How to Stop Duck Hooking a Golf Ball

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced golfer, one frustrating shot that can plague your game is the dreaded duck hook. This golf swing error occurs when the ball starts straight but quickly curves sharply to the left (for right-handed players), often ending up out of bounds or in trouble. The key to improving your golf swing and avoiding this common mistake is understanding its causes and implementing corrective measures in your game. In this article, we will explore practical tips and techniques to help you stop hooking the golf ball and achieve a more consistent and accurate shot off the tee or fairway.

Before we dive into specifics, it’s important to note that addressing a duck hook requires attention to both grip issues and swing path problems. Let’s start by examining these two fundamental aspects of the golf swing before moving on to their respective solutions.

Common Causes of Duck Hooking

In order to stop duck hooking a golf ball, it is important to understand the common causes behind this frustrating shot. By identifying the root of the problem, you will be better equipped to fix your swing and achieve straighter shots on the course. This section will explore two major factors that often contribute to duck hooks: grip issues and swing path. We’ll delve into each of these causes and provide detailed solutions in the following chapters. So let’s get started by examining grip issues and how they can lead to duck hooking.

Grip Issues

One of the common causes of duck hooking a golf ball is grip issues. Your grip is your connection to the club, so it’s important to get it right. Improper grip can lead to a closed clubface at impact, causing the ball to hook uncontrollably.

To fix this issue, focus on your hand position and pressure. Start by placing the club in your fingers, not in the palm of your hand. This allows for greater control and wrist mobility during the swing. Make sure you can see two knuckles on your left hand (for right-handed golfers), indicating a neutral grip.

Additionally, check your grip pressure. Gripping the club too tightly can restrict natural clubface rotation and lead to a hooking shot. Aim for a firm but relaxed grip pressure throughout the swing.

Remember, correcting grip issues is crucial for improving your golf swing and eliminating duck hooks from your game.

Swing Path

To fix the issue of duck hooking a golf ball, it is crucial to focus on improving your swing path. The swing path refers to the direction in which the clubhead travels during your golf swing. When it comes to duck hooking, one common mistake is an inside-to-outside swing path with a closed clubface at impact.

To correct this flaw, it’s important to keep your clubface square throughout the swing and do not let it close too early. One way to achieve this is by consciously pointing the knuckle of your left hand (for right-handed golfers) towards your target at impact. This helps ensure that the face angle remains neutral and prevents excessive closure.

Another tip for improving swing path is to focus on initiating the downswing with your lower body rather than using only your arms and hands. This promotes an outside-to-inside swing path, which helps straighten out your ball flight and prevent hooks.

Additionally, you can practice with alignment sticks or other visual aids to help guide you in achieving the proper swing path. Set up two alignment sticks parallel to each other, representing your target line and desired swing path. By consistently swinging along these lines, you can train yourself to develop a more consistent and accurate golf swing.

Remember, achieving a better understanding of how the position of your body, club position, and swing plane relate during each stage of the golf swing will greatly help improve your overall game.

Correcting Grip Issues

One of the key factors that can lead to duck hooking a golf ball is grip issues. Having the correct grip on the golf club is essential for achieving a square clubface at impact and preventing the ball from curving excessively to the left. When your grip is too strong or incorrect, it can cause the clubface to be closed at impact, resulting in a hook. To address this problem, make sure to have a neutral grip with both hands. The V’s created by your thumb and index finger should point towards your right shoulder. Additionally, check that your hands are positioned comfortably in front of your chest, allowing for better control over the clubface angle throughout the swing. By correcting grip issues, you can significantly improve your chances of hitting straighter shots and eliminating that frustrating duck hook from your game.

Improving Swing Path

When it comes to duck hooking a golf ball, one of the key factors to consider is your swing path. The path that your club takes as it swings through impact greatly influences the direction and trajectory of the ball. If you’re struggling with a nasty duck hook, chances are your swing path is bringing the club from inside to outside, causing the ball to hook left of target.

To fix this issue, you need to focus on improving your swing path. Aim for a more “inside-to-outside” swing motion, which means swinging the club more towards your right side (for right-handed golfers) during the downswing. This adjustment will help you avoid coming over-the-top and create a more neutral or slightly right-to-left swing path.

One way to work on improving your swing path is by practicing with alignment sticks or other visual aids. Set up two alignment sticks on the ground parallel to each other, pointing slightly to the right of your target. This will help train your body and mind to follow a more desirable swing path.

