Help Me Cure My Golf Hook 1

The golf hook is a really destructive golf shot.

It is a shot that starts right of the target then severely curves a great deal to the left of the target for a right handed golfer (left handed - the golf ball starts left of the target and curves a great deal to the right of the target). This shot will normally result in a lost golf ball, a shot that will find trouble or a golf ball that will be heading out of bounds. This tip is going to help you solve that problem.

Problem - A hook would normally happen with a driver as the loft of the face is low, therefore imparting more spin axis on the golf ball sending it off target. Also the extra speed created from the driver will cause the ball to curve off target much more. A hook shot can happen with an iron, however, most of the time this will be slightly less curved but the shot can still cause devastating results. The errors that can lead to a hooked golf shot will normally come directly from an incorrect grip. A hooked golf shot can come from the grip being too strong. A grip that is too strong means that the top hand of the grip is too much on top of the grip and the bottom hand of the grip is too much around the back of the golf club. This will cause the golf club face to aim severely closed at impact, therefore sending the golf ball left of the target for a right handed golfer (left handed - too strong a grip will close the club face at impact sending the golf ball severely right at impact).

As a result, the golfer may have learnt to try and hit the ball more to the right to stop the golf ball going left, however as a result, this exaggerates the impact factor and a hooked golf shot is born as the swing path becomes too much inside. The contrast between the swing path going right and the club face aiming more left than the path causes the ball to curve on a tilted spin axis.

Fix - Correct hold of the golf club is vital. The grip needs to become more neutral so that the club face remains square at impact.

Key point - Your top hand goes on the golf club first, making sure we hold the golf club straight. Hold the grip in the base of the fingers and wrap the hand on top, pointing the thumb down the front of the grip.

Check point 1 - Make sure you can see only 2½ knuckles on the hand when looking down.

Check point 2 - The thumb and index finger create a crease that points to your shoulder that is away from the target. Then place the bottom hand on the golf club holding again with the base of the fingers and wrap the thumb pad on top of the other hand's thumb.

Check point 3 - The crease between the thumb and the index finger again points towards the shoulder furthest away from the target. Link the fingers at the back of the grip by either interlocking or overlapping the index finger of the top hand and the little finger of the bottom hand.

Top tip - Hold the club gently. Avoid strangling the golf club as this will restrict the correct hand action through the ball.

Key point - Once the grip has been neutralized, the idea would be to swing the golf club less from the inside of the ball. Therefore, attempt to swing the golf club more to the left of the target and release the golf club by crossing over the bottom arm with the top arm.

Top tip - Point the golf club's butt end towards where the golf ball started at set up at the half way position in the follow through.

Help Me Cure My Golf Hook

Help Me Cure My Golf Hook

One of the best ways to be able to enjoy the game of golf is to hit the ball relatively straight time after time. You don't even have to hit it that far to have fun – as long as you can hit it pretty straight, you will have a good day on the links. No golfer is perfectly consistent, of course, but hitting most of your shots in the general direction of the target is certainly going to add to your enjoyment of the round.

Sadly, countless golfers aren't able to enjoy the game as much as they should because they are dealing with a nasty hook. The hook might not be quite as common as the slice, but it is still a frequently-seen issue on courses all over the world. If you are currently dealing with a hook, you know just how significant of a challenge it can be to have a good day on the course while seeing the ball dive to the left (for a right-handed golfer) over and over again. There is no way around it - if you are going to get the most out of your experience in this game, you need to fix your hook as soon as possible.

It may be more common to hear golfers complain about a slice as compared to a hook, but a hook is actually a bigger problem in terms of getting around the course. When you hit a slice, the ball has a high rate of backspin, meaning that it is going to stop relatively quickly after it lands. The same cannot be said for a hook. A hooked shot, especially with the driver, has a low backspin rate, and the ball is likely to take a big bounce and then have plenty of roll out as a result. Once the ball begins to hook, it is unlikely to stop until it finds a particularly nasty place to come to rest. It is rare that you will 'get away' with a hook – this kind of shot pattern is almost always going to lead you into trouble.

Fortunately, you don't have to be resigned to the hook forever. There are adjustments you can make to eliminate this frustrating shot from your game once and for all. In fact, most golfers find that it is easier to eliminate a hook from their game than it is to get rid of a slice. Those who slice the ball are usually in a bad position throughout the swing – the same cannot be said for golfers who hit a hook. In order to produce a hook, you actually need to do a lot of things right from start to finish. By continuing to do those things right and simply subtracting the few mistakes which are leading to the hook, you can come away with a vastly improved golf game in a short period of time.

All of the content throughout this article is written from the perspective of a right-handed golfer. If you happen to play left-handed, please take a moment to reverse the directions as necessary.

