6. Causes of the
Striking the ball with the
clubface open to the swing path imparts a sidespin to the golf ball
causing the slice. The following are the major faults that cause an open
- Failure to
release. The blade of the club is held back from rotating (releasing)
by the hands/arms. If the left wrist bends, it becomes almost impossible
to release (roll the arms over) properly during the swing.
- Too tight a
grip. Gripping too tightly can inhibit the release (rolling over of
the arms at impact) also. Keep the grip pressure light but firm. A too
tight grip can prevent the wrists hinging properly.
- Open clubface at
address. The opening of the clubface can just be carelessness in not
addressing the ball with the clubface square. Your setup can cause you to
open the clubface. A forward press that is a little too hard can cause the
clubface to open. Also, a stiff right arm will cause the clubface to open.
If you start your swing from an address position with the clubface open
it.s very difficult to get the clubface square again before impact.
- Playing the ball
too far back in your stance. Playing the ball too far back in your
stance can make you hood (close) the clubface reducing the loft. The
reduction of loft will make a slice more likely. The rearward position can
also make it very difficult for you to get the clubface closed before
impact. This can result in a push slice.
- Weak grip. The
position of your hands on the club at address can effect the clubface
position at impact. Quite often golfers grip the club too much to the left
(weak grip). Make sure your hands, especially your left hand, are not too
far to the left - toward the target- because the clubface can be turned
open too much during the swing. Review the grip diagrams in Step
takeaway. The takeaway should be more of a one-piece move with the
rotation of your shoulders leading your arms along a path to the inside
and up to the top of the backswing. A handsy takeaway can cause the club
to go to the outside leading to an outside-to-inside swing path.
- Overswinging and
losing the proper grip on the club. Swinging too hard can cause you to
regrip at the top of the swing. This can cause the clubface to open.
- Pulling with the
left arm. Strong pulling with the left arm can cause you to get your
body and hands in front of the ball at impact, leaving the clubface open.
Swing through with both hands working together to get that clubface square
- Starting the downswing
with the shoulders as opposed to the legs, hips, hands and arms, will most
likely have the shoulders turned too far past square at impact. If the
shoulders are turned to the left at impact the swing path is almost surely
going left also.
- A collapsing left arm
will make it unlikely you.ll get the clubface square at impact. Most
golfers are right-handed so their right arms are stronger, more
coordinated and therefore dominant. At impact the arms should form a .V,.
but a dominant right arm can push the left arm out of the way causing it
to collapse (bend).
- Flying right
elbow. The elbow can be away from the body on the backswing. Jack
Nicklaus does it. But on your downswing the right elbow must return to the
- A too narrow
stance. A narrow stance encourages a steep downswing. While this is OK
for iron shots, hitting down on the ball on a drive, will encourage an
outside-to-inside swing causing a slice.
- An incomplete
shoulder turn. Your shoulders and hips should turn enough to coil and
create tension on the backswing. If they don.t, in order to hit the ball
hard enough, you may wind up hitting too much with the hands and arms.
This arm dominated movement prevents a normal release.
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