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How can I stop hooking my hybrid clubs

So youre hitting hooks with your hybrid clubs. Congratulations – you must be doing something right.

Also, welcome to the club (so to speak). Many players, especially low handicappers, suffer from the same ailment.

Hooks happen for a variety of reasons – a swing path thats too far inside the target line, over-rotation of the hands and arms through impact, etc. – most of which are exaggerations of desired swing qualities. Theres a reason hybrids seem to aggravate these issues compared to other clubs: Many are built with slightly closed clubfaces and upright lie angles.

Manufacturers do this to help the slicers out there, who account for the vast majority of amateur golfers. That gives non-slicers two choices: 1) Purchase custom-fitted hybrids with square faces and proper lie angles, or 2) Adjust their setup and swing to compensate for their equipment.

The first option is ideal, of course. But sometimes, youve got to make the best of what youve got. If youre in the second boat, the key to curing your hybrid hooks is to treat these clubs like irons.

Because hybrids clubheads and graphite shafts closely resemble fairway woods, the tendency is to play them like fairway woods – ball forward in the stance and a sweeping swing which “picks” the ball off the turf. With the ball positioned forward, however, the clubface has already begun to close by the time you reach impact. Hence, you hit a hook.

Try this instead:

  • Move the ball to the center, or just forward of center, in your stance. The shorter the club, the closer to center you should play it.
  • The shaft should tilt toward the target, as though youre hitting an iron.

Swing normally. Taking a divot is perfectly fine, ensuring that you catch the ball with a descending blow.

By moving the ball back in your stance, youll lessen the effect of the hybrids built-in closed face. Hitting down on the ball will give your shots plenty of height and spin, too. With a little practice, you may even learn to fade your hybrids.

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As detailed above, this method actually causes better golfers to hook their hybrids. Forget that hybrids look like fairway woods: Play them more like irons – ball near the middle of your stance, shaft leaning toward the target, downward strike. If that doesnt do the trick, consider having your hybrids face and lie angles altered by a professional, or invest in new hybrids custom-fitted to your swing.

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If youre hooking the ball with any club, this is one of the worst things you can do. Standing farther from the ball creates a takeaway thats inside the target line, causing a flat swing plane and an exaggerated inside-out path to the ball. Hello, hook city. If anything, try standing a little closer to the ball and swinging more upright.

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Yes, there are golfers who have tried hybrids, suffered poor results and went back to their traditional long irons. But theyre a very small minority. The fact remains, most players enjoy more success with hybrids, which require less clubhead speed and swing precision to hit well. If youre having trouble shaking your hybrid hooks, try the tips above before giving up on them.