What Causes A Hook And How Do I Cure It?

Hooking the ball to the left tends to be a better player’s problem, though it can afflict higher handicappers too. What causes a hook? GM Top 25 Coach, Andrew Reynolds, looks at some common causes and how to remedy them…

1) Watch the elbow
Cause: The biggest factor is clubface angle. Many golfers set up very well to the ball with everything in a neutral position, but the right elbow tends to drift sideways a little bit as they move the club back. This shuts the clubface, which points at the ground halfway back, then comes back into impact in a closed position resulting in that big hook.

Cure: To remedy this, focus on your right elbow remaining a little closer to your right hip and keep it there as you take the club away. This will put the club in a neutral position halfway back, with the toe pointing at the sky and the heel towards the ground. From here, you will then be able to deliver the club back to the ball in a neutral position.

2) Grip too strong
Another big problem is the grip being too strong, with both hands turned to the righthand side on the grip. It’s not strong in that you’re gripping the club too tightly, but rather in that it shuts and delofts the clubface creating stronger shots.

Cure: If you stand at address without a club and bring your hands naturally to the centre, the palms will face each other. That’s how you need to hold the golf club too – with the palms effectively facing each other in a neutral position rather than one sitting on top of the other as you look down.

3) Two knuckles only
As a checkpoint, you don’t really want to see more than two knuckles on your left hand when you look down at address. With this better grip, the club is going to remain neutral on the way back and you’re going to be able to hit the ball much harder to get the strong shot you’re looking for without the fear of it going left.

4) Left hand only drill
Another cause of the hook is over-releasing the club at impact. Some golfers tend to drop the club a little on the inside as they move back down to the ball, then rely on very active hands to make the club catch up at impact. That brings the risk of a hook to the fore as it relies on perfect timing.

Cure: A useful drill is to make a few swings with the left hand only, so you can really feel the club going through to the target. It’s quite hard to do, but it will stop the dominant right hand becoming too active and generating a hook as it shuts the clubface.

5) A slightly wider stance
Another common issue is golfers moving laterally a little on the backswing to create a strong position, but then staying back there on the downswing and again allowing the hands to take over.

Cure: To help, try to feel that your feet are a little bit wider at address. Try to feel your upper body then working with the club all the way through to the target, with your hands staying in front of your chest through the shot, rather than becoming too active.