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Golfers: How to Hit a Draw Off the Tee

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If you are a slicer (and you know who you are!), then you have probably read at least a hundred articles that explain how it is to shape your ball differently off the tee. Slicers usually have two goals. The first is to stop slicing. The second is to start hooking. Because there are a wide variety of swing faults that could be potential causes of a slice, correcting a slice is not always an exact science. Consequently, we should always be wary of articles, instructors or gadgets that ‘guarantee’ that they can fix a slice immediately. Some swing faults are such that the fix ought to come gradually, not immediately. Against this brief background, I want to highlight two key points that most all slice-slashing coaches will agree upon. Working on these twoareas will put turn most slicers in the right (or, more accurately, left) direction.

  1. Avoid a weak grip. Weak grips are probably the most insidious catalysts for the slice. If your grip is too weak, then even if the rest of the swing is fundamentally sound, you will probably fail to square the clubface at impact, and this results in the ‘right-to-way right’ block slice. Not only does this ball flight lose distance, but it also strays far from the target. Unfortunately, players with weak grips usually misdiagnose their problem. They think that, because the ball starts right and goes further to the right (unbeknownst to them, the result of a weak grip), the way to solve this will be to aim further left, so as to offset the slice. This attempt at troubleshooting the first problem leads to a second problem.
  2. Avoid the ‘outside-in’ swing plane. Outside-to-in swings are very rare on tour. Bruce Lietzske is one of the few who has consistently pulled it off. This swing plane, however, puts ‘cut’ spin on the ball, and to control the spin requires a great deal of feel. Generally speaking, this is a swing-plane to avoid. One way to avoid it is to, while at the driving range, place an iron parallel with your feet line, and facing your target. With a different club (which you are using to hit a ball), take the club back until the club is parallel to the club at your feet line. Freeze. It is at this point that players frequently make errors. Be sure that at this point in the swing, you do not take the club inside the line delineated by the club at your feet line. Take the club back further, mindful of this, and come through, also along with shaftline.

An on-plane swing-plane combined with a moderate to strong grip will lead to fewer slices, more distance, and lower scores.

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