The art of golf relies heavily on the golfer’s ability to swing correctly and toward the hole. Some people have rough swings that cause the golf ball to drift from the path originally intended. One of these swings is called a slice and it can be a large issue for golfers to overcome.
Golfers will tend to slice with their driver even when they have straight swings with their irons because the driver has the longest shaft, lower loft, and heaviest weight out of any other type of golf club. All of these factors make it more technically challenging to swing straight.
This is an issue that needs to be addressed more thoroughly. Lots of the problems people have with slicing drivers specifically are caused by characteristics of the golf club but there are other factors as well. So, it’s important to understand what the differences between golf irons and drivers are, what characteristics of a driver increase slicing, what normally causes a golfer to slice, and some basic tips and tricks to overcome accidental slicing.
Difference Between an Iron versus driver?
A golf iron is a club that has a flat head that is used to send the golf ball decently far. These types of golf clubs usually make up the majority of a golfer’s bad, as they have the most varied uses. These types of clubs are numbered 1 through 9. The number represents the angle of the clubface. The higher the number on the clubface, the higher the angle and the further the golf ball will go.
All of the shafts of these clubs are similar in length. The only other difference between irons from each other is the materials they are made out of. They were traditionally made with hardwood but now can be found with graphite or metal. Metal shafts are stronger and less flexible. Graphite shafts are less sturdy but are better for people who have less strength or speed.
On the other hand, the driver is strikingly different. The driver also goes by the name wood #1. This club has the lowest loft or angle. It also has the longest shaft and the biggest head. This makes the club a lot heavier and harder to control on the swing. This design’s purpose is to get the golf ball off the tee and have the golf ball go long distances. This club is made out of similar materials to golf irons.
However, it is incredibly common for people who are not professionals to barely be able to get the ball to go 250 yards. Professional golfers can make the ball go 300+ yards. This club is considered to be the hardest to manage and handle. You will also see increased distance for golfers who hit a Draw vs Fade as the increased topspin will roll to your overall distance.
The biggest differences between the golf irons and the driver are the purpose of using the clubs and the way the head is shaped and angled.
What Characteristics of a driver Make it Prone to Slicing?
The main characteristics of a driver that make slicing common are the shaft length, the small loft, how the golfer swings, and the weight. These factors cause slicing due to a variety of reasons. One of the biggest reasons drivers are prone to slicing is the fact that the arc length of a strike is changed drastically. The length of the shaft and weight make it so the person has to modify how they swing in order to hit the ball off the tee. They have to exert much more force and change their stance in to hit the ball straight.
Another factor that can cause a driver to be prone to slicing is the way that the head needs to hit the golf ball to go straight. Irons need to hit the ball straight on. The loft is what gets the ball to be shot forward in the direction the golfer wants the ball to go. This approach is bad for using a driver.
The driver has a low loft, so golfers need to swing the club in such a way that the club hits the ball in an upward swing. If they try to hit the golf ball the same as they would with an iron, the club face will hit at a bad angle and the ball won’t go straight.
The last factor that often causes people to use a driver to slice is how they swing the club. If they swing in such a way the clubface hits the golf ball at a bad angle, this can cause the ball to go in an indirect path. Golfers have to make sure they are hitting the ball at the right angle at the right time.
The size of the golf grips can also play a role in how you swing the club. A larger grip will prevent the hands from taking over the swing which is often the reason for a big duck hook off of the tee. You want to make sure you are using the proper size grips to give you the best chance at hitting straighter shots. Our post on Grip size will definitely help you determine what is best for you.
The issues with slicing with a driver are not too different from normal slicing. Normal slicing has some similar issues causing it. One of these is how the person is swinging and the other is how a person sets up the swing.
The most easily identifiable issue is when a person swings from outside to inside. This looks like a swing that starts far out and then cuts in to hit the ball. This ultimately causes the ball to spin and changes its direction. The shift usually is in the direction of the dominant hand. The other issues come from not being placed correctly or swinging wrong. Those have to be identified and modified regardless of the golf club being used.
Self-correcting a slice
There are a variety of different things a golfer can do to fix the slicing. The first one is to strengthen the grip on the golf grip. This is done by putting their hands to have the knuckles facing the ball along the golf club. The next step to correcting slicing is to make sure the swing is straight. This can be done by making sure the forearms stay together through the whole swing.
Another option is to place objects next to the golf ball to help encourage straight shots. The last is to improve a golfer’s stance. This includes how the feet are placed, how the body moves through the swing, and where the ball is in your Golf stance distance at address in relation to the body. These can all be fixed by using a mirror or by using a professional trainer.
All of these different factors make it so a person can be more prone to slicing. However, slicing with any club can be fixed, and when done properly, you will see your scores drop and Golf handicap lower over time. All it takes is some hard work and awareness.