Hook Correction

This was copied from the slice correction page and will be re-worded.

 

Hooking the ball – curving it too far left – is less common than slicing, but can get you in a lot of trouble since the average hooker hits the ball farther than the average slicer. The ball can go farther into trouble. A less extreme version of a hook is a draw. It curves slightly to the left. Draws are often hit intentionally to increase distance or to fit a particular pin placement or other condition.

If you want to hit a draw, this explanation will help you understand how to hit one intentionally by doing what causes it.

There are only two things to check to stop a hook. You can check one yourself. The other requires a mirror or a friend to check your position at the top of your backswing.

The First Thing to Check – Wrist Action

First is your grip and wrist action. Set the club on the ground while gripping it. Make sure the face is aimed at your target. Open your hands to a flat hand position, keeping them in contact with the grip. Your palms should be facing each other. Assuming you are right handed, the back of your left hand and the palm of your right hand should be facing your target.

After positioning your hands this way, close them onto the grip. As you start your take away, the back of your left hand should remain in line with the top of your forearm. To put it another way, your left wrist should remain straight throughout your backswing and downswing into impact. A good place to check is at the top of your backswing. Take the club back to that position and stop. Is your left wrist straight and in line with the top of your forearm? It should be.

To continue checking, start your downswing in slow motion. Make sure you are keeping your left wrist straight from the top of your swing all of the way down to impact. The back of your left hand should not move toward the ground at all. In other words, you should not turn your lead hand under so that your palm faces even a little upward. That would close the face which curves your shots to the left if you are right-handed. Instead, the palm of your lead hand – left hand for a right-hander – should face away from the target at impact.

At impact your left wrist should be straight or slightly bowed with the end of your forearm bone protruding SLIGHTLY toward your target. That will keep the clubface square to your swing direction. That bone should not be protuding toward the target a lot.

Keep practicing this until you can hit the ball on a straight line with relative consistency, even if the ball is going straight left or right of the target.

The Second Thing to Check – Swing Path/Head Path

The second thing to check is the direction your clubhead is going through the ball at impact. It should be moving directly at your target or SLIGHTLY to the right of your target if you want to hit a draw (a slight curve to the left).

If you have correctly kept your wrist straight through impact as described above, your shots should be going relatively straight with little curve. However, if your swing path through impact isn’t at the hole, the ball will be flying in a straight line, but offline. Usually with a hooker, after the wrist correction above, that means the ball will be going straight, but to the right of your target. That straight shot to the right shows you the direction of your swing through impact. Fixing it is easier than you may realize. If you are in the correct position at the top of your swing, the clubhead will usually go toward the target at impact without much effort.

This is where your friend or a mirror can give you feedback. If you can get the club back to horizontal at the top of your swing, the shaft should be pointed at your target, not to the right of it (for a right-hander). Without the mirror your friend can check by standing so that he can see straight through you backswing position to the target. If he has a camera, so much the better.

If your are not loose-jointed enough to get your club to horizontal at the top, a little estimating is necessary. Your friend needs to make an educated guess about your swing path and where you would be at the top if you could reach horizontal. The direction of your shots will also give you some feedback. If the ball is still going straight right, your backswing and downswing are too far inside your target line to get in the correct position at the top. The clubhead is traveling through impact on a line significantly to the right of your target.

Also, the line of your shaft should be relatively vertical, NOT pointed behind your at any point in your backswing or downswing.

There is one factor that can throw this off. If your hands feel like they are dropping straight towards the ground as you start your downswing, that may be putting your swing path too far from inside the proper path. Feeling like your hands and the club are moving SLIGHTLY back toward the target line on the downswing should get your swing path going much straighter toward the target at impact. This something slicers do way too much. They end up with an outside-in swing (a path to the left for a right-hander). Obviously that is not good either.

Again, don’t practice this swing path exercise until your wrist action described above is correct. Trying to make more than one correction at a time is a recipe for wild shots.

A video will be added to this page showing what is being discussed. That should help any lack of clarity. Suggestions are also encouraged.

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