Squaring The Club Face Explained
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This troubleshooting guide can be a big help for players wishing to rid themselves of a slice. By using a simple hierarchy of face-path-sequencing, we can start to peel back the layers on this troublesome pattern. For golfers who do not fall into this category, please feel free to give it a shot; it is still a useful exercise for dialing in ball-flight and "connecting the dots" between these (3) swing characteristics.
Playlists: Squaring The Club Face Explained
Tags: Not Straight Enough, Not Enough Distance, Cast, Impact, Backswing, Transition, Release, Concept, Drill, Intermediate
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Let's dive into three ways that you can fix your slice.
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Slice is one of the more frustrating but more common patterns and there's a couple different
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common ways that we can solve it.
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Number one is to understand the club face, the face-to-path relationship, which is basically
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if the ball is curving off to the right, that means that the face is open to the path.
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What that means is if I had a club going like this in space, the club face would be
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pointing right of the target, just like a drop shot or like a slice shot in tennis.
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So the club face is matching my hand and it's basically cutting across the ball like this.
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So then what would happen is if I swung the club at the target but the club face was
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open, the ball would start right and curve right.
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So then golfers will instinctively swing this drop shot left so that now the club face
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is pointing at the target but because the path of the club is going on to the left, it's
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starts curving off to the right.
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In fact, the more that the ball curves, that's a simple recipe for telling you how
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much the club face was open.
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Peace number two is the path.
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If I have a path that is way outside in, then my brain is probably not going to let me
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close the face because I might hit it over on the road way over there.
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So I need to get my path closer to neutral to match up a club face that's going to be
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a little bit closed.
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You don't have to get it all the way into out and hit a draw.
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You could just hit a nice little fade but I think that it can be helpful to exaggerate
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it and get the path actually inside out to feel closer to a more neutral path.
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And then the third one is for you rhythm golfers.
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We're going to look more at tempo.
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Sometimes what happens with a golfer slices it is that they're going to go really aggressive
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with the upper body and pull down on the handle, opening the club face in transition and
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by going hard with the upper body, they're going to tend to swing a little bit more
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So rhythm wise, we're going to work on getting the legs to lead a little bit more and
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the club to wait a little bit longer.
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And as I'm waiting for the club, it's going to tend to shallow out or swing a little
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bit more from the inside.
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So let's tackle those in what I think is the priority.
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Priority number one, if you're trying to eliminate a slice, you have got to get the club
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face more close to the path.
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So if I get set up normal, just like this, I've got the club pretty much straight up
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and down even with my spine.
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And usually what I'll do is down in impact position like this.
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I'll say, all right, golfer is what I want you to do.
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It's show me where you're going to get the club face at impact if you didn't put your
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Basically, if I was just here and then I went to impact what would happen.
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Well, if I just changed the club face, what you see is that would turn it about 30 degrees
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Now, it's you're probably looking to yourself like, that can't be right.
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It's got to be coming back straight.
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But if I turn it 30 degrees closed, but then I put my body in impact position.
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Now I've created my hands a little bit more forward.
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And now you can see that the club is a little bit behind me, but it's square.
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So what'll naturally happen is when you use your body and try to hit the club or hit
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the ball, you'll get your hands a little bit more forward.
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And when you get your hands more forward, that's going to instinctively point the face a little
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bit more to the right.
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So the average is that pros are going to rotate the club face closed somewhere around 30 degrees.
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Most of my students who I find slice the ball basically keep the club face the same
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and try not to let the club face change at all during this wing.
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So now we're going to go through just a quick little drill to start feeling that club face
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And we're going to dial it in at two different spots.
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You can dial it in right here at Chef Parallel in the downswing.
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So we're going to do a little half swing where we're just going to bring it back to belly
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button height and then belly button height.
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So at this first checkpoint, we're going to bring it back and then we're going to rotate
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the club face closed about 30 degrees.
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And from here, we're going to rotate the body through.
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But keep that club face turning so that it's gradually rotating closed just like this.
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Now if you're used to slicing this is going to feel incredibly awkward and very exaggerated,
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but what you're going to start to see is the ball is not going to curve to the right
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when we may contact.
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Once I have this feeling of the club face being more closed, but I'm monitoring ball
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If it's not hooking like crazy or not going way to the left, if the ball is not curving
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very much, then I know the club face was actually square.
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And then what I can do is I can do more of a three-quarter swing or I can go all the way
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up to a full swing and try to recreate the same ball flight.
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That's one of the easiest go-to drills for getting a little bit more club face awareness
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and learning how to get out of a slice.
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Go number two is going to be looking at the path.
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So now if I've got a stick on the ground here and I'm going to put an object, this could
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be a golf ball.
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In this case I often use an impact bag and have golfers train that.
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Sometimes I'll use the tissue box or yoga block or something like that.
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But I'm going to put a golf ball at about a 30-degree angle out to the right.
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And now setting up to the golf ball, I've got the stick aimed at my target.
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I'm going to practice bringing the toe of the club into that impact bag or towards that
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So I'm going to feel like the club is going this way.
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If I'm used to slicing the ball, it would look more like this where the blur of the
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club is coming way to the left of that golf ball.
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So now what's going to happen is I'm feeling like this with my arms where the club
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face is more in a closed position, just like this.
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But then it's traveling out that way.
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My goal is that overdo it and try to hit some hooks.
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What I'm going to find is as I start to turn my body, it's going to make it harder and
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harder for me to actually hit that object, whether it's an impact bag or yoga block.
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We got the club face in the little 9-3 drill, we got the path in this little right path
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The last one is going to be rhythm and tempo.
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rhythm and tempo, we're going to get a feeling of a pump down and then a release through.
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So instead of hitting straight from the top, we're going to feel like the club is dropping
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until it gets to about waist height and then I'm going to swing through.
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So we're going to try and exaggerate this where we're going to feel like it's really
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slow in transition until we get to about here and then it's really fast down through
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the ball instead of fast early.
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So rhythm wise, I'm going to feel a one to the back swing, two down to here and then
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a three being the release down at the bottom.
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So it will look something, one, two, three.
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So I'm feeling like the two is happening as a long slow transition.
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So I'm making a full turn, letting it drop their transition and then trying to apply the
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Or sorry, late.
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If I'm used to slicing the ball then I'm probably applying the speed early.
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One of the principles that we use at golf smart academy is you want to use some type of
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feedback to accurately diagnose what's going on but then you have to be willing to experiment
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with different solutions in order to solve it.
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If you're slicing the ball, one of these three will absolutely solve it but you might
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feel like you're closing and not actually be closing.
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You might have to feel like you closed it with the right hand and set a left hand.
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I've got drills to help work through any of the different pieces that might relate to getting
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the path more to the right, getting the club face closed or working on your rhythm and
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If you're struggling with it, just know that there's hope.
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Get an accurate diagnosis, either by reading ball flight or even using video and when you
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have an accurate diagnosis, if you play around with the results, you will fix your problem
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and get better.