For a right handed golfer, a hook is a shot that curves substantially from right to left. It is the opposite of the slice which is one of the most common shot trajectories for beginning or inexperienced golfers.
It’s interesting that as many beginning golfers improve their games, they can develop the tendency to hook the ball. Part of this could be blamed on golf instruction itself since many tips and fixes that are advised to cure the slice are exaggerative concepts that may eventually lead to hook tendencies. And as you might expect, a lot of the cures to hooking tend to encourage trajectories in the other direction so be mindful of the adjustments you make and work on minimizing the amount of curvature in your game since a lot of it is simply unnecessary during most scenarios you’ll encounter on the golf course.
Now for a few pointers to experiment with to help solve your hooking problem:
- The back of your left wrist should be facing a line parallel to your target at address and again at impact. Since the back of your flat left wrist should also match the square clubface, you can use this concept as a good guide to help you get into a square position at impact. An impact bag is a great way to really feel the correct impact position.
- Some players like to “chase” the ball through impact keeping the clubface square for a longer duration of time. Although the swing path through the hitting zone is on an arc, it is okay to have the club follow a straighter line through the impact zone to hit straighter shots.
- Try hitting some golf shots with your entire right hand overlapping your left to help take some of the release out of the swing. Another good grip to try is the double overlap grip used by PGA Tour player Jim Furyk. It is just like the traditional overlap grip except it has two fingers of the right hand overlapping the left.
- Make sure the hips lead the downswing, followed by the torso, followed by the arms and then hands. Ignoring this sequencing and allowing the downswing to start with the hands and arms can lead to an array of problems including hooks.
- You could have equipment that doesn’t match your swing. Shafts that are too flexible for a golfers’ swing speed and tempo can lead to hooks so experiment with stiffer shafts. Another thing to try out is larger grips on your clubs. This will inhibit some of the excessive rotation of the hands through the impact zone that can so often lead to hooks. If you’ve never been fitted for clubs then you can do that for free at Thomas Golf which sells premium golf clubs with alignment technology backed by independent research.