The hook with the 3 wood is a result of a closed face relative to the swing path. Oftentimes, there is a 7 degree gap or larger between the clubface and the swing path, resulting in extreme side spin that produces a hook.
There are some potential setup issues, swing issues, or intent issues that cause the hook to occur with the 3 wood. The hook with the 3 wood can be devastating as it can lead to an out of bounds shot from the tee or a missed opportunity on a par 5.
The good news is that with some basic setup tips, club face control and neutralizing of the clubface, we can hit soft draws or fades and take our game to the next level. Often times, the best golfers don’t necessarily have better good shots, but they have better bad shots. The hook is a bad shot that we want to eliminate from our game to score better.
Causes of a Hook With A 3 Wood
- Closed clubface at setup
- Stalling and flipping of the hands
- Too far in to out and too far down
- The wrong intention with the shot at hand
Before we get into detail about each of the potential causes above, let’s first talk at the physics behind the hook shot in golf.
Here are some basic key understandings:
- The golf ball starts in the relative direction of the clubface at impact.
- The golf ball will then curve away from the swing path.
- A clubface that is 1 degree open to the target line with a path that is 10 degrees to the right will start relatively straight, but hook hard.
- A clubface that is 2 degrees closed to the target line with a swing path that is 6 degrees to the right will start left and hook hard.
The key here is to close the gap between the aim of the clubface at impact and the swing path numbers.
Goals – We want to see the following numbers:
- For A Draw: A clubface that is 1-2 degrees open with a swing path that is 3-4 degrees to the right. This will produce a draw that starts right and draws towards the target.
- For A Fade: A clubface that is 1-2 degrees closed with a swing path that is 3-4 degrees to the left. This will produce a fade that starts left and fades towards the target.
Cause #1: Closed Clubface at Setup
When the clubface is already closed at setup, chances are it is going to be even more closed at impact. With a clubface that is 3-5 degrees closed at impact, it doesn’t take much of an inside swing path to produce a hook.
Solution: At setup, make sure your clubface is square or even slightly open. The goal should be to have a slightly open clubface at impact. Use a smartphone to video your swing from the caddie view and check the angle of your clubface at setup.
Cause #2: Stalling and flipping of the hands
One of the most common faults of a better golfer that produces a hooked shot with the 3 wood is when the body outraces the arms, the body then stalls and the hands flip to catch up. Often times, the golfer might also have too far of an inside out swing path.
The combination of a stalling body, flipping hands and a path that was already moving inside produces a hook. This type of hook can be maddening as the golfer can’t quite feel the stall and flip and struggles.
Solution: Work on synching the arms and body to be more in unison. While the body is always going to fire earlier than the arms, you can attempt to fire the arms first to synch everything back up.
Cause #3: Too Far In to Out and Too Far Down
As a golfer progresses in his or her golf journey, their swing path can continue to move further and further inside to out. It can often be powerful if you can time the release of the hands, producing extra distance. Also, on the good days, when the timing is right, the golfer cna play great golf. However, the opposite could be true and the golfer will really struggle.
Also, keep in mind the more you hit down on the ball, the more it takes the swing path and pushes it to the right, creating a potentially larger gap between the start line and the swing path. The hook can be really difficult to counter when the path is too far inside and you are hitting too much down on the ball.
Solution: Work on balancing out your swing path and try to zero everything out. Another option is to hit some pull fades and have the feeling of coming across the ball, even though it might simply just be balancing out the swing path.
Cause #4: The wrong intention with the shot at hand
Too many golfers get the 3 wood in the hand, especially on a reachable par 5 and swing too fast and too hard, resulting in the flipping of the hands and everything getting out of sync. Keep your intentions true and don’t try to hit the ball an extra 10-15 yards. You will make more birdies on those par 5s by staying true to your game and keeping your swing feeling good.
Solution: Get really good with your wedges and have confidence that you can make a bridie from anywhere around to green up to 105 yards from the pin. Stay patient, stay within your game and hit quality shots. Keep the positive momentum going!
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