How to Fix Slicing Driver But Not Irons: Tips for Straightening Your Shots

Colin McCarthy

slicing driver but not irons

Many golfers find themselves baffled by a common conundrum: they hit their irons beautifully but consistently slice their driver.

This frustrating inconsistency can ruin scores and dampen the enjoyment of a round. Understanding why this happens is the first step to improving your game.

The driver, with its minimal loft and longer shaft, requires a different approach than your irons. It’s the only club where the ball is teed up, and the objective is to hit up on the ball.

These unique characteristics make it the club golfers are most likely to slice. By identifying and adjusting for these differences, you can start to eliminate those pesky slices and regain control over your drives.

Reasons You Slice Your Driver and Not Your Irons

Slicing your driver but not your irons is a common issue among golfers, and it often stems from differences in club length, swing mechanics, and setup. Here are some reasons why this happens:

Wrong Grip

A golfer’s grip significantly affects the ball’s flight path. A weak grip, where the V-shape formed by the thumb and forefinger points to the left side of the head for right-handed golfers, can cause an open clubface at impact, resulting in a slice.

A neutral grip is recommended, but a cupped lead wrist during the backswing can still lead to slicing the driver.

Steep Golf Swing Path

A steep swing path often results from an improper downswing plane or lack of flexibility. Golfers who initiate the downswing with their upper body typically produce an out-to-in swing path.

This path leads to an open clubface at impact and a slicing ball flight. Proper forearm rotation from the top of the backswing through impact helps close the clubface, promoting a straighter shot.

Active Upper Body

An overly active upper body during the downswing can disrupt the swing path. Most slicers start the downswing with their shoulders rather than their hips, causing the club to move outside and steep. This movement results in an out-to-in swing path.

For a better transition, initiate the downswing with a slight bump of the lead hip towards the target. This motion shifts weight onto the lead foot, allowing the upper body to drop and tilt back slightly, promoting an inside-to-out swing path.

Shorter or Wrong Golf Shaft Flex

The flex of the golf shaft affects the clubface’s ability to square at impact. A shaft that’s too stiff reduces control, making it harder to close the clubface and leading to slicing.

A proper club fitting helps select a shaft with the right flex, enhancing control and reducing slices. Shorter shafts found in irons naturally offer more control and make it easier to square the clubface, explaining why slicing is less common with irons.

Key Differences Between Driver and Iron Swings

The driver and iron swings differ due to the unique characteristics and purposes of each club. Here are the key differences between the two swings:

Club Shaft Length

Club shaft length significantly impacts swing mechanics. Drivers are the longest clubs in a golfer’s bag, usually around 45 inches, while irons are shorter, varying from 35 to 40 inches.

This length difference necessitates distinct swing arcs. The longer driver shaft requires a shallower swing path to optimize distance, whereas the shorter iron shaft allows for a steeper, more controlled swing.

Swing Path Variation

Swing path plays a crucial role in ball flight. For drivers, a shallow swing path is preferred to achieve a higher launch angle and longer distance. Golfers must strike the ball on an upward trajectory since the ball is teed up.

Conversely, iron swings benefit from a steeper swing path, promoting a descending strike that generates backspin and aids in accuracy. These distinct paths contribute to the different outcomes in ball flight for drivers and irons.

Loft Angle Influence

Loft angle differentiates the use of drivers and irons, with drivers typically having 8 to 12 degrees of loft and irons ranging from 20 to 45 degrees.

Drivers require an upward angle of attack to maximize carry and roll, while irons need a downward angle of attack for precise, high-arcing shots.

These differences in loft, coupled with variations in club shaft length and swing path, are crucial for golfers to understand in order to optimize their swings and improve accuracy with both types of clubs.

Techniques to Correct Slicing with a Driver

Correcting a slice with a driver can significantly improve your game. Here are some techniques to help you fix this common issue:

Adjusting Your Setup

Golfers can address slicing by making simple setup adjustments. Position the ball slightly forward in your stance to allow a more natural swing path. Align your shoulders, hips, and feet parallel to the target line for consistent alignment.

Aiming slightly right of the target can encourage an inside-out swing path. Ensuring these foundational setup changes helps achieve a more accurate ball flight, reducing the likelihood of a slice.

Optimizing Grip

A weak grip often leads to control issues with the clubface, causing slices. Strengthen your grip by rotating your hands slightly clockwise if you’re right-handed or counterclockwise if left-handed.

The V-shape between your thumb and index finger should point towards your trailing shoulder. This adjustment allows better control of the clubface, helping to square it at impact and correct the slicing problem.

Swing Path and Angle of Attack

Slicing frequently stems from an outside-to-in swing path. Focus on an inside-to-out path to minimize this issue.

Visualize swinging the clubhead along this path during your downswing. Maintaining a slight spine tilt away from the target aids this approach.

For optimal impact, ensure your angle of attack is slightly upward. This combination enhances the chances of a straighter drive.

Using Drills

Incorporate drills to practice and reinforce the correct swing mechanics. One effective drill involves placing an alignment stick or club on the ground parallel to your target line, just outside your golf ball.

