Miss the basket to stop your slice

photo 4Stopping the slice is one of the most common problems I face day after day as a golf coach. The basics of the problem are that golfers generally swing too much up during the back swing and not enough around. Because of this the direction of the down swing tends to be orientated to the left in relation to the target. This left swing direction cuts across the ball and imparts the dreaded side spin. This is a hard habit to get out of, often pure instruction does not offer enough of a stimulation to change. Just think about how we learnt to ride a bike. We put stabilizers on and it guided our body on how to balance, move and learn the skill. When we got proficient we removed them.

Learning the golf swing for a long time has always been an instructional based process. I would argue that for the most part, it is a less effective method of learning when compared with practicing using influences from external stimuli. So if you’ve been trying to stop the slice through thinking and found no improvement, try this interesting exercise.

photo 5Next time you get a basket of balls on the range, take your empty basket and place it just ahead of the ball behind the shaft of the club (in line with the leading foot is a good place). This will act as an obstruction not allowing you to swing too far the left. This will force you to swing straighter at the target maybe even slightly to the right. This new swing direction will promote draw or hook shape NOT slice, at worst it will help neutralize the shape to a slight fade. Combine this drill with swing more around your body during your back swing and you have a recipe for draws and good golf!

Steve bucket drillDon’t worry if you hit the basket it won’t damage your clubs (if it’s a plastic basket). You may feel tentative or nervous about swinging because of the basket there but that’s a good thing. It means it is forcing you to change! You can make the drill as tough or as easy as you want depending on how tight you place the basket to the back of the club shaft. Start easy and build up!

So practice missing the basket to stop your slice!

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