A player steps up to the first tee box at the golf course and hits his drive a slice. The ball starts to the left of the target then slices to the right. On his second shot, he hits an 8-iron if it flies straight to the left of the green. Initially he's confused. He put the same swing on the ball, but with the driver it sliced and with the 8, it went straight to the left. After playing a few holes, he tries to correct his slice by aiming more and more to the left. Although the ball starts farther to the left, the slice is more pronounced. Disenchanting, isn't it?
Most golfers who have been playing for any length of time know that the slice is manifested while playing with a driver than with the shorter irons.
In order for the ball to slice, it must be spinning sideways (clockwise). Only the straightfaced (stronger-lofted) clubs strike the ball in an area where it is possible to create such sidespin. The higher-lofted clubs, such as the short irons, have a lower center of gravity and make contact at the bottom of the golf ball. Remember that it's difficult to impart sidespin because these clubs have so much loft that backspin is the predominant spin quality, not side-spin.
A slice is a shot that starts to the left of the target. The mechanical causes include the following. The clubface is open or pointing right of the swing path. The direction of the swing or path is across the target line, from out to in. The club's approach is a steep, downward angle. These three factors interact so the ball starts left of target. The swing path is in the same direction, but the clubface is open to the path, which means that the club approaches the ball with a pronounced cutting action. This imparts left to right sidespin on the ball. At the same time, the steep angle of approach prevents the clubface from making solid contact with the back of the ball. The combined effect of these factors minimizes the forward thrust and allows sidespin to quickly take over and bends the ball to the right. The ball starts to the left but when the forward flight of the ball starts to slow down in speed, the sidespin asserts itself, and the ball curves fiercely to the right.
A pull is a shot that flies to the left of target. Golfers who don't understand the basic mechanics of the golf swing confuse this with a hook, in which the ball always finishes left of the target. Hookers rarely pull the ball. The pull derives from the same type of swing that produces slices.
A) The swing path is across the target line from outside to in.
B) The clubface is square to the swing path but closed to the target line facing to the left.
|The swing path and clubface interact at impact as follows:
The ball starts to the left of target because the golfer's swing path was in the same direction as in the slice. Because the clubface is square to the swing path, facing in the same direction, no sidespin is imparted. Hence, the ball continues to fly directly to the left.
We must first fix the grip. Every good swing starts with a good grip. Before we setup to the ball, our hands must properly be placed on the club to instigate a good swing.
Many amateurs have grips that are too weak, with the club handle too far up in the palm of the hands instead of under the heel pad, and the right hand too much on top of the shaft. Usually their grips are too tight, inhibiting release. The Cure? Turn both hands more to the right, making sure the handle is under the heel pad of the left hand (insert), and the right hand's is slightly under the shaft rather than on top. Lighten the grip until there is little tension.
|1. WHILE CHECKING THAT the clubface is square to the target, set the grip handle against the base of the heel pad. Your thumb should be slightly to the left of center.
The back of your left hand should be aimed between the target and the sky. You should see three knuckles on the back of your left hand along with the glove logo. The club should feel secure in the fingers with the grip pressure being in the last three fingers of your left hand.
|2. BRING THE RIGHT HAND to the handshake position. The right palm should be parallel to the leading edge of the clubface. Your left thumb should fit comfortably between your right thumb and heel pad, while your right thumb should be parallel to the leading edge of the clubface. There are varying degrees of the left-hand position in reference to the knuckles. Most professionals today use a slightly stronger grip, but all good players possess the same right-hand grip. Check to see that your right palm always faces the target. Never change your right-hand grip. When you close your right hand, your left thumb should fit into the valley created by the lifeline that runs along the inside of your right palm. The grip handle should run diagonally across the base of the fingers of your right hand.
3. IF YOU RIGHT HAND is too far under the club, your grip is too strong, and the face may be closed at impact.
4. IF YOUR RIGHT HAND is too much on top, your grip is too strong, and the face may be closed at impact.
|5. HOLD THE CLUB in the right index finger as though you are gently pulling a trigger. Place the right thumb across the grip so only the inside edge rests against the grip handle. With the right thumb and index finger on either side of the grip handle, your grip pressure will be on the forefinger and ring finger.
6. REMEMBER THAT YOU must avoid excessive grip pressure with the pincer finger.
|7. ALWAYS REMEMBER that a weak grip, in which the palm of your left hand is too far underneath the grip, is the most common reason for a slice. In the address position, your completed grip should reveal the logo on the left glove, with both V's pointing up to your right arm and toward the shoulder.|
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