When I first started playing golf, I was the master at hitting a horrible golf slice. In fact, if there was even the slightest head wind blowing at me, I swear that the ball would be coming directly back at me and sometimes I felt like I needed to duck, the ball would slice so badly.
I hit several shots that sliced at least 40 or 50 yards and it wasn't until I understood how to properly fix a golf slice, that I was able to rid myself of this problem. More importantly, it taught me the correct way to fix a golf slice in my students swings. Golfers often struggle with correcting their slice because so often they're given the wrong information to either just aim more left or just really strengthen your grip.
Those are band-aid type fixes that so many golf instructors use because they don't understand how to fix the true problem. The underlying cause of the golf slice, and really when it comes to fixing a slice.
There's only three things that you need to understand and to address to develop a proper golf swing, and aim and grip are not two of those things. Now, of course they're important, but we don't wanna mask problems by just putting a band-aid fix on something.
Instead of just slapping a bandaid on it, how do we fix your slice?
Plane, Path and Release
Well, the three things that you need to fix are: swing plane, path, and the release. If those three things are good, you're not going to slice. Let's first look at each one of these individually and understand how they all work together so that you could finally fix your golf slice once and for all.
So, plane and path are really tied directly to each other. Most golfers who slice, of course, swing over the top. Now, when you understand what's causing that, that is truly the epiphany, the light bulb that's gonna go off in your head because really there's only one common way that most people are gonna swing over the top, and that's dominating the golf swing too soon with the right arm or right side of their body. That is what changes the pitch and attitude of the shaft, which is just a fancy way of saying it steepens the swing plane.
When you take your right arm from the top of your swing, and you start trying to throw the club hard from the top, like so many golfers do. All that does is steepen the shaft angle. Your right arm is fully loaded up, your right pec is stretched, your right delt, your tricep, all of these muscles are in a position where they wanna fire from the top.
Especially, if you've really been overly aggressive loading them up during the back swing. When that happens they wanna unload, and so what that does, is steepens the shaft. So I want you to do this right now, while you're listening to this podcast.
If you want to fix your golf slice for good, watch this RotarySwing University video:
Jump up, grab a club, and go to the top of your back swing and see how easy it is to twist the shaft and make it much steeper, and then add a little bit of right shoulder rotation. Pushing from the right side to try and forcefully move the club down, and all of a sudden, not only do you have a steep golf swing plane, but you've got the perfect formula to cast the club as well. Because if you're losing lag in your swing, the first thing that I always check with my students is, are they over using their right side? And 99% of the time that is the case.
If you take your right arm off the club for a second, and just make practice swings with your left arm only. Again, go to the top of your swing, try to steepen that shaft, with the rotation of your left arm, and you'll find it massively more difficult to make the club become steep. Then of course if you're pulling with the left arm, it actually does the opposite. It actually causes the golf club to shallow out doing the exact opposite of what you're doing in your swing if you're coming over the top.
There's your 'Aha', moment in your golf swing. If you're swinging steep and over the top, I almost guarantee you, almost 100% of the time, it's because you're way too dominant with your right side. Take the left side and arm and give the left side of your body control of the golf club and I guarantee you, that golf club is going to shallow out.
How Weight Shift Shallows Out Your Swing Plane
But, we also need to add one more thing to it. That is weight shift. When you combine the left side of your body and the left arm, with shifting your weight, all of a sudden that golf club is forced to shallow out. Now, there's a catch here, because so many golfers, when they shift their weight, instead of using their hips to shift their weight to the left. They use that right side push of the upper body.
That's what causes your head to move in front of the ball at impact. Of course that's devastating, not only do you lose a ton of power, but again you're gonna cast the golf club, and you're gonna lose lag, you're gonna lose power, you're gonna lose control. Of course, you're always gonna slice it because the golf club can't release in time when you're out in front of it.
When you're shifting your weight, focus on using the left side of your body to pull your hips over to the left to get your left hip a neutral joint alignment. Then, keep your head where it was at the top of your back swing to allow it to move back to the back of the ball. You don't want it to ever move out in front. If you do that, what you're gonna do is shift your hips further to the left than they were at address of course, and that creates what we call a secondary axis tilt.
Secondary axis tilt, shallows out your swing plane. It's a shallowing move in your swing, if your spine leans further away from the target, at the top ... excuse me, at impact. Of course, the club is going to shallow out and that's also going to address the path issue. Again, plane and path are directly correlated to each other.
Take the right side out of it, shift your weight to the left, it's going to be impossible for you to swing over the top. So now, plane and path are addressed, all we need to do next is fix the release.
The Golf Swing Release
Most golfers have the complete wrong perception of how to release the golf club, and they do it with their body instead of their arms. Now, there's a reason for this and that is because it's been taught that it's more consistent to keep your arms glued to your body and rotate your chest through the hitting area, but, nobody on the PGA Tour does that.
Even Zach Johnson, whose what I would definitely consider more of a body swinger coming through. If you look at his golf swing in slow motion, watch how much his forearms crossover and release the toe of that club through the hitting area and into the release. The club must be rotating throughout the entire golf swing, you never ever try and hold the golf club square to the hitting area, and you don't wanna rotate your rib cage and chest through because it puts a tremendous amount of stress on your spine.
On this blog post, I'm gonna post a video up of one of our neurosurgeons, Dr. Mitch Supler, talking about the stress that putting that type of rotation or if you followed stack and tilt. The stress that it puts on your lumbar, and even he experienced it as a world class neurosurgeon and a very serious golfer. Single digit handicap, been playing his whole life. He really struggled with back pain, until he switched to RotarySwing, and starting learning how to release the golf club properly.
Renowned Neuro-Surgeon Discusses RotarySwing and Stack and Tilt
You want the two forearm bones in your left arm and the two forearm bones in your right arm to turn over. This takes no stress on your body whatsoever. Your forearms are designed to do exactly this, however, what most golfers try to do is turn their rib cage through as hard as they can and what happens is you're putting a tremendous amount of sheer force on your spine, that's completely unnecessary.
Your spine is under severe stress and load during the downswing and we wanna really make sure our body is in stable position. We get our joints aligned and stacked in as neutral a position as we can, and then just let the two forearm bones naturally release. Allowing the toe of the club to release will help ensure you'll never slice again.
You've addressed your path, you've addressed your plane, you've addressed secondary axis tilt, weight shift, and the release. If you fix these three things: plane, path, and release, you're never going to slice again, but what you don't want to do is keep chasing these band-aid fixes of aim more left, strengthen your grip, try and flip it over, whatever.
When you're releasing the club, you're not trying to flip it over, the club naturally wants to release over in that fashion. You're just getting out of the way and letting it happen. So, the good thing is, as you start working on these three things to fix your slice.
All of a sudden, not only are you gonna have less stress on your body, what you're gonna have is less effort put into your golf swing. Your body is gonna feel better because your forearms are designed to do this movement. You don't wanna rotate all your internal organs and your spine as aggressively as you can through the hitting area. That's a recipe for disaster.
Fix these 3 things and you're never gonna slice again.