The slightest mistake in your golf swing can significantly impact the outcome of your shot. A common, frustrating mistake is hooking the ball, where the ball curves sharply to the left (for right-handed golfers) and ends up in the rough or even out of bounds. Why are you always hooking the ball in your golf shots?
Hooking the golf ball is caused by an incorrect grip on the golf club, too much wrist action in your swing, an inside-out swing path, or the club’s face being too open on impact with the ball. Correcting the hook shot requires patience, focus, and getting back to basics on grip, stance, and alignment.
It is important to understand why you are hooking the ball and what you can do to fix it to improve your golf game and lower your scores. Understanding the basics of golf swing mechanics and identifying the cause of your hook will help you take the necessary steps to correct your swing and enjoy more success on the course.
Why Are You Hooking Your Golf Shots?
Golf is a complicated game, with many variables to consider to hit that perfect shot. Not many of us are at the point where we can hit flawless shots time and again, which means there is always room for improvement.
Hooking the ball, where the ball goes left, and keeps going left for a right-handed golfer, is a shot that all of us make now and again. If you are a new golfer or hitting more hook shots than not, then it is time to take stock and evaluate the possible causes for this re-occurring error.
Common Reasons For Hooking Your Golf Shot
Struggling with a hook shot is not something to be embarrassed about, but it does require correction if you are going to continue enjoying your golf game!
Hooking the ball may be frustrating, but there are several common reasons why golfers hook the ball, all of which are fixable. Identifying the cause of your hook is the first step in correcting it.
I have listed some of the most common reasons for players hooking the ball in their golf shot.
- Incorrect hand position on the club. If your grip on the club is too closed, the clubface will close during your swing, resulting in a hook shot.
- Overactive hands during the swing. When your hands are too active during your swing, they can cause the clubface to close prematurely, resulting in a hook. This is often referred to as “flipping” the club at impact.
- A Swing path that is too inside-out. An inside-out swing path occurs when your clubhead comes from inside the target line on the downswing. This can cause the clubface to close and result in a hook.
- Incorrect weight shift during the swing. Shifting your weight too much to your front foot during your downswing can cause the clubface to close and result in a hook.
- Open clubface at impact. An open clubface at impact means that the clubface is pointing to the right of the target. When this happens, the ball will spin left and result in a hook.
Identifying which of these reasons is causing your hook can be difficult, but there are some tips for determining the cause.
For example, if you notice that your shots are starting straight before hooking left, it could be due to an inside-out swing path. If your shots start left and continue to curve left, it could be due to an open clubface at impact.
A good way to establish what problem is causing your hook is to video yourself during your shot and analyze the footage, as a friend to watch your shot or consult a golf coach to help you determine the cause of the hook.
Once you’ve identified the cause of your hook, you can take the necessary steps to correct the problem and get your shots back on track.
Tips To Fix Hooking Your Golf Shots
Now that you’ve identified the cause of your hook shot, how do you correct your swing to eliminate the hook?
Use the following tips to take the hook out of your golf shot.
Hand Position Fix To Eliminate Hooking The Golf Ball
Make a conscious effort to open the grip of your hands on the golf club grip. This means that you must not over-rotate your grip towards the trailing side of the grip.
Returning to the basics is important to understand and correct your golf swing. The golf swing consists of several fundamental elements, including grip, stance, and alignment. Proper execution of these basic elements can go a long way in preventing hooking the golf ball.
Your grip on the club should be firm but not too tight, with your fingers wrapped around the club and your thumbs pointing down the shaft, with your left hand more on top of the golf club shaft rather than rotated to the right or back of the shaft. A proper grip will help you maintain control of the clubface throughout your swing.
Controlling hand action To Stop Hooking The Ball
To prevent your hands from being too active during your swing, try the towel drill. Simply tuck a towel under your armpits and practice swinging without letting the towel fall out. This drill will help you maintain a more stable upper body and prevent your hands from flipping the club at impact.
Another strategy is to concentrate on reducing the wrist action in your shot and focus on straighter forearms with only a slight forearm rotation at the end of the shot.
Tips For Correcting The Hook Shot Swing Path
The inside-out predominance in your swing can be a major contributing factor to hooking your golf shot.
To fix an inside-out swing path, try placing a head-cover or tee inside of the ball on the side of the ball closest to your stance. This will encourage you to swing more to the right on your downswing, correcting the inside-out path and directing the path to a more outside-in path.
Improve Weight Shift To Stop A Hook Shot
Shifting your weight too soon to your front foot during the swing will cause you to close the clubface and hook your golf shot.
Practice hitting balls with your feet close together to improve your weight shift during your swing. This will force you to shift your weight properly to your front foot during your downswing.
Square Clubface Impact Reduces A Hook Shot
Golfers that frequently hit a hook shot tend to adjust their stance and setup so that the clubface is facing to the right of the target when it impacts the golf ball.
Golfers that hook the ball use this tactic to try to compensate for the hook instead of fixing the hook, but this stance can worsen the problem.
Go back to the basics of golf and work on your stance, with your body pointing parallel to, but slightly left of, the target.
Your feet should be positioned shoulder-width apart, and your balance or weight should be evenly distributed between your feet. Your knees should be slightly flexed, and your back should be straight. A proper stance will help you maintain balance and stability during your swing.
Your feet, hips, and shoulders should all be parallel to the target line (slightly left of the target), and your clubface should be square to the target.
A proper alignment will help you hit the ball straighter and more accurately. Combined with the other tips, this stance will have you hitting much better golf shots in no time!
Remember that fixing your hook will take practice and patience. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see results right away. By incorporating these tips into your practice routine and seeking help from a professional golf coach if needed, you’ll be well on your way to eliminating your hook and improving your golf game.
Hooking the ball can be a frustrating and common problem for golfers of all skill levels. However, by understanding the basics of a golf swing, identifying the common reasons for hooking the ball, and practicing the tips for fixing it, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of hooking the ball and improve your overall game.
Remember to always check your grip, stance, and alignment before every shot and focus on maintaining a stable upper body and proper weight shift during your swing. With practice and patience, you’ll be able to correct your hook and enjoy a more consistent and enjoyable golf game.