5 Reasons You’re Hooking Your Shots - Clarkes Golf

5 Reasons You’re Hooking Your Shots

Golf may not be the most athletic sport, but it’s one of the hardest to master.

Most golfers fear a shank, but it’s the ‘hook’ that’s one of the most annoying misses in the game for skilled players.

Let’s find out more about hooking the ball in golf – including what it is, what goes wrong in your swing to cause one, and how you can overcome it.


What is a hook in golf?

A hook in golf is a ball flight that goes sharply from right to left (or left to right for left-handed players). They follow the same flight as a draw shot, only they have more lateral movement.

Although hooks can be hit with any golf club, they are most common with drivers, fairway woods and hybrids.

Whether it’s a quick and low snap off the tee or it sweeps across the green before landing in the bunker, hooked shots cost you strokes – ending up away from the target and, instead, out of bounds.


What causes a hook?

There are several reasons why hooks occur in golf – most of which relate to your tempo, swing, posture and setup.

Below we’ll discuss these in more detail, so you can establish why you’re hooking your shots and what you can do to avoid this problem in future.


1.    Grip

Do you have a habit of gripping your club tightly?

While a strong grip can help you to correct a slice, it often causes your bottom hand to rotate too much underneath the club. When this happens, you’re more likely to flip or turn the clubface shut at impact. And when the clubfaces closes quickly, this results in a hook.

Unfortunately, grip changes don’t happen overnight. But with a little practice and determination, you’ll be gripping your clubs better and hooking fewer shots.


2.    Setup and posture

If you have an overly wide stance or put too much weight on your right foot at setup and impact, you’ll end up hooking the ball. The same applies if you bear too much weight on your heels – sending iron shots to the left of your target.

To prevent hook shots, you need to keep your shoulders upright and your weight evenly distributed with your irons. When using a driver, shift a little extra weight to your back foot to generate more power.


3.    Alignment

Often, right-handed golfers who aim to the right of their target set themselves up for a hook by creating an inside-out swing path.

To avoid frustrating hooks, your body needs to be square. Make sure your feet, knees, shoulders, hips and forearms are parallel with your target line. It’s also important to check that the clubface is pointing in the correct direction.


4.    Swing path

One of the biggest causes of a hook is swinging your club too far inside/out through impact – making it incredibly difficult to hit the ball in a straight line.

Admittedly, swing path issues can take some time to overcome – but a few simple changes to your stance and setup could make the world of difference to your game. Start by keeping the club and your arms in front of your chest throughout the swing.


5.    Release

How you release the golf ball can have a massive impact on your swing.

Losing your timings through impact can cause the clubface to close quickly and means the ball won’t go to its intended target – resulting in a pull or hook.

The trick to overcoming hooks is to maintain a solid sequence in your swing, allowing your body parts to fire in the correct order (i.e. hips first then your shoulders, arms and hands).


Want more tips and advice?

If you hook your shots and are eager to stop, allow the team at Clarkes’ Golf Centre to help.

We’re always on hand and will gladly share our expertise and answer your questions. Just give us a call on 01744 419 914 or email admin@clarkesgolf.co.uk, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Alternatively, if you’d like to discuss your requirements in further detail with our specialists, or benefit from a custom club fitting, come and visit us at our superstore in Rainford. We’d be more than happy to assist.