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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