Stopping the SLICE
By T.J. TOMASI
Three degrees open at impact doesn’t sound like much, but at 90 mph, you might as well reach for your sand wedge because that ball is either in the greenside bunker or in the fairway rough, depending on what club you just cuffed it with.
When you leave the face open, the biggest curve put on the ball
is with the driver.
The rule is the more loft, the less sidespin, so your short irons don’t curve as much because they have more loft, while your driver curves the most. Golfers often are puzzled why they pull their irons and slice the driver. It’s
the same swing fault: coming over the top, plus or minus side spin due to loft.
But there is another reason that your driver curves more than your irons — one you seldom hear about: The faster your arms move, the harder it is to rotate them. It’s tough to perform two motions at the same time with the same body part, especially at 80 to 100 mph in half a second.
Even Tiger Woods is wild with his driver when he swings his arms so fast he can’t square the face. When he swings smoothly, he’s golden.
The two positions in the photos here are almost identical except for the clubface. Note how the logo on my golf glove points more skyward in the first photo. The resulting open face spins my ball from left to right.
With a wee bit more rotation, the face squares in the second photo, applying more backspin and reducing sidespin and producing less curve.
There are a couple
of ways to do this:
1. Slow your arm speed.
2. Begin the rotation of your forearms sooner.
This game is so counterintuitive. You would think that to square an open clubface you must swing your arms faster, but that, of course, is just the opposite of what you should do, which is why a slicer without knowledgeable intervention will continue to slice for the rest of his/her golf life.