Golf is a sport that is fun yet highly challenging. Learning to play golf is a great hobby, but learning how to fix lousy golf shots is even better!
Golfers often misjudge the flight of the ball while swinging. But slice vs. hook is an issue that plagues golfers, particularly at the pro level. Beginners should be aware of these mistakes so they can avoid them.
Many golfers strangely hit the ball. Some are too weak on their swing and end up hitting the ball in an odd direction. Other golfers are strong on their swing and have the knack for hitting the ball just right. A hook and slice are the two main mistakes that beginners make when they try to swing a golf club.
Here, we aim to figure out the difference between slice and hook with the tricks on how to fix these mishits in golf.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Does A Slice In Golf Mean?
- 2 Golf Slices: The Main Causes
- 3 Impact of A slice
- 4 What Does A Hook In Golf Mean?
- 5 Golf Hooks: The Main Causes
- 6 Impact of A Hook
- 7 Slicing The Ball – How Do You Fix It?
- 8 Hooking The Ball – How Do You fix It?
- 9 Hook vs. Slice In Golf
- 10 Factors that affect while creating a slice or a hook
- 11 Which Is Better – Hook Or Slice?
- 12 Is A Slice or A Hook Undesirable In The Golf Course?
- 13 FAQs
- 14 This is Why You slice and Hook Golf Shots
What Does A Slice In Golf Mean?
A slice shot occurs when the striking ball comes off the clubface with the left to right sidespin if golfers are right-handed, and the ball goes to the right, usually into the rough. And the reverse result for the left-handed players.
It is the most common challenge for new players when they try to set their clubface open at the impact that results in a slice shot. Still, the golfer slices the ball if they close their clubface before striking, but the opened clubface is often the cause of slicers for beginners.
Golf Slices: The Main Causes
A slice is not necessarily a bad thing, but a slice can happen for many reasons. These are –
Open Club Face
The leading cause of a slice is the open clubface, but an underlying issue usually causes this. Golfers’ clubface stays open at impact whenever they swing through the strike zone resulting in a slice. The clubface can either be exposed because of the path or set up with it open. Sometimes the clubface remains towards the ball due to a player not releasing the club.
Golfers could be slicing the ball if their grip is not excellent. Many golfers have their hands close to their body and grip the club in a way that keeps the clubface open at impact.
But the grip is one of the most vital parts of the golf swing. A weak grip is caused by the hands being the only link between the body and the club. And the poor grip will cause it to slice the ball at impact.
The angle at the golf club swings back and forth is known as the swing plane. Golfers often see a slice coming from the outside or over the top of their swing plane. With plane issues, the clubface is left wide open with no time or space for a golfer to turn it over.
Instead of simply turning their shoulders away from the target, an out-to-in swing path often causes their hands, wrists, and arms to be activated too quickly, which results in the slice shot.
Improper position of the arms
The connection between the golfer’s body and the club is essential when the golfer swings the club back. The arms and body should remain connected while turning around and through. There will be issues with ball flight if they aren’t working together and timed adequately. The players who start their swing will face a slicing problem by taking their arms back without moving their bodies.
Impact of A slice
A slice can be a good shot choice in some situations. It can be used by a right-handed player when playing a hole with a severe dogleg. It would happen with a left dogleg for a left-handed player. A big slice can be used when the ball stucks behind an obstacle in the woods and the golfer require to get around it. In both instances, the club should move on an outside-to-in path.
What Does A Hook In Golf Mean?
The opposite swing result of a slice is called a hook. It comes when a right-handed golfer pulls the balls left and left-handed towards the right. Often it is caused by players closing their clubface at impact, and the ball goes off to the left. It can also cause lost golf balls or shots in the trees.
Golf Hooks: The Main Causes
Like a slice, a hook can have many different causes. In general, it is easier to correct than a slice. It usually occurs when a golfer’s clubface is closed at impact. Here are a few reasons why players club faces could be the opposite of the ball.
The same thing happens to a hook, like A slice, if the player’s hands are not positioned correctly. Many golfers have a bad habit of focusing on where their right hand is, not on the left hand when they aim to strike the golf ball. This swing stance tends to have a firm grip and a closed clubface at hitting time. A too-firm grip usually hooks because the clubface is too snug at impact.
