How to Avoid the Golf Hook Shot
The hook shot in golf is a shot that moves drastically right to left (for the right-handed golfer), and typically is caused by too much hand action in the swing, and not enough body action. It is a result of putting excessive counter-clockwise spin on the ball, and this is generally caused by having a closed club face at the instant of ball contact. When the club face is closed and the body stops moving, this is what is called “blocking out”.
As you can see on the picture to the left, the club face doesn’t have to be closed a great deal to impart excessive side-spin. If the club face is closed and the body does not block the swing path out, you are apt to hit a straight pull shot. A slightly closed club face will be great if you are attempting the draw shot, but without getting your body to move this blocking out action by the body can quickly cause the club face to close more, resulting in the hook shot.
Approaches to Control Your Hook
To get rid of that dreaded hook shot you can try a few drills that get you to compensate for what is going wrong in your swing. If that doesn’t work, you may have to take some rather major steps to rebuild your golf stroke. Understanding golf swing plane and instituting that into your swing is one way. This way of swinging a golf club will simplify the swing, and therefore taking much of the unnecessary hand action that you are possibly getting with your present swing. Like anything that is new, it will probably cause your game to regress a bit until it becomes a standard part of your swing, but long-term it will eliminate a lot of problems.
A Drill for a Short-Term Solution
With your feet wide open and facing the target, pivot your upper body and set the club behind a golf ball. With your feet still perpendicular to the target, hit a few balls from that position.
Although it will feel quite comfortable (and don’t try to swing too hard or you may be visiting a chiropractor), take a few swings, turning your body in concert with the club. After a few shots you’ll be hitting fade shots, as from this position it will be impossible for the body to block out the shot. End up by hitting a few shots from your normal stance, attempting to reproduce the feel of the body opening up, allowing your hands to come through the ball.
Sometimes (but very rarely) it will be necessary, case in point when Bubba Watson made that incredible shot (above) at the 2012 Masters on the last hole of the tournament to save a par, giving him the win. As you can see on the picture on the right, what he hit (remember, Watson is left-handed) was basically a snap-hook, which takes incredible talent to hit and to control, but even the winner of the 2012 Masters wouldn’t want to depend on making that shot on a regular basis.