The Hook Shot
For a right-handed golfer, a hook starts out to the right and finishes to the left of the target. This is caused by the club approaching the ball on a very in-to-out swing path with the clubface closed. (A push is similar but with the clubface square.)
Hooking usually is the result of a strong grip. This is when both hands are positioned too far to the right on the handle. This causes the clubhead to close at impact, imparting a right-to-left spin on the ball.
To correct the hook, square your clubface at impact and improve your swing plane. One error golfers make is correcting the grip but not the plane. Achieving a correct square grip makes the hook stop because the clubface will not close during the swing, but now you will be more prone to a big push because the plane remains in-to-out.
A good drill to help you improve the plane is right-arm-only swings. These emphasize a balanced plane and the feeling of more freedom in swinging the club. The key is to straighten and release your right arm on the downswing. (Note: Do not confuse this motion with casting, which is a negative early release of the wrists. We recommend a straightening of the right arm that is more from the elbow.)
Place your left hand underneath your right triceps. With your right hand, take hold of a 7-iron at the end of the grip. Tee up a ball and take your regular set-up, but one-handed. Swing to the top of the backswing, cocking your wrists as normal, and follow through to the target, feeling the right arm straighten.
Try to hit the ball with only half power and allow the club to release naturally through impact. The positioning of the left hand underneath the right arm guides the club to a more balanced position at the top of the backswing and prevents the in-to-out move on the downswing.
If the club begins to get too much behind you on the downswing, the club will feel heavy. This makes it difficult to create maximum clubhead speed, resulting in a loss of distance.
Contact Steve Chaney, PGA Certified Instructor, at the following: