OK, I know what you are thinking: “not another article on how to fix the slice!”
Well, yes it is an article on how to fix the slice, however, we are focusing on the slice today because it is more likely to occur as you get a little older. Especially if you are a golfer over the age of 50! Why?
Because generally when a golf passes the age of 50, the backswing gets shorter and there is less separation between the shoulder turn and the hip turn. Let me explain.
Over The Top
One of the primary causes of a slice is the “over the top” golf swing. That is, at the top of the backswing, the golfer begins his/her downswing starting with the shoulders and arms first. Before the lower body begins to turn.
When this happens, the golfer has not choice but to come “over the top” and swing from outside the path to inside the path creating a slice. This is very common in all age groups.
Check out this video Correct Your Golf Slice NOW and Start Hitting Longer Golf Drives on my merchant youtube account.
The Transitional Move
It is crucial that the golfer begin the downswing with the “transitional move.” The transitional move occurs at the top of the backswing and is the initial hip turn and/or left knee slide towards the target.
When this occurs, the upper body is more likely to drop into “the slot” which leads to the correct swing path which creates a straight golf shot or draw.
“Over the Top” is likely to occur in golfers past the age of 50 because the loss of flexibility makes it difficult for the lower body to make the transitional move. Golfers who lose flexibility have no choice but to move the lower body and upper body together.
As a result, golfers over 50 are much more likely to come “over the top” and slice the ball. If you want to continue playing well and driving the golf ball far enough to be in play, you have to get rid of this move and slicing the golf ball.
The first thing you must do is to master the transitional move:
The golfer in this video has had multiple back fusion surgeries and is physically unable to rotate the spine as much as he used to. Therefore, for his transitional move he is initiating the downswing with the left knee slide. You can do that too.
If you are unable to rotate your hips, without moving the shoulders, you need start working on your flexibility right away! Otherwise, your golf game is going to begin a rapid decline.
Les Miller from www.golfinstruction.com has also listed some helpful hints:
1. “When addressing the ball, start by placing it in the heel area of the clubhead, as this will help to promote an inside-out swing path.”
This is an interesting piece of advice because I setup this way when I want to hit a cut shot. But I’m not typically a slicer and it makes sense that the slicer would be more inclined to come around from the inside to hit the ball. Give it a shot and let me know what you think.
2. Backswing: “Start the club back by turning the left shoulder away from the target feeling as though your left shoulder is behind the ball at the top of your backswing. To help you make a full-shoulder turn, slide the left knee back to the center of your stance, and let your left heel come off the ground as you turn away from the target.”
I really like this tip because moving your knee to the middle with a weight transfer makes it more likely that you will begin your downswing correctly by starting that knee back to the left.
3. Downswing: “Start the downswing by stepping down on your left heel and letting your left hip move slightly toward the target. As your lower body starts to move, pull your hands down….”
Notice that you want your lower body to move before you pull your hands down.
4. Impact: “At this point, the hands and arms should pass your body, your right hand should be turning over your left hand (releasing the club), and the force of your swing should pull you off your right foot so your weight will be moving toward the target.”
More great advice! You want your right hand turning over your left. Many golfers instead hinge the left wrist, but the left wrist should remain flat. We covered this detail in more depth with this article,Master the Impact Position
5. Follow Through: “As you release the club through impact, let your arms straighten out toward the target. From here, let the momentum of your swing continue until your hands finish up high.”
Many golfers that slice, pull their arms to the left of the target at follow through. In some cases, they even allow the elbow to bend at impact, AKA chicken wing. However, as Les points out, you want your arms fully extended as long as you can. Focusing on this, will help you stay on the correct swing plane in the first place.
I hope this helps!!
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QUESTION: Have you tried any of these techniques in the past? Please share what methods have been the most useful for you to eliminate your slice.
Thanks for Reading!
Dr Ryan York, DPT CGS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Certified Golf Performance Specialist
Thank you to Les Miller www.golfinstruction.com