Additionally, pay attention to your upper body rotation during the downswing. Make sure you’re not excessively rotating your body too early in the downswing, as this can lead to an open clubface at impact and cause a duck hook. Focus on initiating the downswing with your lower body while maintaining proper posture and letting your arms and hands naturally follow.

By making these adjustments in both swing plane and body rotation, you can prevent excessive inside-to-outside swings and successfully eliminate those dreaded duck hooks from appearing in your game. Remember that consistency is key, so practice regularly and be patient with yourself as you work towards developing a more controlled and reliable swing path.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

When it comes to duck hooking a golf ball, there are some common mistakes that golfers tend to make. Avoiding these mistakes can help improve your shots and prevent the ball from veering off course. One mistake to avoid is gripping the club too tightly. A tight grip can restrict the movement of your wrists, causing the clubface to close at impact and resulting in a hook. Another mistake is an incorrect swing path. The swing path refers to the direction in which your clubhead travels during the swing. A steep or inside-to-out swing path can cause the ball to curve sharply to the left for right-handed golfers. By being aware of these mistakes and making adjustments, you can improve your accuracy and achieve straighter shots on the golf course.

Practice Drills for Straight Shots

To improve your golf swing and eliminate duck hooking, incorporating practice drills for straight shots into your training routine can be highly beneficial. These drills will help you develop the proper swing mechanics and build muscle memory, allowing you to consistently hit accurate and straight shots off the tee or fairway.

1. Alignment Drill: Proper alignment is crucial in achieving straight shots. To practice this, set up an alignment rod or club on the ground parallel to your target line. Position yourself so that your feet, hips, and shoulders are aligned with the rod or club. Take a few swings while focusing on maintaining this alignment throughout your swing.

2. Swing Plane Drill: Use an alignment rod or club to create a visual guide for your swing plane. Place the rod along the target line and just slightly above it, tilted at a slight angle away from you. When swinging, focus on keeping the clubhead on this “plane” as you take it back and through impact. This drill helps promote an inside-to-out swing path, preventing hooks and promoting straighter shots.

3. Impact Bag Drill: The impact bag is a great tool for improving ball contact and preventing hooks by encouraging proper impact position. Set up an impact bag in front of you and make swings while aiming to strike the bag with a square clubface right before making contact with it. This drill helps train your hands to lead the clubhead through impact with a neutral face angle.

Regularly practicing these drills will greatly contribute to developing a smooth and consistent golf swing leading to more straight shots down the fairway.


In conclusion, stopping duck hooking in your golf game is crucial for consistent and accurate shots. By addressing grip issues and improving swing path, you can significantly reduce the occurrence of this frustrating shot. Correcting your grip to avoid an overly closed clubface and ensuring a proper swing path from inside to out will help eliminate the excessive right-to-left spin that causes the ball to veer left uncontrollably. Remember, practice makes perfect, so incorporating specific drills into your golf practice plan will further enhance your ability to hit straight shots consistently. With dedication and the right techniques, you can overcome the duck hook and start hitting more accurate and satisfying shots on the course.


What is duck hooking in golf?

Duck hooking is a term used to describe a golf shot that starts straight but curves severely to the left (for right-handed golfers) or to the right (for left-handed golfers). It is characterized by a low trajectory and can result in the ball landing in undesirable positions.

What are some common causes of duck hooking?

Some common causes of duck hooking include grip issues and swing path problems. Grip issues can result in a closed clubface at impact, while swing path problems can cause the club to come across the ball from outside to inside.

How can I correct grip issues?

To correct grip issues that may be causing a duck hook, make sure your grip is neutral and the back of your left hand (for right-handed golfers) is facing the target. You can also try interlocking or overlapping your fingers for added stability.

How can I improve my swing path to avoid duck hooking?

To improve your swing path and avoid duck hooking, focus on keeping your club on the correct plane throughout your swing. This means swinging the club on a path that is slightly inside the target line on the downswing. You can also try using alignment aids or swing trainers to help maintain the correct path.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when trying to stop duck hooking?

Some common mistakes to avoid include trying to correct the issue by swinging even harder or changing your setup dramatically. These can often exacerbate the problem. Instead, focus on making small adjustments to your grip, swing path, and overall technique.

Are there any practice drills that can help me hit straight shots?

Yes, there are several practice drills you can try to improve your ability to hit straight shots. These include alignment drills, mirror drills to check your swing path, and practicing with a headcover or tee between your wrists to help maintain a neutral grip.