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How I finally got rid of a troublesome slice by adopting a flatter swing and a closed stance

Closed Golf Stance

Closed Golf Stance

Use A Flatter Swing Similar to the One on the Far Left

Use A Flatter Swing Similar to the One on the Far Left

Strong Grip with Driver

Strong Grip with Driver

By closing my stance and flattening my swing I went from a fourteen or fifteen handicap down to a six or seven.

I am not talking about the occasional golfer's weekend struggle. I am talking about the guy like me, who suffered for years, being frustrated with what everyone says is a good swing and a good grip, who still hits the ball anywhere but center or left when he tries to hit the ball hard. You know who you are!

You know how it feels. No matter what you do, it either sails off into the trees on the right side of the fairway, or you pull it to the left into the trees on that side of the fairway. You know what it is for the guys on the next fairway over to have to wait for you while you try to get back to the fairway you are supposed to be on.

When I used a stronger grip it helped me to hit the ball further into the rough than I could with a weak grip. I have always been able to hit a three hundred yard drive two or three times a round, but then it would take five minutes to find the ball. I am five-foot-seven, weigh about 185 pounds; with broad shoulders and a big (not huge) belly. I have to use a flatter swing than a six-footer does.

Left Hand in Front of Left Pocket with Irons

Left Hand in Front of Left Pocket with Irons

Seven Things That I Have Learned That Are Necessary for Me to Hit A Ball Straight

1. Strong grip.

2. Closed stance.

The longer the shot, the more closed the stance.

3. Make sure the ball is far enough back in my stance that I can hit down on it on every shot, except for the driver.

The back of my left hand is opposite the left pocket, so the ball isn't too far back.

4. Aim ten degrees to the right of the target.

This is because the face of the club turns a little to the left at impact, partly due to the fact that the shaft is off to one side.

5. Make sure the shaft of the club is lower than my right ear on the take away move in my backswing.

6. Right elbow brushes the right hip on the downswing.

I can only do this if I swing from the inside.

7. Swing hard enough (75 to 80 percent) that I am forced to follow through and square up the face of the club.

Then watch the ball go down the center and sometimes, believe it or not, see it draw a little to the left.

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Matt Kuchar recently turned his game around when he adopted a flatter swing. He says it, "feels natural."

I am a right-hander, so you may have to reverse some of the checkpoints if you are a lefty.

The closed stance, aiming to the right of the target and keeping the back swing low and inside are the real take-home lessons here. When you do it right, you get to feel the satisfaction of watching the ball go where you aim it.

I had tried the closed stance and the strong grip before, but I didn't put it all together until I read in the famous golfer Bobby Jones' book that you should aim in the direction that your ball is winding up. In other words, aim more left if you are hooking and aim more right if you are slicing. Once I understood the reasons for that and tied it to my new inside out swing, it all fell together for me. Remember as Harvey Penick advises; make small adjustments and wait for the results. Then make the next small adjustment if things seem to be moving in the right direction. Here is a link to Harvey Penick's Little Red Book. It is a golfing classic.

Now that I understand how and why it works, I have been able to help several other golfers straighten our their ball flight in just one session at a driving range. Once you see the resultant ball flight, you hit yourself on the forehead and ask "Why did it take so long? It's so simple!"

If you have a knowledgeable golfer friend to walk you through it, you should have similar results.

If you overdo any of the corrective moves you might start hooking the ball, which for a former slicer can be a pleasurable experience.

Then you can start working on distance control.

Feel free to contact me if you don't understand any of these illustrations.

* In the video below the instructor is using a "square" stance. My anti-slice system requires that you use a "closed" stance with the right foot pulled back two to four inches with a driver; less with irons. See the illustration in the beginning of this article.

The best way to describe my new swing is that it is similar Steve Stricker's "quiet hands" swing.

Steve Stricker's 'guiet hands' swing produces longer straighter golf shots

Flatter backswing gives short golfers (PGA Pro Swedish Golfer David Lingmerth is 5' 7') more power and helps prevent slicing

Available at


Roberto Vasquez on March 28, 2016:

What about the width of the stance? Wider than shoulders? I think i maybe too wide.

Butch45 on May 22, 2011:

Hi I really like your photo design showing the swing to demonstrate an inside and outside swing path this is great to show people how to correct there problems thank you.

I also have a website I am building to show some of the better tips I have found at

Bob Diamond RPh (author) from Charlotte, NC USA on September 16, 2009:

Ron, that is a good thought. Remember to aim that ruler about 10 degrees to the right of your target if you are a right-hander. The ball will then tend to drift toward the target, rather than away from it.

Ron Arlinson on September 16, 2009:

I did the same thing, used a close stance, but added one more swing thought. I forget where I read it, but imagine there is a two foot ruler lying on the ground - one foot before the ball, one foot after. Now take the club back along the line of the ruler and when you swing through, go through the ball and along the ruler. I hardly ever hit a slice anymore.

Bob Diamond RPh (author) from Charlotte, NC USA on April 25, 2009:

Randy Gooden to me


I know I shouldn't get too excited already BUT...where have you been all my life.. lol. 

I went back out for my second trip to the range today.I first just did normal grip with the flat swing and it did straighten out some but was left of target. To make a long story short I kept making small adjustments until with about 10-12 balls left it all came together.

Grip: left hand I went back to a stronger grip BUT left hand I have it more of a normal grip.

Stance: about 1" - 1 1/2" closed stance

Tee: Slightly in front of left foot

AIM: Slightly right of target but I focus on actual target (Not certain if that makes a difference but when I focused on right of target I seemed to hit right of target) 

Last 10 or so hits were within 5-8 yards L/R or dead center of target. 


Thanks a million for the help. I greatly appreciate it. Hopefully I can retain it but I do plan on hitting the range again tomorrow.


nelrod21 from New York on December 27, 2008:

The latest golf instruction e books try this site!! " SOME NICE TIPS

mickeuan on May 26, 2008:

Great golf tips Bob, I can't wait to try these ideas out.

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