Practice swinging so the clubhead travels inside this stick on the downswing. Another drill focuses on the lead wrist position; try pointing it towards the ground during takeaway to prevent a cupped wrist, which contributes to slicing.

Equipment Adjustments

Modern drivers offer adjustable features to aid in correcting a slice. Shift the moveable CG weight towards the heel to create a draw-bias setup.

If using a driver without adjustable weights, apply lead tape to the heel for additional weight. Adjust the lie angle to a standard setup if experiencing severe slices, ensuring the clubface remains level at setup. These equipment tweaks support a more controlled and straighter ball flight.

Feedback Devices

Utilize feedback devices to monitor and correct your swing. The HackMotion wrist sensor gives immediate audio feedback, helping adjust wrist positions during swings.

Employing such technologies provides real-time data, ensuring actionable insights for immediate improvement. Integrating these tools into practice sessions can refine your swing mechanics and reduce slicing tendencies.

Swing Adjustments for Better Control

Making specific swing adjustments can greatly improve control and accuracy with your driver. Here are some key adjustments to consider:

Smoothing Your Swing Path

Ensuring a smooth swing path is crucial in preventing slices with the driver. Many golfers suffer from an outside-to-inside swing path, leading to an open clubface at impact and causing a slice.

To correct this, focus on an inside-to-outside path during the downswing, adopt a wider stance similar to a draw setup, and align your shoulders slightly to the right (for right-handed golfers) to promote a straighter ball flight. Using swing aids like alignment sticks can offer visual feedback and help correct your swing path.

Timing Your Release

Properly timing the release of the clubhead is crucial to prevent slicing with the driver. A late release can leave the clubface open, while an early release may lead to a hook.

To achieve accurate release timing, maintain a relaxed grip and use your wrists effectively. Drill exercises with a HackMotion wrist sensor can provide feedback on wrist angles, helping you correct issues.

Slow-motion swings can also help you control the release, gradually building up speed to promote a square clubface at impact and reinforce muscle memory.

Practice Drills to Improve Driver Shots

Improving your driver shots requires consistent practice and the right drills. Here are some effective drills to help you hit better driver shots:

Drill for Improving Grip and Stance

To stop slicing your driver, ensure you have a solid grip and stance. Adopt a neutral grip where the V-shapes formed by your thumbs and forefingers point to your right shoulder if you’re right-handed, minimizing the chance of an open clubface at impact.

Position your feet shoulder-width apart with balanced weight distribution for stability and control. Stand slightly closed to your target line to promote an inside-to-outside swing path, reducing the likelihood of slicing.

Swing Path Correction Drill

Improving your swing path is essential to combating a slice. An effective drill involves using alignment sticks. Place one stick on the ground along your target line and another parallel to it, outside your ball.

During your swing, focus on keeping the clubhead inside the parallel stick on the downswing. This inside-to-outside path reduces the tendency for the clubface to open, promoting a straighter ball flight. Practice this drill consistently to enhance muscle memory and refine your swing path.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the grip affect slicing with a driver?

Yes, an improper grip can lead to slicing. Ensure your grip is neutral to promote better control over the clubface and improve accuracy. Regular practice with a consistent grip can help prevent slicing.

Can shaft flex impact my driver slice?

Absolutely. The flexibility of your driver’s shaft can influence your swing path and clubface alignment. Ensure your shaft flex matches your swing speed to reduce the likelihood of slicing.

What stance should I use to avoid slicing my driver?

Adopt a balanced stance with your feet shoulder-width apart. Position the ball off the inside of your front foot and align your body parallel to the target line. This setup promotes an inside-to-outside swing path, reducing slicing tendencies.

How often should I practice to eliminate a slice?

Consistency is key. Regular practice, at least a few times a week, focusing on your grip, stance, and swing path can help build muscle memory and improve your overall swing mechanics, ultimately reducing your slice.

Will adjusting the lie angle of my driver help with slicing?

Yes, an incorrectly set lie angle can exacerbate slicing. Ensure the lie angle of your driver is properly adjusted to suit your swing, which can help you achieve better clubface alignment and straighter drives.

Can professional coaching help fix my slice?

Professional coaching can provide personalized tips and guidance to address your specific slicing issues. An instructor can analyze your swing mechanics and make tailored recommendations, accelerating your progress in eliminating a slice.


Understanding the distinct techniques required for drivers and irons is crucial for any golfer looking to improve their game. By focusing on grip, swing path, and body movement, players can address the unique challenges posed by the driver.

Implementing specific drills to refine these aspects will help develop better muscle memory and swing mechanics.

Consistent practice, video analysis of swings, and consulting with a professional coach can significantly enhance performance.

Adjusting stance and ensuring proper alignment are also key in reducing driver slices and gaining confidence in driving skills.

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Colin McCarthy

Golf is about mastering your misses and learning from them. I seek answers on the how and why of the golf swing, gaining experience even when answers elude me. With over 11,000 hours of teaching and a hunger for learning, I welcome any questions. My goal is to introduce golf to as many as possible, simplifying the game for all to enjoy. Passionate, eager, and ambitious, I'm here to teach, listen, and learn. LinkedIn

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