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Try Si Woo Kim’s bold fix for eliminating hooks

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Photographs by J.D. Cuban

This is Si Woo Kim. A four-time PGA Tour winner, Kim is best known for capturing the 2017 Players Championship. What separates him from many golfers is that he’s able to swing aggressively through impact, letting the clubface close noticeably without fear of hooking the ball. He and his coach, Chris Como, will explain why. First, let’s talk about you.

As golf season ramps up, you may find that you’ve developed a ball flight that curves sharply left of your target (for righties). Now you’re looking for a fast fix, and that’s where Kim and Como, No. 2 on Golf Digest’s list of the 50 Best Teachers in America, can assist.

Kim plays with a “weak” grip, meaning his hands are more on top of the handle then off to its side. Looking down at address, he sees one or two knuckles on his gloved hand, and the crease between his thumb and forefinger points toward his chin. This orientation, Como says, enables Kim to rotate his body as aggressively as he wants in the downswing without fear that the clubface will be closed relative to his swing path at impact—which is how you hook it. For most amateurs, the body stops rotating on the downswing prematurely while the arms and club keep going, and that shuts the face and curves the ball way off line as a result. Weakening your grip and focusing on keeping your body moving well past impact (bottom photo, right) is a sure way to prevent a hook—but there’s a catch.

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A weak grip can lead to a slice, Como says, because it makes it easier to leave the clubface open relative to your swing path. An adjustment has to be made. In Kim’s case, he bows his left wrist as he takes the club back (top photo, left), and that’s how he stops the face from opening at impact. If you decide to copy Kim’s bowed wrist, one additional adjustment is required. Note how Kim swings down from inside his target line in the images above. That’s critical to avoiding a slice.

To recap: Weaken your grip, bow your lead wrist, keep your body moving and swing down from the inside—and your hook will be cured forever.