Bend It Like Bubba and Cure Your Slice
Mar 7, 2017
By: Steve Newman
On the second playoff hole of the 2012 Masters, we saw Bubba Watson bend his approach shot around the trees onto the 10th green with a massive amount of left-to-right spin to win his first green jacket. Bubba has a great imagination, and from watching him, we can learn the factors make the golf ball curve.
For a right-handed golfer to produce right-to-left (hook) spin, the clubface (red arrow in photo above) must be closed to the club path (blue line). This will impart right-to-left spin and make the shot hook rather than slice.
This is a great lesson if you “slice” the ball. If you watch Bubba, he rotates his top forearm over his bottom forearm so that the toe of the club rotates past the heel. This also makes the club-head travel faster, creating more distance.
This is similar to a baseball player rotating their top hand over the bottom hand. If you played baseball or softball growing up, think about how a right-handed batter would hit the ball down the third base line and impart “hook spin”. This is far different than hitting it with “slice spin” down the first base line. Baseball swings with a golf club are a great way for you to practice and train your forearm rotation.
To cure your slice, check the following:
- Make sure you can see at least two to three knuckles when looking down at your top hand of your grip at address. If you only see one knuckle, you will most likely hit a slice.
- Tee up a 6-iron and hit shots rotating your top forearm over the bottom forearm through impact trying to make both forearms touch to impart hook spin.
- Visualize and feel the toe of the club rotating over the heel.
- Intentionally hit sharp curving shots until your hands and forearms can feel what makes the ball curve with hook spin.
- Once you get a feel for this, you won’t need to rotate your forearms as hard. Dial it back some and develop your shot pattern into a soft “draw”.
Steve Newman is a PGA Professional and Director of National Placement Strategy at Golf Academy of America.