Hooking the golf ball? Try these simple tips
The more common gripe among amateurs is that they can’t rid themselves of the opposite affliction – a slice. However, a hook is just as confidence sapping and tends to put you in more trouble due to the quicker ball speed this shape generates.
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As golfers we like to complicate things in a bid to improve, but if you’re struggling with this shot, don’t overlook the simple details.
Hooking the golf ball? Check your alignment
The first port of call, obviously, is to check your alignment. This might seem basic, but you’d be amazed at the amount of amateurs who aim offline without realising.
And it’s not just your body you need to get squared up, the clubface needs to be pointing in the right direction too. A great way to check is to take your normal address position and then lift the club up so your hands are at waist height.
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Now look to see if the face is pointing towards the target. If you struggle with a hook, it may well point more towards the ground.
Hooking the golf ball? Check your grip
Your next checkpoint is the grip. Again, simple, but a huge factor in determining the shape of shot you’re going to hit.
With your hands directly below your chin, look and see how many knuckles are showing on both hands. If, for example, you can see three on the left but only one on the right, you have a strong grip and that could be causing the hook.
Making a grip change is tricky, so it should be done in small increments. In this instance, start with seeing one and a half knuckles on your right hand and hit some half shots. You should begin to see and feel a difference.
From there, work towards grooving a more neutral grip and you’ll kill your hooks for good.
Hooking the golf ball? Rotate your body
Another common cause of the hook is an early release of the angle in the hands through impact. In my experience, this happens because golfers stop rotating their bodies.
A great tip that will help is simply to turn your left foot out a fraction at address (as above). If this foot is perpendicular to your target, it can restrict your movement through the shot.
By turning it out, you will encourage the body rotation you need to coincide with the release of your hands. This should quickly turn that hook into more of a controlled draw.
Hooking the golf ball? Try this closed face drill
Probably the most common swing-related cause of the hook is an inactive lower body. If you struggle to transfer your weight during the downswing, your hands will take over and a quick hook is very much on the cards.
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If this sounds like you, take your normal address position and slightly close the face of your iron – it sounds counterintuitive, but it works. Make a normal swing but try to hit a straight shot. If you fall into old habits you’ll hit the ball even further left so this drill encourages your mind and body to find another solution.
From this position, the only way to really hit a straight shot is to rotate your body hard through the ball, shifting your weight and delaying the release of the club a fraction. It’s a great way to groove a much better swing sequence.
– Ensure your clubface is aligned to the target
– Check you can see two knuckles in your left hand at address
– Turn your left foot out to aid body rotation
– Make sure your lower half hasn’t become too ‘quiet’