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Golf Hook

By: Mike Kiely BA (hons) - Updated: 27 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Golf Hook

Imagine that you are standing on the tee. Looking down thefairway you notice that the hole includes a dogleg tothe left i.e. the path to the hole is not straight butbends to the left with the pin perhaps obscured by aline of trees. Your playing partners all mutter sagelyabout how to handle this situation. You on the other hand march up, place your ball on thetee, address the ball and drive off. The ballinitially flies to the right before gracefullytracking to the left and around those aforementionedtrees.

How Did it Happen?

What a shot, what a draw, cry your companions whoindulge in a round of backslapping meant to mask theirenvy at your undoubted ability.What they don't know is that while you're obviouslypleased at the outcome, you're not entirely sure howit happened. Naturally, you're not going to tell themthat. However the giveaway comes on a more mundanefairway further up the course. Buoyed by your newfoundability, you again march up to the tee and take yourshot. The pin is straight ahead but it appears youhave executed the textbook draw shot that had garneredsuch praise.

Challenge of a Dogleg

It's a dead giveaway. Your fan club fades away asquickly as it manifested itself. The penny has droppedfor your partners: that wasn't a fantastic draw youplayed earlier but a hook shot.The draw is utilised by skilled players in the eventof facing the challenge of a dogleg and as mentionedabove it involves starting the ball out right beforeit turns in to the left. You will achieve exactly thesame result with a hook, the difference being thatwith the latter it was exactly what you didn't want toachieve and you could find yourself in thick rough andfacing a real struggle to make par or even just asingle bogey.

Advice of the Club Pro

In common with other technical problems, such asslicing or shanking, players suffering from a hookwould be advised to seek the advice of friends or theclub pro to correct the problem.In the interim, here is a basic explanation of what isgoing wrong. The spin that is causing the ball toswing is the result of a closed club head. This, inturn, is the result of poor body alignment wherebyboth shoulders and feet are pointing offline and tothe right. The same may be true of your hands, socheck their position. Another element to consider isthe position of the ball. Too far back in your stanceand this to will contribute to you hooking the ball.

Curving Shot

The good news is that once you've identified andcorrected the areas where you are going wrong, thenyou can apply them further along your skillsdevelopment to execute the draw. And by that time,your companions will no longer be tempted to concludethat in producing that wonderful curving shot from theright to the left you are nothing more than anunfortunate hooker who once again struck lucky.

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