Golf Slice vs. Golf Hook

by Bill Winters

Golf is a game mostly loved by Chinese and Australians. In this game, the player hits the ball and directs it towards holes. The player has to do it in minimum strikes as possible. Just imagine how peaceful it would be seeing the sun shower its warmth and radiance on the grass of a pretty vast golf club. Golf was invented in Scotland in 1457. It is an easy game and very ravishing to play but there are certain short comings in the shots which some people experience and they turn out to be problematic especially golf slice and hook.

What Is a Golf Slice?

Golf Slice is a shot in golf in which the ball when hit by the player curves away from the side of the dominant hand of the player. Considering the dominant hand of the player to be right, the ball will curve towards the left side and if the player is left hander, the ball will swing towards the right side of the player thus the shot would be missed and it may be troublesome for the player.

What Is a Golf Slice?
What Is a Golf Slice?

We can see clearly in this picture that the ball has swung towards the left side of the player.

What Is a Golf Hook?

Golf hook can be considered somewhat the opposite of slice shot. In this shot, the ball when hit by the club covers its path in one direction, say right side for a right handed person, and then it changes its path to the opposite direction, the left hand side. Similarly, if the person is left handed, the ball will travel to the left side initially after impact and then after some time it will change its direction towards right side and continue travelling in that direction. In the picture given below we can see the projectile motion of the ball and it is clear that the shot changes its direction during its path.

What Is a Golf Hook?
What Is a Golf Hook?

Now that the two types of shots are clear we will see further,

  • The various reasons leading to distorted motion of the ball and occurrence of slice and hook.
  • How to overcome these problems and become a better and a professional player.
  • Comparisons of two shots and arrive at a conclusion of choosing one shot over the other.

Why Does My Shot Slice?

Your shot is most likely to slice because of swinging of the ball towards a particular direction or because of open clubface during impact.

Now several factors may lead to swinging and open club facing the two of which are cupping and body positioning:

1. Cupping/Open Club Face

Cupping of your wrist occurs if you extend your wrist beyond a limit. During impact, your grip has to be sufficient and for a sufficient grip, you must look into the way you are holding the club and hold it in a way that you get the maximum control of your club. One of the reason why slicing occurs is the club face facing way too much to the right hand side. This is also called open club face.

2. Body Alignment/ Body Positioning

Your slightest wrong posture and body positioning may become a key factor causing slicing of your shot. The right posture will be the one in which the player aims straight forward, neither left nor right. It is natural for an untrained person to aim the opposite direction of his dominant hand side which causes slicing. Suppose a right handed person will be standing to the left of the target.

Facing left is another common cause of golf slicing. A swing path that faces more left will cause the ball to slice. If you combine this with an open club face you might get an out of control slice of golf ball.

How do I stop slicing?

Stop Cupping Your Wrist/Deal With the Open Clubface

 Stop Cupping Your Wrist/Deal With the Open Clubface
Stop Cupping Your Wrist/Deal With the Open Clubface

It is simple, avoid cupping your wrist and keep an optimum grip of your club and impact with a straight clubface. Hold the club in such a way that the sign on your golf glove coincides with the club. In that case, your grip will be sufficient enough to avoid cupping. Some professional golf players/coaches say that when you lift the club to swing, the club face should be around 45 degrees angle to hit the perfect, ideal and a flawless shot.

Correct Your Body Alignment

Also, don't forget to align your upper body correctly. Avoid over bending and face directly parallel to your target.

Correct Your Body Positioning

Remember, do not go left or right, stay right in plane to the target so that your shot may go straight to the hole and you can win your game within the specified number of strikes.

Why Does My Shot Hook?

As we said earlier that the hook is opposite to slice, the reason for this shot is also opposite to the slice.A shot may hook because of closed clubface during impact as we previously discussed that a sliced shot is caused by open clubface. Thus the two shots result from opposite sides of the club faces.

