How to Fix a Slice – The Grip

Please note as we discuss the grip on the club, the following discussion will be aimed at a right handed golfer. Reverse for left handed golfers.

The biggest obstacle in the way of high handicap golfers improving their game is the inability to stop slicing the ball. A slice, a ball fight path that bends to the far right for right-handers and to the far left for left-handers, inhibits you from consistently hitting your target while shaving valuable distance from your shots. Although a slice can occur with any club, it is usually more pronounced with a driver due to the distance you hit it, the larger club face, lower loft, and the longer path the club head has to travel. Many amateurs try to compensate for their slice by aiming farther left when the best course of action is to eliminate the slice all together.

A number of factors can cause you to slice the ball, including your grip being too weak, the club face being too open at impact, and an “outside to in” swing. The first thing to check, and what we will be discussing in this post, is your grip.

First, let’s discuss the different ways in which your hands can interact in gripping the club. The three main golf grips, beginning with the most popular, are the overlapping, interlocking, and baseball grips. Tom Ringer explains the differences of each in the video below. I personally use and recommend the interlocking grip as I like how it keeps my arms and hands in unison.

Most high handicap golfers have too weak of a grip on the club. When we talk about weak or strong grip, we are not talking about the pressure used to grip the club, but rather the position of your hands, specifically your left hand. Most golfers who slice the ball hold the club in the palm of their hands when you should rather hold the club in your fingers with light pressure. To grip the club with a strong grip, begin by placing the heel pad of your left hand, the meaty part of your hand below your pinky, on top of the shaft, and wrap your fingers around the shaft as shown in the photo below. Your thumb will then rest along the right side of the shaft, not down the shaft as many golfers do. Your right hand then covers your left thumb with your left thumb resting in the crease in the palm of your right rand. Your right thumb then rests on the left side of the shaft, not straight down the shaft. For another explanation of this concept, please see LPGA instructor Kristin Sunderhaft’s great post “Improving your grip will improve your game”.

One final thought on your grip. Watch a PGA Tour event on TV and see when the pros grip the club. They grip the club while holding the club in the air, not after addressing the ball with the club on the ground. The benefit of gripping the club while holding it in the air is that it promotes gripping the club in your fingers and not your palms. Check out the video below as Matt Hilton explains.

We’ve covered three important concepts regarding the grip – the types of grips allowing interaction of your hands, how to have a strong grip, and when to grip the club. The grip is one of the easier parts of your game to correct. You can also practice your grip almost anywhere. If you’re looking for how to fix a slice, start by improving your grip.

Comments

  1. Hi,
    I’ve played golf for quite a few years now. I shot anywhere between 100 – 94 consistently. I’ve had a slice then a push for years. I’ve managed to get an in to out swing path, but somehow I’ve never quite got it right. My old grip had my thumbs on top, then I changed rotating my hands slightly clockwise, I though that was about right until I read this article. It was the bit about the thumbs resting either side of the shaft that court my attention.

    So I went out to my local field and had a few hits. Boy oh boy did I get a surprise! I hit it longer, had a cleaner strike and a higher trajectory and it had a little draw too!!! If It hadn’t been for the bad light I’d be there now.

    Anyway, I’ve played this game to long not to get too carried away without testing this new grip on the actual course, but if tonight’s experiment is anything to go by I’m really looking forward to getting below 90 for the first time. Thank you so so much.

    Peter G from NZ

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