Hooking Driver But Not Irons? (Here’s Why)

Ever smash your driver and see the ball fly way left, but then hit your irons perfectly straight?  

Annoying, right? This is a super common problem, and it’s all about how you swing that driver.

In this post, I’ll go over the reasons behind why you are hooking driver but not irons. And I’ll show what you can do about it.

Why You Hook The Driver But Not The Irons

Here are the main reasons why you are hooking drivers but not irons:

#1 Improper Setup And Stance

One of the most common reasons for hooking the driver is an improper setup and stance. 

With the driver, the ball position is teed up and more forward at address. If your stance is too wide or too narrow for your body type, it can lead to an overly “shut” clubface through impact. 

Improper Setup And Stance

Teeing the ball too far forward for your swing can make it difficult to square the face too.

Also Read: Why Do I Hit Blades Better Than Cavity Backs

Also, if you’re not aiming straight, you might end up aiming too far right, which can make you subconsciously swing across the ball, giving it too much sidespin.

#2 Poor Weight Transfer

Failing to properly shift your weight during the driver swing is another common cause of hooks.

If too much weight remains on your back foot instead of shifting forward, it’s easy to get “stuck” and not clear your hips on the downswing.

When your lower body doesn’t rotate and clear out of the way properly, the club will swing too far from the inside and deliver an overly closed clubface through impact.

This problem is worse with the driver because it’s longer and has a flatter angle than irons

#3 Incorrect Wrist Position

The next reason you’re hooking driver but not irons is because of your wrist position.

Your wrists play the biggest role in dictating the position and rotation of the clubface at impact.

If your wrists are bent or flexed when you’re getting ready to swing or while you’re swinging, it can make the clubface close too soon, which usually ends up in a hooked shot.

This tends to happen more with the driver because the longer shaft can make even small wrist movements more noticeable.

If your wrists are not in the right position, it can make it harder to control the clubhead.

#4 Swing Path And Plane Problems

If you’re having trouble with an over-the-top swing that creates an outside-in swing path, or vice versa with an excessive inside-out path, chances are you’re going to start closing the clubface too early before hitting the ball.

In both cases, by the time you actually make contact, the clubface has already turned too much.

This will give the ball a strong clockwise spin for a hook.

And with the driver’s faster speed and longer shaft, it’s even tougher to keep the face straight compared to, say, a 7-iron. Any deviation from the right swing path gets exaggerated into a big hook.

Also Read: Why can’t I see golf ball in flight?

#5 Equipment And Skill

Sometimes the problem is a driver that doesn’t match your swing.


If you have too much loft or a closed clubface angle, the driver might be working against your natural swing path and clubface rotation.

For example, if you naturally have an inside-out swing path with a closed clubface when hitting the ball, a closed-face driver can make the problem worse and increase the chance of a hook.

On the other hand, if your swing tends to produce an open clubface, a closed-face driver might be making you overcompensate and cause hooks.

#6 Tempo And Timing Issues

If you rush the transition from backswing to downswing, it can mess up your swing mechanics.

If you’re too quick at the top of your swing, you can lose control of your swing path and clubface rotation, among other things.

 An inconsistent tempo where your backswing and downswing don’t match up can cause the same timing problems that often result in a hooked shot.

Since the driver has more length and speed, it can make these timing issues worse.

You have less room for error compared to an iron where everything happens a bit slower.

#7 Releasing The Clubhead Early 

Releasing the club too early while downswing will also cause hooked drives.

This is actually a very common problem, especially with woods.

if you’re releasing or “flipping” the clubhead too early by rotating your hands and forearms too much, you’ll close the clubface too quickly before hitting the ball, causing the ball to spin crazily.

Also Read: Does adjusting driver loft open face?

It’s like swinging too much from the inside while also aggressively rolling your wrists over.

The length of the driver makes it even harder to avoid this issue.

What To Do If You Hooking Driver But Not the Irons

Now that you why you are hooking the driver, let’s take a look at what you should do:

Setup And Alignment

Let’s start with the basics – getting that ball position and stance width dialed in.

Ball position should be just an inch or two inside your lead heel.

Any further back and you risk coming over the top and closing that face. Too far forward and you’ll hang back and strike it poorly.

Next up is stance width – keep those feet about shoulder-width apart, maybe a hair wider.

And make sure you’re actually aiming where you want to hit it – no compensating for expected hooks!

Grip And Hand Positioning

Focus on a grip where your left hand is neutral or slightly weaker. 

This prevents your right hand from dominating the grip and closing the clubface too much.

Then, focus on feeling like you’re sweeping the club back and through, with your hands staying ahead of the clubhead.

Weight Transfer And Body Rotation

You need to transfer your weight properly from your back foot to your front foot while allowing your hips to turn fully through the shot.

A great drill is to hit drivers off your trail foot only.

Another is swinging into a balanced finish – you shouldn’t be hanging back on your trail foot but centered with your weight shifted to the lead side.

Practice turning drills too, ensuring your chest and belt buckle face the target long after impact.

Wrist Positioning And Release

Your trail wrist has to stay nice and flat coming into impact, with the lead wrist slightly bowed but not cupped.

If you cup or flip unexpectedly as you hit the ball, you’re likely to end up with a hooked shot.

 A great feeling is to imagine holding a basketball rack under the shaft through impact – keep those wrists flat and extended!

You can also try putting a heavy head cover under your lead forearm to stop early releases.

Swing Path And Plane

Use an alignment rod or even practice swinging a club on the floor of your living room to get a path that starts along your target line, then slightly shifts to an inside-out path through impact.

The path should end up just a bit outside the target line after contact.

Drills that focus on clearing your trail foot can also be helpful.

Aim to swing more around your body’s pivot instead of swinging too much across the line.

Equipment Fitting

If you’ve tried everything else and nothing seems to work, bite the bullet and get yourself professionally fitted for the right driver.

They’ll adjust your driver loft, lie angle, shaft flex, and grip specifications to match your swing.

These can go a long way in minimizing those hooks.

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