Regardless of your level of expertise, it is virtually impossible to hit straight shots all the time. For that to be possible, the swing has to be just about perfect. Then again, it is easier to get curved shots than straight ones.
Even if you get a few perfect swings and shots, you are not likely going to be able to do so with any real consistency. This means you’ll be getting some slices and hooks. Today, we’ll learn about the differences between a golf slice vs hook. Are they equally as bad the other?
If you are looking for overall improvement, you can also check out Ben Hogan’s golf swing secret. For now, let’s talk about slices and hooks.
Curved Shots in Golf
There are two primary types of curved shots in golf, and both of them are usually unwanted and unintentional. One curves to the left and the other curves to the right. In general, the term slice and hook refer to shots that curve quite a bit and aren’t very subtle. If you are hooking or slicing the ball, you likely do not want to be doing so.
With that said, it is not always a bad thing to hook or slice your shot. Sometimes, you have to do so to get around a large object, such as a tree. In most instances, however, you don’t want such a big curve.
A smaller slice is referred to as a fade while a small hook is referred to as a draw. These two shots can be really useful. It is the slice and the hook that you probably don’t want.
What Is a Slice?
If you are a right-handed golfer, a slice refers to curving from left to right. A slice’s shape depends on the dominant hand of the player. This means that a slice for a right-handed player is different from that of a left-handed one. With that in mind, the cause of the slice is the same, regardless of the golfer’s dominant hand.
Causes of a Slice
The root cause of a slice is hitting the ball with an open clubface. Most of the time, this is the result of poor setup or other golf swing issues that promote a clubface being open. To remedy the issue, you usually need to take a good look at your setup, stance, and grip.
It is possible to stop slicing the ball. Double-check all of the following:
- Ensure you aren’t gripping the club in an open position. You want to make sure that you are always setting up with a square clubface unless you intend to curve the ball through either slicing or hooking.
- Do not start with an open stance. Instead, you should start with a square stance, just as you start with a square-positioned clubface.
- Ensure you are using a neutral grip. You also do not want to be using a weak grip. This would mean that you have your hands turned too far left if you are right-handed and too far right if you are left-handed.
Usually, to correct a slice permanently, you have to work on both the position of the clubface and the path of your swing. It is also worth noting that the opposite of a slice is the draw shot. So, if you teach yourself how to properly draw the ball, you can also potentially rid yourself of your slice.
Also, it is always advised to get at the root cause of your issue, which, in this case, is likely the clubface position or swing path.
What Is a Hook?
A hook for a right-handed golfer refers to curving from right to left. For a left-handed golfer, the hook curves from left to right. While a slight hook is referred to as a draw, a severe one is often called a snap hook or duck hook.
If you find that you are unintentionally hooking the ball, it probably feels like that hook is the bane of your existence. So, what causes it in the first place?
Causes of a Hook
The primary cause for a hook is a clubface that’s closed when it hits the golf ball. That forces a spin that moves from right to left on the ball. This causes the ball to curve to the left once hit.
It is possible to correct a hook. You can double-check the following:
- Make sure your stance isn’t closed. Also, double-check that your hips, shoulders, and feet are in alignment and that they are parallel with the target line.
- Make sure your clubface is in a square position when you set up.
- Ensure you have a neutral grip.
Golf Slice vs Hook: The Main Differences
There are a few things that differentiate a slice from a hook, in addition to the ball’s direction in the air. These things are also the three different factors that you can control as a player to help you improve your game.
When it comes to correcting a slice or hook, the first thing to consider is your angle of attack. If you make a flat swing and are attempting to keep the head of the club as low to the ground as you can, you are likely going to hook the ball.
If, on the other hand, you are steeply swinging the club, resulting in a choppy swing, you are likely to slice the ball.
Path of the Club
The path of your club also has a lot to do with the angle of your attack. It is very challenging to maintain the club traveling straight when the club makes contact. Instead, what happens is that it usually crosses the target line when an impact is made.
If your club moves from your side of the line out toward the outside, you are going to hook the ball. If the club moves from the outside toward you in an out-to-in patter, you are going to slice the ball.
Position of the Clubface
If your clubface is pointing at the target when your club makes contact with the ball, you have a square clubface. If it is pointing to the side of your target line, or to the left if you are right-handed, that ball will likely hook. That is also considered a closed clubface.
If your clubface is pointing to the opposing side of your target line, or to the right if you play right-handed, you are going to slice the ball. That position is called an open clubface.
Each of these factors can be combined with each other to create your slice or hook. Everyone’s golf swing is different, and similarly, everyone’s hook and slice are different.
Here, we’ve highlighted the key points when it comes to the differences between a golf slice vs hook. Essentially, the primary difference relates back to the direction in which the ball travels.
If you’d like additional information on creating the perfect golf shots, we suggest you check out Ben Hogan’s Golf Swing Secret. There, you’ll also get information on how to increase your power and accuracy.