Luke is an avid weekend-warrior golfer from the East Coast who plays golf more than he cares to admit.
The dreaded hook. It is something even the greatest golfers get frustrated with. Imagine, you’ve just made a strong, straight swing, only to watch in horror as your ball turns sharply off course.
A “hook”, otherwise known as a “hook shot”, in golf refers to a shot that results in the ball turning significantly right-to-left off course (for a right-handed golfer. For left-handed golfers, the hook displays a left-to-right curve in flight).
Sometimes, the hook can be played intentionally. However, more times than not, it is the result of a mishit.
In the golfing world, a hook is considered similar to a draw but more severe, plus it could be described as the opposite of a slice.
Occasionally, a severe hook can be referred to as a “snap hook” or a “duck hook”. When these terms are introduced, it typically means that the flight of the ball started straight before curving significantly towards the left – causing an extreme mishit.
As a result, you may wonder if there is a way to stop this from happening. Well, to find the solution, you’ll first need to understand the mistake you’re making and then fix it.
However, don’t worry, we’re here to help. In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to get rid of that hook. Starting with what is a hook, the science behind it, and, ultimately, how to avoid it.
Sometimes, the hook can feel like an inevitable part of the game. However, once you begin to understand the dynamics behind the shot, you’ll be making nice, long draws in no time.
With this in mind, let’s get straight into it!
What Are The Causes Of A Hook?
A hook is generally the result of the ball being struck at an angle by the clubface. As a result, you’re left with a strong sidespin, causing the ball to turn either left or right – depending on what hand you’re hitting the golf ball with.
Below, we have outlined some of the most common causes when it comes to hooking a golf ball.
Inside-Out Swing Path
When you hit a ball with an inside-out path, you’re placing a side spin on the ball – causing it to hook.
To resolve this, try targeting your swings from the outside-in, making sure your swing path is parallel to your intended target line.
Strong Club Grip
Keeping a strong grip on the golf club will make the clubface closed at impact – causing a hook.
In order to fix this, simply start by relaxing your grip, making sure to hold the club in the palm of your hand. Hopefully, this will help.
Another factor that could influence your swings and cause hooks is that the clubface is closed on contact to the ball. The result of this is a side spin on the ball, making it hook towards the left.
To fix this problem, ensure you’re keeping the clubface open when impacting the ball.
How To Prevent A Hook?
Keep A Weak Club Grip
To prevent creating any hooks, you’ll want to ensure you’re holding the club using a weak grip.
Therefore, instead of holding the club with your fingers, use your palm to prevent hitting the ball too strongly.
To ensure you’re holding a weak club grip, your fingers shouldn’t be seen on the front of your hand. Keeping a weak grip ensures the clubface is open during impact.
Keep An Outside-In Swing Path
Ensuring you’re keeping an outside-in swing path will prevent you from hooking the golf ball. Those keeping an inside-out swing path are more likely to create hooks due the adding a lot of side spin on the ball.
Therefore, ensure you’re keeping your swings outside-in and that your target line is parallel to your course.
Keep An Open Clubface
A closed clubface will result in the ball hooking due to applying a lot of side spin on the ball. Keep your clubface open and you’ll notice you’re hooking the ball much less.
Plus, keeping the clubface open upon impact will also help to prevent the ball from hooking.
Playing A Hook Intentionally
Sometimes, there are situations where you might want to hook a ball intentionally. Therefore, knowing how to achieve this can be beneficial.
So, how do you hook a ball? Well, below, we have outlined the easiest ways to intentionally hook a golf ball, these include:
- Keep a closed clubface upon hit – Keep the club in front of you and twist it so the clubface takes a closed position. Then simply place your hands on the handle, using your typical grip, and hit the ball using a close clubface angle.
- Keep a closed stance – Keeping a very closed stance has the ability to induct a hook or draw ball flight once hit.
- Keep a strong grip – For anyone taking a right-handed position, this involves rotating your hands slightly towards the right. The result should show your left hand more on top with your right hand below.
If you’re looking to achieve an intentional hook, then the best way to accomplish this would be by utilising one of these driving ranges.
Get to the course and test out some of these practices, use them on their own or in combination with one another to see what kind of hook or draw shots you’re getting.
A hook shot is every golfer’s nightmare. With your eye on the target, you make a strong hit, only for the ball to go in a completely different direction!
However, don’t worry, there are some simple methods you can use to prevent these shots from taking place. That being said, learning how to master a hook could be beneficial, too.
Hopefully, this guide has informed you on everything you need to know about hooks in golf.