A common frustration for many amateur golfers is a slice, which refers to shots that curve dramatically to the right (for right-handed players). Slices diminish distance and accuracy, making it hard to reach greens in regulation. One of the most common causes of slicing is an open clubface at impact, which can cause you to push the ball to the right. Luckily, there are adjustments you can make to your swing technique and setup to fix this problem. This article will provide helpful tips to stop pushing shots right off the tee when using your driver.
One of the easiest ways to prevent pushing the golf ball to the right is to check your grip. A grip that is too weak, meaning your hands are turned too far to the left on the club, will cause the clubface to be open at impact. This opens up the clubface, resulting in slice shots pushed to the right side of the fairway. To fix this, focus on strengthening your grip by turning your hands slightly to the right on the club. Your knuckles on your lead hand should point more toward your chin with a neutral or slightly strong grip. This will help you close the clubface at impact, preventing slices.
Aim and Alignment
Another adjustment that can fix pushed slice shots with the driver is double-checking your alignment and aim. Often, golfers may think they are aiming straight down the fairway, but alignment issues lead to shots that fly directly to the right. Use alignment rods, or pick intermediate targets like trees ahead of you, to ensure your stance, feet, hips, and chest are aligned parallel to your target line. If you set up aimed right, your swing path will likely push shots further right. Focus on aligning your body properly before each drive.
An incorrect ball position can also cause you to make poor impact with the driver, leading to sliced shots to the right side of the course. You want to position your golf ball tee’d up even with or just slightly forward of the instep inside your lead foot. This centers your natural swing arc right into the back of the ball. If your tee shot is too far back in your stance, you will likely strike the ball on the upswing, adding loft, sidespin and pushing weak slice shots to the right. Position the ball properly for efficient compression.
Examining your swing path is also essential for correcting pushed shots right off the tee box. Often, golfers swing too far from the inside, across the ball on the downswing. This closed path paired with an open clubface produces torpedo slice shots to the right. Pay attention to your backswing – if your hands and club move too far inside on the takeaway, your downswing will likely overly close, causing blocks right. Focus on a chest-high backswing and bringing the club down closer to over your shoulder plane to shallow your downswing. This inside-out swing path squares impact.
Check Your Wrist Hinge
Issues with your wrist hinge can also produce pushed shots to the right with drivers. Some players start their downswing by releasing their wrists too early, causing the clubface to be wide open at impact point with the ball. This sends shots careening rapidly right. Maintain your wrist hinge angle a bit longer, holding onto that leverage until your hands come down closer to the ball. Keep wrists firmer as you strike down solidly on the ball first before releasing the club naturally after contact. This fixes the clubface and prevents blocking shots right.
Some rightward shot tendencies stem from poor flexibility and tightness issues rather than swing mechanics. Restricted shoulder turn, limited hip rotation, and poor posture can all prevent you from shallowing the club properly on the downswing, leading to slices pushed right. Try some loose stretching exercises focused on opening your shoulders, hips, and torso muscles before hitting drivers. The extra pliability promotes width and coil on the backswing, proper weight shift to your lead side, and powerful releases through impact. This athleticism creates more solid ball-striking.
Sometimes a correctly aligned swing path still produces unwanted slice shots due to problems with your driver itself. Older drivers with closed faces can cause this right-tendency trouble. Also, using regular flex shafts when you need stiff shafts can lead to pushing shots with lower launch and spin. Getting properly fit for a newer driver with appropriate technology and shaft flex for your personal swing speed might help remove this persistent slice problem. An optimized driver complements your unique swing.
Lessons With A Pro
If you continue struggling with pushed shots right off the tee after trying these tweaks, take the time to schedule a lesson package with a PGA certified golf instructor. An experienced coach can pinpoint exactly why you tend to block shots to the right side when driving. Perhaps your swing plane, angle of attack, or grip need minor adjustments. An expert trainer identifies issues through video analysis and provides drills tailored to your personal game. Investing in targeted instruction provides long-term solutions for persistent faults.
Pushing tee shots way right into hazards or trees with your driver certainly hurts scoring potential and ruins holes. Fortunately, correcting this frustrating slice tendency is very achievable through attention to grip, alignment, ball position, swing path, wrist hinge, flexibility, equipment specifications, and maybe lessons. Implementing even a few of these tips should have you bombing drives down the fairway’s middle. Just stay positive through the improvement process. Consistently straight drives will come soon as you apply these slice-stopping steps during your practice sessions and rounds. Expect to hit grenade-style drives that fly far and accurate by working on these techniques.