They say there’s an exception to every rule, and that’s certainly true in golf. How else to explain Jack Nicklaus’ success with a “flying right elbow,” or Lee Westwood’s superior ballstriking despite his “chicken wing” position?
Sometimes, doing things by the book doesn’t seem to work. For example, some golfers have a hard time hitting an intentional hook shot – say, when they’re stuck behind a tree – despite using the standard technique. (Setting up with the body and clubface closed, then swinging along the line of the body.)
More often than not, these players fail to release the club (roll the right hand over he left through impact), hitting the ball where their body is aligned – well right of the target. Why? Probably because they fear hitting a sharp pull or over-hooking the ball.
Here’s an unorthodox solution that works for some golfers: Instead of closing or hooding the clubface, leave it slightly open to the line of your body. You read that right – to hit a hook, open the clubface.
It’s basically a mind trick. Opening the clubface serves two purposes:
1. It eliminates the fear of hitting a monster hook, and
2. Forces you to roll the hands over strongly to prevent a push or slice.
This isn’t to suggest that you can solve every issue by going against the textbook. But sometimes, a counterintuitive approach can work wonders.