How to fix a Pull Hook in Golf

Left and More Left: How to fix a Pull Hook in Golf

If you’re missing everything left on the course, chances are you’ve asked yourself, “How do you fix a pull hook in golf?” 

It’s a good question as pull hooks are one of the more frustrating shots in golf. The ball starts left and keeps going left which can lead to lost balls, out of bounds, and not a lot of good looks at the green. 

But should you work on first in your golf swing? The pull or the hook?

We’ll help you fix both today so you can straighten out the golf ball and get the ball started at your target line.

Pull Hook in Golf

There are a few shots that make golfers very angry:

  • Topped shot.
  • A pull hook. 
  • A push slice
  • The dreaded “S” word. 
  • Pop-up driver that might leave some skymarks. 

Today we’ll cover the pull hook to help understand why this happens and how to fix it quickly. 

Key Takeaways

  • A pull hook in golf is a shot where the ball starts left of the target (a pull). Pull hooks continues to move right to left aggressively (known as a duck hook).
  • A different variation of a pull hook is a pull draw. This is when the ball starts left and continues right to left in the air but not as much as hook and nearly as frustrating.
  • If you hit a lot of pulled shots it’s better to play a fade so the ball curves back right toward the target.
  • If you hit a lot of pushed shots it’s better to play a draw so the ball curves back left toward the target. 
Fix a Pull Hook Golf Shot

Why a Pull Hook Happens

Anytime you’re trying to fix a big miss it’s important to first learn why it’s happening. A pull hook happens for two reasons:

  • The ball starts left thanks to a shut club face at impact. If the face is neutral (square clubface) it’ll produce a straight shot without much left or right movement in the air. If the face is open it’ll produce a fade or slice depending on how open it is as impact.
  • The ball keeps going left with these golf shots as the path is to the left of the target (for a right-handed golfer). When your swing path is left this is making the golf ball start left of the target. This is usually an overly active upper body and not using the lower body enough.

A pull hook is particularly stressful as it’s a double cross in golf. Meaning, the ball is starting in one direction and continuing to go another direction. The opposite of this is a push slice where the ball starts right and continues right of the target.

Neither shot shape is ideal and it’s better to have a pull fade/slice or a push draw/hook. With these shot shapes your golf ball will be much more playable as the ball will work back toward the fairway or green.

Fixing this issue comes down to asking yourself one thing – do you want to play a fade or draw?

If you want to play a fade it’s going to take more work to fix this issue as you’ll need to work on path and clubface control. If you want to play a draw as your main shot shape it’s easier to fix as you’ll need to work mostly on the swing path. 

Now that you know more about this shot shape let’s get into how to fix it for both scenarios. 

How to Draw a Golf Ball

Fixing a Pull Hook in Golf (Draw Edition) 

Let’s start with the first example and assume you want to play a draw. If this is the case the biggest thing you’ll need to improve is your swing path. 

If your path is going left of the target (a pulled shot) there are a few ways to fix it.

Alignment (Aiming Right) 

Alignment is one of the biggest issues in golf. Ironically, it’s not from being aimed left but instead too far right – known as a closed stance.

When you are aimed right you might not realize it… but your mind does. So to help fix the issue your mind will make you swing across your body and hit the dreaded pull. The further right you’re aimed, the more you will pull the shot. 

This is why it’s so important to record your swing on the golf course and driving range when you’re struggling. Because if you don’t check alignment you might actually make the issue worse.

Think about it… if you don’t realize you’re aimed right you might aim even further right to fix the pull slice. But this will likely compound the issue.

Check alignment first to start hitting better golf shots then move on to the next steps. 

Change Your Ball Position (Too Far Forward) 

One of the main reasons a shot goes left aside from alignment is the wrong golf ball position. If you’re missing shots left, having the ball position too far forward might be the culprit. 

I’ve seen this happen when you try to “lift” the ball up in the air instead of letting the club’s loft do its job. Move the ball back more toward the middle of your stance with mid/short irons (and wedges) to instantly improve the target line. 

Overly Strong Grip 

If you hit a hook your grip is likely to blame.

Once you have your swing path fixed you’ll also need to address why the ball is hooking so much. I’ve found that a lot of times when you fix the path it also makes a big difference in impact position as well. 

But one of the most common issues is an overly strong grip which produces a hook. This is when your left hand is too much over the ball and your right hand is more under the grip. You might need to work on one or both hands to get into a more neutral position. 

How to Hit a Power Fade

Fixing a Pull Hook in Golf (Fade Edition)

If your goal is to play a fade you’ll need to change the ball flight more than the path.

Remember a pull slice or pull fade is better than a pull draw as the ball is moving back toward the target line. So if you do hit a pull fade it’ll at least work itself back to the fairway or green and hopefully not get lost. 

Path isn’t the biggest issue if a fade is your desired shot shape, instead it’s the clubface at impact. You’ll want to make sure to first try out a slightly weaker grip as this can lead to a better ball flight almost immediately.

Specifically check the left hand and roll it so it’s more underneath the grip. You’ll also want to double-check your alignment as well.

Try Out These Training Aids 

Now that you know the reasons a pull hook happens, here are some of our favorite training aids to fix the issue (without hiring a golf instructor). 

PlaneMate Swing Trainer 

The PlaneMate by Tour Striker is one of our favorite training aids that can help fix a myriad of issues in your swing. This wearable device attaches to your golf club and worn around your waist to help you with:

  • A proper takeaway position. 
  • How to hinge your wrists properly. 
  • Learning how to create lag on the downswing. 

