The slice is the more common miss in golf.
It seems that almost every golfer has to struggle with a slice at some point in their game.
A hook is not as common, and some will argue it’s not as bad of a miss.
However, if you are the one hooking the golf ball, you may disagree.
A hook can be quite frustrating, but the good news is, it is very fixable.
In this guide, we will help you learn why you are hooking the ball and how to fix it.
What Is A Hook?
A hook is a golf shot that goes straight down at your target line and then makes a sharp left-hand turn.
This is different than a pull.
A pull goes to the left directly off the face of the club, and it stays left the entire time.
A pull is never on the intended line, to begin with.
Many people confuse a hook and a slice.
A slice is when a ball starts on the intended line and starts to turn to the right.
What Makes A Golf Ball Hook?
There are five reasons that the golf ball can hook.
Some of these are related to swing, and others are posture and setup related.
We will discuss each one of these causes for the hook so that you can start to narrow down, which is affecting your swing.
If you have a very strong grip, it could lead to you hooking your irons.
A strong grip would be great to help a person correct a slice, but it can be taken too far.
With a strong grip, your right hand will end up under the club a bit more.
As you come through impact, your right hand is in too strong of a position, and it can cause the ball to go left.
Grip changes can be a bit tricky to make, but if you commit to practicing it every day, you should have no issues.
A hook happens when your path is inside out, and your clubface is closed.
This strong right-hand makes it easy to close the clubface down and cause the hook.
Hooks can happen when your path is too far inside out.
Although an inside out swing path can be considered to be a good thing, sometimes it goes too far.
One of the ways this path can develop is from a poor posture or setup.
Typically speaking, if you have too much weight on your right foot both at setup and at impact, you may hook the ball.
The same thing can be said if you have too much weight on your heels.
Both of these issues can cause more of a hook path in your swing and cause your irons to end up well left of the target.
Some golfers will unknowingly aim very far right of their target.
When you do this, you can set yourself up to hook the ball.
Aiming right will cause that same inside out swing path.
Where this problem starts to escalate is when the golfer who is used to hooking the ball starts to aim right and prepare for the hook.
The hook issue will get quite a bit worse, and you will be no closer to finding this solution.
Make sure to always line up square to your target.
It is ok to plan for a slight draw or fade but do not aim right and prepare to have a huge hook.
You will make the problem much worse than it needs to be.
Probably the most common cause of a hook is the swing path.
A perfect swing path would be slightly inside out.
The players that hook the ball come very far inside with their path.
You will notice with a golfer who has a terrible hook problem that the club may end up on an inside path directly after take away.
As the club moves away from the ball, it ends up too far behind the player.
It’s hard to recover from this position and hit the ball straight.
Swing path and swing plane issues take some time to figure out.
If you invest the time into your game, you can usually figure out that the path or plane issues are caused by another problem in your swing.
Sometimes the problem is related to stance or setup.
Other times it could be your initial takeaway from the golf ball.
Regardless of what is causing you to get too far inside, you will need to straighten it out if you want to start to hit the ball straight again.
Releasing the golf ball is very important in a golf swing.
However, if you do not time this release properly, the ball will not go to its intended target.
If you release the club a bit too soon, your clubface will likely be closed.
The closed clubface is going to cause the golf ball to go left of the target.
Sometimes this will result in a pull, but mostly, it’s going to be a hook.
Try to make sure that when you release the club, you are doing it at the proper time.
Equipment Issues That Can Cause A Hook
Believe it or not, sometimes a hook is not caused by your golf swing.
I’m sure we all wish that this was the case, as this is a much easier fix than having to work on your golf swing.
If your equipment doesn’t fit you properly, it could cause you to hook the golf ball.
Most of the time, the equipment issues have to do with the golf shaft.
If your golf shaft is too flexible for your swing speed, it is very easy to hook the ball.
You will end up releasing the club too soon because the club does not have enough torque for you.
Golfers should have their swing speed tested to see what it is and to see what shaft they should be using.
As a general rule of thumb, if you hit the ball (with your seven iron) more than 175 yards, than you will need an extra stiff shaft.
Many strong golfers think that they are stuck with a stiff shaft without knowing they can go to the extra stiff option.
So if you are swinging with a stiff shaft and a hook is a common miss, try getting yourself fitted for a custom set of golf shafts.
Another equipment issue that could cause you to hook the ball is an offset or closed clubface.
The clubface on most irons is not closed, but they can be quite offset.
