In golf and cheesecake, a little slice need not be deadly

Image of a slice of cheesecakeTRUST US, it’s more fun to pick up a knife and slice into a juicy piece of fruit than it is to slice on the golf course. Although as with cheesecake, a little slice need not be deadly.

When your playing partner has the annoying habit of critiquing every shot off the tee, this term probably appears frequently in her commentary. And that’s probably not in a “good shot” sort of context, or an order off the menu at the turn. She’s trying to be helpful by pointing out a flaw in your golf swing.

The slice, a shot that starts straight and bends to the right for a right-handed golfer or to the left for a southpaw, may also be referenced as a “banana ball” (an extreme slice) or a “cut” (an intentional slice). A slight one, known as a fade, can be a good thing — but, as with cheesecake, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.

The word itself has ancient origins, but according to one etymology source dates back to 1886 as a golf and tennis term, one that describes the result of a swing that resembles a knife slicing a cut.


One might want to make this sort of swing intentionally to bend a shot around some trees. (If you’re not a pro, good luck with that.) Otherwise the most common swing flaw is at fault: a right-to-left (or left-to-right for lefties) swing arc combined with an open face at impact.

There’s no one-fix-fits-all for this one, so you may want to consult a teaching professional rather than your helpful friend. Cures range from grip adjustment to stance to swing fundamentals. They do not include aiming more left — with a slice, that’s the equivalent of trying to offset the calories in one slice of cheesecake by eating a second.

This article first appeared in the July 2011 edition of GottaGoGolf Magazine.

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