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What is a Slice

Published
07/05/2020
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Playing Better Golf

What is a Slice and Do I Have One?

Do you wonder in frustration why your ball path curves to the right? It may go straight in the beginning or maybe it actually starts out going right. Well you’re not alone. One of the most common issues golfers face is slicing the ball. Slicing is when the ball curves in a left-to-right motion across the sky. The reason for this type of trajectory is that the ball is actually spinning in a clockwise direction.

Imagine the ball being held on an axis and only able to spin left (counter-clockwise) or right (clockwise). If you strike the ball dead center on the clubface, the face is square to the target, and your swing path is perpendicular to the target, then you’ll actually produce little side spin if any. But with small deviations on any one of those points you’ll find the ball to spin away from the target. An outside to inside swing path means you start with the club head away from your body but finish with it closer to your body. This type of swing path is what produces the bothersome slice.

The Root of Slicing

The swing path is the main contributor of the slice. But if you look closer, it’s caused by the tangential force applied to the ball producing the clockwise spin. If you have a slice that starts out going right, then the club face may also be open (instead of square) at impact. This creates a launch angle pointing right from the very beginning.

Changing your swing path to be more perpendicular to the target plane is one way to reduce slicing. But due to physical limitations this can sometimes be difficult for many players, especially seniors and beginners.

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