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“Pay attention to the small things, for over time they’ll become big” – Proverb

A few years ago I read a book called “Swing The Handle – Not The Clubhead” by Eddie Merrins. It not only confirmed to me that a great deal of our attention should be in our hands and not the clubhead, but also many other little idiosyncrasies that Pros produce that most amateurs don’t.

Most of the information you’re going to learn in this post came from that book. Spot on information from one of the best teachers out there.

About 3 years ago – after leaving Mitchell Spearman’s Academies and deciding to go it alone. I decided I not only wanted to search for the perfect swing, but also find out as much as I could about who else had gone down this path. Eddie Merrins was one of those guys I stumbled over. He’s coached a hell of a lot of Pros over the years as well as having a distinguished playing career in his own right. That’s why I sell his book in my Online Store – because it’s that good!

So the title of this post is why you may still be Slicing/Fading the golf ball. let’s get to it.

Your transition into your downswing is probably too fast

There has to be a gathering of the club at the top of the backswing. All this means is – allowing the weight of the clubhead to drop and pressure build up in PP#3. Pressure Point No 3 is the first joint/pad of your right hand trigger finger. Read about Pressure Points and more here..

What tends to happen when you don’t allow the club to gather at the top, is that you pull the club down on too steep a plane. Your brain then tells other parts of your body to make a compensatory move such as release the cocked left wrist early, and/or pull your body up – losing your inclination to the ground, so you don’t hammer the club into the ground and take a huge divot.

Here’s a great way of looking at how it works

The hands should come down on the outside of the path they went back on..

The clubhead should come down on the inside of the path it went back on..

fading/slicing the golf ball

Diagram from “The Golfing Machine” by Homer Kelley. Click the image to grab a copy..

Why, you ask?

Because during every shot you hit – the club should come down the inclined plane. Most golfers come down over the top of this inclined plane.

Even when you make a great backswing, this doesn’t mean your downswing will be great. So what are some little tips to pass along to help with this gathering of the club at the top?

How To Stop Fading/Slicing The Golf Ball

– Make sure you have your hands on the club correctly to start with. Understand the 3 essential pressure points in the hands and make a habit of placing your hands on the club in this way every time.

fading/slicing the golf ball

PP#2 awareness exercise

PP#1 is the lifeline/palm of the right hand against the left thumb. This is essential for the driving/accelerating aspect of the downswing. A great drill I use with people is to place a tee peg in between the left thumb and the right palm. This then provides awareness in that part of the grip.

is the last 3 fingers of the left hand. But also make sure the club counterbalanced against the heel pad of the left hand. You can do this by taking your thumb and trigger finger off the club to make sure it fits nice and snug.

is the first joint/pad of the right hand trigger finger against the side of the handle. This is where the pressure will build up during the transition into the downswing. The best swings allow this pressure to build before driving and accelerating the hands in the downswing. This also allows the clubhead to drop a little and the club fall onto the inclined plane during the downswing.

fading/slicing the golf ball

Click this image to pick up PP#3 educator

– Understand the role of the hands. We want the hands to move UP and IN going back, and swing DOWN and OUT coming down.

– Stop squeezing so hard. Every Pro and good player claims they play their best when they are relaxed. Start practicing hitting shots with A LOT slower swing than normal. Learn to hit a 6 iron, 100 yards with a full swing. This drill helps you produce softer hands and arms.

Hover the club above the ground before starting the move. If you do ground the club, make sure you’re lightly patting the ground. People who squeeze the club too tight generally ground the club in a heavy aggressive manner. This isn’t how the best players go about it.Also, you can use this as a trigger. As soon as the sole of the clubhead touches the ground, use that as your green light to start your move. That’s how Tiger goes about it!

The Feeling To Stop Fading/Slicing the Golf Ball

fading/slicing the golf ball

Pay attention to the blue arrows…

Now, as mentioned when we gather the club at the top and swing the club down on the inclined plane, the left wrist will start to feel like it is bowing slightly.

This is the feeling we want through impact

It acts as a little bit of insurance that the left wrist doesn’t become bent through impact, and also helps with the down/un-cocking of the left wrist post impact.

This also produces some torque in the left forearm. This can then be used to roll the forearm back around through impact. delivering an even more powerful blow on the inside back of the ball.



fading/slicing the golf ball

Follow the blue line

The point to remember here, is that we want a gradually accelerating motion through the whole move. There should never be any jerky or fast action anywhere in the swing – especially during the transition into the downswing.

Allow the club to gather at the top, almost pausing before you make your downswing, and you’ll start to experience the necessary build up of pressure (PP#3) and a shot pattern that starts a little right of target and curves back onto the target – the desired ball flight – a PUSH-DRAW.

Watch the video below on how to gather the club at the top of the swing, and feel free to chime in by leaving a comment below.