Reasons For Slicing The Golf Ball

A slice of the golf ball might be the single most frustrating thing in the sport. Even a good start might end up with a depressing curve, eliminating all the power and distance expected from a shot. A slice is majorly an outcome of a mishit and is largely common among recreational golfers. It is often referred to as the “banana ball” by golfers. For right-handed golfers, a sliced shot curves to the right of the target and for left-handed golfers, the vice versa is true. Thus, it can start on the left of the target and bend to the right or it can start on the target and still swerve dramatically right at the end.  Despite the resemblance in their shapes,a slice has a more serious curve as compared to a fade shot. Thankfully, an unwanted slice of the golf ball can be fixed and you will soon start to play golf better.

Reasons That Might Cause A Golf Ball To Slice

We will look into three major causes for a slice of the golf ball. We will also try to explain these in detail which might make corrections easier.

1. Open Face Of The Club

Most ball slice cases originate from the use of an open clubface. Open clubface presents a feel of a sideswipe on the golf ball, rather than a square one. Even with a straight swing path, an open clubface on the ball will take it on a curved path during its flight.

However, clubface presentation is completely dependent on the grip and hand position of a golfer. As a result, minor adjustment by turning one of the hands away from the target might rectify grip for a better clubface. For instance, right-handed golfers will need to rotate their hands to the right. Such adjustments might not be easy work though, but with enough practice, you will soon golf like a pro.

Aiming Too Much On The Left

Aiming left is another common cause of golf ball slices. A swing path that aims more left will cause the ball to slice even more to the right. Combine this with an open clubface and you might be looking into an “out-of-control” slice of the golf ball. Consequently, frustrated golfers might try making adjustments by aiming further left which eventually makes the situation worse. Technically, every degree aimed to the left will cause an additional 4% deviation towards the right for a sliced golf ball. But aiming perfectly straight for the target can eliminate such mistakes. It can still lead to a fade depending on the distance, which is still better than a slice.

Gear Effect

Hitting a golf ball off-center changes the flight direction towards the target. This gear effect is the least when a club’s center of gravity is closest to the point of impact on the ball. Moreover, bigger-headed clubs exhibit a larger gear effect over irons. When a club strikes a golf ball with the heel or toe, it will change the pointing direction. This imparts an unwanted spinning effect on the ball towards the center of gravity. A ball will curve more towards the right than anticipated when it is struck with the heel side of a club. Similarly, an impact against the toe of a club will make a ball slice towards the left.

Improvement Techniques

The dreaded slice can be eliminated through some simple corrections. Here, we take a look at some of these techniques:

  • Analyze to find out which particular combination of impact variables you want to improve upon
  • Put in a drill or technique to achieve the improvements. This does not mean random changes to your swing and likes that might be irrelevant
  • Devote as much time possible towards practicing the new techniques for speeding up the improvements

Additional setup corrections that might be equally helpful are:

  • Ensure that your grip on the club is such that it does not present an open face to the ball. This guarantees a square clubface on impact for excellent ball trajectory. When the club reaches parallel to the ground, make sure the toe is pointing straight up to avoid an open face.
  • Ensure a firm grip on the club, but not too strong or too weak. And always remember that a neutral grip on the club is absolutely crucial.
  • A closed stance is always better than an open stance for golfers. This means your shoulders, hips, and feet must be aligned to the left of the target line before a shot. 

Slicing Intentionally

There are instances when slicing the golf ball intentionally might help. You might need to curve a ball around obstructions to reach the greens, which are otherwise blocked on the straighter path. Thus, slicing golf balls is not bad all the time. Done right when needed can make a sliced shot go in your favor on the golf course. There are several ways to slice with intent, depending on the size of the curvature:

  • Open the clubface on impact for the desired curve
  •  Stand with an open stance before a hit, align your body to the left of the target line, and swing normally
  • Let your grip a little loose on the club. For right-handers, this means turning your hands to the left on the club handle

Instruction videos from expert golfers on correcting a slice are available online. These can be beneficial depending on your intent. Apart from this, learning the draw shot can substantially reduce your slice as well. It is a technique that is completely the opposite of a slice. But the main point is to fix the root cause to solve slicing problems for good. This invariably means rectifying setup issues, clubface positions, and your swing path. Sometimes, a change of equipment might also support your cause for corrections too. Anti slice adjustments might feel uncomfortable when you start. But make peace with these and stay certain that the payoff, in the long run, might be more power and distance on the golf course for you. For further information on golfing, please visit us at

TimberStone Golf Course

22500 Aura Vista Way Caldwell Idaho 83607

(208) 639-6900

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