Try this anti-slice driving range drill while you’re warming up
Welcome to Play Smart, a new game-improvement column that drops every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from Managing Editor Luke Kerr-Dineen to help you play smarter, better golf.
There’s been a lot going on in the world recently, for what seems like an eternity now. But all the macro issues aside, there’s perhaps no more pressing issue in my own universe than the fate of my friend and GOLF.com colleague Sean Zak’s golf game.
Sean’s a good golfer: A solid single-digit handicap with a higher ceiling than his index suggests. When Sean struggles, it’s because (like myself and many other golfers out there), he tends to get too steep, or “over the top.” The result is either a pull or a slice — and lots of frustration.
Again, this is hardly a problem that’s unique to Sean or myself — indeed, it’s perhaps the most common issue in golf. Thankfully, there’s a reasonably straightforward drill you can do that will help, well, straighten you out. It’s something I’ve seen multiple PGA Tour players do on the driving range — Alex Noren said it helped propel him onto the PGA Tour — and you can see N.Y.-area golf instructor James Hong using with one of his students below.
All you need is one alignment stick (or club shaft) to stick in the ground between your golf ball and your target. If you’re struggling with a slice, aim to the right of the stick (for a right handed golfer; aim left if you’re a left-hander) and practice trying to curve the ball around the stick.
Start slow at first but then build speed.
The goal of the drill, which you can read more about here, is to help you control your clubface, which in turn will help control your ball flight. The obstacle in your way will force you to groove the feeling of an in-to-out swing path, with overall straighter drives.