The Top Three Reasons for Hitting a Golf Hook–and How to Correct Them

A hook is a ball that curves in a direction away from the dominant hand of the golfer. When the ball hooks the left (for a right-handed player), it bends right-to-left in the air as it flies. To do so, it must be spinning counter-clockwise. And to spin counter-clockwise, the club must swing to the right with the clubface pointing to the left slightly. To determine if you’re hitting a hook shot, look at the direction of your divots. A hook shot produced divots that point slightly to the right—the ball will have ended to the left of the direction of your divot.

Once you’ve determined that you’re hitting a hook shot, take a look at these three aspects of your game to determine the root of the problem.

Check your Grip. Although your grip doesn’t have anything to do with the trajectory of your swing, it does affect your clubface at impact, which alters the path of the ball immensely. And while grips are very individualized, there is a guideline for ensuring your clubface is square at impact.

When you’re in your stance and the clubface is square to the target, you shouldn’t be able to see more than two knuckles on your left hand. Also, check the V’s between your index finger and thumb on both hands. They should be pointing toward–and not farther out than–your right shoulder. If your hands are turned too far to the right, it’s likely the clubface will look to the left at impact.

Study your backswing. When you hook the ball, you usually have one of two problems with your backswing. You’re either swinging too far inside/around OR you’re turning the club slightly counter clockwise. (Or both.)

If you’re swinging too far inside, the club will approach the ball at a shallow angle, which means you’re hitting it too far along the ground. This swing trajectory is the main cause of the ball spinning counter-clockwise.

First, check the top of your backswing, ensuring that your shaft if over your shoulder at the top and not too far behind you. Also be sure that your head is steady during your backswing. Don’t move off the ball to the right; that will cause your backswing to be too flat and inside.

Next, check the position of your clubface. The most common reason for hooking a shot is that your clubface is turning counter-clockwise in the beginning of your backswing, which causes the clubface to close at impact. Your clubface should be open on your backswing along the target line—this is attained by turning your shoulders and torso and not by twisting your wrists. Stop at the top of your swing and check your left wrist. The back of your left wrist should be level with your left arm, so that if you put a ruler under the face of your watch, it would lay flat down your arm and the back of your hand.
If all else fails, look at your downswing. If you’ve corrected the problems above (which are usually a majority of the problem) and you’re still hitting a hook, study what’s happening in your downswing. You should be shifting your weight to your front foot and turning your body, making sure your arms are and hands are tension free. Use softness in your wrists as if you’re just letting the club swing.

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One response to “The Top Three Reasons for Hitting a Golf Hook–and How to Correct Them

  1. Pingback: The Top Three Reasons for Hitting a Golf Hook–and How to Correct … | Golf Back Swing Instruction

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