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Question on Diagnosing Problems:

Hi Maria,

My big problem is on the drive. It goes long and way to the right. What one thing is the problem here?

Thank you. Frank
--Frank S. from North Fort Myers, FL

Hi Frank. Thanks for writing

There are of course many causes of a ball going to the right. Without seeing your swing (note that as a premium student you could send your swing in for review) and seeing the ball flight it's hard to say for absolute sure what is causing your rightward shots.

There is also a difference between a push and a slice. Since most golfers slice I'm going to assume that's what you are doing and give you some suggestions on how to correct it.

A true slice is when the ball starts left of your target line and then spins back to the right of your target line (for right handed players). The cause is the club swinging from outside to inside the target line through impact. The path is what makes the ball go start out to the left. If your clubface is then square or even worse open to your target line at impact, it will spin to the right. If your hands are quick enough to close the face through impact you will pull the shot.

Most slicers come over the top of the swing plane as they start their downswing. To test and correct this I would have you place a swing plane pole (or driveway pole) outside the toe of your club and a foot or so backwards away from the target. Tilt the pole on the same plane or angle that your clubshaft sits at address. Start with a short iron and then work your way up to longer clubs making swings that stay under the pole as you swing up and down. A good feeling for you to have is to keep your back at the target as long as possible on the downswing to make sure your club drops straight down on plane. Spinning your shoulders open too early gets you over the top. As you keep your back to the target you will be encouraged to start your lower body first which is the correct sequence.

I would also recommend you check your grip and your arm release through impact. Even if you get the club coming from the inside the ball can still push to the right if the face is open. Try strengthening your grip and making sure to roll your forearms over through impact to release the face.

Try these out Frank and see if they help. If not write back with more details on your ball flight. I always recommend that you start plugging your scores into our free Game Tracker and log your practice sessions in the free Practice Planner. This helps me analyze your game better with more detailed information.


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