Jake was a competitive golfer for over a decade dating back to the days of being the Captain of his high school golf team. He has played more than 200 courses across 32 different states in the US. Now semi-retired, Jake continues to golf 3-4 days a week with a current 2 handicap, gives golf lessons to his friends and family, and provides a wealth of knowledge to Golf Circuit from his competitive playing days. Jake combines practical expertise with technical knowledge to create golfing strategies and training techniques for both beginners and scratch golfers.
Golf, we all love the game – it’s a challenging but rewarding pastime. Any golfer, even a seasoned pro, has a bad day on the fairways from time to time. There are those moments when you feel like you’re out of rhythm, and you can’t get your swing sorted out no matter how hard you try. Knowing how to hook a golf ball is one way to become a better golfer.
For beginners, the challenge of mastering your swing to a stage where you can get out on the course takes plenty of practice at the driving range. The chances are that if you’re a newcomer to the game, you already understand the horror of hitting a hook shot.
The hook shot is the most distinguishable bad move you can make at the driving range, and it’s a safety hazard on the course. The last thing you need is to hit someone with a hook shot.
While that’s a relatively rare occurrence, hooking your shot is still somewhat embarrassing.
Fortunately, everyone at the range has been there, facing the challenge of overcoming the hook shot, and they’ll be forgiving with your behavior.
Understanding the reasons why you’re hooking the ball helps you overcome the problem as a beginner. There are several reasons you could be hooking the ball, and we’ll unpack them in this post.
The strange thing with the hook shot is that it’s also part of the game, and as you improve, you’ll need to learn how to make a hook shot on purpose. Experienced players understand that a hook shot could be a valuable skill to have in their toolbox.
A carefully placed hook shot could get you out from behind a tree or obstacle when you’re in the rough or a sand trap.
So, we’ll start this post by looking at the form around the hook shot and how to correct it. We’ll finish with unpacking the skills you need to kook your shot on purpose. Are you ready? Let’s dive in.
What are the Four Types of Hook Shots?
There are four types of hook shots; let’s look at each of them in detail. Mastering the four types of hook shots will help you know how to hook a golf ball. There are four types of hook shots; let’s look at each of them in detail.
Draw Hook Shot
The draw is the best kind of hook shot. Some players argue that this variety isn’t a hook shot at all. However, we will include it in the four shots because it lies on the end of the hook spectrum.
The draw hook shot happens when the face and the path of the club point to the right of the visual target. However, the club path is pointing more to the right of the target than the clubface.
Push Hook Shot
The push hook shot is a common error made by even established players of the game. The push hook is typically an overextension of the draw hook shot.
The error happens when the club path favors the right of the target, significantly more than the clubface. Usually, this error occurs because the player’s grip on the club is too strong, closing the clubface.
Pull Hook Shot
The pulling golf shot is the most horrific of all the hook shots. This variation starts with a flight path to the left, curving more left as it gains distance away from you.
This shot error occurs when the player executes their shot with a neutral or left-moving club path and the clubface leaning even more to the left.
Classic Hook Shot
We wrap up the list of hook shots with the classic hook shot. The club path moves to the target’s right with this variation, with the clubface pointing to the left.
As a result of the imbalance in the shot, the ball’s flight path creates too much side spin, forcing the ball to dive downwards and to the left.
Simple Tips To Prevent Hooking Your Golf Ball
So, how can newcomers to the game prevent themselves from making a bad hook shot? Some amateurs confuse a hook with a slice. A common shot error afflicts many new golfers, and some may take months or years to work it out of their game.
However, new players will find the hook just as defeating, laying shame to their confidence at the driving range and on the course. The hook shot also generates more ball speed, resulting in a dangerous shot when it’s completely out of control.
If you’re struggling with overcoming the hook or the slice, you can use these tips to improve your game.
Check the Alignment
The first place to start is by examining your alignment. It might surprise you how many newbies don’t even realize they’re aiming off-line.
Make sure your clubface is slightly closed, and check by lifting the club to waist height in the normal address position. If the face is pointing to the ground more than the target, that’s the source of the problem.
Examine Your Grip
The grip is another common error point causing the hook shot. Look down at your hands on the club in your address position. If you see three knuckles on the left hand but only one on the right hand, it means you have a strong grip.
Changing your grip is challenging, and you’ll need to do it in small increments to prevent it from affecting your game. Start with hitting some half shots after changing your grip to see one and a half knuckles on the right hand.As you get used to each change in your grip, work to a more neutral grip to stop the hooks for good.
Rotate Your Body through the Shot
Another common factor causing the hook shot in beginners is releasing the angle in their hands as the swing reaches the impact point. This behavior typically occurs because the player stops the rotation of their body through the shot.
If this is the case for you, you can turn your left foot outward just a bit to improve your movement throughout the shot; if your feet and stance are exactly perpendicular to the ball, it may cause a lack of range-of-motion in your hips through the shot and a failure in the release of the hands.
Try Closed-Face Drills
An inactive lower body during the shot is the most common cause of hooking the ball. Those players that struggle with the challenge of transferring their weight through the swing are more inclined to hook the ball.
If you struggle with this problem, close the clubface and attempt a normal swing. Try to hot a straight shot, and if you are still in your old habit, it drives the ball further left. As a result, you’ll become conscious of the error, and your body will adjust to a new shot position.
The alignment markings on the clubface show you the angle of the clubface and how closed it is in your current posture. The only way you can take a straight shot in this position is to rotate your body through the ball and shift your weight to delay the club’s release by a fraction of a second.
Practice these changes enough, and you’ll find it’s an effective way to program your biomechanics into a smoother swing sequence.
Quick Hook-Shot Checklist
So, after going through why you’re hooking the ball, let’s look at a quick checklist to recap how to hook a golf ball:
- Always align the club face to the target.
- Check your grip and how many knuckles are showing on each hand.
- Improve range-of-motion and body rotation by turning your left foot out slightly.
- Make sure the lower half of your body is in motion during the swing and in tune with the movement through the ball strike.
Why Do I Keep Hooking My Golf Shots?
While the professionals may find that a purposeful hook shot is useful on the course, the beginner will find it frustrating, to say the least. If you want to correct your form, consider the tips we gave you and try them out at the driving range to see if they make a difference to your game.
If you keep hitting hook shots, the chances are you’re unconsciously making one of the errors we mentioned earlier. The key is to identify the culprit responsible for the problem. Is your grip too tight, or is your lower body stiff during your swing? Maybe you’re making a combination of errors?
It’s challenging to correct your behavior overnight, and even if you get the right advice from a gold pro, it will take some time to work the advice into your swing. However, with enough practice, you’ll eventually reset your muscle memory and your sot dynamics.
How To Hook A Golf Ball Purposefully?
While beginners might find the hook shot a menace, experienced players can benefit their game from understanding how to hook a golf ball.
The hook shot can help advanced players get around obstacles or objects on the course. Overall, learning the hook shot adds another skill to your toolbox on the golf course.
Advanced players that deliberately practice their hook shot find they discover more about ball flight and shot arc. Understanding these dynamics help you sort out any other lingering problems in your swing.