Golf Term: Hook

A hook is a term commonly used in golf to describe a shot that curves sharply from right to left (for right-handed golfers) or from left to right (for left-handed golfers). It is considered a flight path that is the opposite of a slice.

  • A hook is typically an unintentional shot that occurs when the clubface is closed at impact.
  • It is characterized by a strong left-to-right curvature for right-handed golfers and right-to-left for left-handed golfers.
  • The hook shot is known to be difficult to control and can result in shots veering off target.

Causes of a Hook Shot:

  • Grip Pressure: Gripping the club too tightly can cause the hands to rotate excessively, resulting in a closed clubface at impact and a hook shot.
  • Grip Position: Placing the club too much in the palm of the hand instead of the fingers can lead to a hook because it restricts the clubface from rotating properly.
  • Swing Path: An inside-to-out swing path increases the chances of a hook. This occurs when the club moves from inside the target line during the downswing.
  • Clubface Alignment: Having a closed clubface at address or during the backswing can result in a hook.

Effects and Solutions:

A hook shot can have various effects on a golfer's game:

  • Loss of Distance: The ball's excessive spin and sideways movement can result in a loss of distance compared to a straight shot.
  • Inconsistent Ball Striking: Constantly hooking the ball can lead to inconsistent contact, as the clubface may not square up with the ball properly.
  • Trouble on Certain Holes: Certain holes may have hazards or out-of-bounds areas on the left side, making a hook shot particularly troublesome.

To correct a hook shot, the following steps can be taken:

  • Grip Adjustment: Loosen the grip pressure and ensure that the hands are more in the fingers rather than in the palm. This allows for better club rotation.
  • Alignment Check: Verify that the clubface is not closed at address or during the backswing.
  • Swing Path Correction: Focus on swinging from inside to square through impact, while avoiding excessive inside-to-out paths.
  • Practice: Engage in targeted practice sessions to improve control and consistency in order to reduce hook tendencies.


A hook shot in golf refers to a shot that curves sharply from right to left (for right-handed golfers) or left to right (for left-handed golfers). It is typically an unintentional shot caused by factors such as grip pressure, grip position, swing path, and clubface alignment. A consistently hooked ball can affect distance, ball striking, and potentially cause trouble on certain holes. By adjusting grip, checking alignment, correcting swing paths, and engaging in targeted practice, a player can work towards minimizing or eliminating the hook shot from their game.