Jim Suttie: Pushing, hooking have different root causes

How many of you push the ball to the right on one shot and the very next shot hook the ball?

This doesn’t make golf much fun does it?

Besides this, you will most likely hit your irons fat or thin.

You are saying what kind of swing produces such inconsistent results? You probably like your driver, but you hate those middle and short irons.

Pushers and hookers generally swing inside-outside too much. In other words, their swingpath coming into the ball is approaching from an extremely flat and shallow angle and the club is swinging out well to the right of the target. When you push the shot, the clubface is square to the swingpath. When you hook, the clubface is closed to the swingpath. Below are the major reasons people push or hook the ball:

1. Most pushers and hookers have wide stances. This doesn’t allow your hips to turn out of the way through impact.

2. Pushers and hookers tend to aim too far to the right and set up on their right side too much.

3. Pushers and hookers generally stand too far away from the ball and reach for the ball too much.

4. Pushers and hookers play the ball back too far in their stances. This makes the arc bottom out too soon.

5. Usually pushers and hookers have flat swings.

6. Pushers and hookers tend to slide their hips too far forward toward the target on the downswing. This drops their right shoulder down and back and keeps the weight too much on the right leg at impact. The result: an overly inside-outside swing. This pattern makes it extremely hard to hit anything but a thin or fat iron shot.

7. Some pushers simply move their swing center too far forward on the downswing.

8. Generally, all hookers have too much weight on their right leg at impact. This forces the golfer to use the hands too much through impact.

9. Finally, all pushers of the ball swing out to the right too much. Try swinging inside to correct your push.

If you do “push” and “hook” the ball, hopefully these fundamentals may be helpful.

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Dr. Jim Suttie, the 2000 PGA Teacher of the Year, is director of instruction at The Club at TwinEagles in North Naples and at Cog Hill Golf Club in Lemont, Ill. He also is a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher and rated No. 15 by Golf Digest. Suttie coaches the FGCU men’s golf team. E-mail him at jmsuttie@aol.com.

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