YouTube + Top 100 Teacher = No More Hooks
Dear Top 100 Teacher,
I am a low-handicap player with decent distance off the tee and with my irons. The one thing I am lacking is accuracy with my clubs. I do play a natural 5-7 yard draw, but lately, my draw is turning into a 15-20 yard hook with the driver and a push with the irons. I know the push and block are related, and I don't want to give up my draw. Can you help? Here is a video of my swing when I played a few rounds in Scottsdale, Ariz. The shot on was on a par 4 that set up well for my hook.
Neal G., via email
I took a look at the video you sent and it does appear that you are getting the club under the correct swing plane. Too far under plane can cause pushes, pulls, fades, and draws, so unfortunately you now have a number of shots in your bag. (Ha-ha! That's Top 100 Teacher humor.)
When your plane angle (the path your clubhead travels toward impact) is too shallow or too far from the inside, your ball location becomes even more critical. If the ball is too far forward you'll hook it; if it's too far back you'll hit a push.
Flatter plane angles require more clubface rotation through the ball --
think Sergio -- while more vertical plane angles require less clubface rotation, like Chris DiMarco's up-and-down swing.
Ultimately it is the "job" of your left hand to control the clubface. Think of an ordinary door opening and closing: this is the motion you want your left hand to do. Turn your hand to the right in the backswing and roll it to the left from impact until the ball is gone. If you roll too early, you'll have a hook and/or a pull hook. Not enough roll and you have a push or a fade.
You should work on getting the club down on a little steeper plane and experiment with ball location until you find the spot that gives you straight-away flight. Remember, there is NO one ball position, it's different for EVERY player AND for EVERY club!
You should also make sure that the leading edge of the clubface is at a right angle to the target line when it is in line with your left shoulder. Again, if it is on the closed side of that alignment then it will draw or pull and if the clubface is open to that alignment, you'll hit a fade or push.
Try what I've just given you and if you need more help, we're here!
Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Chuck Evans is director of instruction at Emerald Bay Golf Club in Destin. Fla.