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Answer Whats the best fix for a hook

All hooks are not created equal. Theres the push hook, which is least damaging because it starts right of the target before turning left; the standard hook, which flies straight before veering off line; and the pull hook, worst of the bunch because it starts left and bends farther into the unknown.

Theres a common thread between the different hooks, though: too much right-to-left sidespin. Theres also a common cause: a grip thats too “strong.”

A “strong” grip finds the hands rotated to the golfers right on the clubs handle. (Assuming the player is right-handed.) Often, this prevents the golfer from properly rotating the clubface into a square position on the backswing. The face remains closed at impact, sending shots left.

An overly strong grip can also create an exaggerated release action through the hitting zone, with the hands violently shutting the clubhead and imparting loads of sidespin.

Is your grip too strong? Grab a club and assume your normal grip and setup. Look at the back of your left hand – how many full knuckles can you see? If its more than two, you may have a grip problem. Anything more than three knuckles and youre definitely headed to Hookville.

If you determine your grip is, in fact, too strong, dont rush to move into the “neutral” position (where about 1.5 knuckles show). A grip adjustment can be quite awkward, so you need to make incremental change. To start with, turn both hands about 1/8” to the left. That may be enough to cure your hook. If not, practice until youre comfortable with the adjustment – it could take a few range sessions – then try another 1/8” rotation.

Once youve found the sweet spot and curtailed those hooks, continue checking your grip periodically. Its easy to slip back into your old, comfortable style.

Hooks may not rival the shanks for pure, soul-crushing devastation, but they might be the next-worse thing. Here are several additional tips for dealing with this malady:

Hook Shot Golf Drill: Hold Off Finish with Badge to the Sky

Hook Shot Golf Drill: Basket Behind the Ball

Ball Flight Clues to Help Correct Slices and Hooks

Seniors: 3 Good Hook Cures

Women: Best 3 Ways to Cure Hooks

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This will only make your hooks worse. Hooks happen when the clubface is closed in relation to the clubheads path at impact, generating right-to-left spin. Make sure youre setting the face square to the target line at address if youre having issues hooking the ball. You might even try an open clubface in cases of severe hooks.

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A “flat” swing plane is too horizontal, creating an exaggerated inside-to-out club path that often results in hooks. If your hooks start right of target (push hooks), try setting up slightly closer to the ball. This will put your swing on a more “upright” (vertical) plane and straighten out your path.

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Sometimes, golfers who hook instinctively begin lining up farther right. This can actually exacerbate the hooks by creating a sharp inside-out clubhead path. Pair this misalignment with a whippy pair of hands and you can hit some monster hooks.