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Swing Sequence: Chris Kirk

Eliminating the straight-right driver miss

June 2014
Swing Sequence: Chris Kirk

AGE: 29 | HEIGHT: 6-foot-3, 175 pounds | St. Simons Island, Ga.
DRIVER: Callaway X2 Hot Pro | BALL: Titleist Pro V1x

Chris Kirk used to hit what he calls the "high-school hook," a big, sweeping draw that started right of the fairway and whipped back into play. He learned it as a junior golfer to compensate for a lack of strength. "You can pick up some serious yardage with that shot," he says.

As he got older and stronger, Kirk tried to take away some of that curve but found himself hitting drives that started right of the fairway and never came back. He corrected only half the problem. "I went from hitting big hooks to hitting block after block after block," he says. "My goal now is to eliminate the right side of the golf course."

Working with teacher Scott Hamilton over the past year, Kirk has made a few setup and swing adjustments to fix the block. During the process, he won the McGladrey Classic last fall and finished second at the Sony Open in January. His driving accuracy has improved slightly—from 59.7 percent of fairways hit in 2013 to 62 this year—but Kirk says he isn't blocking it nearly as much. "Plus, he knows what's wrong when he misses one, and he can fix it out on the course," Hamilton says. "That's really important."

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