Weight Not Transferring
Most golfers who have trouble with the short game will have more hook shots than others. Golfers will hook the striking ball because they don’t shift their weight forward as they approach the ball. When the ball is hit at the same height as the knee, the consequence will be back in the right foot, but the club travels on and continues down the line of play, and the club face will be closed when it reaches the impact position.
A player will fear the hook when hooks for the first time. However, it’s entirely normal and happens to beginner golfers. The problem is when they get so caught up in the preparation that they neglect the quality of their hook. A golfer who aims to the right and plays the hook shot will end up with an even more severe than before.
Golfers sometimes set up their clubface slightly closed. It is possible to avoid a slice with this golf stance, but the problem is that it tends to cause a hook. The golfer is already in the wrong spot if they have to change their clubface at impact.
Impact of A Hook
When the required direction is the opposite, hooks can be used in similar situations. It is the best shot for a right-handed player with a dogleg. Left-handed players use the hook shot when the right doglegs are present. Equivalent to slices, hooks curve the ball around obstacles.
Slicing The Ball – How Do You Fix It?
Try to swing easily.
Many people are surprised that they can’t hit the ball straight because they believe they have a strong swing. They don’t realize that they are either too upright or too flat, which causes the clubface to be open or closed at impact.
The easiest way to correct the swing style is by simply turning the body so that the right shoulder is pointed toward the target, and the clubface is square to the target. If you consistently hit slices, try to work on your swing mechanics by making your body rotate. The more power you generate through your swing, the straighter your shots will be.
Amend your grip
The best way to prevent a slice is to start practicing proper alignment and rotation of the clubface. A grip that is too weak is what slicers usually have. If that is you, you must try to strengthen your grip a bit. It would help if you tried to see two knuckles at the address instead of one; A little bit goes a long way. It will help you make hitting the ball easier because you will get better control of your club head.
Adjust the swing path
If you have trouble with the slice shot, you should try to fix your swing direction. Typically, slicers swing with an out-to-in swing path. It would be best if you practiced a neutral takeaway, where the ball is neither too far in nor too far out. Several golf drills can help correct your swing path.
After you warm up, take your clubs to the practice range and have a bucket of balls in front of you but don’t hit them with the club. It would help if you had to wear one of your headcovers on the left side of your head (for a right-handed golfer) or a golf towel under the left arm before aiming for the first golf shot.
When you take your shot, keep your left arm close to your body to avoid the headcover slipping out of your hand. Stick with your body even if it feels strange at first. It’s a simple drill that will help you get used to swinging on a more proper path and retain your arms closer to your body.
Try to hook the ball.
Most golfers who want to improve their game can improve by exaggerating a few things in their swing. In most cases, when golfers make a slice, they cut across the golf ball at impact. They should focus on making contact with the inside of the ball instead of cutting across it and hitting the outside in the swing direction. It will help you to create a straight shot towards the target.
Hooking The Ball – How Do You fix It?
Diminish your grip a little
Typically, the cause of a hook is due to a grip that is too strong. It tends to make the ball spin from the right to the left of the flight path. It results in a closed clubface when the golfer interacts with the club and the ball.
The legal opinion of the pro golfers and golf trainers grip your club naturally at aiming. So when you see three to four knuckles, try to hold your club with one knuckle, which will help you overcome hooking the ball.
Slow Everything Down
Another critical factor in determining whether you hook the ball is being too fast with your hands or hips. It makes the clubface shut direction at impact resulting in an arc from right to left, which is quite normal for that style of swinging.
To overcome this swing issue, you should have to practice a slower swing, especially a smooth backswing. It will aid you in maintaining a content pace throughout your swing practice session and get straighter ball flight for your hook shot.
Correct Your Swing Path
If you’re trying to correct a hook, check your swing path. A swing path that is neutral and not too inside out is what you should be practicing. Swinging in a way that is too in-to-out can lead to a hook.
If you’re a golfer who struggles with hooking the ball, there’s an easy fix that you can try. You have to try and stand one to two inches closer to the golf ball at the address while on the practice range. There may be some time involved in mastering this skill, but you must practice more to become familiar with this helpful golf stance.
When you get closer to the ball, if you stand closer to the ball, you won’t have enough space while swinging from in to out. It may help you turn more vertically and eliminate the annoying hooks.
Check Your Alignment at Address
Many struggling golfers who make more hook shots try to aim too far from the right side of their targetted hole to overcompensate their swinging performance. However, it does not always work, but sometimes it may help to fix the hook. But for doing this, players must set their aim slightly straight down to the middle of the fairway. It will be best for you to try a new grip style to get proper alignment while striking the ball towards the target.
