How To Stop Hooking The Golf Ball

In this video, Golf Monthly Top 50 Coach Trey Niven shares some simple tips to stop you hooking the ball

PGA pro Trey Niven pointing to the sky after hitting a drive
(Image credit: Howard Boylan)

Hooking the ball is something even the world’s best golfers struggle with from time to time. In the video and article below, PGA pro Trey Niven explains how this destructive shot happens and shares some handy tips that will get you started on the road to recovery.

It's more common for golfers to struggle with cutting across the ball and hitting a slice but a hook is arguably more dangerous. For right-handers, it happens when the clubface points well left of the club path at impact. The start line is mostly dictated by the club, so the wider this face-to-path relationship is, the more the ball is going to curve in the air.

And the irony is that people who hook the ball tend to aim further and further right, which just increases this gap and makes the problem worse. Here are the faults I commonly see.

The first one is the grip. The majority of those who hook the ball have a strong golf grip, with their hands rotated away from the target (to the right for right-handers). This means when the club is released under motion and the hands return to neutral, it points left. 

To adopt a neutral golf grip, put the lead hand more on top of the club, so the 'V' created between your thumb and index finger points roughly towards your trail shoulder. Then slot the other hand on top so it feels comfortable. Give both hands a little squeeze together to develop an understanding for how this should feel. You should see between one and two knuckles on the lead hand when looking down.

PGA pro Trey Niven showing a bad and good golf grip

A strong grip (left) is a common hook cause. A neutral hold (right) will help straighten out your flight

(Image credit: Howard Boylan)

The next fault occurs in the golf swing takeaway. Early on, people hood the face and whip the club away on the inside. This combination causes the club to shut, meaning compensations have to be made to square it back up, which sacrifices consistency.

Here’s a really good tip. Get into your driver address position, aiming towards your target with a neutral grip, and then put your trail hand out as if you're shaking hands with someone standing to your right. Then, simply swing your lead hand into position and you’ll notice the clubface is much squarer.

PGA pro Trey Niven at The Astbury Golf Resort

This drill will hone a much better takeaway

(Image credit: Howard Boylan)

If you think of the swing like a chain, if you change something at the start of the chain, it will affect everything else along the way. Practise these two things and your ball flight will improve. 

Tommy Fleetwood drill

A lot of golfers stop rotating through impact and that can lead to hooks. The body stalls and the hands flip over quickly, making it really difficult to control the clubface, especially when swinging at speed with the driver. 

A great way to improve your pivot is to channel your inner Tommy Fleetwood. Take a full backswing and then really try to hold off the follow-through as if you're hitting a low punch shot with an iron. Check out the video above to see how I do it.

PGA pro Trey Niven hitting a drive at The Astbury Golf Resort

This drill will improve your pivot and help you control the clubface better

(Image credit: Howard Boylan)

Start with some slower swings to get a feel for it before upping the pace as you get more comfortable. Over time, this improved pivot will give you better clubface control and allow you to hit straighter drives more often.

Trey Niven
Top 50 Coach

Location: Shrewsbury Golf Club, 3 Hammers Golf Academy 

After enjoying a successful men’s amateur career, during which time he played for Shropshire and Herefordshire’s first team, Trey turned professional in 2018, and he now teaches from a number of locations in the Midlands. He enjoys coaching players of all abilities, from county players, to club golfers and beginners.

Significant influences:

Trey’s teaching has been influenced by Mike Granato and Shaun Webb, two coaches who have worked with a whole host of Tour professionals. The way that they are able to explain the swing and use data to help the average golfer is something that Trey brings to his own teaching.


Whilst Trey is enthusiastic about every aspect of the game, he’s particularly interested in what happens at impact to cause a certain ball flight. This may not always be a perfect looking golf swing, but one that that functions well and is repeatable. He’s always watching and learning from the best players in the world, identifying trends and looking at how that might help the players he teaches.

Teaching philosophy:

Trey is a strong believer in making your bad shot better. "Golf," he says, "is a game of misses as opposed to how good is your good shot." He’s also keen to see his students think for themselves and take ownership, and believes players who are successful own their own golf swing and make it work.



One of Trey’s goals is to increase participation in the game and to make the game more diverse. Trey runs initiatives as part of the Black British Golfers to showcase talent from and increase participation from unrepresented groups.