We’ve all been there–gloves on, club in hand, and a pristine fairway ahead. You’re all teed up for a great game of golf. You pull back to swing, hit the ball, and the chatter of your fellow golfers dissipates. Whoosh. The ball peels far right. What?! Again?!
This unfortunate tale is all too real for many golfers who wield a driver and attempt to make that perfect hit. Let’s talk about five practical tips that will help you never make this mistake again. Bonus: three drills you can put into practice to reinforce new habits and techniques so your progress stays with you.
Table of Contents
- Keep your head down
- Don’t open that club face
- Don’t Aim Left
- Chicken Wing
- Weight transfer
- Flex turn, push turn
- Step swing
- Basket drill
Tip #1: Keep Your Head Down
It’s one of the biggest mistakes of amateur golfers: they’re busy looking down the fairway and aren’t focused on the ball. Not only does this increase the likelihood that you’ll miss the ball, it messes up your swing. Remember, you club follows your eyes. Although you’re aiming for down the field, instead focus where and how you want your driver to make contact with the ball.
This problem occurs because when you look up, your club comes up, you drop your shoulder, sending weight to your heels which causes you to slice. Relax. You don’t have to kill the ball. Keep your head down. Stand up and keep your back straight. Watch the ball, swing, and follow through. Our Gears Golf biomechanics and motion capture system can help immensely with tracking your posture through the swing and pinning down where you might be going wrong.
Tip #2: Don’t Open That Club Face
Sounds easy, right? Close the clubface and swing. Unfortunately, many golfers don’t do themselves any favors here. In fact, there’s a chance you’re holding the club wrong to begin with. See articles on the ten-finger golf grip or the interlocking golf grip to ensure that you’re holding the club correctly. It’s always good to refresh on the fundamentals.
Generally, if you’re constantly slicing, try rotating the club a couple of centimeters. Ex. Right handed golfers rotate the club to the left, left handed golfers to the right. Don’t sabotage your swing before it even starts.
Tip #3: Don’t Aim Left with the Driver
Makes sense right? Think again. Aiming left simply reinforces bad habits–you have to bank on slicing for a good shot. Not something you want to do. Even if it’s a convenient short term hack, building off of bad habits won’t get you far in the long run.
PRO TIP: Don’t be the person that angles 45 degrees to the left. Stand straight to shoot straight.
Instead of aiming left, force yourself to aim straight. You’ll be forced to figure out why you’re slicing and eventually learn to shoot straight.
Tip #4: Treat Yourself to a Chicken Wing
Yep that’s right – gobble down a hot pile of chicken nuggets after golfing. Best way to cement golfing skill. Additionally, practice the chicken wing with your arm when you swing. If your right arm (assuming you are right handed) is coming untucked during your swing it’s likely that it could be causing you to slice.
PRO TIP: Go slow and keep that arm tucked.
Try making a chicken wing with your right arm and keep it close to your body. This limits how much your driver can pivot on the x-axis. That way your club stays nice and high and goes straight through the ball.
Tip #5: Optimize Your Weight Transfer
It’s the classic baseball player’s mistake–you load that back foot on the backswing, and, well, that’s it. Because of this you drop your shoulder, open the club face, and slice and your body weight is not powering the swing. The same applies to swinging a driver.
Practice loading the back foot on the backswing, and rolling to the front foot on the swing-follow through. At the end of your swing your back foot should feel light. Don’t be afraid to show off the bottoms of those new golf shoes and come up on your toe.
PRO TIP: Rotate, load, rotate, transfer.
3 Drills that will Help You Stop Slicing Your Driver:
1. Flex Turn, Push turn
Probably the best drill on this list. Get in your swing stance and hold a driver up against your shoulders. Rotate your shoulders as if you were beginning your backswing. This is the ‘flex turn’ part of the drill. Slowly rotate forward and transfer your weight onto your front foot. This is the ‘push turn’ part of the drill.
Try and feel the contrast between the ‘flex’ phase where your weight is on your back foot, and the ‘push’ phase where you transfer weight to the front foot. Repeat 50-100 times a session for best results. Focus on working the movement into your body.
2. Step Swing
The main cause of your slice likely stems from faulty weight transfer.
Go to the driving range and grab an iron(a 6 or a 7 should do). Start your swing. As you swing back, step your front foot forward. Swing through the ball.
This should help you properly transfer weight to the front foot. Repeat 10-20 times at the beginning of each driving range session.
3. Basket Drill
This one sounds crazy at first. Go to the range. Grab something that’s about a foot tall(a range basket should work fine). Set it about a foot from where you’re hitting the ball. Proceed like normal.
At first it’ll feel odd, but over time you’ll start focusing less on not hitting the basket and just start swinging. The basket in your peripherals will force you to hit straight. It works, we promise.
Commit to at least 20 minutes with the basket each time you hit the range.
Watching your ball fade at the tee hole after hole can be frustrating and even embarrassing at times. But dedication to fix the problem coupled with effective practice can transform your golf game: sometimes even in a matter of weeks.
At Gears, we strive to create a community of golfers who help each other skill up to play their best game. Our motion capture system is used by some of the best golfers in the world and we know a thing or two about what goes into the perfect golf swing. If you’ve ever been plagued by the fade, we’d love to hear your experience! Comment below.