Lose the Hook

Cliff Larson
VP & Director of Instruction Jacobs’ Golf Management Sedona, Arizona Dir. of Golf Operations at The Club at Seven Canyons
Sedona, AZ

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Are you among the many that fight a hook? Do you shy away from your driver on long par 4’s when there’s trouble left? Are you convinced that choosing a more lofted club will enable better control and all but eliminate the dreaded shot to the left? If any of this sounds familiar, try this simple solution…Pull out your driver and tee the ball down.

Perhaps this sounds as though your problems will worsen. At first they may, but not for long. First, you must recognize that golf is a reaction sport. When we see the ball fly left, we instinctively swing to the right and away from trouble. What most of us fail to realize is that this is the cardinal sin when it comes to addressing our swing flaws. Swinging to the right and away from trouble actually forces the club to arrive too much from the inside. This shallow and flatter delivery in the forward swing actually forces the club head to close prematurely. The more you swing to the right, the more the ball will hook to the left.

With the ball sitting lower to the ground, you may initially feel as though you will top it. In fact, you probably will. This may be the case for several shots, but instinct will gradually take over and you’ll steadily sense the need to swing the club on a more upright plane. Unlike the shot that plagued you only moments earlier, this swing shape will actually delay the clubface from squaring and the hook will steadily disappear.

Try this simple, effective approach and you’ll soon see there’s nothing to fear. Play the shot that’s required.

Cliff Lawson is Vice President and Director of Instruction for Jacobs’ Golf Management and PGA Director of Golf Operations at The Club at Seven Canyons in Sedona, Arizona. A PGA member since 1981, Cliff has held positions as general manager, director of golf and head professional at properties in Florida, Virginia, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii and New Mexico. From 2000-2004, Cliff was among “America’s Best Teachers” by Golf Digest and was ranked in the Top 5 instructors in the State of Nevada for seven consecutive years. You can reach Cliff at 928.203.2027.

Note: This is the first of a series of instructional columns that will be presented each month by a different John Jacobs’ Golf Schools and Academies’ Instructor.