Golf Slice Vs. Hook – Differences, Causes, And Ways To Fix

A golfer is seen hitting a golf shot on a golf course.

Hook and slice are the most common undesirable golf shots golfers tend to encounter on a golf course. This article helps you understand everything about golf slice vs hook.

Although every golfer aims to hit a straight shot, hitting shots like hook and slice is common. Therefore, it is mandatory to understand and work on these two mishits to get better on the golf course.

This guide has detailed information on a golf slice and hook, the causes, and ways to fix them to improve your game.

Golf Slice vs Hook: Golf Shot Shapes

Golfers who struggle with wayward shots know the frustration of hitting a slice or a hook. Both shots can take the ball far off course, adding unnecessary strokes to your scorecard. 

A hook is a shot that spins hard to the left, while a slice is a shot that spins hard to the right. If you’re a left-handed golfer, these terms are reversed.

While hooks and slices differ in their spin direction, both shots stem from the same issue: poor face control.

Hook vs. Slice: What’s the Difference?

Here are the basic differences between a hook and a slice in golf:

  • A hook is when the ball curves hard to the left for a right-handed golfer (or hard to the right for a left-handed golfer).
  • A slice is when the ball curves hard to the right for a right-handed golfer (or hard to the left for a left-handed golfer).
  • Both shots are caused by poor face control, meaning the orientation of the clubface at impact is not correct.
  • The key difference between a hook and a slice is the direction of the curvature.

What is a hook?

A hook is a golf shot where the ball curves dramatically to the left (for a right-handed golfer) due to poor club face control. It is an unwanted shot shape as it is difficult to control and can result in the ball landing in unfavorable positions on the course. The hook is classified into a pull, hook and pull hook.

What causes a hook?

  • Club face: If the club face is closed at impact, it will cause the ball to hook to the left for a right-handed golfer.
  • Grip: A strong grip, which means the hands are rotated too far to the right on the club handle, can cause the clubface to close and result in a hook.
  • Swing path: An inside-out swing path can cause the ball to hook. This means the clubhead travels from inside the target line to outside through impact.
  • Ball position: If the ball is positioned too far forward in the stance, it can cause the clubface to close and lead to a hook.
  • Body position: An improper body position at address, such as standing too close to the ball or having a closed stance, can cause the club to swing too far to the right through impact, resulting in a hook.
Club faceClosed clubface
GripToo tight grip
Swing pathIn-to-out swing path
Ball positionBackward ball position
Body position Too open shoulder 

How to fix a hook?

Here are the some of the ways that can help you fix a hook:

  • Strengthen your grip: By moving your hands more to the right on the grip, it can help keep the clubface from closing too much.
  • Focus on swing path: Try to swing more from the outside to the inside to help straighten out the ball flight.
  • Use less body rotation: Try to focus on keeping your body quieter through impact to avoid closing the clubface too much.

What Is A Slice In Golf?

If you are a right-handed golfer, a slice occurs when the ball curves toward the right side of the golf course, and for a left-handed golfer, the golf ball curves toward the left.

Depending upon the golf ball’s direction, slice shots are classified into push, slice, and push slice shots.

What causes a slice?

  • Club face: The club face plays a crucial role in causing slices. An open club face at impact results in a slice, while a closed club face helps to correct it.
  • Grip: The golf grip is another important factor that influences shots. A weak grip often results in a slice, while a tight grip can cause a hook.
  • Swing path: Swing path also affects the direction of the shot. An out-to-in swing path leads to slices, while an in-to-out path can help to reduce it.
  • Ball position: The position of the golf ball in the stance is essential for proper alignment. A ball placed too far forward results in slices because it reduces the golf club’s loft. Conversely, golfers who place the ball too far back tend to hit hooks.
  • Body posture: Maintaining proper body posture throughout the swing is critical. An open shoulder line can cause a slice, while a closed shoulder line can reduce it.
Club faceOpen clubface
GripToo weak grip 
Swing pathOut-to-in swing path
Ball positionForward ball position
Body position Too closed shoulder

How to avoid a slice?

  • Correct Your Grip: Maintain a neutral grip to avoid hitting golf hooks and slices.
  • Maintain Correct Body Position: Keep your shoulders parallel to the target and avoid tilting your upper body too far to fix your slice. Relax your arms throughout the swing.
  • Use A Lighter Golf Club: Opt for lighter clubs to help you generate more clubhead speed, which can help you fix your slice.
  • Your Wrist Moment Matters: Practice rolling your wrists clockwise during impact to correct your slice shot.
  • Position The Ball Correctly: Keep the ball slightly back from the center for golf slices and slightly forward for golf hooks.

Is it Better to Hook or Slice?

Eliminating both hooks and slices is crucial for consistent good golf scores. While both swing flaws need practice, a hook is easier to correct with slight tweaks compared to a slice, which often requires major swing adjustments. 

Interestingly, new golfers struggle with a slice while seasoned golfers fight a hook.

The Hook Vs Slice – Which Is Worse?

Hooks and slices are two of the worst shots in golf when you don’t intend to curve your ball. Both shots can negatively affect distance and accuracy, and require an extra stroke or more to recover lost ground.

  • Hooks and slices are mirror versions of each other, but have key differences in ball flight.
  • Hooks have a lower trajectory and will roll more on landing.
  • Slices have a higher flight path and typically cover less distance.
  • Both shots are challenging to control and unpredictable.

In a quick glimpse: Slice or Hook, Which is Worse?

  • Whether hooks or slices are worse depends on the situation on the golf course.
  • In the short game, hooks are less favorable because low trajectories are dangerous for attacking fast greens where stopping the ball quickly upon landing is the goal.
  • In contrast, hooks can be a better option for longer shots when power and distance are the priority because they can gain more ground than slices.

Why Does a Hook Go Further Than a Slice?

A hook goes even further when compared to other shots. When you hit a hook, you typically use a closed and delofted clubface. This results in less spin on the ball and higher compression, meaning that it will fly further than if you had used a slice. 

Do Anti Slice Golf Tees Work?

Though anti-slice tees don’t completely eliminate the slice shape from your game, they do help to decrease sidespin and give you a better opportunity of succeeding on your following shot. While you will still experience slices with this tee, their effects can be lessened significantly.

How Is A Golf Hook Vs Slice Different For Left Handers?

A hook is a type of shot that curves from right to left for a right-handed golfer, but for a left-handed golfer, the hook curves from left to right. The opposite is true for a slice, which curves from left to right for a right-handed golfer and from right to left for a left-handed golfer.

Why do I slice driver but not irons?

Slicing the driver but not irons is common among golfers. It’s due to differences in club characteristics and swing mechanics. 

The driver has a longer shaft, a larger clubhead, and less loft than irons, making it more difficult to control the clubface and swing path. 

Additionally, differences in swing plane could also be a contributing factor. To address this issue, golfers can work on improving their swing mechanics and making adjustments to their setup to promote a more neutral clubface position at impact.

Best Training Aids for Hooks and Slices

Best Training Aids for Hooks and Slices:

1.Lag shot golf club – helps to develop a late release in the swing, which can help to eliminate hooks and slices.

2. Plantmate swing trainer – uses a resistance band to help train the proper swing path, which can correct slices and hooks.

3. Eyeline speed trap – a training aid that helps to improve swing path and clubface alignment, which can help to eliminate hooks and slices.

Final thoughts

Identifying the golf shot you are hitting and understanding the causes contributing to the golf slice and hook is the best way to improve your game.

You can fix golf slices and hooks with practice and a good golf swing technique and master the golf game.

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