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How to stop hooking the ball with my irons!


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After a long battle with a slice/fade I finally beat it.  I changed my natural ball flight to a draw.  With my driver I hit a nice high draw with my misses being a hook.  My irons are weird though.  I hook the irons almost consistently - essentially a really strong draw/hook.  How can I stop hooking the ball with my irons?  I wouldn't mind keeping a relatively straight to a draw ball flight because I enjoy it, but man I've been hooking it pretty hard with my irons.  Any tips?

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Originally Posted by saevel25

coming to far from the inside?

Grip to strong?



Yeah my grip is neutral so I feel like I'm definitely coming from too far inside.  Possibly too flat a swing plane and then not correcting it on the downswing?  I need some swing thoughts or drills to help me still swing inside out so I can control my draw but not overcook it and hook it.

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thats a toughy, it can be caused by alot of things, and what you feel might be different then what i feel. But the best thing i can think of is a physical obstruction,

Get a nice dowel, you can sharpen the one end to make it easier to put it in the ground. Put it in the ground to the right of you at an angle of the swing plane you want. Take the club back so it doesn't hit that dowel, and slowly swing down without hitting it.

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Originally Posted by bkoguy07

After a long battle with a slice/fade I finally beat it.  I changed my natural ball flight to a draw.  With my driver I hit a nice high draw with my misses being a hook.  My irons are weird though.  I hook the irons almost consistently - essentially a really strong draw/hook.  How can I stop hooking the ball with my irons?  I wouldn't mind keeping a relatively straight to a draw ball flight because I enjoy it, but man I've been hooking it pretty hard with my irons.  Any tips?


Is the ball starting right of the target line and hooking?  Or is it a pull hook?

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Originally Posted by bkoguy07

It's a straight hook.. when I miss, if i dont miss its a nice draw



Have you tried opening the face a couple of degrees at address and then making the same swing?

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Originally Posted by JetFan1983

Have you tried opening the face a couple of degrees at address and then making the same swing?


Not really, wouldn't that just create a push hook?

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Originally Posted by bkoguy07

Not really, wouldn't that just create a push hook?


I was thinking more push draw. So the hooking iron shots aren't really playable is what you're saying?

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Originally Posted by bkoguy07

Not really, wouldn't that just create a push hook?


Not necessarily.  Read the recent thread on ball flight rules, and using your divot direction, check to see how out to in you are and adjust the face angle/swing oath accordingly.

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Originally Posted by JetFan1983

I was thinking more push draw. So the hooking iron shots aren't really playable is what you're saying?


I mean it really depends on where I'm at on the course lol.  The ball is still traveling the appropriate distance but is rolling out hard(which is expected) after i miss about 15-20 yards to the right of the target(aimed about 5-10 yards right so I can draw it in.. so the hook actually hooks about 30 yards instead of the 10 I'm looking for).  And then the ball just continues to roll



Originally Posted by SpacklersEdge

Not necessarily.  Read the recent thread on ball flight rules, and using your divot direction, check to see how out to in you are and adjust the face angle/swing oath accordingly.


My divot is pointed where I'm aiming (I use alignment rods to help with alignment when practicing.)

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If you ever watch a pro trying to hook an iron around an obstacle, you will invariably see them use a very flat swing plane. It is a very reliable way to produce a hook. So maybe your iron swing plane is just a little too flat. Try making it just a bit more vertical.

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Without seeing your swing it's difficult to tell if your swingpath is too much in-out. The easiest fix and where I would suggest you start is by opening the clubface a little. Just experiment with it and see what happens. When you open it the right amount, the ball will start to the right of your target and draw back to the target. If you open it too much, the ball will start to the right of the target and keep going straight. If you open it even more, the ball will start to the right of the target and curve more to the right.

The other option is to swing less in-out, which I won't go into detail on, since it would be easier when seeing your swing. Taking the club too far inside might be a cause, or a very flat swing plane. You could also try moving the ball a bit more forward if you got it far back. You obviously don't want to move it so far forward that you'll have trouble hitting it solid, so if you already place it from the middle of your stance to 2-3 balls forward of it, it's ok.

A combination would be to open the clubface slightly and swing slightly less in-out. That would produce a shot that curve less in the air, but you get a nice draw. With a lot of in-out and a ball starting straight, you might in fact be hitting it with a slightly closed clubface, which is not what you want to do. So start out by opening the clubface, see what happens. If you are swinging in-out, you'll want a slightly open clubface always. In-out swingpath and square or closed clubface will never find the target, assuming you are aligned parallell to the target line. You can of course align to the right and hit a straight-hook, but I would advice against it. A push-draw is the better option.

Here are some graphics that explain what you are doing and how to fix it. The clubface and swingpath are of course moving on a plane, not a straight line. The straight lines I've drawn in red and blue only show the angle the swingpath is moving in and the angle the clubface is at during impact. Those angles will change right before and right after, but it's easier to demonstrate by using straight lines.

The clubhead(s) at number four is what you are doing today. It might in fact be slightly closed too, we can't tell by the naked eye exactly where the ball starts. Number 7 is where you want to be. Swinging in-out and clubface aimed half the distance between that angle and the target. If you swing 6º in-out, the clubface should be aimed 3º to the right. The angles on my drawing are exaggerated, you don't really swing that much in out, but it's done for illustrative purposes to make it easier to see. The purple line on the clubhead drawings are launch angles.

hook_to_draw.png

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This drill might help you ingrain the "feeling" of what you want your hands to do as your making contact in relation to draws and fades. If right handed, stand in front an open door with the left door jam, ( a pole works great also) in the middle of your stance, put your right hand at it's normal spot at address, and then simulate a backswing with your right hand only- on your downswing slap the pole or jam with your open hand- that represents neutral or straight, if you roll your forearm over and strike the jam with your pointer finger- that's closing- promoting a draw/hook and if you strike the jam with your pinky first, that's open promoting a fade or slice. Credit Johnny Miller It hard to hook a ball when you go through impact pinky first, or to slice a ball if you lead index finger first. Also- check that your clubface isn't inadvertently closed at address, I sometimes do this if I regrip a club- just a thought. Late-
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Wow I appreciate the indepth responses.   I started swinging a little less flat and a little more out - in and that kept it a nice 5 yard draw/straight shot.  I tried hitting a push draw but I don't like the way it looks at address , it just messes with my mind.  What I do is aim slightly right and it draws back 5 yards if it doesnt draw I usually miss slightly right ..

Thanks for the responses everyone!

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First thing you need to do is look at your grips themselves. Grips that are too small for your hands, really get your hands activated in the swing and can cause you to hook the ball. Your grips may not have tape under them, they may be under-sized grips, or if you have big hands you may need a mid-sized grip. One way to check this, grip the club with your left hand as you normally would, if the tips of your fingers touch the pad of your thumb, your grips are too small.

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Originally Posted by muggs

First thing you need to do is look at your grips themselves. Grips that are too small for your hands, really get your hands activated in the swing and can cause you to hook the ball. Your grips may not have tape under them, they may be under-sized grips, or if you have big hands you may need a mid-sized grip. One way to check this, grip the club with your left hand as you normally would, if the tips of your fingers touch the pad of your thumb, your grips are too small.


After reading all of your responses, that could be the problem. It sounds like your path is fine. http://www.lamkingrips.com/Find_Your_Grip.php If you go to this site and follow the instructions you can find the perfect grip for you. Changing grips and using a steeper swing plane would be my two recommendations since I can't see your swing.

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