Aspen Lakes teaching pro says fixes are simple once a
golfer understands what the golf ball is telling them
There may be no more common golf malady than the slice. In fact, more than 70 percent of golfers reported to regularly hit a slice, according to a Golf.com survey just a few years ago.
Of course, knowing you regularly hit a slice is a lot easier to identify than it is to truly understand the swing flaw that is causing the ball to careen wildly toward the rough and what is needed to fix that flaw.
Howie Pruitt, Aspen Lakes’ director of player development, has some advice. It begins with first understanding the truth the golf ball is trying to tell you every time it flies right (for right-handers).
“The ball will always tell you what you are doing wrong,” said Pruitt. “The path to the ball is controlled by stance and posture. The face is controlled by your hands.”
The ball should tell a golfer one of three things:
- Push, or “block,” a ball straight right (or left, if you are a lefty) and that suggests a stance and posture problem that is causing the club to move off line at impact
- If the ball begins straight and then curves right, that suggests a problem with your hands that are allowing the clubface to fly open at impact.
- And finally, if you tend to hit those dreaded “banana balls” that start right and then curve, you likely have both issues.
The fixes are different for each issue, of course. But one fix that will likely not work, Pruitt warns, is to change your stance to aim further left.
“That will probably only exasperate the slicing problem,” he said.
The good news is that fixing a slice does not have to be difficult.
Those who struggle releasing the club at impact, causing those blocks, can work on the issue by holding a club in the top hand (the left hand for righties, right hand for lefties), then holding your bicep to your body with your off hand, swinging over and over to work on the release of the club.
Those with more significant slices can use a training device such as an Orange Whip or a weight (such as a donut weight) placed on a conventional club to work on swinging through impact and better transferring your weight to your front foot.
“If you can figure out how to that club that target line with a square clubface, your slice is going to be gone,” Pruitt said.
The best way to fix a swing flaw is with the help of a PGA professional.
Private, group lessons, classes and clinics with Pruitt are all available through the Aspen Lakes PGA Learning Center. Call the Aspen Lakes pro shop at 541-549-4653 for more information. To book a tee time call the golf shop or book online.