|Fred Couples does a great job of using his left hand to control club-face rotation, eliminating hooks and slices. (Thomas Hartmann/Eclipse Sportswire)|
If you hook or slice the ball, it's probably because you are using the wrong hand to control club-face rotation through the impact zone.
Your left hand (for right-handed golfers) should be responsible for controlling the club face as you strike the ball. Hooking or slicing it means you're swinging too much with the right hand; this leads to swings that come from over-the-top on the downswing. By practicing using your left hand, you'll be able to control club-face rotation, eliminating those ugly hooks and slices.
To get a feel for this motion, grip a club with your left hand and practice swinging the club back and through, opening the toe of the clubhead on the back swing and closing the toe of the club on the follow through. Notice how easily the left hand rotates the club head from open to closed.
If you try this swing with just the right hand, you'll notice how your right shoulder has a tendency to move up and over-the-top as you follow through. This over-the-top move is magnified during a real golf swing, thus creating a pull hook or slice. Controlling the swing with the left hand makes it easier to square the clubface upon impact and also allows the clubface to keep turning throughout the follow through.
A good drill to practice this left-hand motion through the impact zone is to have the back of your golf glove (where the Velcro flap closes) to be turning over and facing the ball as you strike it.
Start out slowly using a short iron by feeling your left hand turning the clubface over as you hit the golf ball. Hit balls until you are consistently hitting the ball left of the target. Now move to a middle iron then to a driver.
You need to groove the feel of controlling the clubface with the left hand during the swing. Fred Couples and Vijay Singh are examples of players to watch who control the clubface with their left hand.
December 29, 2009
Les Miller was a longtime Golf Writers of America member who covered golf instruction for several newspapers and golf publications. His many years of experience as a golf professional, director of product development and tour relations for several major golf companies gave him a unique background and ability to help golfers increase their enjoyment of the game.