Many players of golf pull hook during their drives. In this article, we’ll analyze golf pull hooks to see why they happen. We’ll then move on to what they are, and how to keep them from messing up your game in the future.
Like many things, talking about pull hooks is much easier than correcting a pull hook in golf. But with any luck, you’ll take away the important details which we’ll share with you. Then, you’ll be sinking shots in no time.
What Is a Pull Hook?
A golf pull hook causes your drive to hook the ball to the left, assuming that your right hand is your dominant hand. If you golf from the left, your ball will hook to the right.
Pull hooks are a common cause of amateur golfer rage. Especially since, at first, the trajectory of a pull hook often looks like a winner … Until the spin of the ball kicks in and causes it to deviate.
Hooking the ball results from swinging in the way that imparts a sidespin. We’re not necessarily talking about 90-degree hooks in your ball’s trajectory here. Even a slight deviation from your intended line of ball flight has the same result: A ball that suddenly hooks to the right or left.
What Are the Consequence Of a Pull Hook?
Difficult putting situations are one common cause of pull hooks. If you’re consistently pull hooking, that also means you’re not using your wrist muscles to drive correctly. Not only is this infuriating, it also puts you at risk for injury.
The same can be said of your back and even your hips. Figuring out how to correct a pull hook golf swing is a troubleshooting process that starts with checking each body part that may be mispositioned.
Before we examine the body parts which are involved in the pull hook, let’s take a close look at what’s happening. There’s more to the pull hook fault than there is with most golf swing issues.
Why Does A Pull Hook Happen?
There are some explanations for the pull hook, but we’re going to start with the final cause first, and then forensically work our way backward to show you how that final cause was inevitable.
In a facile sense, a pull hook happens because your driver hits the golf ball at an incorrect angle such that it is scooped by the head of the driver and remains in contact with your driver at that incorrect angle for a long duration of time, which imparts the ball with a strong spin.
That’s not the entire story, however, because in reality the ball is being impacted at two wrong angles relative to your intended path of the ball’s flight. The first angle is the angle of your driver’s head relative to you; a pull hook occurs when the angle is too shallow. The second angle is the face of the driver head relative to the direction of your intended trajectory.
Because of the first incorrect angle during the impact of the drive, the second incorrect angle causes the ball to slide along the face of the driver, gaining spin as the force of your follow through is continually applied during the time the face of the driver is in contact with the ball.
This explains the phenomena of pull hooks appearing to be at the correct trajectory during the first few moments of flight, then appearing to veer to the left. When you add in the force of your swing, the deviation between the impact angles and their correct alignments provides you with an equation for how much spin your drive is imparting onto the ball.
“Golf’s three ugliest words … ‘Still your shot.'”
— Dave Marr
The more spin your drive imparts into the ball, the sooner you’ll see your ball veer off course. If you are a heavy hitter, pull hooking might be occurring at the point where the ball becomes difficult to see against the sky, resulting in your ball landing far from where it appeared to be going during the early stages of its trajectory.
So, how do you stop a pull hook in golf? We’ll go into great depth in the next section, but the short version is that you correct the incorrect angles by drilling at the driving range with a special focus on your grip, your wrists, your torsion, and your follow through.
In the next section, we’ll explain how to alter your stance and your swing so that your angles and application of force onto the ball result in the minimal amount of spin.
How Do You Fix A Pull Hook?
When you’re desperately asking how do you stop a pull hook in golf, you’re in luck: there’s a broadly endorsed several step plan which involves analyzing your drive’s weaknesses and correcting the improper postures that cause hooks.
Check your grip.
The grip is always the first place to analyze, so see if you can get someone else to take a video of your hands before you swing, as you’re setting up to tee off. Instead of that, try evaluating your drive starting with your hands, wrists, shoulders, and follow through.
Check your right hand (or left, if you’re a leftie).
Check your right hand, and make sure that it’s over your other hand such that it’s at the same level that it would be if it were hanging from your shoulder. Put your left arm straight into the groove of your right hand, making your thumb and shoulder in line. If you’re a leftie, reverse the above.
Check your balance.
Incorrect balance is also a common cause of a pull hook in golf. Keep your weight on the balls of your feet during your backswing to provide for more stable torsional pivoting during your follow through. If you aren’t balanced properly, your clubface will naturally have a shallower angle relative to you by the time it reaches the ball, guaranteeing a pull hook shot.
Your upper torso should remain at a constant angle throughout the swing! Your arms and shoulders are the moving elements during the backswing, and your torso does not torsion until the latter part of your swing.
Check your follow through.
Finishing your follow through with your right shoulder below your left is a good sign that you’re on your way to correcting your bad swing. Remember, the earlier your body rotates through the ball, the later the club arrives at the ball which increases the chances of your club head impacting the ball at the scooping angle that creates the pull hook.
Watching others perform the action that you’re trying to replicate is helpful, but it’s often more helpful for others to watch you act and correcting you as necessary.
If you’re wondering how do you correct a pull hook golf swing if reading all these tips haven’t helped, the answer is to find a drill and then to practice your swing until you can consistently avoid hooking the ball.
Firing off perfectly straight drives isn’t easy for anyone, and sometimes professional golfers hook the ball, too. Maintaining your posture and proper rotation requires intense attention, as does monitoring your wrist muscles for contiguous strength.
Drilling will help to iron out minor wobbliness in your torso or wrists, so you should hop to the tee sooner rather than later.