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Help With a Bad Slice
Dear Doctor Golf,

I am having trouble with a tremendous slice. The ball seems to start out right and just keeps on going. I've tried everything, even aiming way left and trying to use the slice to my advantage. Do you have any suggestions, because I am constantly losing distance and it is affecting the rest of my game.

Dear Reader,

You are experiencing something that is common to many golfers, however, there are a number of reasons why this is happening.

The first thing I will let you know is that by trying to compensate and aim further left, you are only adding fuel to the fire. There are some physical changes in your alignment and body position that will help you to straighten out your slice.

You should first understand that the golf swing is a circular movement around your spine. If your alignment is correct, but your circular swing is not complimenting your alignment (i.e.: swinging too far from in to out or, by swinging too far from out to in), you will find that the severe slice will be more apparent.

The main thing for you to concentrate on is trying to align your feet parallel to your target line and attempting to swing the club in a circular fashion, just like a baseball swing. If there is too much tension in your arms and you feel that you have to guide the golf club, then you are actually working against yourself. Start out with small chip shots, making sure your alignment is good (use a club lain down at your feet to help), and your arms are comfortably swinging without any emphasis on guiding the club. By starting out with small chips shots of 20 yards or less, your swing will begin to develop and your timing will also improve.

This is extremely important because the angle of the club face when it hits the ball must be square and lined up to the target. Always try to go back to this routine and the basics of the set up and swing when your bad shots arise. If you are constantly changing something after each shot, you will never be consistent. If you hit 10 bad shots in a row you have good reason for changing your swing.

If this does not happen, you cannot correctly evaluate what you are doing wrong. If you never relax and let it go, your true swing and maximum potential will never develop. It is better not to try and control the swinging motion of the club, just let it develop naturally.


"Golf is like a love affair. If you don't take it seriously, it's no fun; if you do take it seriously, it breaks your heart." -- actor Arnold Daly.

Good luck in golf and life, and remember...

To have achieved your goals may be satisfying, but to have done it while having fun really makes it worthwhile.

 ©1999 Craig Hocknull
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