Hook vs. Slice In Golf
It’s common for beginners to confuse a hook or slice shot because the golf ball curves way off the intended flight path in both trials, but one is much more so than the other. Both hooks and slices can ruin a golfer’s day on a course, and poor face control is the vital issue for these lousy golf shots.
The only difference between these two missed shots is the swing direction that ends with sideway curves. For a left-handed golfer, the slice curves too much to the left and the hook to the right side of the targetted golf hole.
There are many combinations of the hook and the slice, and golfers call these different things by different names. These are as follows:
Draws start straight and turn left at the end. Many golfers believe this type of shot is an excellent way to manage a pin. However, most of the time, it is considered a good shot. Usually, a draw shot can pass the proper distance or a few yards more than expected.
The fade is a shot where the striking ball starts in a straight direction but slightly turns to the right side towards the targeted hole after some time. It is a great shot to get you closer to the pin on the right side of the green. A fade is sometimes a couple of yards longer than a straight drive. However, it should end up in the same general area as a straight shot.
When the striking ball starts to go towards the target, it moves directly in the right direction, and this type of golf shot is generally known as a push. It can also pass too far towards or slightly on the right side by creating an angle. Push and slice are different because a push shot never goes straight.
The pull shot is the reverse of the push. Usually, at this golf shot, the ball goes to the left when it leaves and remains on the same line as the landing on the ground. Besides, it is more powerful to pass a little bit more distance to the left of the target. It can be happened due to many wrong stances at aiming.
At the time of a typical hook shot, the ball starts moving in a straight line and then turns to the left. On the other hand, at the pull hook, the golfer hits the ball directly towards the left but continuously turns the left. This swing shot looks ugly and passes more left from the targetted hole.
A push slice is a hitting ball that starts moving to the right and then turns to the right continuously. Most of the time, it ends on the out-of-bounds or another fairway. It is not a typical shot because you will see more slice shots than the push slice in golf.
Factors that affect while creating a slice or a hook
Generally, three crucial factors significantly impact the ball trajectory while golfers hit a slice or hook shot. These are –
The attack of angle
At the striking time, the point between the club and the ground is usually known as the angle of attack. If the arc is low, it tends to make a low-heightened shot resulting in the hook. In the same way, the higher arc position results in a slice shot.
The club path is the other factor determining how the ball moves in the air. It always hits the ball on the outer side when it’s down. It makes the ball hook because it experiences an inward force. When the club travels toward the body, it hits the ball on its inner side and causes it to slice due to the outward strength of this motion.
The position of the clubface is vital in determining whether it will hit a slice or a hook. The clubface points straight toward the target and is called a square clubface. The ball tends to hook when the clubface points toward the body. On the other hand, when a clubface is pointing away from the players’ body, it is called an open clubface that tends to make a slice.
Which Is Better – Hook Or Slice?
You must cut hooks and slices from your game to become the best golfer because both types prevent a consistent golf score. To overcome these swing flaws, you should practice more at the range. And also, you should keep records of every shot you make during practicing.
If you have to select one of these shots, then the hook will be better than the slice for improving the swing performance. Hooks don’t often need much fixing, but slices often do need a bit of a tweak or major swing adjustments. We found that beginner golfers can fight a slice while seasoned golfers can fight a hook. So which one is better – slice or hook mostly depends on golfers’ swing ability.
Is A Slice or A Hook Undesirable In The Golf Course?
The golf slice and hook are often more of a problem than a straight shot, but they’re not always undesirable. Though golfers may take time to become pros, they are worth learning because of their repeatability and usefulness in many golf course scenarios.
As a newbie, golfers may think it’s more challenging to hit a ball into a target when it’s curved than when it’s straight, but most golfers are unaware that it’s just as easy to hit a curved ball to a target.
As you practice, you’ll understand that the slice and hook are control method that helps you control how much the ball moves. It is accomplished by hitting the ball at different positions and angles. There are many ways to swing, hook, and slice that can help you perform consistently in a game. They also have advantages when you require to get obstacles on a golf course.
A slice is often labeled as an error in golf. Still, when the golfer intends a slice, it would generally turn less sharply and is referred to as a “fade. Similarly, When the golfer intends a hook, it would turn more gently and is known as a “draw.” A golfer would “draw” or “fade” the ball according to the shape of the shot that they intended to make.
