Do you feel frustrated because your ball curves far to the left instead of going straight no matter how hard you try?
It’s time to learn techniques on how to stop hooking the ball that really work.
Plus, I will tell you one of the easiest and fastest way to fix your hook without changing your grip, posture, or swing.
Read that again.
Yes, you don’t need to change your grip, posture, or swing to fix your hook. Consider this as a shortcut to straight shots.
What is a Hook in Golf
One of the goals of a golfer is to hit straight shots consistently. However, this does not always happen.
For a right-handed golfer, a hook shot means when a golf ball goes to the right then curves way to the left.
And vice versa, for a left-handed golfer, a hook shot means when a golf ball goes to the left then curves way to the right.
What Causes a Hook in Golf
Before I tell you the secret on how to hit straighter shots, it is important that you first know why a hook is happening in the first place. Here are 2 reasons why your golf shots are going to the left.
1. Your club face is closed at impact.
No matter how good your grip, stance, or swing is, the position of the club face at impact is the most important factor that will determine the direction that your ball will take.
As you know, the club face is the only part that will touch the golf ball.
So, you should clearly grasp the concept of how to square the clubface. Simply put, it means that the club face is looking directly at the ball, eye-to-eye. You should have a square clubface at address, keep clubface square at backswing, and have a square clubface at impact.
2. Your club path is way off the correct swing plane.
Another reason why you’re hooking the ball is your club is not traversing down the ideal swing plane.
If the ball starts from the left then goes farther left, then it is more likely that your club is moving from outside to inside the target line.
If the ball starts from the right then curves to the left, then it is more likely that your club is moving from inside to outside the target line but it hit the ball way too early.
How to Stop Hooking the Ball
Now that you know what causes your golf shots to curve toward the left, it’s time to look into how to stop hooking the ball and start solving this problem.
There are four ways on how to deal with hook shots. I suggest that you do one change at a time and see the improvements.
1. Use the Best Way to Grip a Golf Club
The first thing that you should check if you want to learn how to stop hooking the ball is your grip.
Your hands are the only part of your body that touches the club. Grip is important because it helps you control the club.
Ultimately, it influences the speed of the club and the direction that the golf ball takes so it is important that you know how to hold the club correctly.
If you have a good grip, you can move and twist the club easily and you have a higher chance of making a good swing.
Hold the shaft with your right hand. Move your right arm straight forward. Adjust your wrist so that the club is pointing to the 1 o’clock position or at a 45 degree angle, making sure to square the clubface.
How to Square the Clubface
Imagine drawing a line from the golf ball to your target hole. Then, draw a perpendicular line (at a 90 degree angle) across the golf ball. The line of your club’s leading edge should be parallel to this perpendicular line. This is essentially how to square the clubface.
Proper Left Hand Golf Grip
Place your left hand’s open palm at the end part of the handle. Close your hand. Hold the club by wrapping your fingers around the handle. Don’t hold the club across your palm. Because holding it with your palm will restrict the movement of your hand and wrist.
The sides of your thumb and forefinger should touch each other. Your thumb should rest slightly on the right side of the handle. There is a V shaped crease formed between the thumb and the forefinger. The V should point to your right shoulder.
Proper Right Hand Golf Grip
Now, let’s move on to your right hand. While it is in an open palm position, move your right thumb so that the side of your thumb touches the forefinger.
Place your right hand’s groove on the handle and slide it over your left hand. Your left thumb should fit right into middle of the groove of your right hand just like a jigsaw puzzle.
Close your hand with your fingers holding the club, and not with your palm. The little finger of your right hand should sit on the forefinger of your left hand. This is called the overlapping grip or the Vardon grip, named after Harry Vardon.
Now, your left thumb should no longer be visible. Only two knuckles of your left hand should be visible.
Your left and right hands should now work together as one so that you have complete control of the club.
Best Way to Grip a Golf Club
To be honest, there is no one-size-fits-all type of grip. It varies from golfer to golfer.
You may take inspiration from how professional golfers grip the club but you need to make adjustments to find the one that suits you the best.
Follow the basic concept of the grip then twist it to your style.
You should feel comfortable and not awkward with your grip; otherwise, that awkward feeling will reflect on your swing, and eventually translate into a hook shot.