The Good News

The Good News

As mentioned above, you are already doing a lot of things correctly if you are hitting a hook. Before you worry about the things you need to change in order to get rid of the hook, a good starting point would be to think about the things that are already going right. After all, why not start with some good news before facing the reality of the work you have in front of you? Once you see how close you already are to having a reliable, hook-free golf swing, you will feel more motivated than ever before to work on the points that need to be corrected.

The list below contains a number of good points which are almost certainly in place in your swing if you are hitting a hook.

  • An inside-to-outside path. This is the best news of all pertaining to the current status of your golf swing. When you swing the club from inside-out, you can impart right-to-left spin which will cause the ball to turn over beautifully in the air as it flies. Unfortunately, in your swing at the moment, there is too much of that spin, so you are hitting a hook. However, it is much easier to simply reduce your spin rate than it is to change from an outside-in swing path. Those who hit a slice are stuck with an outside-in path, and it is difficult to turn that around quickly. Most slicers take many months, or even years, to fix their swing path. Things should be much easier with regard to your hook. Your path is already close to the mark, so you will just need to make a few adjustments in order to bring everything together properly.
  • Head staying behind the ball. Most golfers who hit a slice have a bad habit of drifting to the left past the ball on the way down toward impact. When this happens, the club comes across the ball at impact, and the swing lacks power as well. From your hook position, however, you should already be doing a good job of keeping your head back. Your rotation is probably already doing its job pretty well, even if it does need to be improved slightly. You have to be in a powerful position to hit a hook on a consistent basis, so you shouldn't be far away from launching some impressive shots down the middle of the fairway.
  • Plenty of release through impact. Another common ailment among golfers with a slice is the inability to release the club head through the hitting area. Again here, this is not a problem that is affecting your swing when you hit a hook. You are almost certainly releasing the club well – in fact, you might be getting a bit too much release, which could be part of the problem. You would rather start from this point as compared to needing to force your hands to add rotation through the ball. A free, aggressive release is generally a good thing, even if you need to bring it under control in order to straighten out your ball flight successfully.

It is frustrating, and even embarrassing, to hit hook after hook on the golf course in front of your friends. Fortunately, you can take pride in the fact that your golf swing is actually quite close to producing the kind of results you desire. The only thing standing between you and a better ball flight is the right information and plenty of hard work. We are going to provide the information you need throughout the rest of this article – the hard work, however, is going to be up to you.

Three Causes of the Hook

Three Causes of the Hook

As you can probably guess, there is more than one way to create a hook in the game of golf. Yes, most players who hit a hook have similar swing characteristics, but within those similarities there are differences which are important to recognize. Before you can correct your hook once and for all, you need to figure out why the ball is hooking in the first place.

In this section, we are going to highlight three specific causes of the hook. More than likely, if you are hooking the ball, you are doing so for one of the three reasons listed below.

  • Severe path from inside-to-out. The cause of your hook could be as simple as swinging too severely from inside-to-out on your way through the ball. An inside-out path is generally a good thing in golf, as this is a powerful position to hit from, and it will allow you to hit a controlled draw when you execute correctly. Unfortunately, if you go too far with this kind of move, you can wind up in trouble. Swinging dramatically from inside-out on the way through the ball will result in a nasty hook rather than a controlled draw. Obviously, correcting your hook in this case is going to mean altering your swing path to become more neutral as it goes through the hitting area. Often, such an adjustment can be made by doing nothing more than tweaking your stance or your takeaway.
  • Premature release. You do need to release your hands through the hitting area if you want to hit a nice draw, but doing so prematurely can lead to a hook. An early release will cause the face of the club to close down relatively to the target line – meaning you will impart too much hook spin and the ball will curve quickly to the left. The key here is to hold off your release by using plenty of lag on the way down. You should feel like you are pulling the butt end of the golf club down toward the ball in the downswing before the right hand takes over and sends the club head ripping through the ball. To get over this problem, work on hitting short shots while holding your release until the last possible second. From there, gradually work your way up until you are hitting your driver without a hint of hook.
  • Failure to rotate through the swing. This might be the 'hidden' cause of the hook, as many golfers make this mistake but few understand its implications. During the downswing, your body should be turning rapidly through the ball on the way to the finish position. It is your lower body which needs to take charge in this phase in order to create a powerful strike. Your hips can help you to create significant power, but only if they keep turning all the way through the swing. This is where many amateur golfers get in trouble. If you start the downswing by turning your hips, only to stop before you complete the swing, the club will 'flip over' and a hook will result. Basically, you will be giving up on the shot with your lower body, and you will pay the price when a hook is the result. To get rid of this mistake, there is only one thing to do – commit to a great turn all the way down and through the shot. It takes confidence to turn through with no hesitation, so build up your confidence on the range before testing yourself again on the course.

There is a good chance that the underlying cause of your hook can be found in the list above. Think carefully about your swing, and watch video recordings of your swing if possible in order to find the culprit. Once you know why the ball is hooking you will have a much better chance to gain control over the issue.

