First, we have to define what a hook shot actually is. There are many senior golfers who are unclear on the definition.
A hooked ball flight begins right of the target before curving left in the air to finish well left of the target (for a right handed golfer). The most important part of this definition is the ball starts right of the target. If a senior golfer hits the ball left of the target and the ball moves further left in the air, this is a pull hook and is caused by different swing faults.
A hook is caused when the club travels from an in-to-out swing path with the club face closed to both the swing path and target. The in-to-out swing path causes the ball to start right of the target whilst the closed club face to this path and target causes the ball to curve left and finish left of the target. If a senior is hooking as defined above, then these three fixes should help straighten out their ball flight.
1. A closed club face, in relation to swing path and target line, will cause a hook and the first place to check for the cause of a closed club face is the grip.
A strong grip is caused when the top hand is too on top of the club (this means as a senior looks down at address, they would see three or four knuckles on the top hand) or when the bottom hand is too much underneath the club (this means as a senior looks down at address, they would only see one or no knuckles on the top hand).
The aim is to achieve a neutral grip so when looking down, the golfer should see tho and a half knuckles on the top hand with the V created by the thumb and forefinger pointing at the right shoulder (for right handed golfers).
On the bottom hand, the golfer should be able to see one and a half knuckles with the V formed by the thumb and forefinger pointing between the chin and right shoulder (for a right handed golfer).
This grip will give the senior golfer the greatest chance to square the club face at impact.
2. Don’t Hood The Face - A key check point for hookers of the golf ball is the halfway point of their takeaway. At this point when the arms are extended and the club shaft is parallel to the ground, the club’s toe should be pointing up at the sky. If the senior finds at this point the toe of the club is pointing off to the side (club face aiming at the ground), they have hooded the club face. This is a closed position which could lead to hooked shots. To help correct this fault, the senior can include a little rehearsal swing into their pre-shot routine where they get the toe of the club pointing at the sky halfway back, then try to repeat the same feeling in their swing.
3. Check Your Alignment - One common cause for hooking the ball is misalignment at address. Many golfers hook the ball because they aim to the right of their intended target (for right handed golfers). This causes the brain and body to react, shutting down the club face at impact and sending the ball left. To help correct this, ensure you are correctly aligned to the target.
To ensure the correct alignment follow this pre-shot routine:
1. First pick out the target. This could be the flag or something in the distance to aim the driver at. Whatever the target, the senior golfer should make it as small as possible; the mind will lock on better to a smaller target.
2. After the target has been identified, trace a line back to the ball. This line is the ball-to-target line and must be established before the rest of the set up is completed.
3. When the ball-to-target line has been identified, find something on the ground just in front of the ball on the line.
4. Now aim the club face at the intermediate target. The square club face will aim at the intermediate target and therefore the actual target in turn.
5. When the club face is square to the ball-to-target line, place the toes, knees, hips and shoulders at right angles to the ball-to-target line.
6. The senior golfer using this set up is more likely to be correctly aligned to the target.