Amateurs try all sorts of things to fix their hook;
“keep your head down”
“keep that left arm straight”
“start down with the hips”
but you’d be lucky if any of that advice solves it. You’d be more likely to put a tee behind your right ear and start hitting a straight shot.
With all the info out there on this topic, did you know that there are only 3 things that can cause a hook? This article will explain exactly what they are, so you are more informed as to what to change to fix your hook.
PATH IS TOO FAR RIGHT
Swing path refers to the direction the club is moving through impact (more right or left). All else being equal, a swing path that is more right will send the ball more left – a game of opposites.
This can be really frustrating for the uninformed golfer, as they see the ball snap hook to the left, and every bone in their instinctive body tells them to swing more to the right – but this just exacerbates the problem.
In fact, with a driver, for every degree you swing the club to the right, the ball will curve 4% more to the left. If you’re not good with numbers, let me spell that out for you;
- If you drive the ball 250 yards
- Have an 5 degree right swing path (and square face)
- The ball will curve 50 yards to the left
For reference, here’s a 5 degree right swing path – not dramatic is it.
FACE IS OPEN TO……
With that said, swing path (on its own) does not create a hook.
Take our golfer who has a 5 degree right (in to out) swing path – we know from our earlier example that this player will hit a 50 yard hook left…. IF they present the face square at impact.
This is a big ole hook
However, if this same player presents the clubface 3-4 degrees right of the target, this will actually produce a neat little draw onto the target.
In the above picture, having the face just 3 degrees more right now produces a draw onto the target.
Sure – you can’t fade the ball with a right swing path (barring some wild gear effect – see later), but you canmanage your hook and turn it into a draw (like Rory Mcilroy, Speith etc) by having the face LESS CLOSED to the path.
An “out-of -control” hook is created by a combination of a right swing path AND a face that is too closed (to the left of) that path.
THE LESSER-KNOWN ISSUE
Not many people know this, and it’s only really an issue with bigger headed clubs (almost negligible with irons) but……
You could be hooking it because of a strike issue.
This is a complicated topic called gear effect – if you want to understand this concept deeper, CLICK TO READ THIS ARTICLE.
However, to give you the cliffs notes – all else being equal, if you struck towards the toe side of the club, the ball will have more curvature to the left than if you didn’t.
Gear effect is complex, and I go through many of the complexities in my high-level program, Next Level Golf. But, it’s safe to say, I have seen many amateurs trying to fix their path/face when, in fact, they were hooking their driver from a strike issue.
STOP MESSING AROUND
For many of you this will be ground-breaking information. However, if you have been around the golfing block, this is stuff that you have heard before.
Thank you, Captain Obvious – although it’s not common knowledge to many.
The issue I find with golfers who know this information BUT haven’t seemed to be able to change it is this – they are often focusing on things in their movement that don’t even relate to improving one of the above.
For example, I many golfers say;
“I’ve been trying to fix my hook by doing X/Y/Z with my swing”
And I hear
“I’ve been trying to fix my hook by putting a tee behind my right ear, turning my cap backwards and putting more loose change in my right pocket”
Catch my drift?
QUICK PROCESS FOR IMPROVEMENT
This is mind numbingly obvious to me – but many golfers don’t think like this. Here’s what you should do to improve;
- Figure out which impact variable (or combination you want to improve)
- Introduce a drill/technique/feel that improves those variables (not somehthing random in the swing that doesn’t relate)
- Utilise quality practice methods to speed up learning.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Unless you change one or all of the above, your hook is not going to get fixed.
So, make sure that any change you make relates to one (or all) of the above. Once, again, these options are;
- Change path (if you want to straighten out your hook)
- Change face (if you want to turn you hook into a functional draw)
- Change strike to limit gear-effect.