How To Stop Duck Hooking
If you are struggling with duck hooking, know that you are not alone. Like others before you, it is very possible to stop duck hooking. To stop duck hooking, you need to pay attention to your grip, posture, face angle, and swing path. Let us help you with a few more tips to understand what causes duck hooking and how you can stop it.
What is duck hooking?
Duck hook, a common golf phenomenon, occurs when the ball sharply turns left (for right handed golfers) shortly after impact and hits the ground quicker due to its low ball flight.
It’s Wikipedia definition is a severe, low hooking golf shot,
What causes duck hooks?
The clubface and spin are the two most common causes of duck hooks. Let’s review the relationship of the clubface to the the path of the club at impact and how it creates spin on the ball causing it to hook aggressively.
Two scenarios can occur with the clubface that can cause a duck hook. The first one is if the clubface is closed at impact and the swing path is inside-in. The second scenario is if the clubface is too closed and the swing path is either inside in or inside out.
The angle at which the clubface hits the ball is referred to as the face angle. The line the clubhead takes to impact the ball is also referred to as the club path.
The swing path of the golf ball and the golf face angle where it impacts the ball affects the severity of duck hooks.
Naturally, the golf ball is designed to go in the direction where the clubface is angled. Hence, if your clubface is open at impact and points to the right target direction, it will lead the ball straight to the target.
Conversely, if the clubface is closed at impact, it will point to the target’s left. As a result, it ultimately changes the ball’s direction before swerving to the left of the target. It also happens for a square clubface. The ball will travel straight before ducking to the ground.
When the face does not solidly hit the ball, it often impacts the side or grazes a part of the ball. As a result, it will put the spin on the side the club hit and turn the ball hard in another direction.
The spin is created by the spin path. Hence, when the swing path is from the inside, it rotates the golf ball counterclockwise at impact.
As a result, it does not travel the way it should. A golf ball spinning at a high rate often leads the ball in an unintended direction.
How to stop duck hooking?
Fix #1: Manage your posture
Working on posture can help with your swing plane and the overall motion of the body during the swing which can help the arms and hips be more in sync so you don’t duck hook the golf ball. When your arms outrace your hips, hooking can occur in the golf swing.
Fix #2: The grip
The grip is the most important thing to check if you want to stop duck hooking. Most times, duck hooks occur when your grip or position is too strong. Instead, your grip should be neutral or weak to offset a duck hook. Check out this guide on the three grip types.
For example, you can grip the golf club with your left hand in a way that lets you see two knuckles. Then, you can grip with your right hand and let your index finger and right thumb point to your right shoulder.
The pinkie-finger on your right hand should interlock the index finger or rest between your left hand’s middle and index finger. A neutral grip like this will help you control your swing better and keep the clubface open when you swing.
Fix #3: The arm
After aligning your grip, you need to align the golf club and your arm. Swing the club to the back and point the rounded edge or clubface toe straight up while the hip is kept at a high point.
This procedure keeps the clubface open to avoid a closed clubface on your backswing. Then, ensure that your left arm is straight when you backswing to prevent an early release on the downswing. When an early release occurs, the clubface will close before it impacts the ball.
Fix #4: The hip
To start the downswing, turn your hips towards the target. Not just the hips, but let your hand also follow the hips.
Turn your hip gradually towards the target until you impact the ball. This prevents the club from releasing too early so that you can swing it properly.
Plus, keep the clubface square when you swing, and don’t let it rotate through impact. To make your hip turning effective, your belt buckle should face the target when you are done swinging.
Fix your golf swing path
The more the distance between your path and face angle, the more your ball curves, and you will end up with a duck hook. Hence, you need to straighten your swing path to a square motion instead of an inside to outside swing path. And you need the clubface to be square to your swing path as well at the same time.
To do this, don’t lean your rear shoulders or rear back too low at impact to reduce inside takeaways. Here are some important golf swing takeaway drills to make sure you start the club back straight.
You also need to analyze your down swing club position so that the clubhead does not lag behind the chest. Keep your arms and the club in front of your chest when you swing so that the swing will stay on the plane.
Stop Hooking the Golf Ball Drills
Some drills that can help:
- Get an alignment stick or pole and fix it into the ground a few yards away from the ball. Walk back to the golf ball and aim at the pole. Swing the ball to the left of the pole to straighten your shots by creating a fade around the pole.
- To correct your grip, put your hands on the club with your thumbs straight down the shaft. Then, practice hitting soft and full swing shots.
- To master your swing path, set the driver’s head a few inches away from the ball to the right. This acts as a roadblock and forces your swing path to curve back to the left after impact so you don’t hit the headcover. You can use anything as a barrier.
A duck hook sends the ball further to the left of your target than you want. However, if you pay enough attention to your face angle, grip, and swing path, you will fare better than most.
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