The difference between a block and a slice — and the cause of both

A good warmup helps you make a free, fluid swing.

Not all shots that fly to the right are the same

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One of the best ways to improve is — believe it or not — accurately explain what’s going wrong. If you can do that, your coach will be able to help you play better golf quicker.

One way golfers can often get confused is understanding the difference between a block and a slice. Not every shot that goes to the right is a slice. The differenxe has to do with your clubface angle.

What is a ‘block’?

A block is generally the miss of lower handicaps and professionals. People typically block a shot when they are concerned about the ball going left. Because they don’t want their clubface to close, they will ‘hold onto a square clubface’ through impact. With the club path moving from in-to-out slightly, and the clubface square to that path, the ball will start out more to the right that expected. Almost all blocks lose distance in the process.

What is a ‘slice’?

Very simply, the slice is a shot wherein the clubface angle at impact was aimed further to the right of your swing path. That combination of face and path make the ball spin left to right on its tilted axis. The shape of the resulting ball flight looks similar to a left to right curve found in a ‘banana’. Hit enough banana’s into the right woods and your friends will start calling you Tarzan.

Understanding why both happen

The original problem for both a block and a slice likely lies in your clubface, which is more open than you think it is.

10 reasons why you keep slicing the golf ball
By: Kellie Stenzel, Top 100 Teacher

Work with a PGA-certified golf coach to help you understand the root cause of your open clubface issue: Often, the open-face position can be caused by your lead-hand grip.

One thing you should NOT do, if you are experiencing a slice, is to try to start swinging your club more to the left to make sure it doesn’t go right. It’s a natural solution for most golfers; likely you will start monkeying around with your setup and alignment in this self-discovered solution. You might even think you have found the answer because now you will be slicing the ball into the playing area vs. the woods, but that is not a long-term solution. As your clubhead swings left, your angle of attack is getting steeper and soon you will discover the misery of a two-way miss when your clubface wasn’t open enough to create the slice spin you were counting on.

Which is why it’s best to find a coach to help get your ball back into the fairway.

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