If a better player who knows how to release a golf club is playing with an offset club, they may experience a hook.
Better players need more of straight neck design.
The offset is in golf clubs to help fight off a slice.
However, if you don’t slice the ball, you will just be adding to the draw/hook problem.
It doesn’t take much to turn a draw into a hook if you are using the wrong equipment.
Drills To Help Fix A Hook
How you fix your hook will depend primarily on why you hook the ball.
There are a few basic drills that can help you try and get the ball back on track.
The first one is to take a serious look at your golf grip.
If you are not sure if your grip is correct, have a PGA Professional take a look.
Also, ask a friend to take a picture of your grip at setup.
Having a visual of how your hands are placed on the club could help you.
There are trainer grips that you can put on a practice club.
The trainer grips are always going to have a very neutral grip on them, and it can teach you how to get your hands back into the proper position.
Another great way to fix a hook is to try and see your club path.
Mostly this will be possible through video, but you can also do it with alignment sticks.
Purchase a few golf shaft alignment sticks and lay them on the ground when you set up.
Take a step back and see if you are aiming straight at your target or well to the right.
As you remember, if you are aiming right, you may be setting yourself up for a hook.
Once you have your setup in place, you can place a few sticks in the ground to help you establish the proper take away.
This takeaway should be what helps you get the golf club on plane.
Sometimes when you start working with these sticks, you will quickly see that you are below the plane and coming from the inside.
Unfortunately, this is making your hook even worse.
Lots of practice with alignment sticks, videos, and mirrors will help you get rid of your hook.
The hook is usually a better player’s miss.
Better players should have the ability to self correct their swing and work on some of these issues.
For the higher handicapper that starts hooking the ball, make sure to check the ball position as well.
Sometimes a hook can come from merely having the ball too far back in the stance.
Higher handicap players should take lots of time working on fundamentals like grip, stance, and posture.
Is It Better To Hook Or Slice?
Many people think that a hook is a better miss than a slice.
This may be partially true.
If you hook the ball, chances are you have released the club with a closed clubface.
When you slice the ball, sometimes you never release it.
Hooking can show a bit more understanding about what needs to happen in a golf swing for it to function correctly.
Golf courses tend to be designed with more trouble down the right-hand side.
It’s a more common miss.
The hooked shot will also go a lot further than a sliced shot.
So if you happen to slice a ball, you will be off the fairway and have a long club into the green.
With the hooked shot, you will be off the fairway but have a considerably shorter shot to the green.
Overall a hook is a shot that needs to be fixed or tweaked just a bit.
If you can turn your hook into a draw, you will have no problem getting around the golf course with a low number.
It’s good for every golfer to learn how to hit a hook and use one when they need one.
When getting out of the woods or playing a long dogleg, you may need a hook shot.
The issue is when the hook comes up unintentionally.
How Long Does It Take To Fix A Hook?
A golfer can fix a hook in one shot, or they can take a year to fix a hook.
The thing about golf is that you must practice enough for your brain and body to adjust.
If a golfer determines what has been causing their hook and they have a new image in their mind, it might be all it takes.
Other players may need to spend weeks on the range with alignment sticks and swing jackets before they can get rid of the hook.
Unfortunately, it will depend entirely on you as an athlete and your ability to adapt.
One of the most important things to remember while you are dealing with a hook in your game is not to overcompensate.
The more you start changing your aim or other areas of your swing, the bigger mess you will have to clean up.
Focus on the problem that is causing the hook and work to fix it.
Don’t be afraid to take your fix out on the golf course.
Some golfers become scared to swing for fear the ball will end up left.
Instead, be confident and implement the necessary changes to get better.
Is It Harder To Fix A Slice Or A Hook?
Most people would agree that it is harder to fix a slice than a hook.
Hooks usually have rather simple underlying causes that can be fixed in a shorter period.
Slices generally have to do with an overall lack of feeling or understanding of where and how the golf club should travel.
Even the best players will slice it from time to time, but most of the time, the slice is the higher handicappers miss.
Once you understand how to fix a slice, it should not remain a recurring issue in your game.
However, getting to that point can be quite difficult and time-consuming.
If you are hooking your irons rest assured, there is probably a relatively simple fix out there for you.
It should not take more than a bit of self-analysis and reflection to determine what is causing the hook.
Once you have the cause, you can start implementing a solution.
A hook tends to be the miss of a better player, so if all else fails, at least you can put yourself in that category!