Tiger Woods shows you how to get out of jail with a big hook

October 22, 2020
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Photo by Jensen Larson / @jensenlarson

As a player who has missed his fair share of fairways during his career, Tiger Woods has often had to rely on his unparalleled ability to pull off escape shots from trouble.

Given Woods’ capacity to draw or fade normal shots at will, it should come as no surprise that he’s a master of the extremes—the rope hook and the banana slice. And no matter how many times golf fans have seen one of these on TV, they’re always a sight to behold.

In Episode 8 of “My Game: Tiger Woods—Shotmaking Secrets, Presented by Geico,” Woods explains in detail how he goes about hitting a big hook when needed. The shot he plays in the video is off of pine straw, and it looks to turn sideways to a green almost 200 yards way.

“To hook this shot about 60 yards, I’m going to have to keep it in the air,” Woods says. “So I’m not going to play it that far back in my stance.

“I’ll close the clubface down just a touch, to help me curve it even more. Because I’ve taken the loft off of it, and the face is shut to the line I’m going to start the ball on, I’ve got to really put a lot of speed into this.”

But, crucially, it’s a specific kind of speed that Woods is talking about.

“I’m not really thinking about body speed. I’m thinking about nothing but hand speed.”

And there’s the crux of it: To hit a massive hook shot, you have to make your hands outrace your body. If the body moves in sync with the hands, you won’t put enough right-to-left spin on it to get that big curve.

For more insight into Woods’ escape shots, check out the video embedded above—and watch the full episode here.