Should you play a cut or a draw? Or, should your aim be to hit a straight shot?
Let’s face it, the golf swing is a complicated motion. One wrong move at the takeaway could turn into a push cut. A grip that is too strong can cause a pull hook to start left and go even further left.
The little things are what make the difference in your golf swing. Your shot shape is determined by how you move the clubhead and club path. These are called the ball flight laws and something most golfers should learn.
For example, if the ball starts left and goes back right, it’s known as a pull slice. The swing path causes it to go left, while the club face causes it to rotate left-to-right in the air.
Beginner golfers struggle with a golf slice as it’s by far the most common ball flight. Other swing flaws can cause hooks and draws in other players.
Continue reading to learn about the two types of bad shots in golf, how to avoid them, and what training aids you can use to hit the ball straight.
Debate: Slice vs. Hook Golf
As much as we’d like to hit every shot dead straight thanks to a square a club face, hitting it straight isn’t easy. Most of us have a tendency to hit draws (which can sometimes turn in hooks or cuts which sometimes turn in slices). Straight shot might happen occasionally but it’s far from the most common shot… especially among amateurs.
Unless you have a square face and perfect swing path at impact, you won’t hit it straight. The club face is the most important factor in determining your shot shape. However, path plays an important role as well.
Let’s review these common shots to figure out how to hit the golf ball straighter.
Slice in Golf
If there’s one issue that keeps golfers up at night more than anything else, it’s probably a slice golf shot. A slice can be frustrating for any golfer, and it has no benefits.
But it’s also very common. In fact, almost all golfers have had to deal with a slice at least once in their career. Some players are able to overcome this problem quickly, while others struggle with it throughout their lives.
A slice is when the ball curves significantly from the left to the right in the air. (for a right handed golfer). For a left-handed golfer, it’s the exact opposite and moves right to let. If it only moves a small amount from left to right, it’s known as a cut or fade shot.
So what causes a slice of cheese?
According to Golf.comThere are 10 main reasons why your shot shape may be affected and can lead to a slice.
- Bad posture
- Open club face
- Flexibility is a problem
- Incorrect foot flare
- Improper ball positioning
- Separation of the arms and your body
- Don’t swing with your dominant side
- Too long of a straight lead arm
- Thumbs too high on the grip (weak grip).
- Understanding your shoulder line and target line is difficult
As you can see, there are many contributing factors to a slice and a problem that many golfers face. But all these causes lead to one thing – An open clubface at Impact. This is usually due to an active upper body and an outside swing path.
You only need to make a few adjustments to improve your game of golf. Click here to find out how to fix your slice..
Hook in Golf
While a slice is more common among everyday golfers, a hook is equally frustrating even if it’s not as common. A hook shot is exactly the opposite of a slice. It goes from right to right in the air (for left-handed golfers). For left-handed golfers, the hook starts at the right and then moves to the right.
If the ball only moves a small amount from right to left it’s known as a draw shot. The draw is a prized shot that avid golfers try to achieve. It increases power and signal consistency. Sometimes, however, the draw can go far left of the target and turn into a nasty duck hook.
The most common reasons for a hook shot include:
- Poor Golf posture at setup
- Excessive grip
- Bad alignment
- A release that is too fast
- Doing an outside to inside swing is better than doing one.
All of these factors lead to a closed face when the ball hits the ground. The ball will move more from right to left if the face is more closed.
These five issues need to be addressed in order to get the ball back on track. Check out our guide to hitting a Draw Now.
Best Training Aids For Hooks and Slices
Although it is important to understand both types of shots, you may need a training aid to help you feel the changes. There are many different options. Training aids available and here are some of our favorites to help you out.
LagShot Golf Club
The Lag Shot golf clubGolf Digest ranked this club the #1 training aid for 2022! I’ve used this club myself and can say it’s a game-changer when battling a hook and a slice.
The club is the standard length and appearance of a 7 iron (or driver or wedge, if you purchase that model). Its whippy-blue shaft makes it stand out from other standard golf clubs. This shaft is extremely flexible and very heavy, compared to other irons.
The Lag Shot makes it easy to feel what it’s like to create Do not let your downswing lag. This results in a more in-to out swing than an out-to-in swing that produces a nasty slice.
What’s great about this training aid is that you can hit golf balls with it too. You can use it off the course to improve your swing, and you can even hit balls to see the flight. It’s so much easier to hit a draw with a shortened swing.
It’s no wonder it’s become such a high rated training aid that is popular with golfers worldwide. They also offer video training that will help you get started quickly.
Planemate Swing Training
The Lag Shot is an excellent training aid to help you cure your slice. However, the Planemate can be a great alternative. This attachment clips to your golf club and is not a real golf club like the Lag Shot.
Your belt and rubber bands make it easy for you to feel a proper bite, which in turn leads to a better swing. Remember, it’s nearly impossible to swing in to out with a backswing that is too inside. This training aid will allow you to feel a true takeaway, making it much easier to put the club in the slot for the downswing.
This training aid can be used with or without the use of golf balls, just like the Lag Shot. You can even hit wedges all of the way to the driver if you take it to the driving range.
Click here to learn more.
Eyeline Speed Trap 2.0
While the first two training tools will help you cure your slice of pizza, the Eyeline Speed Trap2.0 can also help. In fact, it’s designed to help you learn how to hit a straight ball, draw, and cut.
The design is simple and features four rods you can move around depending on your shot shape. You can feel a draw or cut swing easily by simply moving the rods at address.
