Q: Why do I keep slicing my driver?
The position of the clubface at impact is what decides the starting position of your ball. Countless sessions of Trackman analysis have shown that it is clubface position and not the path of the club that determines the direction of initial ball flight. With this in mind, the first step you want to take towards curing your slice is making sure you are squaring up the face of your club at impact so that the ball starts on a line directly at, or even just left of the target.
This mistake is very common on tee shots as it can be harder to tell when the face of your driver is square or open. Driver heads with a little line that sits perpendicular to the target are the easiest to square up, but a good way to get your clubface pointing towards the target is to try and get the top line of the crown of the driver ‘square’. This may often feel as though the face is too closed but if you just trust your swing you will immediately get a ball that starts on line.
Slicers have a tendency to aim left in anticipation of the big ballooning left-to-right curve that is about to follow. Unfortunately, this tends to reinforce the type of swing plane that contributed to the slice in the first place. ‘Trying to hit the ball left’ will cause you to take the club back inside of the target line on the backswing and then across the target line on the downswing and a clubface that is moving left through impact. Instead of compensating for the slice, this swing ends up imparting more spin onto the ball and starts making your game dependent on the slice shape.
Rectifying this takes a lot of guts and trust in your swing. Essentially you have to set up aimed directly down the middle of the fairway and make a swing that results in the clubface moving right through impact. The reason this is hard is because at set-up, you feel as though you are aiming too far right and that swinging right through the ball will only make things worse. In reality, when the path of the club moves more to the right than the direction of the clubface, draw spin will be imparted and your ball will fly pretty straight, maybe even with a bit of right-to-left movement.
Quick fixes for slices caused by incorrect set-up are numerous and easy to bring into play. As previously mentioned, squaring up the clubface can prevent a slice caused by you blocking the ball right. Another quick and easy tip is to strengthen your grip slightly. What this means is that you should rotate your right hand (if you are right-handed) slightly clockwise around the grip of the club so that you can see the tip of your right index finger. This frees up your wrists and allows them, together with your arms, to release and roll over during impact, greatly improving your chances of a square clubface.
The best way to get your club moving right through the ball is to picture a clock face on the ground with your ball in the centre, so that 12 o’clock is lined up with the target. At set up, line your club up with 12 o’clock and take a few practice swings with the club moving through 1 o’clock. Get used to the feel of this new swing plane, and then step up to the ball and try to repeat the exact same 12-1 o’clock combo. It might take a while to get used to, but it should get your ball moving with neutral or even right to left spin.