As we’ve said numerous times, golf is not an exact science. Many golfers have worked for years and years trying to perfect their swing and improve their game. However, problems do arise. They come about mostly because golfers tend to forget the basic mechanics of the game and start playing sloppy.
In this section, we’ll address some of the more common problems golfers have along with mistakes they make. We’ll also offer up some suggestions to help you combat these problems and get on the road toward playing better golf.
A slice is a specific left-to-right trajectory shape for a golf ball created by a significant tilt of the spin-axis of the golf ball to the right, or a clockwise spin. This is opposite for lefties. A slice usually ends up right of the target line, and the term is often used when the curve in the trajectory is extreme and unintentional. The less extreme version of a 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, (opposite for lefties). 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".
A second factor that causes a golf slice may be swing speed and shaft stiffness. If you use a stiff shaft driver try a regular flex or mid flex shaft and that may correct your problem.
The simplest fix for a slice is in the grip. By having a "weak grip", a grip that is turned more counter-clockwise, (opposite for lefties), can cause the club face to open at the time of impact.
You should start by turning your grip slightly to the right, (left for lefties), thus giving you a "stronger grip", not holding the club more tightly. Remember the basics and only hold the club tight enough to keep control. You should not have any tension on your wrist and forearms.
You may want to try increasing your swing speed by pulling the club farther back before swinging to fix your golf slice. When you increase your swing speed you can gain yardage and will hit the fairways more often.
Make sure not to bend over too far or round house your swing similar to a baseball swing. Bring your club back straight and follow through on the swing.
Point the label on the ball in the direction you want it to go when teeing it up. This way you can concentrate on the ball without looking up.
Then, when you tee up your ball, follow this checklist faithfully:
The less extreme version of a Hook is called a "Draw", and the less extreme version of a slice is called a "Fade". Many golfers find that they are only having a draw or fade with their longer clubs, and they are very accurate with their shorter clubs.
Both the draw and the fade are both products of a stronger swing and can be normal. Many golfers use the fade and the draw to their advantage. Slight modifications to your swing will correct both problems, but be careful; tampering with perfection could lead to disaster.
If you are consistent with the fade or the draw, my advice would be to continue to play either shot, just slightly change your aim. If you are inconsistent in your shots and you sometimes fade, draw, slice or hook, look into getting back to the basics and modify your swing to correct your inconsistencies.
A hook is a specific right-to-left trajectory shape for a golf ball created by a significant tilt of the spin-axis of the golf ball to the left, or a counter-clockwise spin. This is opposite for lefties. A hook usually ends up to the left of the target line, and the term is often used when the curve in the trajectory is extreme and unintentional. The less extreme version of a hook is called a "draw".
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 hook is caused by the club face being slightly closed at the point of impact, thus causing the ball to spin in a counter-clockwise motion, (opposite for lefties). 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 "strong grip".
As in the slice, the hook is often a product of an improper grip. Start by looking at your current grip. Remembering the basics of the golf grip, you should only see 2 knuckles of your left hand. If you see 3 knuckles, then you have a "strong grip" and this maybe the cause of your golf hook.
You can fix your hook by trying to change your grip to a "weak grip". Turn your hands slightly counter-clockwise on your grip, (opposite for lefties), thus weakening the grip. Grip pressure is also a key element in the release process. If the pressure is too loose at impact then the tendency will for the club to release too early causing the ball to hook.
Remember the basics and only hold the club tight enough to keep control. You should not have any tension on your wrist and forearms. Practice the grip and check your results. Changing your grip should be slight, over compensating can cause other problems with your swing or begin to cause you to slice.
Most golf hooks are from a "strong grip", but in order for you to correct your hook properly; you must have the know-how and learn the basics of the golf swing.
A push is a ball that goes directly to the right because of the action of the club. This should not be mistaken for a slice. A slice is an action of the ball spinning clockwise. A slice normally begins to the target and arcs away to the right, (left for lefties). A push is an action of the swing and is normally in an in-to-out swing motion. The opposite of the push is the pull, which is an out-to-in swing motion.
The push is caused by the swing path of the club. In the down swing, the path of the club will travel in an in-to-out path. Normally this is caused by throwing your arms ahead of your shoulders, being too close to the ball, and trying to over compensate your swing to make contact with the ball, or having your hips ahead of the impact area. These are the easiest to identify, but there could be other reasons.
The easiest way to fix a push is to go back to the basics of the golf swing. The push is directly related to the action of the golf swing. Throwing your arms ahead of your shoulders, make sure that during your back swing, you push your arms out with your shoulders, and on the down swing, you pull your arms down with your shoulders.
At the point of impact you should be back to the same point as you were at your stance. Standing too close to the ball, check out your stance. The club face should be positioned center of the ball and the butt end of the club should be about 4-5 inches from the inside of the left thigh and in line with it.
Having your hips ahead of the impact area, again, you should remember to be exactly the same at the point of impact as you were at your stance. The push comes from an improper club swing and knowing the basics.
The shank is a missed hit ball off the club face. Other ways that a ball can be missed hit include topping, whiffing, blading, dubbed, or fat shot. All of these miss hits are the product of only a few things;
A shank is something that nobody wants to have happen to them. A shank is normally a product of not concentrating. Slow down, remember the basics, keep your head down, and concentrate on the shot at hand. The shank is one of the easiest fixable problems in golf.
Remember your training and get back to the basics. By getting back to the basics of golf, and learning the correct grip or proper stance, and using the proper swing technique will help in eliminating all of the problems with miss hitting the ball.
Those are the most common problems golfers find with their swing. There are also some very common mistakes that golfers make.