NCG’s Golfing Glossary: What is a duck hook?January, 2016
Take shelter from the wind and rain with our weekly guide to some of golf's more obscure terms.
NCG’s Golfing Glossary: ’Duck hook’
Have you ever been to the doctor’s with an affliction, but because you don’t know what it’s called, you struggle to explain what the problem is. You end up answering obscure questions such as ’how would you describe the pain?’
It’s a frustration we golfers know well, but thankfully you’ve come to the right place.
Here at National Club Golfer we’re the publication for the everyday player and so we’ve taken it upon ourselves to give you a step-by-step introduction to the wonderful world of the golfing lexicon.
Phrase: Duck hook
What I think it means:
Head over to the traveling fair when it comes into town and you’ll find bags of unwanted goldfish, fluorescent candy-floss and shady characters encouraging tracksuit-wearing teenagers to ’scream if they want to go faster’ – making this the least likely place a golfer in the history of mankind.
In the far corner, hidden away from the exciting, modern rides, you’ll find a stall that’s starting to look dated, where yellow plastic ducks float in a pool of water and a man with a shellsuit last spotted in 1974 proclaims there’s a “prize every time”.
But how do you get your hands on this bounty? It’s simple, just capture one of these plastic ducks, using this handy hook.
That’s a duck hook, and I’m fairly certain it has absolutely nothing to do with golf, I’m just distracting you while I Google the actual answer.
We’re clearly talking about a hooked shot here, where the ball quickly goes from right to left (for right-handers), and straight into the trees/water/off the clifftops.
But I’m not sure what qualifies it as a ’duck’ hook.
“A severe hook shot, usually caused by a closed club face, that ’ducks’ sharply to the ground, before running away to the golfer’s left. Also known as a snap hook.”
Note the guilty party, identifiable as the only one not gesticulating wildly
What this actually means:
It may have a whimsical name, but a duck hook must be one of the most demoralizing afflictions in golf as there’s almost no chance of hitting one and not being in some serious trouble.
Almost as much trouble as NOT ducking a hook can cause
If you develop a consistent duck hook (which, coincidentally, I have), then head straight to a clinic. Get some lessons and fix that problem. I didn’t, and now my driver doesn’t even make it out of the car.
Golfers who hit a draw on regular shots (how I remember those halcyon days fondly), are the most likely to develop a duck hook. Causes can include a closed club face at impact and an inside-to-out swing.
If you’re struggling with a really bad hook, like a real-life Peter Pan, we’ve got some handy tips to help you out. Click here.
If you do want a giggle, check out last week’s golfing glossary, when we discovered the fascinating history behind the word ’caddie’. You can read all about it be clicking here.