The hook is one of the most common challenges for amateur golfers, and the best way to eliminate your hook once and for all is to find a golf instructor who can offer personal advice regarding your stance and swing. You can also tackle the problem on your own, and fortunately, the hook is such a common issue that advice isn’t hard to find. As with many stance and swing problems, the key element to do-it-yourself solutions is flexibility—Keep adjusting your approach until you find one that works, and try not to reinforce the subtle errors in body positioning that separate you from your goal.
What is the Hook?
A hook happens when the trajectory of the ball begins to the right and then curves back too far to the left, missing the target on the left side. This is the opposite of the slice pattern. A hook often results when the club face hits the ball on an angle turned toward the (right handed) golfer’s left foot. The counterclockwise spin this delivers to the ball sends the ball flying from right to left. The best way to correct the hook is to make sure the club face is square when it hits the ball. There are a few approaches to grip, body position and swing that can help you with this.
First, take a look at your grip. For many golfers, a hook results from hand positioning that is too far to the right on the grip. If your hands are positioned too far to the right, your grip may be too strong, meaning that when you swing the club, you close the club face and send the ball to the left. Check your thumbs. They should be pointing straight down the middle of the golf club instead of to the right.
Now take a look at your posture. A swerve to the left often results from a swing that’s too wide, and this can happen when your posture is upright and your hands are too active as they move over the ball. Try this tip: Hold the golf club parallel to the ground and at the height of the waistband of your pants. Then extend your arms and bend over till the club touches the ground. This may alleviate the width of your golf swing.
You may also be able to correct your swing plane by tucking an object, like a head covering, between your right arm and body. Hold the object there as you swing and you can train yourself to keep your right elbow close to your torso. This may help you get your hook under control.
As you swing, consciously shift your weight to your front foot. This solution may be the most universal method golfers use to successfully correct a hook. Keeping too much weight on your back foot can interfere with the fluidity of the swing and may be the root cause of a stubborn hook pattern. By the end of the swing, your front foot should be holding most of your weight.
By Erin Sweeney