The difference between a block and a slice — and how you can fix them

matt kuchar points

Blocks and slices are frustrating misses.

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Welcome to GOLF’s Top 100 Teacher roundtable, where some of the best instructors in the business answer the game’s most perplexing questions. The goal? To help your game and lower your scores ASAP.

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There is no miss more common for a right-handed recreational golfer than a ball that finishes to the right of the target line. No matter how far they aim to the left, the ball always seems to find its way to the rough to the right of the fairway.

However, not all right misses are created equal. While lots of players call anything that finishes to the right of the fairway a slice, there are also blocks, pushes and fades. But for the common recreational player, it’s likely that the reason their ball goes right is because of a block or a slice.

What’s the difference between these two misses? And how can you fix them? To answer that, we’ve asked a handful of GOLF Top 100 Teachers to give their take on the right miss. Check out their answers below.

1. Check the club path

The difference between a block and a slice is the path that the club takes into the ball. While both have an open face, a block is an inside-out path with an open face, and slice is an out-to-in path with an open face. First, I would fix ball position and get the club face square to get the ball to straighten out or draw. Then, fix the path.

For a block, fix the ball position to a more forward position in stance. From there, speed up the lower body rotation to straighten out the shot pattern. For a slice, fix ball position and move it to a more neutral position in the center of your feet, close your stance, and train with a closed face to train a release pattern that would help hit it straight with a neutral set up.
-Tina Tombs, The Arizona Biltmore GC, Phoenix, Ariz.

2. Don’t get stuck

A block is typically a push from the inside, or a golfer being ahead of the club. This will cause the ball to start to the right of the target. A fix for this is to work on getting the club less stuck behind body. When you practice, try to keep the body and arms more connected so the club does not get too far behind you during the turn.

A slice is an open clubface and is not as dependent on path of club. To fix this, try adjusting your grip in order to manipulate the clubface so it is more square at impact and not open when it comes into the ball.
-Brian Mogg, Waldorf Astoria GC, Orlando, Fla.

3. Determine the root cause

A block is another word for a push — a ball that flies right of the target without any curve. A slice is a shot that curves to the right (for a right-handed golfer). A block and a slice are created by entirely different impact alignments and therefore require different fixes.

To improve a slice, you must learn how to get the face pointing down, or left of the path, at impact. The remedy for a block is simpler, but first you must determine if the issue is swing related or alignment related. Once you nail down the root cause, you can fix the issue and get the ball started on line from the time it leaves the clubface.
-Keith Lyford, Tahoe Mountain GC, Truckee, Calif.

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Golf.com Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for GOLF.com where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF.com, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf.