If you’ve been playing golf for any amount of time, you may have noticed that your ball often curves to the left when you don’t want it to. This is what is known as a “hook.”
A hook occurs when the clubface strikes the ball on an angle and causes it to spin in a clockwise direction. This makes the ball curve sharply to the left as it flies through the air.
In this blog post, we will discuss what causes the golf ball to hook and how you can fix it!
Here's What We'll Cover
What is a hook in golf?
A hook is a type of golf shot that curves the same way as a draw, but it’s harder to control and it curves more. While a hook is played intentionally at times, it’s more commonly the result of a mishit.
If you’re a righty, the shot will start right and curve to the left; for lefties, the shot will start left and curve to the right instead.
It can either start aimed to the right of the target and take a sharp turn back towards the target, or it can start aimed at the target and take a wide turn to the left of where you wanted the ball to go.
What causes a hook?
A hook is caused by the clubface striking the ball at an angle, which creates strong sidespin to either the left or right, depending on if you’re a lefty or righty golfer.
Here are the most common causes for hooking the ball.
Strong Club Grip
Having a strong club grip will cause the clubface to close more at impact, which can lead to a hook. To fix this, try relaxing your grip and holding the club in your palm to see if that helps.
Inside-Out Swing Path
When you swing with an inside-out path, you put sidespin on the ball which will cause it to hook. To fix this, try swinging more from the outside-in and make sure your swing path is parallel to the target line.
Another reason you may be hooking the ball is the clubface is closed on contact. This will cause the ball to sidespin and ultimately hook to the left. To correct this, try keeping the clubface more open at impact.
How to stop hooking the golf ball
Hold a weak club grip
To fix your hook, you’ll want to hold the club with a weak grip. So instead of gripping the club with your fingers, you’ll want to hold the club with your palm instead.
When you have a weak club grip, you should see none of the fingers on your front hand. Having a weak grip helps keep your clubface open at impact!
Have an outside-in swing path
Using an outside-in swing path will stop you from hooking the golf ball. When you have an inside-out swing path, you’ll add a lot sidespin on the ball which leads to a hook.
So make sure you’re swinging outside-in, and your parallel to the target line.
Open your clubface
Having a closed clubface will make the ball hook to the left due to the sidespin on the ball. Open your clubface a bit and you’ll hook the ball much less than before.
You have to make sure the clubface is open at impact so you can avoid hooking the ball.
How to intentionally hook the golf ball
If you’re looking to intentionally hook the golf ball, you’ll want to do the following:
- Line up your shot about 25-30 yards to the right of the desired target, depending on how much of a hook you’re looking to get.
- Have a standard ball position, centered for shorter irons, 3/4 of the way up your stance for longer irons, and inside your left foot for drivers.
- Move your back foot back away from the ball, about 6 inches further back than your front foot.
- Close your club face slightly so the ball will hook on contact.
- Take an aggressive, inside-out swing path and make contact with the ball.
What’s the opposite of a hook?
Since a shot is only considered a hook if it curves to the left (for righties), what happens if you hit the ball to the right?
It would be called a fade for a slight turn, and a slice for a sharper turn.
If you want to see an in-depth comparison between a slice and hook, check this post out.
That’s everything you need to know about what a hook shot is in golf, how to stop hooking the golf ball, and how to hit one intentionally if you wish.
If you’re still struggling with hooks, try practicing these tips on the driving range before taking them to your next round. Happy golfing!