4 Most Common Causes of the Hook (and How to Fix Them)

4 Most Common Causes of the Hook (and How to Fix Them)

Generally the two types of players we talk about with errant shots are slicers, of course the predominant flaw, and hookers. We use hookers of course for another term that you are familiar with, but I bet you don't know where that came from.

Where Does the Golf Term 'Hook' Come From?

It came from the Civil War where we had a Union General named General Hooker. He was the most organized guy of all the staff, in fact he organized everything so well that he even took the camp followers, the women that followed the soldiers around, he organized them and they called it Hookers Second Army.

Well they dropped the Second Army and that is how we got the term hookers. But in golf it is a little different. I am going to attack the idea of hookers in golf because it actually is almost harder to stop than slicing. I am going to give you three ways that I hook the ball and any of those cures for those three ways may help you if you happen to be a hooker of the golf ball.

Three Ways to Stop Hitting Hook Shots

  • First one is grip; whenever my hands rotate underneath I am closing the face. People think that if they move their hands this way that opens the face, just the opposite, it closes the face. So I am going to make a good swing with a bad grip, it looks something like this. Hands underneath, make a nice golf swing, the ball will go out and have a big turn on it just barely getting over the water and hooking sharply into the rough. Well that is one way you can hook it, with a bad grip.
  • Let's take a look at a second way, the second way is probably one of the more common ones that people don't realize why they hook it, it is because of deceleration of the right hand. When the left arm and the left hand stop too soon the clubhead keeps going. This is a lever system, one lever, two lever, and the clubhead keeps going, and when it keeps going the face ends up being closed. So when I make what I think is a good swing with deceleration in my left side, when that side decelerates I will also hit behind it, but I hit behind it and hooked it as well. So that is the second way you can hook it. How do you cure this one, you keep your left arm moving the entire way. You cure the first one with a better grip. You cure the second one by making your left side move better through the ball.
  • Finally, the last one is when we start from the top too early or have a bad position at the top. Let’s take the bad position, at top we let our left wrist fold over, this is harder for men, easier for women, now the face is dead shut. When I come down that ball is going to go low and hook. The other reason is you can go to the top with a good position but start down with your right arm, not even giving your left arm a chance to get in there. You start with the right and you pull hook the ball.

Actually four reasons why we hook the ball. All of those can be cured. Flatter writs instead of cupped. More left side instead of decelerating, better grip and starting the swing with your left side, not just the right arm. There you have it.

Category: Hook
Sub-Category: Arms, Wrist, Grip
About the Instructor
Gary Wiren
Gary Wiren
Trump International Golf Club
3505 Summit Blvd.
West Palm Beach, FL. 33406
Tel: 800-FOR-GARY
Tel: 800-367-4267

Dr. Gary Wiren was the PGA Teacher of the Year in 1987 and is also author of the PGA Teaching Manual. He is listed as one of Golf Magazine's Top 100 Teachers and Golf Digest's #12 instructor in the world.


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