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How to Adjust a Driver to Help a Slice

Published on 08/31/2023 · 9 min readLearn how to fix your slice by adjusting your driver. This Expert guide offers expert tips to tweak your driver settings and improve your golf game!
John Archibald, Golf Expert
By Golf Expert John Archibald

Photo by Anuphone

I’ve been in this game for over 25 years at all levels as a competitor, coach, and junior tournament director. “How do I adjust a driver to help a slice” will always be the most common question from amateurs. I think most try to take the approach of finding “the answer.” If that worked, YouTube, Golf Digest, and your local PGA pros would have cured golf's number one ailment long ago.

We all have different bodies and unique athletic backgrounds, leading us to move in very distinctive ways. Just look at the PGA and LPGA Tour. The swings are all very different in tempo, length, speed, swing plane, and everything in between. From Tony Finau to Nelly Korda, these golfers never find a single answer but instead, know why a certain ball flight happens and what experiments they can run with their golf ball to change it. Below is a list of questions I would progress through to treat your current banana ball like a tour player would.

  1. Why does the ball curve?
  2. How can I use my current technology to influence ball flight?
  3. What technique changes can I make to draw or fade the ball?

So, instead of looking for the “answer” to your slicer demon, I challenge you to follow the suggestions below to help you find more ways to experiment and find your answer to curing your slice. I will be assigning homework at the end of each section, so follow along to truly take this guided experiment with you into action.

Why the Ball Curves: Face-to-Path Ratio

Photo by Florida Stock

Picture this: You stand on the tee, line up your shot, take a confident swing, and the ball banana peels with more side spin than a turntable out of bounds.

The most important thing you can do is understand why it happened. After each shot, My first coach asked me what the ball did and why. I believe it to be the most under-taught skill in golf because it allows you to correct on the course, which is what all great players do. Put simply, this skill can be referred to as the "face-to-path" relationship.

Face-to-path refers to your clubface's orientation compared to your swing's path. This ratio imparts spin on the ball just the same way a tennis or ping pong player would. For righties, the more right-to-left spin you can put on the ball, the more draw you will impart, and vice versa. The more left-to-right spin you can put on the ball, the more fade you impart.

Here is a simple chart that outlines the results of various face-to-path scenarios:

NeutralInside ApproachPush Draw
NeutralOutside ApproachPull Fade
ClosedInside ApproachPush Hook
ClosedOutside ApproachPull Draw
OpenInside ApproachPush Fade
OpenOutside ApproachSlice

If you came to this article looking for help with a slice, you know that your clubface is open at impact. If it’s truly a slice that is not staying in play, it is most likely an outside swing path into the ball with an open clubface.

Homework: Go to the range and see if you can curve the ball in all these patterns with a 7-iron. Try to exaggerate the motions and clubface while doing it. This is called a “middling” exercise that allows people to feel wall-to-wall on what's possible before finding the middle or correct way of doing it. Junior golfers are natural at this, and we adults can learn a thing or two from them!

How to Use Tech to Curve the Ball

Technology has become one place in golf where we have complete control, and taking advantage of it is absolutely necessary. When trying to curve the ball, there are four main areas to adjust: head weighting, hosel tuning, grip size, and shaft flex.

Adjustable Weights: Put It on the Heel

Now, let's talk about a game-changer in the world of golf tech—the adjustable driver. I remember when the first TaylorMade R7 came out, and I could adjust weights in the back of the clubhead to influence ball flight. It felt like cheating, but the USGA ruled in our favor, so we can now adjust our clubs with a simple tool instead of packing on led tape.

A good example of an adjustable driver (most are nowadays) is the Callaway Paradym Driver. I’ll use it as a reference throughout this article because it has both adjustable weights and hosel. The weights on the back of the driver can be positioned to make one side of the driver's head lighter and the other heavier. The lighter side will pass more quickly than the heavier side through impact, helping to close or open the face depending on where you put the weight. Well, since we are talking about slices here, which side should we put the weight on? If you guessed heelside, you are right. Putting the weight on the heel will allow the toe of the club to close more efficiently, helping you square the face more. This is just one of many tricks to help tame that slice.

