If you are constantly hooking or slicing your shots, you will want to know how to hit a golf ball straight. Clearly, every golfer desires a straight shot because it gives you maximum yardage of the tee. In addition, if you can hit a golf ball straight down the fairway, it makes your approach shot to the green that much easier.
What causes so many golfers the inability to hit a golf ball straight? The first thing to understand is why the golf ball moves to the left (a hook) or to the right (a slice) of the tee. Once you know how to fix a slice or a hook, you will then be in a position to learn how to hit a draw or a fade – which are basically just controlled versions of the hook and the slice but with less movement on the ball.
In order to keep this article short, I will describe what causes the slice and how to cure a slice; for the hook, the description and cure are the opposite of a slice. When the golf ball has a significant tilt of the spin axis to the right or in a clockwise direction, a slice will occur. With a slice, the ball ends up to the right of where you are aiming and the phrase is used when the flight of the ball is acute or inadvertent. The less severe version of the slice is called a “fade.”
In understanding the basics of the golf swing, in order to hit the ball squarely and straight every time, you must return to the original spot at impact. A slice is caused by the club face being slightly open at the point of impact, thus causing the ball to spin in a clockwise motion. In most cases the swing path is correct, but the golf ball is not being hit squarely at the point of impact, commonly caused by what is known as a “weak grip”.
If you find that you can not hit a golf ball straight, then the initial problem could be your grip. Whether you use an overlapping grip, an interlocking grip, or a baseball grip, the aspect of your grip that can influence the golf balls flight path is the strength of the grip. So, if you want to fix a slice, move your hands around to the right on the grip into a strong grip position.
Other factors that can cure a slice are the grip pressure; don’t grip the club so tightly that the muscles of the wrist and forearms are tense. Try to increase the speed of your golf swing, not only will that add more distance it can also cut down on the amount of slice that you impart on the golf ball. The flex of the clubs shaft can also affect your shots; big hitters will need a stiff or extra stiff shaft, medium hitters should use a firm or regular flex, and shorter hitters should use a senior or ladies flex.
If you want to hit a golf ball straight then you have to setup correctly. Line up your feet and shoulders square and parallel to the target line. Even though your right shoulder will be lower than your left, they should still be parallel to the target. The ball position is also important; with a driver, place the ball opposite the instep of your left foot. Stand the correct distance away from the ball so that the club is grounded properly; if it is tilted forward then you are too close to the ball, if it is tilted backwards then you are too far from the ball.
If you occasionally hit a slice or a hook, then go back to the basics of the golf swing. place your feet shoulder width apart, keep your eyes on the ball, knees slightly bent, and back in a straight position with your chin up. In this article I won’t get into details about the golf swing; but just start your back swing straight back and keep your downswing on the same plane. Your swing speed should stay constant throughout the backswing to the downswing and don’t ever try to over swing at the ball.
There are two more swing faults that can stop you to hit a golf ball straight down the fairway – the push shot and the pull shot. Not like the slice, the push shot is when the ball flies of the club face to the right and the pull shot to the left. The push shot is a direct action of the golf swing that is caused by an in-to-out swing path and the pull shot is caused by an out-to-in swing path. Both the push and the pull are effects of an improper golf swing and not remembering the basics of the golf swing.
Check out Mick Euan Tait’s website if you want to hit a golf ball straight and How to Fix a Slice with a Driver.