There’s such a thing as doing too good of a job.
In the mid-1950s dentists introduced toothpastes with fluoride and the results were monumental. In a matter of years cavity-rates dropped and dentists lost business.
Golf publications are potentially in a similarly dicey situation.
Half of every golf journal published has a cover story on how to cure your slice (a ferocious spin put on the ball that causes shots to curve uncontrollably).
They offer techniques on how to rid slicing from your game in three easy steps, or in five easy steps, or in one round, or by applying Feng Shui techniques to your golf bag. (Never insert your putter into the same compartment as your driver — that produces negative Qi, or energy flow.)
Basically, it seems the only thing with more cures than a slice is boredom.
The worst thing publications like Golf Journal could do is print a foolproof remedy for the average player’s slice. The fact that so many “cures” are offered is a sign of what a lucrative topic it is. Without it, sales would drop significantly.
I’m not going to offer advice on how to straighten your drives though — and not just because I haven’t a clue as to how. (Anyone who has seen me hit my 1-wood would know that my drives often slice like samurai swords.)
Instead I wish to share some golf techniques that won’t cure your slice but will help you live with it.
First of all, always play with someone who you can beat. Nothing builds confidence like playing with an inept golfer who consistently fails to drive past the ladies’ tee. Ridiculing them without mercy is also a good way to bond with the other golfers in your foursome.
Second, purchase a golf bag that effectively conceals a least 12 cans of beer. This is key because relaxation is vital to a good golf game and because the only thing worse than running out of balls is running out of booze.
A helpful hint here is to buy a drink from the beer-cart and then refill it over the next 17 holes, thus giving the appearance that all your beverages were purchased from the club. (If questioned how a single beer could last for an entire afternoon, claim to have a liver condition that prevents you from consuming more than one drink every five-and-a-half hours.)
Third, buy some cheap used clubs from a pawnshop to put in your bag with your good clubs. These will come in handy when you three-putt a hole or whiff in a bunker.
With little financial loss you can take your frustrations out by wrapping them around trees or throwing them into water hazards. This technique will also cause others to think twice about questioning your shot-count.
Fourth, cut a hole in the pocket of your trousers to drop balls through. By dropping a ball down your pant leg you can ignore the ball in the foot-long rough and drop one somewhere more playable — without a stroke penalty!
Many might consider this to be dishonest, but like in marriage, it’s only cheating if you get caught. Both Barry Bonds and Bill Clinton taught me that.
Another useful thing to keep in mind: never attempt to pick up someone’s ball as they are swinging at it. A bad slice will add 20 strokes to a round, but three broken fingers and a missing thumbnail will add 27 … apparently.
There will never be an overarching cure for the slice, because golfers develop it for different reasons. So consider that, next time you’re about to drop eight bucks on a magazine promising ways to straighten your drives.
I hate to be voice of reason — since that is clearly not my area of expertise — but the only way to cure a slice is practice.
So you might as well have the best time possible while you work out the kinks.