Homework: Use an adjustable driver of your own or check one out at a golf store with a simulator and hit 10 balls with heel weighting, 10 with neutral weighting, and 10 with toe weighting, and see what happens to your ball flight. Even better would be doing this drill blind with a friend who changes the weight for you so that it’s a true experiment!

Adjustable Hosels: Increase Loft and Close the Face

Behold the Callaway Paradym Driver's adjustable hosel, a simple way to adjust your driver's loft and face angle. With loft settings ranging from -1 to +2 and face settings in "Neutral" and "Draw," you have a plethora of configurations at your fingertips. For battling the slice, use the higher loft with a draw setting—this closed-face combo is a slice's worst nightmare. Low loft makes the ball curve more, but given your circumstances, you want less curve. Add in a more closed face at address, and this should help you slow down that slice.

Homework: Use an adjustable driver of your own or check one out at a golf store with a simulator and hit 10 balls with negative loft at neutral face, 10 with positive loft at neutral face, 10 with negative loft at draw face, and 10 at positive loft with draw face and see what happens to your ball flight. Again, even better would be doing this blind with a friend who changes the hosel to make the experiment even more accurate.

Grip: Size Down

Grip it and rip it, they say. But if you're slicing it, gripping it just right can be your secret weapon. A smaller grip tailored to your hand size could make your hands flip over more naturally, helping you say “adieu” to that annoying banana ball. On the flip side, a larger grip can work wonders if you're wrestling with a hook. Who knew that the size of your grip could influence your golf destiny?

Homework: Grips run between $10 and $20. Go ahead and get fitted for a grip at your local golf shop. However, go one size down from their recommendation. Yes, I am saying not to follow their fitting, but these are mere guidelines, and we are experimenters here! Now go to the range with your new smaller grip and see if you can feel anything different. The club should release just a little easier now, preventing that open clubface.

Shaft: Weaken the Shaft

Photo by Golf Expert Rob H.

Ah, the all-important shaft—the unsung hero of your golf club. Weaker shafts might just be the key to unlocking that elusive draw. If your trusty driver boasts a stiff shaft, give a regular shaft a whirl. You might be surprised how this simple switch can help your clubhead and path play in perfect harmony.

Homework: Go driver shaft testing! Most golf stores will have a plethora of options to choose from that you can combine with your own driver. Don’t let your ego get in the way here either. There are current tour pros that boast stock shafts because they match up better for their swing. Try Senior, Womens, Regular, Stiff, and X-Stiff shafts to see the differences in feel and ball flight.

Technique Tune-Up

Photo by Taka 1022

No golf article is complete without some swing talk, right? Let's get technical. First up, the grip. A neutral grip will show two knuckles on your left hand if you are right-handed with thumbs aligned down the shaft. A strong grip will show between two and four knuckles on that higher hand by rotating both hands slightly to the right. This movement of the hands to the right shifts the face to the left, allowing it to close more easily through impact, thus helping your slice.

The ball's placement matters just as much. Too far forward, you're inviting a fade as your swing plane has to extend, forcing the clubface open. Experiment with the ball slightly back, encouraging an in-to-out path, and see if you can draw the ball with that new, stronger grip.

And then there's tension: the silent game ruiner. Picture smooth swingers like Vijay Singh and Ernie Els—notice their effortless swings? Tension can be a slice's best friend, keeping the clubface wide open. So, channel your inner zen master, relax, and let that clubhead do its thing.

Homework: Hit 10 balls with a strong grip and the ball up in your stance. Hit 10 balls with a strong grip in the back of your stance. Then, repeat with 10 more balls using your normal grip and ball positioning. What do you notice?

Turning Slices into Smiles

So there you have it, fellow golfer. The slice correction might be golf's toughest test, but armed with the right knowledge and some nifty adjustments, you can send it packing. Here’s a quick summary of what you can take from this article to help fix your slice.

From Paradym's weight-shifting prowess to grip sizes, shaft strengths, and swing tweaks, you've got a toolbox full of tricks to work your golfing magic. So, the next time you step onto the tee, remember: slices are for pizzas, not golf shots! If you need help finding a great driver to help with your game, feel free to reach out to a Curated Golf Expert for free, personalized advice!


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Written by:
John Archibald, Golf Expert
John Archibald
Golf Expert

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