Slicers: Try to Hook It
Photo by Dom Furore
Maybe you only sometimes hit that big slider to the right off the tee, or maybe you fear it every time you step up. Whatever the case, a slice happens when the clubface is open to the path of the swing at impact.
The move that typically leaves the face open is the back shoulder lurching toward the ball at the start of the downswing—a common problem when golfers swing hard. When the shoulder moves out, it pushes the club onto an out-to-in path, and the clubface will usually be open to that path when it reaches the ball. Fore right!
To break this ugly chain, I'm going to give you some hook-producing moves, which will quickly correct a slice.
First, close your feet, hips and shoulders to the target at address.
Second, swing the club back slightly to the inside as you turn your shoulders to the top.
Third, start the downswing by shifting your lower body toward the target, taking care to keep your right shoulder—for righties—back and in (above).
Finally, swing your arms and the club out and through the ball, letting your left elbow fold down and the upper part of your left arm stay close to your side. Your right arm will release over your left, squaring the face. It's the quickest way to fix a slice.
“Coming down, keep your right shoulder back and in.”
USE THE SPLIT-HANDS DRILL TO LEARN TO RELEASE
There are a lot of things slicers can do on the range to feel what it's like to square the clubface. My favorite is the split-hands drill. Set up normally with a driver, but separate your hands a few inches on the club. This grip will make your right arm feel long, which will help the left elbow fold against your side as you swing through (below). That folding action causes the right arm to rotate over the left through impact, which squares the face. At first, make slow practice swings to feel the right arm release. Then, hit balls with a three-quarter swing. I bet you'll see the ball start turning right to left.
Butch Harmon is a Golf Digest Teaching Professional.