This training aid is great because it allows you to hit real golf balls and use your own clubs. Plus, it’s small enough that you can easily take it to the driving range all the time. It works equally well for left- and right-handed players.
The Eyeline Speed Trap 2.0 can help you improve your club route, reduce your slice, hit draws, and also improve your wedge game.
FAQs about Hook vs. Slice
Do you have questions about ball flight or how to get the best shape for your sport? You can scroll down to find answers and frequently asked questions below.
What’s the difference between a slice and a hook in golf?
They’re polar opposites in terms of golf shots.
A slice occurs from an open clubface at impact. It goes hard from left-to-right in the air. A hook is a slice that occurs from a closed clubface at impact and goes hard right-to-left in the air.
Both a hook and a slice are due to a clubface that isn’t square at address position.
The more open or closed the face, the more the ball will slice/hook. This is because longer clubs have a shorter shaft and less loft. This can lead to inconsistent shots off of the tee, which can cause a lot more scrambling because you rarely find the fairway.
Better players will ask themselves the question: “Do I play a draw or a flush?”
Do more golfers slice or hook the golf balls?
The average golfer hits a slice more often than a hook.
There are many reasons for this, but the most important is a steep, excessive downswing. This causes you to swing left and keep your weight down, often with an open clubface. The result is a slender, pulled slice that makes scoring consistent well difficult.
Is a push equal to a slice?
A push shot is not the same as a slice. A push shot is when it starts right of the target line and misses right (assuming it doesn’t draw back to the target). If you have left ball flight that’s known as a pulled shot.
Push or pull is a result your club path and not the face of the club.
What’s better, a hook or slice?
Both are not ideal, as both can lead you to big misses, especially if you’re a driver. Instead, you should groove your swing to hit a cut or draw shot. These are much easier to do and make it easy to score well every single time you tee it.
Some golfers prefer a cut, while some prefer to hit the draw. My number one tip is to hit the shot that feels most natural to you at least 70%-80% of all shots. This decision made a huge difference in my game.
For example, I thought that every shot had to be shaped. If the fairway was slanted left to right, I assumed that you would need to play a cut to match. Or, if the pin was positioned back left on the green I assumed you would need to hit a draw shot in order to make it close.
While that strategy works for players like Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas, it’s not necessary for the everyday golfer. When you try to shape every shot off the tee or from the fairway, it’s easy to get too technical instead of focusing on playing golf.
But when you play one shot shape the majority of the time, it’s much easier to pick a target and trust your swing. Now, I play a cut almost every shot and it’s such an easier shot process as I don’t have to think about how to hit a draw. Instead, I stand up and pick my target on either the fairway or green to swing my swing.
How do I stop slicing my ball?
A slice is easier to fix once you understand what’s going on with the clubface in the swing. A slice is when the face is too open at impact. This can lead to a hard left-right ball flight. To reduce your slice, you need to correct the clubface so it’s more square at impact.
There are several ways to do this:
- Strengthen your left side. If your left hand is too weak, it’s easy to open the club face on the backswing, which leads to a steep downswing that is over the top. Your ball flight with any club can be affected by a simple adjustment to your grip position.
- Takeaway: Change your mind. If you’re slicing the ball, it’s usually because your takeaway is too far inside. When the club goes around your body instead of out and up, it’s easy to have a wide open face at impact. Instead, you should swing the club more outside to create an inside-out swing motion. PlaneMate’s swing trainer is a great way to feel the proper takeaway. It trains you to swing like an expert. Click here to see our complete review of this training aid.
- Improve your alignment Even if your hands are perfect, even a good takeaway can still make you miss a slice. This is why it’s so important to work on your alignment in practice with Alignment rods so you don’t develop bad habits.
Is a hook or a slice better?
If both shots are hit with equal power, a hook will travel further than a slice. A hook has more top spin, and tends to roll out better, especially if the fairways and fairways are fast and firm. While a slice shot doesn’t travel as far and doesn’t have nearly the same amount of roll.
This is why it’s so important to fix your slice as soon as possible!
It is difficult to score well if you slice off the tee on many holes. A slice will not only lead to missed fairways, but it will also reduce the total distance and leave you with longer shots into your greens.
Is it possible to get too close to the ball and cause a slice?
How the ball curves can be affected by your posture. Most amateur golfers should focus on setup above all else to ensure you’re in the right starting position.
How do you hit straight holes in the golf course?
Hitting it straight isn’t easy and Tiger Woods has said that it’s the most difficult shot to hit in all of golf. Straight shots require a square face at contact and a perfect swing path.
To hit it straighter, fix your slice (or hook shot), the first thing you need to do is record your golf swing. This will help you learn more about your grip, ball position and takeaway. Once you have a starting point you can diagnose the problem (or hire a golf instructor to do it) and then start overhauling your swing.
Why do I slice every shot of golf?
If your swing produces a slice on every golf shot, it’s because your clubface is always open at impact. To improve your face control and improve your tee box game, refer to the articles, tips and training aids.
Every amateur golfer has experienced a standard slice at some point. You can quickly improve your game with a few tweaks.
Final Thoughts: Hook vs. Slice In Golf
Remember, if you are slicing or hooking the golf ball, it’s because the face isn’t square at impact position. A bad swing path could lead to a worse hook (or slice) or worse hook.
Learning how your grip and left arm work together in harmony is key to playing better golf. You will be able to play straighter golf if you can control the face and the club.
To improve your face control and path, you can purchase one of the training aids listed above.