There should be no tension in your arms, wrists, and hands so that your swing will flow smoothly.
2. Take a Proper Stance for Golf
Posture is conditioning yourself to hitting the ball correctly. Here’s how to have a good posture.
Stand up straight. Stand with your feet at shoulder width apart. Your right foot should point straight, perpendicular to the target line. Adjust your left foot so that it is positioned at 150 degree angle.
This position ensures that you do not turn excessively as you wind up and that you turn with more power and flexibility as you swing downward to hit the ball and after you struck it.
Imagine that this standing straight position is 12 o’clock. Lean forward from the waist to 1 o’clock position. Your butt should be sticking out. Flex your knees and let your legs soften.
Let your arms hang down freely. Don’t crouch or round your shoulders. The spine should be straight, not curved. Relax and keep your balance.
Imagine drawing a line from your left shoulder to your right shoulder. Then, another line from your left hipbone to your right hipbone. Then, another line from your left kneecap to your right kneecap. Then, another line from your left foot to your right foot. All of these four lines should be parallel to the target line.
How Far to Stand from Golf Ball
Also, you may be thinking how far should you stand away from the golf ball? Actually, it also depends on how tall you are and how long your club is.
So instead of looking at the golf ball as your target point, focus more on how far away you are from the golf club. And then, the length of your golf club will naturally determine where you should position yourself.
3. Fix Your Golf Swing
Do the correct body posture that you learned a while ago.
Move your shoulders back around 90 degrees to your right to wind up. As you move, shift the weight of your body to your right leg. . You should rotate your right forearm but don’t overdo it.
Push your body toward the left. Shift the weight of your body to your left leg as you turn. As you turn, your right shoulder will lower.
Then, you should continue turning your body. I know that this may sound ironic but if you don’t want your ball to go the left, then you must keep on turning to the left.
Let me explain.
Because you have a tendency to hook the ball, you turn cautiously during your downswing so it slows down the rotation of your body.
Consequently, your hands are probably moving ahead of your body. But the key is your body should take the lead in hitting the ball and not your hands.
In relation to turning, your weight should be on the balls of your feet so that you can turn flawlessly.
4. Know Which Golf Club To Use
One possible reason why your shots are going to the left is because of your club. You should know which golf club to use for your skill level. Actually changing or adjusting your club is one of the easiest ways on how to stop hooking the ball.
Changing your grip, posture, or swing all require internal changes made on you yourself. But, the fact is, your usual grip, posture, or swing has already become a habit. And it is hard to change a habit.
With regard to changing a golf club, this is very easy but requires additional expense because you are changing something externally. Effects can be seen instantly.
But before you go and buy another club, check first if your club has settings that can be adjusted.
For example, TaylorMade M1 has a feature where you can select if you want the ball flight to draw, neutral, or fade. So if you keep on losing shots to the left, then adjust it to “Fade” to counter the tendency of a hook shot.
If your club does not have any adjustable settings and you are left with no choice but to get a new one, then make sure that you know the important things to look for when buying a club.
Basically, you need to consider 7 things when choosing a club: head size, head loft, head lie angle, hosel, length, shaft material, and flexibility of shaft.
If you are wondering how to know what loft angle and flex are more appropriate for you, then refer to the table below to guide you. You need to know your swing speed to find the loft and flex that complement it. You can measure your swing speed by using a simple swing speed radar.
Once you know your swing speed, look at the first column of the table above and search for your swing speed. The selected row contains the loft angle and shaft flex that are recommended for your swing speed.
For example, if your swing speed is 93 mph, then opt for a golf club that has a 9.5° loft angle and a stiff flex.
How to Stop Hooking the Ball
When the ball travels at a straight direction, it is called a pure shot. While when it curves toward the left after impact, then it is called a hook shot.
So if you’re thinking “why are my golf shots going to the left?”, make sure that you check your grip, make the correct stance, execute the downswing properly, and use the correct golf club.
In order to hit straight shots, you need full body coordination so that the club hits the ball with a square club face.
It is not enough to just know how to stop hooking the ball, you need to put everything that you learned into action. So hurry and head to a driving range and practice hitting straighter shots.
Did you try the above techniques to fix your hook?
Do you have tips on how to prevent a hook?
Let me know in the comments.