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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Bobby Jones on Correcting a Hook or Slice

I was rereading in my copy of Bobby Jones on Golf and found a very interesting suggestion on how to correct a hook or a slice. Remember when you read this that Jones was righthanded, so you lefties will need to reverse the advice.

In the section I read, Jones notes that slices are usually caused by swinging out-to-in and hitting the outside of the ball -- what most of us call "cutting across" the ball. Likewise, hooks are usually caused by swinging from in-to-out and hitting the inside of the ball. And, simply enough, he says that the cure for either problem is to do the opposite, although he also notes that most players tend to make the same mistake over and over, only worse.

Check out this simple solution Jones used when he was having a problem hooking or slicing:
When I have been bothered by hooking, I have always found it helpful to pick out a spot on the left side of the fairway, and to try to swing my left hand through the ball, toward the spot. It is a curious fact that the simplest remedy for slicing or hooking is to try deliberately to hit the ball toward the spot where the slice or the hook usually lands; for, if one tries to neutralize a hook by shoving the shot out to the right, or to correct a slice by pulling the ball over to the left, the only thing accomplished is an exaggeration of the fault sought to be avoided. [p. 141, emphasis mine]
Did you get that? Try to swing your lead hand (and the grip of the club, obviously) on an imaginary line that goes through the ball and toward the spot where the ball has been landing. Sounds counter-intuitive, doesn't it?

But if you think about it, this advice makes perfect sense.

If you have been hitting a slice, it's likely that you have been cutting across the ball and hitting the outside of it. If you try to swing through the ball toward the place where the ball keeps landing, you'll swing from in-to-out and hit the inside of the ball!

Likewise, if you have been hitting a hook, it's likely that you have been swinging too much in-to-out and hitting the inside of the ball. If you try to swing through the ball toward the place where the ball keeps landing, you'll swing from out-to-in and hit the outside of the ball.

Granted, you could be making some other mistake that creates your hook or slice. But this is a very simple, very visual way to attack the problem. And it's such a simple thing to do, you might want to try it and see if it straightens out your wayward shots.

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