In golf there are a few common issues that many of us have, and the slice or fade may be one of them.
The fade can be a nice controlled shot, and it “performed” very well for Jack Nicklaus and Bruce Litzke over the years. But, to be able to control your slice to a fade, or be able to hit a draw when you need to, will be essential to playing your best golf.
Tight grip pressure is bad for a few things in the golf swing, but it is a key cause of the slice or fade. If you can learn to play with light grip pressure, you’ll be able to hit a draw or more of a straight ball.
Think of the design of the club head. For a draw or hook to happen, the toe will pass the shaft portion of the head or release during the swing. Light grip pressure will allow this to happen naturally, and provide ample power. With a tight grip you defy this action and the shaft portion comes through first, producing an open club face. Proceed to the right rough to find your ball.
Even though the driver is where you want the results to happen, you should practice this on short shots, then build up to the longer shots. By practicing like this, you can feel the club better and learn to make adaptive swings when you need to. That is what is called “working the ball”, and it’s a great skill to have.
When trying to hit a draw on the golf course, it’s also imperative not try to swing too hard. When you swing too hard, you will most likely tighten your grip and then you are back to the weak fade, instead of a powerful hook or draw.
You can also practice some of this without a club. Take your left hand, assuming you are a right handed golfer and make a mock back-swing. Have your thumb point away from the target, then on the forward swing, past impact. Your thumb will now point to the target. Some people call this a hitch-hike position. Arm and hand pressure need to be light for this to happen. Now try it with a club.
Give these tips a try at the driving range, or in the back yard, just swinging the club. You should see a difference on the course.