“You can talk to a fade, but a hook won’t listen.”
Lee Trevino’s famous words are absolutely true. There is nothing as demoralizing to a golfer or destructive to a scorecard as a bad case of the hooks.
This Lesson Is For You If:
You hit shots that start straight or right of target, then curve too far left
The Cause of the Hook
If you’ve already read my article on the cause of curvature (HERE), you may already know the answer to, “Why does the ball hook?” If not, here it is:
The ball hooks/draws/curves left because the face is closed (more left) than the path. The greater the difference between the face and path, the more the ball curves.
For players that hit the type of hooks described above, their club path can be 5° to the right of target or more. With this drill, the goal is to bring the club path closer to neutral (straight at the target) to reduce the curve of the ball.
The thing that makes this difficult is that the golfer swinging 5° right doesn’t feel like he is. If he felt that his swing was 5° right, he would have changed it already. The player looking to make this change needs to accept that this new swing will FEEL bad, wrong, and left (even though it’s not) simply because it’s different.
One Drill to Fix Your Hook
Set up an alignment stick outside your golf ball pointing directly at your target.
Next, set up an obstacle “inside” and behind your golf ball as shown above. How you set it up will depend on the obstacle you choose. A folded towel is a good way to start, as are tees. If you’re more confident and want serious feedback, an empty range basket is a good choice.
Take your address position. Make a practice swing and avoid the obstacle on both the back and downswing.
Once you feel confident, make a full speed swing with a ball.If your club path is too far to the right (too far from the inside), you will hit the obstacle. Avoiding the obstacles will make your swing feel very “straight back and through” or “up and down.” This is ok. Remember that this is just the way it feels right now because it’s different. If you film your swing, you will see that it’s not really that different at all.
Changes Take Time
One thing to always keep in mind about swing changes is that they take time. You made hundreds or thousands of swings with your old move, so it will take thousands of repetitions to truly change it. That doesn’t mean that you won’t see some results immediately, you probably will, but you will need to keep working on this drill if you want to banish the hook from your game forever.
As always, please feel free to post any questions, comments, or thoughts below.
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