Fix Your Takeaway, Fix Your Slice

There’s no doubt that the number one Google’d golf phrase is, “How to fix a slice.”  In this article, I’m going to give you a simple key that will get off your computer and into the fairway.

This Tip Is For You If:

You hit your shots too far right.  If your shots start right and go further right, this is definitely for you.

A Bad Start

Among players who hit their shots to the right, the most common flaw is rolling the club face open early in the swing.  This sets up a series of bad moves that all but guarantee a slice.  Let’s take a look:

Slice Fix Takeaway (2) Slice Fix Takeaway (3) Slice Fix Takeaway (4) Slice Fix Takeaway (16)

In picture #1 the club is too open.  This early rolling open motion promotes a “flat” backswing (#2).  From there, most golfers go “over the top” with a still-open club face (#3).  At impact, the club face is still open and the club path is left (#4) leading to a shot that starts right and curves further right.

A Better Way

Let’s take a look at a more optimal way to take the club back, and what that creates.

Slice Fix Takeaway (5) Slice Fix Takeaway (6) Slice Fix Takeaway (7) Slice Fix Takeaway (17)

In picture #1, the club is square, not open.  This leads to a nice, conventional position at the top of the backswing (#2).  From there, the golfer can bring the club down “on-plane” (#3) and have a square face and path at impact (#4).

Drills

Here are a few drills to practice that will help get rid of that too-open takeaway.

1) Practice Takeaways with a Club

Set up to the ball as if you were going to hit a shot, but only take the club back until the shaft is parallel to the ground.  The objective, as you see in the pictures, is to keep the face from rotating to a toe-up position.  A phrase that I have found helpful is to “Keep the club face looking at the ball longer.”

Slice Fix Takeaway (9) Slice Fix Takeaway (8)

If you have trouble determining where the club face is pointed, a lie angle tool (available at most golf stores) can help to clarify things.  Try to keep the lie angle tool from pointing directly at the person in front of you.

Slice Fix Takeaway (11) Slice Fix Takeaway (10)

2) Practice Takeaways with Right or Left Hand Only

Often, practicing without a club is a good way to train a new movement.  You can practice doing takeaways with your right hand, left hand, or both hands together.  The key is to keep the logo on your glove (left hand) or your palm (right hand) facing slightly towards the ground when it gets to hip height.

Slice Fix Takeaway (13) Slice Fix Takeaway (12) Slice Fix Takeaway (14) Slice Fix Takeaway (15)

I hope this tip helps you to keep the ball in the fairway.  Please feel free to comment or ask questions below.

 

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Matt Saternus

Co-Founder, Editor In Chief at PluggedInGolf.com
Matt is a golf instructor, club fitter, and writer living in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Matt's work has been published in Mulligan Magazine, Chicagoland Golf, South Florida Golf, and other golf media outlets. He's also been a featured speaker in the Online Golf Summit and is a member of Ultimate Golf Advantage's Faculty of Experts.

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11 Comments

  1. I’ll be concentrating on this next time out!

  2. One of the best described golf tips I have seen.

  3. Great Instruction…….

    Can we get one for Hooks too ? I am a 4.5 handicap and fight the “left side” at times…..

    • Matt Saternus

      Absolutely! I’ll get started writing one up ASAP. It may take a little while to get the pictures and post it, but it’s on its way.

      Quick question: where do your “lefts” start? Right, straight, or left?

      Best,

      Matt

  4. Great drill, would recomand it only for irons or for all shots from driving to chipping/pitching?

    • Matt Saternus

      Thank you.
      I like this drill for any full swings – driver through wedges. For chipping and pitching, I don’t find that many people have a problem with an open club face, but if you have that problem, this drill can help.

      Best,

      Matt

  5. Looking for validation of what I tried today in my takeaway and found it here. Well explained. My problem though is that from the top my flat backswing results in a very in to out downswing with lots of pushes out to the right and I feel this is a more common symptom of a rolling takeaway rather than slicing. When playing well I draw the ball back with a rolling hand action. Many golfers are so aware that the over the top death move at the start of the downswing is a no-no that they, like me, end up being pushers / shankers / hit fatters and are not slicers despite having this rolling flat takeaway. I shot 73 today using this tip. Club face feels bit closed first foot or two but is really on plane. Logically, Leadbetter and many others must be wrong when they want us to have the toe up when the club’s parallel to the ground on the backswing. You could only be on plane and toe up at that stage of the swing if you stood up and held the club right out in front of you so the shaft was parallel to the ground and then turned till the club was to your trailing side. Since we start with a bit of spine lean the toe must actually appear slightly hooded.

  6. Hassan Firzok

    Can you fix the images on this page, thanks.

  7. The one hand pull back technique has been very helpful, specifically using my right hand (right handed) my iron striking became much more consistent.

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