Why You Slice
By Bob Dougherty
I recently went down to Columbia, South Carolina to play with a friend of mine, Robin All. I had two reasons for going; one was to play with Robin and the other was to get some advice on my own golf swing. I had been getting over the top and pulling the ball with my short irons and fading my longer clubs. As a senior, I don’t need to fade, slice, or play a weaker shot. I need to draw the ball and make a stronger move and move the ball right to left with a draw, not a fade or slice. Robin and I played the Country Club of South Carolina on Sunday and he watched me come over the top and snap hook a couple of tee shots into the trees. If had an open face, I would have hit a big slice. But one thing I can do well is release my hands and forearms to square up the clubface. However, with an outside in club path to the ball I’m going to pull it left. If I had the open face, I would hit a slice. This is the case with hundreds of people I see every year. They usually aim left and swing further left of the target with an open clubface or aim right and swing left pulling the short irons and slicing the longer clubs.
Our second day out, Robin had me aim my feet left of the target and swing to the right. In no time at all I was drawing the ball right to left. This was an exaggeration, but that is where you have to go to correct a bad habit.
Let’s face it. You slice because you swing from the outside in — instead of inside out with a square or slightly closed club face. You hit weak shots with no power. I can get people to draw the ball in five to ten minutes just by changing swing path and learning to release their hands and forearms. “I’ve never hooked the ball” a guy said to me the other day as he smiled at me. This guy was 73 years old and hitting weak shots from left to right. A senior doesn’t need a slice, they need a draw. If they hit the ball 290 yards and were hitting it off the planet, I would probable teach them to fade the ball from left to right. Well, most of us don’t hit it that far, so learn to draw the ball for extra distance.
It has been my experience, playing and teaching, that all good or great players learned to draw the ball before they played a fade.