The most infuriating problem faced by good golfers around the world is the hook and therefore it isn’t surprisingly that they will hunt high and low for a cure or at least a way to reduce the damage this frustrating swing fault can cause. Luckily by purely following the simple pointers below you will be able to easily implement the right adjustments to prevent any further hooks in your game. Without doubt the right golf swing corrections will see you hit lazer beam straight shots, with no fear whatsoever of ever snap hooking again.
What is a hook?
A hook is where the golf ball will start straight and curve to the left, assuming you are a right handed golfer, or start out slightly to the right and then curve to the left. This type of shot is due to two factors.
The two main causes for hooking the golf ball
One the golfer is swinging with an inside to out golf swing and two at impact the club face is closed. By this I mean the golf club face is closed in relation to the direction the club head is following at the moment of impact. If you were to draw a line perpendicular to the face you would notice it goes to the left of where the player intends to hit the ball.
Your natural assumption may therefore be that with a closed club face, shouldn’t the ball fly to the left of the intended line of flight in a straight line. In actual fact with the force of the club head being applied with an inside to out swing the closed face will result in the ball curving to the left. When you see the ball come off the face to the right and then curve in a wide arc to the left you can guarantee the player has swung far too much from the inside.
If the force of the club head is applied with an outside to in swing the ball may hook to the left or effectively stay straight. If it goes left of the target in a straight line this is a pull and at the moment of impact the face will be square to the path of the club head.
Sometimes a player can close the face so much that the ball immediately curves to the left, this is called a snap hook. If the club face is closed even further the golfer actually smothers the ball, resulting in a shot that hardly leaves the ground.
How to cure your golf hook
Thus to cure your golf hook you need to fix your closed club face.
Fixing your closed club face
All golfers should aim to have a square club face (parallel to your left forearm, at a 45-degree angle to the ground) at the top of their golf swing. A closed club face at the top will almost inevitably mean a closed one at impact. A fully closed face will cause a hook.
Therefore I recommend if you are suffering from a hook you should ask yourself what is causing you to have a closed face at the top of the swing. Fortunately I have the answer for you, it is caused by one or a combination of three things. They are poor grip, bad backswing and a domination right hand.
Three steps to curing your golf hook
Let’s study each of these points in order to fix your hook.
1. How to fix a poor grip
All too often a closed club face is caused when you can see more than three knuckles on your right hand at address. This results in the right hand being too prominently on top of the shaft. Equally you need to check whether the left hand is under the shaft too much because again this will also lead to a closed club face.
Whilst you may set up with this faulty grip and address the ball with a square club face, you will find as soon as you start your backswing your hands will instinctively rotate to the left to regain a more natural comfortable position. In doing so your club face will close and remain so all the way to the top of your golf swing. So at the top your hands have returned to a relaxed position but the clubhead has turned in such a manner that the face is closed.
As a consequence the club face remains closed on the downswing unless the wrists are rolled to right on the downswing.
To fix this problem simply read how to grip a golf club correctly.
2. How to fix a bad backswing
Let’s look in detail at how your bad backswing is causing you to have a closed club face at the top of your golf swing.
Typically there are two types of backswing that cause this problem.
The first bad backswing is one that starts too flat. In these circumstances the golfer will open the club face quickly and then follow this by closing it just as quickly. This results in the face being closed tight. Compare this to a batter in baseball where the wrists are rolled to the right as he swings around his body. Typically though the golfer will roll his hands back too much to the left on his downswing and hence close the club face. Thus if you find yourself hooking the ball take a moment to check your backswing is not too flat.
The second bad backswing is one where will see golfers pick up the club with a dominate right hand and cast the club over their right shoulder. This action will result in a closed face. This kind of swing more than most makes it far too easy for the right hand to dominate at the top of a golf swing. Generally though this is a beginner’s fault where the player has a complete lack of understanding of how the golf swing should move in one piece.
3. How to fix right hand domination
A third reason after poor grip and bad backswing as to why you may hook the ball is you could have a dominate right hand on your downswing. This will happen when you have a weak position at the top with your left wrist sitting under the shaft. In this position the right hand will control the downswing.
When you hook you will notice your right hand gripping more than your left hand. When in actual fact the left hand should grip more than the right because this is the one hand that dominates in the golf swing. This happens naturally with the grip we teach because left palm does the majority of the gripping. The left hand should always make a stronger golf grip than the right.
A dominate right hand is prone to make you swing outside to in with a rolling of the wrists. It is vitally important to work on maintaining a strong left hand position with the right hand under the shaft to avoid a pulled hook.
To cure your hook always check that your right wrist is under the shaft and that the left hand is strong at the top of your swing.
In conclusion to stop hooking and to cure this fault you need to be aware of the shape of your swing, your grip and the angle of your club face. The reality is you may need to work on all three of these factors or just the one in order to cure your golf hook.