What Is A Slice In Golf? – Explained!

what is a slice in golf

Golf is known to be a technical sport full of technical terms that you may not know the meaning of. One of those golf terms often mentioned on golf courses and TV broadcasts is the term “Slice”.

If you are reading this article, you may wonder: What exactly is a “Slice” in golf?

In this article, we will explain to you exactly what the term “Slice” means in golf.

What Is A Slice In Golf?

In golf, a “Slice” is a golf ball hit in such a way that it has a sharply curved trajectory. The trajectory goes from left to right for right-handed golfers, and from right to left for left-handed golfers. A “Slice” is generally the result of bad technique, and to be avoided.

In the great game of golf, the expression “Slice” is very often mentioned on golf courses and on TV broadcasts.

In golf, the expression “Slice” is the name given to a golf shot that follows a sharp outwards trajectory. A “Slice” curves from left to right for right-handed golfers, and from right to left for left-handed golfers.

You generally want to avoid “Slice” shots in golf, as they reduce the distance the ball travels. “Slices” are also likely to curve too much for your benefit, and to end up in an area with a bad lie, bunkers, or other elements that will impede you.

“Slice” shots are very common in golf, and more often than not, not intentional. In many cases, it is preferable to hit a straight, predictable shot in golf. Beginners often hit “Slice” shots unintentionally, and land their ball in the rough, which can be incredibly frustrating.

On the other hand, the best golfers on the planet sometimes intentionally use curved shots such as “Slices”, depending on the situation and their position on a specific golf hole.

However, one caveat to note is that “Slices” feature quite a dramatic curve, and professional golfers will often prefer a more docile “fade” shot when they require a curved trajectory.

If you yourself are performing many “Slices”, you need to fix them and turn them into “fades” in order to become a better golfer with lower scores. “Fades” in golf are like “Slices”, but with a curved trajectory that is less sharp, easier to control, and more accurate.

Later in this article, we explain how to turn your “Slices” into “Fades”.

Down below is a real-world example of the curve a Slice shot follows.

slice curve
Curve a Slice Shot Follows In Golf

In the image above, you can see the approximate curve that a Slice shot will follow if you hit the ball in a certain way.

This type of curved trajectory can be extremely damaging to your golf score as it reduces the carry distance your ball travels, and can land it in the rough or other hazards.

However, in a few specific cases, the “Slice” could be useful for getting around a dogleg golf hole, or avoiding certain obstacles.

For a right-handed golfer (as most golfers are, such as in the image), a Slice shot will send the ball flying far to the right.

For left-handed golfers, a Slice shot will do the opposite, and send the ball flying far towards the left. You can literally mirror the image to know what a Slice would look like for a left-handed golfer.

The curved trajectory of a “Slice” shot is caused by an open club head face at ball impact, along with a club head path that brings the club head in closer to your feet.

For a right-handed golfer, the open club head face gives the golf ball an initial trajectory towards the right side, and the club head path towards the left side brushes the ball in such a way that its trajectory curves to the right.

If you are hitting many “Slices” and want to turn them into “Fades”, you will generally want to work on the club head path.

Instead of brushing your club head aggressively inwards, try giving your club head path a more neutral, straighter path towards your target, with a slight inward bias.

If that does not fix your “Slices”, you should also try closing your club face a bit more upon ball impact. Try to give your club head face a more neutral point of impact with the golf ball.

It is possible that your club face is too open because you have a bad golf club grip technique; your wrist may simply be turned too much around the grip by default, which will curve all your shots outwards too much.

To learn the best and correct golf club grip technique, you can read our guide: How To Hold A Golf Club?. Holding your golf club correctly will give your club head face a more neutral position by default, or a slightly closed bias, which will help your entire golf game.

These 3 fixes should turn your “Slices” into the “Fades” the Tour professionals commonly love to use.

If you would like to get better at turning your “Slices” into “Fades”, and improve your golf score, read our guide: How To Improve Your Golf Score? – 9 Pro Tips.

Origin Of The Term “Slice”

The origin of the expression “Slice” in golf is intuitive, but not that simple.

When you hit a “Slice” shot, the path the golf club head follows and the openness of the club face make it almost feel like you are “slicing” through the ball with a sharp sword.

Instead of hitting the golf ball head on and sending it flying straight ahead, the “brushing” or “slicing” of the golf ball makes it curve outwards and lose distance.

Due to the “slicing the ball” metaphor, it makes perfect sense where the term “Slice” got its name from in golf.

Conclusion

There you go! After reading this article, you have learned exactly what a “Slice” is in golf.

Do you have any other golf expressions you wish to know more about? Do you get frustrated when you hit a “Slice” shot in golf? Let us know in the comments down below!