Making a Hook-Proof Golf Swing

Making a Hook-Proof Golf Swing

You probably have a pretty good idea by this point of how to take the hook out of your game. By avoiding the mistakes listed above, you will go a long way toward leaving your hook in the past. However, there are some other tips we can offer to help you build a hook-proof swing. You will gain great confidence in knowing that you have not only worked to take away your hook, but you have actually taken steps to prevent the hook from coming back at some point in the future.

Again in this section, we are going to provide you with a list of points. This time, these points will be focused on allowing you to swing aggressively through the ball without worrying about hitting a hook.

  • Weaken your left-hand grip. One of the best things you can do to prevent the hook is to weaken your left-hand grip slightly. You don't have to play from a dramatically weak position, but it will help to weaken that hand to some degree in order to slow down your release. At address, simply turn your left hand just slightly to the left. Then, adjust your right hand to match and you will be good to go. This is going to feel a little bit uncomfortable at first, but you should be able to get used to it simply by hitting balls on the range. Through repetition, your swing will get more comfortable and you will find that you are hitting shots with almost no tendency to turn to the left.
  • Open your left foot to the target line. Another easy adjustment you can make is to turn your left foot open to the target line slightly at address before starting your swing. Just turn your toes open a few degrees while keeping your heel in the same place. This change is going to make it easier for you to rotate through the ball in the downswing, reducing the chance that you will let the club flip over by stopping your rotation. This tip is especially helpful for players with somewhat limited flexibility. You will find that this tip can be helpful throughout your set, so feel free to use it from the driver all the way down to the wedges.
  • Play the ball a bit forward in your stance. You might be surprised to learn that playing the ball up in your stance is a good way to reduce hook spin. This seems counterintuitive to some golfers, as it seems like moving the ball up would make it more likely to hit a shot to the left. That is not the case, however, due to the arc of your swing. When the ball moves closer to the target in your stance, you will be more likely to catch the ball when the club is moving back in toward your body, since the apex of the swing arc will have already occurred. This minor change is going to help straighten out your path through the ball, and you will find it much more difficult to create that nasty hook pattern.
  • Finish your backswing. It is easy to get into the habit of cutting your backswing short, especially if you are nervous about where the shot is going to go. Unfortunately, depending on your swing mechanics, a short backswing can easily lead to a hook. Make it a point to finish your backswing each and every time, no matter how nervous you may be. You don't have to make a huge turn – not every golfer is flexible enough to make a big rotation – but you do need to give the club enough time to get into position for the downswing. If you are out on the course and you start to slip back into a hook pattern, there is a good chance you are rushing. Slow things down, focus on making a good turn, and let your swing develop naturally. Most likely, the hook will disappear just as quickly as it popped back up.

There is an incredible sense of confidence which can come from knowing that you are unlikely to hit a hook when you stand on the tee (or when you stand over any other shot, for that matter). It is going to take some time and effort to learn how to play hook-free golf, but you can make it happen with persistence and attention to detail.

Getting By for Now

Getting By for Now

If you are currently dealing with a hook, you now have a great deal of information which you can use to take that hook out of your game. However, there might not be enough time to make all of the necessary changes before your usual round this weekend. So, in the meantime, you need to have a few strategies in place to play as good as you can while still hitting some hooks. This last section is going to offer up a few pointers on getting through a round of golf despite the presence of a sharp right-to-left ball flight.

The first thing you should do when fighting a hook is to club down off the tee. There is no reason to risk hitting driver when you really don't know where the ball is going to go. Instead of taking this chance, move down to a three wood or hybrid club in the interest of control. You will give up some distance with this strategy, but you are going to be better able to keep the ball in play. Fewer lost golf balls will mean fewer penalty strokes, and you will have a more enjoyable day on the links overall.

Another important point is to make sure to lay up whenever possible. Even if you are within range of the green in two shots on a par five, for example, the better choice is to lay up when you aren't confident in your swing. You are unlikely to hit a hook with a short iron, so use one of your short irons to play the ball down the fairway, and then another one to hit the shot into the green. This will virtually eliminate your risk for the hole, and get you closer to the finish line without seeing an ugly hook get you into trouble.

Finally, one last thing you can do when dealing with a hook is to simply try to take some distance off of your shots. By not swinging quite so hard, you will take some of the speed out of your release at the bottom, and the ball may be less inclined to turn left – or even if you still hit a hook, it might not be so dramatic. This is obviously not a fix you want to use for the long term, but it can help you to get by.

Golf isn't a lot of fun when you are fighting a hook. It can seem impossible to complete a full 18 holes when the ball keeps turning left, but keep your head up and continue to work on your swing. In time, you should be able to straighten things out and begin enjoying this wonderful game once again. We hope the advice we have provided in this article will put you on the right track in short order. Good luck!