How to fix a hook in golf
Due to the aggressive right-to-left shape, a hook has the potential to land a golfer in all sorts of bother, especially when hitting the driver. That’s why it’s important to know the causes as well as what to do if you find yourself struggling with this shot.
How to fix a hook in golf: Watch the elbow
A common fault among golfers occurs at the start of the swing. Even when set up well, in the takeaway, the right elbow (left for left-handers) can drift sideways and away from the body. This shuts the clubface and, unless a compensation is made later in the swing, will cause the ball to start left of target and likely move further left.
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If this sounds like something you struggle with, focus on keeping the right elbow closer to your body in the takeaway. This will put the club in a more neutral position halfway back, with the toe pointing towards the sky and the heel towards the ground. Not only this, but it will make it easier to synchronise body, arms and club, leading to more consistency.
How to fix a hook in golf: Check your grip
If you’re hitting hooks, another potential cause is an overly strong grip, with both hands turned too far to the right. This naturally delofts the clubface and means a big effort is required to square it back up at impact.
To cure this, stand at address without a club and let your arms hang down naturally before bringing your hands to the centre. When you do this, you’ll notice the palms face each other, which is effectively how you want to hold the club too, rather than having one on top of the other.
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As a checkpoint, you want to see no more than two and a half knuckles on your left hand when you look down. This will ensure the club doesn’t get as closed on the way back, allowing you to swing with more confidence and less fear of the left miss.
How to fix a hook in golf: Left-hand drill
Over-releasing the club at impact can often result in consistent hooks as the margin for error is greatly reduced. The cause of this fault normally stems from a club that approaches the ball too far from the inside, meaning the hands need to get active to match everything up. This move increases the risk of hooking as it relies on perfect timing.
A useful drill to counter this is to make some swings using only your left hand. It’ll be quite hard to do initially as you’ll be fighting your natural tendencies but, over time, it will reduce the dominance of the right hand and give you a more stable clubface through the hitting zone.
How to fix a hook in golf: Wider stance
Golfers are often guilty of hanging back as they move into the downswing in a bid to help the ball into the air. It feels intuitive as we’re often told to hit the ball on the up with the driver, but this can, and likely will lead to hooks as the body stops and the hands take over.
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Feel your feet are a little wider at address – it’s only marginal so be careful not to overdo it – and then work on getting the body through the shot. From the top, the feeling of pushing off with your right foot can often help with this.