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The Dreaded Hook and What to do About it!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I play 5 times per week and have struggled with my game of late. Mind you I've had low rounds of 67 and 66 within the past month, but I've been horribly inconsistent. I played two tournaments and shot in the 80's - terrible. When you get on a tournament level golf course, any badness in your swing is amplified 10x over (nasty rough, super fast domed greens with shaved collars and terrain designed to penalize if you aren't on the stick). It was my iron game. I couldn't hit anything remotely close to my target, with my misses all left (over draw, pulls and some dreaded hooks). Strangely, the "lefts" don't show up in my wood game (driver, fwys), as a teacher once told me "...you can drive the ball standing on your head."

I went as far as to have all my irons flattened to two flat, but it didn't help because when I'd square the face up, I'd miss right.

So yesterday I woke up at 3am dedicated to researching until I found the answer, and I believe I have! Yippee!! My club face was shut at the top and I couldn't consistently square it up, so I'd have these misses show up and baffle me. Searching searching searching I came across an article which talked about Ben Hogan and how he struggled with a hook. Then I stumbled on the holy grail! Yup, the holy grail... If you struggle with a hook, prepare to be bedazzled... now click here--> http://www.scotchbladegolf.com/Life_Magazine_Hogan.pdf.

In this article he shows his "secret" and I went right out after having spent 10 minutes practicing in front of the mirror to ensure I had implemented his "secret." Oddly, after 10-15 balls, it didn't work like I had expected. Maybe I wasn't doing what he did. However, I was a shade more consistent and my hooks didn't show up quite like they had been. But, I did have a new "feeling" with this new wrist action. I realized "Hmmm... I wasn't hinging enough." So, I backed away from the balls and worked out the hinge, stepped in to my station and voila! I hit 50-60 balls and not one hook. 3iron all thru wedge and no hookie! wow! My balls went very high with a baby draw (my preferred traj and curvature - I use the Jack Nicklaus ball position theory), and at the apex would just fall straight down with an every so slight fade - simply beautiful!

I went right out (first on the course) and played. After 14 holes I had missed only two greens and had knocked two stiffies (one landed 6" from the cup from 117yards). I had 5 birdies and 1 bogey. Ecstatic, I emailed a buddy with my discovery, then I finished the last four holes with three bogeys and carded a one under 71.

But I haven't had this kind of consistency in my irons in a while and I'm glad to share this info.

When to "knowingly" hinge - the discovery/formula
Driver - My ss is 123mph, and driving the golf ball is my forté. I do not knowingly perform any hinging of my wrists here. I let the swing happen. Yesterday, with this club when I did perform "forced" hinging the result is not consistently good or as long. Any slight change in this club's swing is not good. Why? I think that because I have this swing grooved so much, and because I'm swinging at this speed, any new "thing" cannot be timed perfectly and will create problems.

All other clubs, whether from the tee or from the ground..
When I do not perform the hinging, the traj is not as high and the [bad] curvature is there. When I do perform the hinging, the traj is quite high and the curvature is less rt to left.

Ok, so when do I perform the hinging and why does it work?
If you grip the club and go into your back swing and roll your hands any to the right and hinge, the club face will shut. However, if in your back swing you simply hinge up FIRST, then turn, you'll notice that the club face will be square as you bring it down to impact. But, hinging first is unnatural so what I do in my actual swing is simple... I turn as I always have and at the top I ensure that my wrists are worked into the hinge, then I come down. Now, I haven't taken a slo mo camera to the swing, and when I think more about it, my wrists may very likely be pronating like Hogan discusses, but to me I'm simply doing a very pronounced wrist hinge at the top of my swing. Now, it isn't complicated or risky. Like Hogan says in his article [paraphrasing] "...the swing is muscle memory so I just focus on one swing thought 'hinge' and it takes care of itself."

Bye bye lefts, or as a friend of mine likes to say "I have no more lefts left."
post #2 of 5

Re: The Dreaded Hook and What to do About it!

What kind of hook were they? Describe their flight relative to your stance and/or (more importantly) the target.
post #3 of 5

Re: The Dreaded Hook and What to do About it!

i had the same problem and figured it out the same way!... looking at Hogan on you tube.
there is a clip in there which shows Tiger V Hogan By gary Player - the penny really dropped for me when i saw that..

i used to Hook, long and low with a nasty tail at the end.

Now, whenever i have problems, i always mimmick Hogans hinge @ the top and bingo!, dead straight with very slight draw..

i think the hinge works because; - when you play a forehand in tennis, you hinge your wrist upwards before the pivot to generate power.

whewn you don't hinge, = less power and more variable result with the tennis forehand.

Golf is the same...

This really is the best kept secret in golf..
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Re: The Dreaded Hook and What to do About it!

Originally Posted by iacas View Post
What kind of hook were they? Describe their flight relative to your stance and/or (more importantly) the target.
thanks for the question. my club face was shut. they were pulls. fixed now, due to the hinge at the top which squares the face everytime. really... the hogan tip is the best thing i've seen/discovered in quite a while. i feel like he did in that i don't feel i need to practice as much because my curvature is predictable. i'm going to hit my target and know it. also, yesterday at my course warming up, for the first time in a really long time during my practice swings i had a real connection with the club. meaning i sensed what the club face was doing at all points in the swing - haven't had this level of confidence in my swing in a while.
post #5 of 5

Re: The Dreaded Hook and What to do About it!

Hi, is there any further text I could read about this Hogan hinge? (can't access youtube from here and the link Tom provided isn't working for me) I'm not sure I quite understand based on the info given in this thread. Are we talking just a more pronounced hinge of the wrist at the top?

I've been battling low, smothered hooks all year that start low and left of target and go further left. Similar to what Shooter described above. More prominent with longer irons and driver/3 wood...whatever I'm doing I seem to be getting away with it with mid and short irons.


EDIT: nevermind, I got the link to work, thanks.
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