Two ways to handle the hook shot

Published 27/09/2010 07:32:00

When things turn bad for good players, a hook usually results. A grasp of the fundamentals combined with a little work on the practice tee will likely iron out the wrinkles that are throwing a swing off-key. All well and good for the long term. But what do you do if you're on the course, in the middle of a match, and the big right-to-lefter pops up out of nowhere? You need a short-term cure to get you through the round. Here are two ways to stop hooking: A quick fix to salvage your round, and a solid cure to work on after your round is over.


Quick Fix: Try the Flip Side

Nothing hurts you more when fighting on-course problems than a hard head. If you're hooking, don't stubbornly try to contain it, thinking it just requires a little extra concentration. Even if you respond with some good shots, the hook is sure to come back and bite you at the worst possible moment. Approach it from a different angle. Eliminate all chances of any right-to-left movement by playing the power fade.


Aim slightly left of the target, weaken your grip by turning your left hand a hair to the left, and move the ball an inch or two forward in your stance. Swing away aggressively. Your goal is to swing from out to in, which starts the ball left of target, while holding on with the left hand through impact to prevent the clubface from closing, and bring the ball back to the right. The power fade is a controlled shot that is extremely playable. You can score well with it. Best of all, you won't tempt fate with a hook swing.


Long-Term Cure: Stick to One Plane

The power fade is a smart alternative when things go sour on the course. But you don't want to lose the ability to hit a draw when the situation demands one. You'll be a better shot-maker if your natural swing allows you to move the ball both ways.


Work on a swing that remains on plane both back and through. Chances are your hook is a result of the club dropping too far to the inside on the downswing--under the plane--which puts too much right-to-left spin on the ball. Keep the club on plane by avoiding a big drop to the inside on the downswing. The club will move down the line to impact, resulting in a straighter basic shot. Without an overly dominant shot pattern, you'll find consistent shotmaking--in either direction--much easier.



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