The hook shot might be the ugliest looking shot in the game (in my opinion). It is low to the ground and generates a wicked amount of spin that usually leads to trouble! The good news is that the hook shot far more curable than the slice. What I mean by this is that if you are hooking the golf ball, you are very close to having well-tuned golf swing! To fix your hook shot, you have to change your swing path from coming too far from the inside. Golfers who suffer from the hook release the clubface quickly and tend to “snap” the wrists at impact. Follow these easy tips, and you will fix your hook shot and turn it into a much more consistent golf shot!
What is a Hook Shot
A hook shot is the opposite of a slice. It is caused by a closed clubface and a swing path that comes too far from the inside of your target line. The ball flight of the hook shot is usually low to the ground due to the closed clubface at impact. After spending years watching my students struggle with the hook shot, I have found several positives that come from having this type of swing.
- Better clubface control
- More consistent rotation through the ball
- A swing path that comes from the inside of your target line. (Coming slightly from the inside is a good thing!)
As I said earlier, a hook swing isn’t the end of the world. Making only minor changes, you can make drastic improvements in your accuracy and consistency!
Change your Grip
The first thing I have my students check when struggling with the hook shot is their golf grip. A grip that is too strong will cause you to release the clubface faster at impact creating a “whipping” like golf swing at impact. There are two things to look at when checking to see if the golf grip is too strong:
- If your dominant hand (lower hand) is too far underneath the club’s grip
- If you can see 3 or more knuckles on the top of your glove hand (top hand)
1. If the dominant hand is underneath the golf grip, the clubface will be more closed at impact. Double check to make sure that the crease formed between your thumb and forefinger is pointing towards your back shoulder. This is the correct grip placement
2. When looking down at your grip, if you notice that you can see 3 or more knuckles on the top hand, your grip is too strong and is causing the clubface to be closed at impact. Slightly rotate your hand so that you can then see two-two and a half knuckles to set your golf grip back to neutral.
Check your Stance
One of the biggest causes of a hook shot is a stance that is closed to your target. A closed stance is when your feet or shoulders are aimed to the right of your target line (right-handed golfers) or left of your target line (left-handed golfers). This type of golf stance influences a swing path that comes too much from the inside of the target line and creates a substantial amount of sidespin on the golf ball. Remember, your feet and shoulders both need to be aimed parallel to your target line!
Focus on the Takeaway
Your takeaway is the key to starting out down the correct swing path. I see many of my beginning students take their backswing too close to their body which causes a swing path that comes severely from the inside of the target line. To correct this fault, work on this drill before your round or at the driving range:
Drill: Place a tee about two feet in front of your back toe. Now practice taking full swings keeping the club outside and away from the golf tee. This drill helps you stay on the proper swing plane and aids in more consistent ball contact. You can also check out this awesome training tool on Amazon that can help cure both your slice and your hook!
My last tip to get rid of your hook is to finish your swing feeling more balanced and tall over the golf ball. When people hook the ball, the upper body generally over rotates, so the wrists have to play catch up and flip to make contact at the ball, causing a lower golf posture. To fix this over rotation, slightly tilt your back shoulder more towards the ground. From this position, you level out your swing arc and avoid any flipping of the wrists at the impact that causes a hook.
To straighten out your shots and avoid hooking the golf ball, you have to make sure that the clubface isn’t closed and that your swing path is not coming too far from the inside of your target line. Here is a checklist you can use when trying to eliminate the hook:
- Check to see if your grip is too strong
- Make sure your feet and shoulders are aimed parallel to your target.
- The takeaway of the golf swing needs to be straight back from your target line (not inside)
- Finish your swing feeling taller and more balanced over the golf ball, tilting the back shoulder towards the ground.
Use these tips when practicing or on the course and you will improve your accuracy and start performing better on the course! For more information on the fundamentals of the golf swing, take a look at my full article here.