The term “hook” refers to a problem in a golfer’s swing that results in the ball ending up way left of the target (or the right for left-handed players). This happens when the club face is being closed as it hits the ball. The hook shot is generally a better player’s problem, as you’re getting closer to a good swing with a hook rather than a slice.
But, if you regularly hook the ball and are looking for a way to fix it, see if you can correct this frustrating problem with these tips.
Fix your grip
Having too strong a grip is the main cause of a hook. To find the perfect grip, first look at your left hand at address. How many knuckles can you see? If three or more knuckles are visible, simply rotate the left hand until only two knuckles of your left hand are visible. If you are still hooking the ball, try turning your hand until you only see one knuckle.
Some golfers also neglect the right-hand grip. Try rotating your right hand to the left to match the left hand. Your hands should feel like they are facing each other. Your forefinger and right thumb should form a V. If this V points towards your right shoulder, try pointing it more towards your right ear.
It is important to pay attention to both hands. Like most golfers, your right-hand grip (or dominant hand) is most likely stronger than your left-hand grip.
In a bid to avoid bothersome duck hooks, most people tend to put the ball to the right side of their club face. As the club face always closes at impact, in theory the ball will move even more to the left if you place the ball to the left.
But on the other hand, you may end up swinging inside out if you place the ball to the right too much. This is because the ball will most likely start from the right of the target, so you will always be forced to turn the club face over through impact, causing a bigger hook.
This is a habit you should correct in order to start hitting the ball straight. To ensure that you always hit it straight, position the ball more left. This may feel awkward at first since you will always be worried about hitting it even more left. However, if your grip is correct, this new ball position will help you swing with a square face at impact.
The ball’s position has a lot of influence on your swing path. To fix your hook permanently, you should work on your swing path too.
Align parallel to the target
Since they always hit the ball right to left, most hookers tend to align themselves to the right of the target. To start hitting the ball straight, fix the hook by aligning your body parallel with the target line. If you let your grip weaken, you will find yourself hitting it right. This may create the impression that you don’t have the right grip. However, your alignment might need an adjustment because you are so used to aiming right of the target. Simply work on your alignment and you might start hitting the ball straight with your newly acquired grip.
Get the right face angle at address
Most golfers do not pay close attention to the face angle at address. If you approach the swing with your club face looking to the left of your target, then your hit is more likely to be a hook.
Many golfers use a closed face at address. They try to avoid the right because they are aiming to compensate for their right-to-left ball flight. It could be that they are closing the club face at address without knowing it. To help you avoid hooks, check if your club face is aligned directly to the target.
Get your shoulder alignment right
This is what often determines the swing path. Most hookers align their shoulders to the right side of the target, and this tends to promote inside-out swings. It may not be enough to simply fix your feet alignment. Take some time to also get your shoulder alignment right in order to achieve the correct swing path.
Remember feet, hips and shoulders need to be aligned. If any are pointing to the right, then the chances of hooks to the left or blocks out to the right are higher.
— Joseph Mills