Play to your strengths!

Put your hands in the air............ If you slice the ball???

Put your hands in the air........ If you fade the ball???? 

I can imagine those of you reading this now are getting funny looks from whoever is around you now wondering what on earth you are doing. 

The fact is the majority of golfers out there curve the ball to the right  (for a right handed golfer..... apologies if anyone thinks I'm being 'leftist') 

As mentioned in a previous post, type in 'cure my slice' into YouTube and over 3 million items appear, all telling a slightly different story on how to cure what is to a golfer one of the wonders of this great game, the elusive curve to the right that seems at times it has a mind of its own, not dissimilar to a shopping trolley that somehow cannot go in a straight line. 

The days, months, years even of a golfer trying to turn this slice into a draw has often bewildered a lot of players to pure frustration, leaving them baffled if they are capable of seeing at least one of their shots fly to the left of target whilst starting it's flight right, the true definition of a draw.

However, and my point in this blog post...... don't give up if you have a slice. 

In fact, I'm telling you to use it to your advantage! 

Before you start clicking on another page and telling me I'm crazy, hear me out. 

In his superb work, Dr Dave Alred, ex England Rugby kicking coach to Jonny Wilkinson and elite performance coach to many top Rugby players and golfers, Dave talks a lot about the difference between the practice area/driving range and the course.

The environment, the pressure, the way the ball sits, the hazards...... there are a plethora of variations out on the golf course compared to the serenity of the driving range. Plenty of golf balls, a big wide open space and zero hazards.

Now, my question to you is this? 

Why are we fixing a slice on the golf course when, because of the difference in environment, it is nearly impossible to make a swing change on the course? 

Too many golfers expect to change their swing and ball flight on the course. It makes sense in some ways...... weekend golfers who don't get to practice much during the week, there's no other time to tune the swing so it's on the course or not at all.

Unfortunately, this kind of thinking is flawed. Because of the constraints of the golf course environment, our body and club will simply revert back to what we know..... our old slice swing. We see hazards so our brain and body want to feel comfortable, thus remaining with our default slice action!

The chances of changing a slice that's been with you for years and years and turning it into a draw one day on the golf course is about as remote as winning the lottery 3 times in a row! 

So what can we do to improve? 

We can play to our strengths. A slice, for some of you, may not appear to be a strength. But I am telling you, in a lot of circumstances, it can well be. 

Think about it like this. I hear a lot of players say they want consistency. I usually translate this word into something else relative to golf...... and that's Predictability! 

Having a predictable ball flight is one of the holy grails of the game. The chance to know and predict pretty much what that ball will do when it leaves the clubface.

The great Seve Ballesteros couldn't do it. Known as 'the car park' champion, keeping the ball in play and low level of predictable ball flight was always one of his flaws. 

If you are absolutely sure of that ball flying from left to right (again, sorry leftie golfers), play for it on the golf course. DO NOT CORRECT ON THE GOLF COURSE! 


In trying to correct, you run the risk of an extremely unpredictable ball flight on the course.

Don't get me wrong. Try and correct it on the driving range or practice are by all means. A place of serenity and where it doesn't matter where the ball goes. As Dave Alred said in his seminal book 'The Pressure Principle', 'Repair the technique on the driving range, play to your strengths out on the course'