What causes a closed club face? If the open clubface is caused by cupping or wrist extension, the closed clubface is a consequence of arching due to flexing of your wrist. You hit a hook by developing a grip force too strong. Now again, you should look into your position of gripping the club and keep it ideal to avoid arching and to weaken the grip force.Upper body positioning also plays a role in hooking of a shot. For a dominant right hand, body positioning to the left of your target leads to a slice. Similarly, if you position your body to the right of your target as most fresh players do, you may hit a hook. So be sure to align yourself parallel to the target and not to deviate otherwise you will end up with a hooked shot.

Why Does My Shot Hook?
Why Does My Shot Hook?

How do I stop hooking?

Manage Your Closed Clubface

So you know that hooking results from arching or bowing of the wrist leading to a closed clubface, what you can do to avoid a hook is to improve your grip of the club and don't flex it too much. Otherwise it leads to arching of your wrist and you lose grip of the club thereby getting a closed club face.

 Manage Your Closed Clubface
Manage Your Closed Clubface

You develop a very strong grip force of the club when hooking a shot. To correct it, you must weaken your force of gripping as shown in the image below. Align your wrist in the following position:

Correct Your Body Alignment

Do not forget to align your body such that your whole body is straight and your weight is balanced at the front and slightly more than balanced (40/60) on your back side.

Correct Your Body Positioning

Do not aim to the right side of the target which will cause your shot to hook.

Slice VS hook!

Slice Hook
  • The shot of the player swings towards left side of the player (if he is right handed).
  • The player hits the ball and it travels along the right side of the player.
  • The wrist of the player is cupped.
  • The wrist of the player is arched or bowed.
  • Cupping of wrist occurs because of excessive bending.
  • The player develops an arched wrist by flexing it excessively.
  • An open club face is observed.
  • A closed club face is observed.
  • The body alignment of the player is on the opposite hand side of the dominant side.
  • The body alignment of the player is in accordance with the direction of dominant hand side.
  • The player aims at the target from slightly left side of the target.
  • The player aims at the target from slightly right side of the target.
  • A slice is more difficult to fix as compared to hook.
  • A hook is easier to fix as compared to slice.
  • The sliced shot retains its direction throughout its trajectory.
  • A hooked shot will travel straight and then change its direction.
  • A slice occurs because of sub optimal grip of the club.
  • A hook occurs because of body alignment than club grip.
  • If we are asked to choose a better shot, the slice will always be our second choice.
  • If we are asked to choose a better shot of a slice and hook, we will always choose a hook.
  • The grip on your club is weak in this type of shot.
  • The grip on the club is too strong.
  • To avoid a sliced shot, you must increase the grip on the club.
  • To avoid a hook, you will have to reduce the grip on your club.

Did you know that golf was also played on the moon? Well now you know

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is an Open Clubface and Closed Clubface?

An open club face occurs when the clubface is aligned to the right side of the target. In a closed clubface, the clubface is aligned to the left side of the target.

 What Is Cupping?

In golf, cupping of the wrist refers to bending of your hand in such a way that the hand moves towards the top of your forearm and an open clubface results thus slicing the shot.


Golf slice and golf hook are two shortcomings of golf strokes. A slice occurs when the player's wrist undergoes cupping or his body alignment is such that an open clubface is observed and the ball swings to the left side.

In a golf hook, the player' body alignment and wrist arching leads to a closed clubface and the ball's path initially is to the left side of the player and eventually it switches its direction to the right side.

About Bill Winters

Those who have not yet tried the sport just can’t imagine what is driving these golfers to brave the sun’s heat and go around a course bigger than several football fields combined. It seems like an awful lot of work considering that the ball is quite small that is must be hard to hit, the ground of the course is not flat and, most annoying of all, there are sand traps lying around seemingly bent on preventing a player from finishing the course.

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Thoughts on "Golf Slice vs. Golf Hook"

About the Author

The game of golf may seem like an awful lot to take on when one considers that the ball is quite small, must be hard to hit and carry through windy conditions with little chance for error. The ground course has hillsides which make it challenging enough without adding sand traps who seem bent on preventing players from completing their round!

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