing path. Avoid this problem by minimizing the outward movement of the left arm as you change direction. To learn this motion, grab a club and practice swinging to the top at slow speed and starting down with your left arm still angled inside the target line (above). A good feel is that your left arm is maintaining a strong connection to your torso as you change direction.
To understand what it feels like to get your left arm into an anti-slice position, check out the drill Therese is demonstrating here. Start with your left arm relatively straight, and hold the wrist with your right hand (below). Make your backswing motion and mimic the first part of the downswing, sensing your left arm applying pressure to your torso at the change of direction. Groove this feeling of your left arm staying to the inside, and say goodbye to the dreaded slice.
Bernie Najar, who is based at Caves Valley Golf Club near Baltimore, is Golf Digest's No. 1-ranked teacher in Maryland.