Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Correcting a golf slice

I've only recently started playing golf, and am still learning the very hard lessons on how to play.
I recently purchased a Ben Hogan CS 3 Driver (IMO the best value for money driver on the market - if you can find one).
When I first started playing, I couldn't hit a Driver at all, resorting to the trusty 5-iron, which would go a reliable 180 meters off the tee. I eventually progressed to my Spalding 3-Wood, and then the Spalding Driver.
Convinced I could now hit the "big dog", I purchased the Ben Hogan with a draw tendency.
Wow - 230 - 250 meters with a slight draw - excellent!
...but I soon ran into problems, which are described here:

Problem #1: Massive hook, with very little distance gained.
Solution: Turned out that my back-swing was way too short, and inside the "swing-plane", resulting in my hands turning over the ball ala tennis top spin. I adjusted my back-swing to pull further back until I could see the club in the peripheral vision of my left eye (which usually meant that the club was horizontal to the ground)
Yeah! Perfect Drives for the next 5 weeks.

Problem #2: Massive slice, traveling about 40 meters right, and 250 distance (which usually meant I was in irrecoverable hazards, or the neighboring fairway.)
Solution: Turns out there's a very fine line in my swing between slice, produced by and outside-in swing, which was further enhanced by my stance being a little too upright and a perfect drive with slight draw. I found that if I stood a little further away from the ball (leaning forward with straight posture), and tried to swing around the body (as apposed to the normal iron swing), then the old Drive was back. But as I mentioned, it's quite a fine line, so I found that some balls were still producing the banana flight pattern.
At least now I know that if I want to slice around a dogleg right, all I need do is stand more upright, and produced a more vertical swing plane (this strategy contributed to a birdie yesterday :) - which for a high handicapper is quite an achievement!)

Edit: When all else fails, you can hack the slice by closing the club face

Edit: I've also found that the following has helped:
- teeing the ball just inside the leading foot, and so the bottom of the ball is sitting just below the top of the club.
- Make a straight line with the leading arm and club shaft at address.
- Bend your spine 30 degrees away from the ball, so as to get underneath the ball at impact
- Swing 80% of power, accelerating from the top of the swing (ie: start slow). If you try and hit the cr@p out of it, it'll more than likely go wayward.
- Make a deliberate slow back swing (good for maintain balance)
- Concentrate eye contact on the ball at impact.
- Make sure your elbows are pointing away from each other at address(leading elbow toward the target)
- At the start of the backswing, keep the club low and away from the body.

No comments: