This simple fix cured the hooks early in Nancy Lopez’s pro career—and it can help all of us

November 10, 2023

Golf Digest Resource Center

Early in Nancy Lopez’s professional career, she was struggling with hooking the ball. She couldn’t figure out why it was happening. In college, she had even gone through a grip change, moving the club more into the fingers of her right hand than the palm. Getting in a more neutral position should keep the ball from hooking. “If that hand is turned under the club's handle at address, you'll probably shut the face at impact and hit a duck hook,” Lopez said in a 2018 interview with Golf Digest.

So if it wasn't the grip, why was she fighting that hard-left ball flight?

Her coach, Buddy Phillips, met up with her at a tour stop in Dallas, Lopez recounted in this interview with Golf Digest.

“Turns out, nothing was wrong with my grip or my swing, he said. The problem was that my stance wasn't square to the hole,” Lopez said. “My feet were a little closed, which caused me to swing with a shut face and hook it. The lesson? Don't overlook your setup as the cause of a swing problem.”

If you’re dealing with a big miss, it’s natural to assume the problem with your swing is major. And while sometimes it is, don’t forget to check the simple things, like alignment. There’s a reason you see good players on the practice range with alignment sticks at their feet: If your alignment is off, everything is going to be off.