The dreaded slice. You know the shot we’re talking about; the one that starts out left of the target and curves clear across the fairway into someplace undesirable on the other side.
This shot afflicts 99% of amateur golfers. Not only is it annoying, it costs you untold distance.
The dreaded pull slice is caused by an outside to in swing path and an open clubface at impact. Correcting this swing flaw is difficult for most amateurs; it seems like the harder they try to hit the ball the other direction, the worse their slice gets.
Not all hope is lost though. The staff here at Golfer’s Authority consulted some renowned teachers for their thoughts on how golfers like you and I can stop hitting the banana ball and start swinging inside to out.
Understanding Ball Flight
Just like fixing a problem with your car, or the plumbing in your home, it’s imperative to understand the cause of your slice before you go about fixing it.
Club Path and Face Angle
Club path and face angle through impact are the two biggest factors that affect ball flight.
Club path determines starting direction. A path that moves from outside to inside is going to start the ball left of the target for a right-handed golfer. Conversely, a path that comes from the inside and moves outward produces a starting flight that’s right of the target.
Face angle is what dictates curvature after initial starting direction. An open club face (pointed to the right) produces left to right spin, and the dreaded slice. A clubface that’s closed (pointed to the left) imparts right to left spin – the coveted draw we’re all after.
Are Fades or Draws Better?
Many of the best golfers in the world prefer to see their full shots move left to right. They hit controlled fades, NOT slices. Even though this shot shape doesn’t fly as far as a draw, it’s easier to control.
For most amateurs, however, a draw is the preferred ball flight. For right-handed golfers, a shot with right to left spin fights through the wind and flies farther than a fade.
While there are no absolutes in golf, it’s accepted that draws are better for most golfers than fades and slices.
How to Swing from Inside to Out and Hit a Draw
Take Me Out to the Ball Game
One of the easiest ways to conceptually grasp the idea of swinging inside to out and hitting a draw is to think of the fairway as a baseball diamond.
Imagine yourself standing in the batter’s box and having to hit shots to right field if you’re a right-handed golfer.
By doing this simple visualization, your mind will begin to train itself to swing inside to out.
Water Bottle Drill
The water bottle drill has been around forever. Even though it’s simple, it’s tried and true.
When you’re practicing on the range, place a water bottle six to eight inches behind the golf ball and slightly to the right. The position of the water bottle represents where a club would travel on an outside to in path for a right-handed golfer.
The goal is to hit balls and miss the water bottle on the downswing. Done properly, you’ll miss the water bottle and be swinging the club from inside to out.
This drill can take some getting used to, so stay patient with your first few swings.
Don’t Forget About Your Hands
Once you’ve started swinging the club from the inside, you should start seeing the ball start slightly to the right of your target if you’re right-handed.
The next step is to get the clubface moving from an open position to one that’s starting to close through impact. This produces that reliable draw.
If you’re a right-handed golfer, you’ll want to feel like your right hand is rolling over your left through impact. Continue being aggressive with this move until you start seeing the ball move right to left.
Hitting slices isn’t any fun. Unfortunately, it’s not something most golfers can fix on their own. In fact, the more they try to compensate for their slice, the worse it usually gets.
The good news is that swinging the club from inside to out is something you can learn to do with some basic understanding and a little practice.
If you’re a chronic slicer with an outside to inside swing, give some of the drills above a try. With a little patience, I’d guess you’ll be hitting it better sooner rather than later.