Is draw a hook or slice?
No, A draw is not a slice or a hook.
In a draw shot, the striking ball moves right to the left for the right-handed golfers. However, the ball starts from the right and swings towards the left in a hook shot. But both are not the same golf shots because a draw is a controlled shot, whereas a hook is a bad or missed shot.
On the other hand, a slice shot makes an arc of the passing ball from left to right towards the target and is also a missed shot. So obviously, a slice is not similar to a draw.
Does Tee Height Affect Slice?
We know from the above discussion that the slice shot is affected by the grip style, swinging ability, and clubface position where the tee height has to impact. However, tee height can help to throw the ball at an extended height towards the sky, which does not affect the slice shot.
Do Anti Slice Golf Tees Work?
The anti-slice golf tees can reduce the sidespin when the clubhead hits the golf ball. So if you use this golf tee, you may stop your slice shot; However, there is no substantial evidence that any golfer completely controls slicing while using the anti-slice tees.
How do I stop slicing the golf ball?
If you want to stop slicing your golf ball, you should first select the perfect weighted shaft because the incorrect weight does not transfer the proper power to result in a slice. Besides, you must choose a softer flex shaft because it will help grip your club perfectly to make a more accessible square up of your clubface, which is mandatory for stopping the slices.
Why has my slice turned into a hook?
Your slice has turned into a hook because of your imperfect swing style. Generally, a slice or high ball is caused by too much right-side or right-hand swing. When the striking ball fails to move towards the right side and drag to the left, it results in a hook shot.
Why do I hook my driver but not my irons?
Because of the length difference between these two club types, you can make a hook with your golf driver but not with your iron clubs. A driver longer than an iron makes it more difficult to square the club face and release it correctly, resulting in a hook shot.
Does higher loft reduce slice?
A higher driver loft helps the slice because it encourages more forgiveness and helps create a backspin on the ball. The features of a higher lofted driver help improve the slice by straightening the ball flight because this type of shot makes from the more side spin of the striking ball.
What is the best driver to stop a slice?
The best driver to stop a slice is a driver with a large sweet spot, a big head, and a long shaft. The head size and length of the rod will allow the club to deliver more energy to the ball. A driver with a big sweet spot will help you hit the ball more consistently and with less effort.
The best driver to stop a slice is the Titleist 915D3. It has a wide sweet spot, a big head, and a long shaft. It also has a low center of gravity. The large sweet spot and the low center of gravity will help you consistently hit the ball. It enables the club to deliver more energy to the ball.
Will a regular flex shaft help my slice shots?
Flex shafts are not designed to be used with a slice shot. The reason is simple—flex shafts are meant to work with a draw stroke. These strokes are not meant to be used with a slice shot. If you are using a flex shaft and it’s not working for you, you may need to re-evaluate your approach. You may require to try a different type of shaft.
Will a 9-degree driver help with a slice?
Using a 10.5-degree driver, you can adjust the slices to the 11-degree range and downward to the 9-degree. But, if you pick the 9-degree driver, it can’t help you to get the correct loft relatively as high as required to reduce your slice shot.
What Are a Hook and a Slice Shots for the Left-Handed Golfer?
For left-handed golfers, everything is backward. If a lefty says they are slicing the golf ball, the ball starts on the line and then goes to the left side. Golf balls hooked by lefties begin on the line and then move right. Fixes for hooks and slices must be switched around for lefties.
Why do beginner golfers make more slices than others?
A beginner golfer’s rite of passage is overcoming a slice. Since beginners have not learned how to release the golf club, they tend to slice the ball. Learning from an open clubface to a squared clubface takes some time. This feeling comes more naturally in other sports, which will be a learned move for most golfers. The hardest part for beginners is timing a release and hitting the golf ball a long way. If players work on the proper drills and slow down their timing and tempo, they will eventually learn to release the golf club.
This is Why You slice and Hook Golf Shots
After reading the entire article, we hope you understand Slice vs. Hook golf shots better.
If the golfer wants the ball to go in a specific direction or where the best place to land the ball is, they can choose either of these two shots, slice or hook; however, they are opposite. Besides, you will see more hooks on the experienced golfers’ shots and slices on the newbies’.
But you don’t need to disappoint because you can see the opposite golf course scenario. Remember to practice following the above tricks to overcome more slices or hooks to get a consistent swing result.