Aim to Fix Your Slice

Shot 3 Impact3

Introduction

Why don’t slicers ever change?  It might be the fact that they don’t practice or take lessons.   We could also consider the problems with taking tips from every 25-handicappers they meet on the course.   In today’s lesson, however, I’m going to point to a different culprit: alignment.

This Tip Is For You If:

You can’t stop slicing

Your slices get worse during a round

Lesson Pics (21)

The Most Overlooked Fundamental

Alignment is the most overlooked fundamental in golf.  The reason is that the average player doesn’t think they have to worry about it

“How could I not be aimed at the flag?  That’s where I’m looking!”

-Guy who is not aimed at the flag

Shot 1 Aligmment Shot 1 Impact1

A Vicious Cycle

Average Golfer (A.G.) walks up to the first tee, aims down the middle of the fairway, and hits a big slice.

Shot 2 Alignment Shot 2 Impact1

On the second tee, A.G. decides he’s going to compensate for his slice: he aims his body down the left side of the fairway.  Unfortunately, no one told A.G. that he needs to aim the club face over there and commit to the target.  With his body aimed further left of his club face, the result is an even bigger slice.

Shot 3 Alignment Shot 3 Impact3

By the third tee, A.G. is steaming and thinks, “There’s no way I’m hitting this one right.”  He aims his body into the trees on the left and aims the club face somewhat left of center.  The problem now is that he’s aimed somewhere that he doesn’t really want to hit it (the left trees).  A.G. may be aimed left, but he’s looking and thinking about the fairway.  Result: the biggest slice of the day.

You can see where this is headed.  Average Golfer is stuck in a cycle of aiming further and further left, with the result being bigger and bigger slices.  He doesn’t understand why (because he didn’t read my series on Ball Flight Laws!), and his frustration will only grow as he loses more shots OB right.

Break the Cycle

If we’re going to help Average Golfer break this cycle, we need to give him two things:

1) Help with his alignment.

2) A pre-shot routine that brings his good alignment to the course

Let’s start with his alignment.

Lesson Pics (7)

Step 1: Start at “Neutral”

Take A.G. to the range and get him set up with a good Practice Station.  Have him pick out a clear target and align his body and club face to it.  Make sure he is committed to that target, and then have him hit 10 shots to it.  Take note of what those shot do: are they all slicing?  If so, how much?  It may be that with proper alignment, the slice goes away entirely!

Whatever the pattern is, that’s what A.G. needs to start playing for on the course.  If it’s a 10-yard fade, aim down the left side of the fairway.  If it’s a 30-yard slice, aim OB left (or get a lesson).

Lesson Pics (22)

Step 2: Bring That Good Alignment to the Course

Now that A.G. understands his “neutral” shot pattern, he needs to bring his good alignment to the course.  The way to do this is with a solid pre-shot routine that includes a focus on alignment.  In short, this should include starting out behind the ball and picking an intermediate target less than 12” in front of the ball.  Align the club face to that target, then set your body square to the club face.

To see this process in more detail, click HERE.

Conclusion

This lesson may not be the cure for everyone’s slice, but it should help even the worst slicer to manage his ball flight and score better.

If you have any questions or comments, please post them 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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5 Comments

  1. Cedric Theofanous

    Great article. I’ve seen this so many times with chronic slicers. It can also help slicers to have them aim their feet and shoulders right of the target in order to promote an in to out swing path. Like Hogan said “Reverse every natural instinct and do the opposite of what you are inclined to do, and you will probably come very close to having a perfect golf swing.”

  2. Thanks Matt, would a drill like this help with the pulls as well? That’s my usual miss and I’ve started aiming left to compensate, and it usually works well. I fought a fade for so long though that I’m wondering if what I think is aim left, is actually aiming straight. I’ve been looking and setting up left of the hole for so long that I’m not sure if aiming straight just feels funny, or if I’m actually set up to the right of the hole like I think I am.

    • Matt Saternus

      hckymeyer,

      I definitely think that finding your “neutral” and working on alignment is important regardless of your typical shot shape.

      I also think there’s a big problem with aiming significantly away from your real target, as I mentioned in the article. If your body aims right but your eyes/brain is aimed left, your headed for trouble.

      Best,

      Matt

  3. Whoops, should have said I’m trying to aim right of the hole now

  4. Slicing used to be my arch enemy. Now I like hitting it left. Duck hooks and more. I just wish I could stop being laid off at the top and stop coming over the top. It would be a Christmas miracle.

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