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What is a Slice in Golf?

Definition of the golf term

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Slice Trajectory - Ball Flight

The slice trajectory for a right-handed golfer.

Illustration by William Glessner

A "slice" is is a type of mis-hit golf shot in which the golf ball curves in flight from left to right (for a right-handed golfer - reverse the directions for a lefty). A slice and a fade share the same shaping, except that a slice is more severe.

A sliced shot starts out to the left of the target and then bends dramatically back to the right of the target. This is caused by the spin put on the golf ball by a poor swing in which the clubface does not contact the ball in a square position. (Typically, the clubface swipes across the ball moving from outside the proper swing path to the inside, imparting slice spin.)

Because of the shape of the slice trajectory, the slice is sometimes colloquially called the "banana ball." A slice is rarely played intentionally, and is the most common mis-hit of recreational golfers.

If you, like many golfers, are plagued by a slice, how do you get rid of one? See quick tips for diagnosing the cause of your slice.

For a video tutorial, see How to Correct a Slice.

In terms of the shape of the ball flight, a slice is the opposite of a hook.

Also Known As: Banana ball

Examples: Bob sliced his tee shot into the woods off to the right of the fairway.

Related Video
Correcting a Slice
Golf Swing Basics
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