For most amateur golf shots, the overall goal is to hit as straight as possible. From tee shots to approach shots, control is key, and hook golf shots are often undesirable. However, there will be times when you need to bail out and the only way to get past that obstacle is to go around it. When that happens, a hook ball is a useful shot to keep up the sleeve. Let’s see how you can refine yours on your portable golf simulator or on the course.
What is a hook shot in golf?
A hook shot in golf is a ball that begins its trajectory on one side of the player and then curves to the other side during flight. For right-handed players, a hook golf shot starts on the right and spins to the left. The ball will go from left to right for left-handed players.
What distinguishes it from a draw or fade?
Fades (or cuts) are similar to hook shots, but the ball is played in the other direction (left to right for righties).
A tie shot in golf is played in the same direction as a hook shot, and the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably. However, most golfers agree that there is a subtle difference between a draw and a hook, as the hook shot is the faster, more deliberate and more aggressive of the two, resulting in more curvature. In the arc of the ball.
Why should I learn a hook shot?
Aside from the hook shot being useful against obstacles like trees and overhanging branches, another useful reason is simply to master your swing. Deliberately practicing hook shots teaches you a lot about how your swing affects ball flight and arc, and can help resolve any lingering technical issues that are negatively impacting ball control.
How to make a hook golf Shot
As always, hitting a reliable and accurate hook shot (and not a wild one you can’t control) takes a lot of practice, but these tips will get you on the right track:
Close your stance: This means stepping your right foot back 4-6 inches if you’re a right-handed player. This points you to the right, which is where your ball will start its arc, but closes the angle of the club at impact.
Close the clubface – Hold the club in its normal position and rotate it slightly counterclockwise so that the clubhead is tilted to the left at impact. This creates the spin on the ball so that it swings to the left in the air.
Tighten your grip – Tighten just a couple of notches, so you don’t allow the clubhead to split open on impact. It also allows you to rotate your hands a bit more dramatically at impact, giving you more side spin and a steeper trajectory.
Work on Club Speed – Club speed won’t necessarily get you a hook shot, but it will make any hook shot much more curved. Again, it’s all about forcing extra rotations into the side twist.
Check Your Angles: Various ball and clubhead angles in the game impact the effectiveness of your hook shot. The specific data to look for is spin loft, calculated by the difference between your dynamic loft and angle of attack. Higher spin loft means more upspin at the expense of sidespin (and therefore less camber), and vice versa.
Why do I hook my golf shots?
Deliberately hooking a golf shot is a great skill, but what if you do it accidentally and want to correct your action?
If you are constantly hitting unwanted hook balls, it is likely that you are unconsciously doing one or more of the actions we described above. What you will need to do is identify what you are doing in your swing: is your grip too strong? Is the clubface too closed? Is your stance not open enough? That is causing the hook and try to remove it.
Read Also: What Is a Golf Divot?
You won’t be able to unlearn these kinds of mistakes overnight, but there are many professional golfers who can attest to the fact that with enough practice, you can gain the right habits and complete control.
A great place to start learning is with an accurate portable launch monitor like the GC2 or GCQuad. Providing real-time, high-precision data points vital to analyzing a hook shot, including angle of attack, azimuth, delivered face angle and more, it gives you vital tools to improve no matter where you’re practicing.