And a lot more.

It’s a little awkward at first to get it situated but then it becomes a great swing trainer for all sorts of issues. Not to mention you can use it indoors, outdoors, hitting a golf ball, practice swings, and with every club in the bag using the different bands that come with it. 

It can help with a pull hook because it’ll eliminate an inside takeaway which is a big cause of a steep, over the top downswing. Use it for 10 swings, remove it for 10, and alternate to learn how to take the club back on the proper line. 

Lag Shot Training Aid Review

Lag Shot Swing Trainer 

The Lag Shot swing trainer is another top training aid that can help with straightening out your ball flight. This is a club with an ultra whippy shaft unlike any other graphite or steel shaft in your set. It teaches you how to “load” the club properly so you can create lag and swing more from an in to out path.

This training aid can help you swing the club more right of the target and allow a more push draw type of swing. This swing trainer is now available in a wedge, 7-iron, and driver to help multiple aspects of your game. It can also help with tempo and proper timing too. 

What’s great about this device is that you can use it at home for practice swings during the offseason, in your simulator, or at the driving range too. 

Click here to read our full review now.

Dewiz Golf Watch Review

deWiz Golf Watch 

The deWiz golf watch is a great tool to help you learn more about every golf shot you hit. Whether you want to hit the ball straight, learn more about tempo, club path, and more this is like having an instructor with you at all times.

This isn’t like a normal golf watch that helps you track your game or get distances to each shot. Instead, it’s a wearable device that helps you learn more about clubface angle, tempo, timing, and nearly every swing fault you can make. It sends amazing 3D diagrams to the app on your phone with strategies to help you fix a lot of issues.

Once you hit a few balls with this device you can assess a golf hook shot you can improve it quickly. Focus on a more outside in path The biggest thing to focus on with this device is the transition and learning stimuli features.

Read our full review of the deWiz golf watch now.

Hackmotion Golf Training Aid Review

Hackmotion 

Another wearable device is the Hackmotion wrist trainer. This training aid can help many golfers understand the clubface at impact and hopefully find the sweet spot more often by understanding wrist angles/positions. The device provides real time feedback and can help improve your left wrist position for better contact and a square clubface.

Read our full review of Hackmotion wrist trainer now.

FAQs About a Pull Hook Golf Shot

Do you have more questions about hitting pull draws or pull hooks? If so, keep reading to answer some of the most frequently asked questions now. 

What is causing my pull hook? Why am I snap hooking the ball? 

A pull hook is caused by two main issues – a closed clubface which makes the ball turn right to left. And an over the top club path that starts the golf ball left of your target.

Some of the most common issues might be an overly strong grip, incorrect ball position, and/or a swing path issue. If you want to play a draw, work on your path so you can get the ball started right of your target. This way you can have a push draw which is much more of a playable shot than a pull draw.

If you don’t want to hit a draw and prefer a fade, you might want to work on getting the face more neutral at impact. A pull fade is a much better shot and can help gain a lot more consistency off the tee or hitting shots into the green.  

What is a pulled hook?

A pulled hook shot in golf is one of the more perplexing shots in golf and one that might cause a lot of anger. This shot shape starts left of the target and keeps going left. Ideally it’s better to hit a pull slice because at least the ball will drift back toward the target. 

What is a draw hook in golf? 

A draw or hook in golf is when the ball moves from right to left in the air for right-handed golfers. It’s a left to right shot for left-handed golfers. 

There’s a lot of debate about draw vs. fade in golf but each has their pros and cons. Ideally, if you hit a draw you’ll want a swing path that is more right of the target so the ball moves back toward it. If you hit a fade you’ll want a swing path that is more left of the target so it also moves back toward the target.

A pull hook or a push slice are the worst type of shots as they start away from the target and keep moving that way. 

How do you prevent a pull in golf? 

A pulled shot is a very common miss for the everyday amateur golfer. It usually stems from an over the top backswing (known as a steep plane). Check out our full guide to stop pulling shots here

How to Stop Hitting Pulled Golf Shots

My Experience 

I’ve fought a pull and slice shot much more than a pull hook over my golf career. But I’ve had some days when I’ve struggled with the left going left miss too. 

Whenever I need to make a swing change the biggest thing I look at is set up position. Whether it’s my stance alignment, grip, posture, or something else as it usually directly impacts the takeaway and backswing. 

One of the most important parts of the golf swing is a solid grip position. I have a pretty neutral grip now (it used to be quite weak) and that contributed to my left to right ball flight. But I had a friend who was more of a draw player and his main reason was an overly strong left-hand position.

So if you want more consistency in your game I’d look for a more neutral grip than anything else. This will help with your path and ball striking more than anything else. Buy a grip trainer to get your hands comfortable in this new position so you’re able to take your new grip to the course with ease. 

Final Thoughts 

Most golfers won’t deal with a pull hooked shot nearly as much as a pull slice (or sometimes push slice). But just remember if you do it’s because the clubface is closed relative to the intended target and a club path that is more left – usually from an overly strong grip.

Try out a weaker grip, double check it’s not an alignment issue, and try out the training aids mentioned above. Hopefully you’ll fix the issue after a few sessions at the driving range so you can hit it straighter and better than ever. 

Do you suffer from a pull hook at times?

Let us know in the comments below.

Picture of Michael Leonard

Michael Leonard

Michael is an avid golfer of 25 years who played in high school, college, and now competes in Arizona amateur events. He is a full-time writer, podcast host of Wicked Smart Golf, and mental golf coach.