Hall of Fame golfer Lee Trevino famously said, “You can talk to a slice, but a hook won’t listen.” This quote highlights the fact that professional golfers hate hitting snap hooks.
Why do they hate a snap hook more than slices? The hook is impossible to control – it has over spin and goes too far.
Missing your target long and/or left is the recipe for a big number. Hitting a snap hook can do irreparable damage to your scorecard.
Below, we take a deeper look at the snap hook, covering:
- What Is A Snap Hook In Golf?
- What Causes A Snap Hook In Golf?
What Is A Snap Hook?
The textbook definition: a snap hook is a shot that curves quickly and violently to the left (assuming you are a right-handed player).
How does a snap hook differ from a duck hook? It doesn’t – golfers use these terms interchangeably – they are synonyms.
Unlike a fade or draw, it is impossible to play a duck hook. Simply aiming right will not help – it could make your hook worse.
The other thing that scares golfers about the duck hook is that you can get “stuck” in that move. All of a sudden, every shot you hit goes hard left.
This shot causes the ball to quickly get on the ground, and it will roll forever. This means that a snap hook driver will likely go out of bounds, in a hazard, or deep in the woods.
Put another way, you don’t want the nickname Captain Hook or Mr. Quacker!
What Causes A Duck Hook?
There are several different mistakes that you might make in your swing sequence that can lead to a hook.
You may be getting too quick in the transition at the top of your swing, or you are swinging too far from inside to outside.
How can you check if your path is too far inside to out? Pay attention to your divot. A divot pointing to the right is the sign of a potential snap hook swing.
The other combination leading to a duck hook is insufficient body turn and over-active hands. This will cause what some golfers call the “flip hook.”
The result is that your clubface is closed at impact, which puts a tremendous amount of spin on the golf ball. This spin makes your shot curve left and down.
6 Simple Steps To Fix Your Snap Hook
The best place to fix your duck hook is on the driving range. You can practice without the consequence of hurting your score.
You don’t need to try all 6 of these ideas at once. Try them one at a time and determine which one resonates with you.
Our goal is that you never hit a duck hook driver again. We want your golf ball in the fairway and on the green!
#1 – Slow Down
Why are you in a hurry? The golf ball isn’t moving. Your snap hook driver could be caused by swinging too quickly and too hard.
You don’t need to hit every shot with 100% power. Most of the time, 85% is all you need.
Remove tension from your swing. Relax and make a smooth swing. Did this eliminate or reduce your hook?
Sometimes, the simplest explanation is the correct answer. Slow down that golf swing and stop hitting snap hooks.
#2 – Go Outside On The Way Back
A swing path from inside to outside can cause a duck hook. Stop this move from the very beginning of your swing.
Force yourself to take the club outside on the way back. Exaggerate the move at first.
It may feel awkward in the beginning, but stick with it. Slow down your backswing to ensure you take it outside. If it helps, drag the club back along the ground.
This move prevents you from jerking the club to the inside and will help remove the snap hook.
Do you continue to see the ball curve left? You may re-route the club back to the inside at the top of your swing.
This may not immediately eliminate the hook, but it should reduce it.
#3 – Hit A Slice
Tiger Woods famously hates to hit a duck hook. What does he do to ensure it doesn’t happen? He aims left and tries to slice the ball.
Are you stuck in the snap hook move? No matter what you do, the ball goes left?
For 10 balls in a row, aim to the left and attempt to hit a slice. It doesn’t matter if you hit good shots. Success is if the ball curves to the right.
You are simply trying to develop a new swing path – new muscle memory. You want your body to forget the duck hook swing.
Once you successfully hit 10 shots that curve to the right (we don’t care where they go), try to hit some “normal” shots.
You might be amazed. Your snap hook has transitioned to a slight draw. It’s a shot that you can comfortably play on the course.
#4 – Count Your Knuckles
Yes, we know you have 10 knuckles, but we are focused on how you grip the golf club.
Did you know that a grip that is too strong can cause a snap hook? We don’t mean your hand strength; we mean how your hands are placed on the club.
The best way to check your grip is to count the number of knuckles you can see on your left hand when you set up to hit a shot.
If you can see more than two knuckles, your grip may be too strong. Twist your hand slightly and try some shots.
It will feel very strange at first. Altering your grip is one of the more challenging things to adjust about your swing.
The long-term improvement in your shots is worth the short-term awkwardness. Be patient with your new grip.
#5 – Count To Two
As we discussed in step #1, your swing tempo can cause a snap hook. The other mistake golfers make is “getting quick at the top.”
This means that your transition from backswing to downswing is too fast. Getting quick at the top will cause the clubface to be shut at impact.
What does a shut clubface cause? You guessed it – a snap hook!
Our favorite drill to fix this mistake is the “count to two”. During your swing, you count “1 AND 2”.
“1” is your backswing. “2” is your downswing.” The “AND” is the critical part of this drill.
The “AND” is your transition—the slight pause at the top of your swing. Perfect the “AND” and eliminate the duck hook from your golf game.
We would recommend you count in your head as you swing. We don’t want your golf buddies to think you are talking to yourself!
#6 – Don’t Flip Your Hands
The final idea concerns your hands being too involved in your swing. The worst snap hook drivers happen when your lower body stops turning, and you let your hands flip at impact.
These are the shots that go violently left. The “flip hook” is the worst of the duck hooks.
Since two things are going wrong in this scenario, you can work on one at a time. First, make sure your lower body fully turns through each shot.
Second, don’t let your hands flip. Focus on keeping your wrists strong through impact – don’t let them roll over at the ball.
Are There Any Advantages To The Hook?
First, you never want to hit a duck hook, but being able to hit a small hook (draw) on command can be useful.
A controlled hook (draw) will give you more distance off the tee and is better when hitting a shot into the wind.
Ultimately, the more shots you can hit, the more options you have on the course.
Do you need to keep a ball low under a tree limb? A hook is the best way to achieve his result.
Do you want to hit an iron shot close to a pin tucked on the left side of the green? Aiming at the middle of the green and moving the ball toward the hole is a great play.
In other words, not all hooks are bad. You simply want to avoid the accidental snap hook.
Duck Hook Solved: Now What?
Maybe it’s not 100% solved, but you now have a plan to eliminate the snap hook. What’s the next challenge?
Take your game to the course and challenge a buddy to a friendly wager.
Maybe it is time to establish your golf handicap. This is the perfect way to set goals and measure the improvement in your game.
Once you have your handicap, you can start your tournament career. Find an event in your area and see how your swing holds up under the pressure of competitive golf!
Good luck, and play well.