How to Stop Pulling the Golf Ball? Your Grip May Be the Culprit

by | Last updated May 19, 2024

taking a shot at the golf ball

Are you tired of your golf shots curving wildly to the left and missing the fairway?

Those frustrating pulled shots can ruin your golf game.

It feels like no matter what you try with your golf swing; those pulled golf shots keep happening.

It would be best if you got advice on your grip, swing path, or even your left arm, which only adds to the confusion.

The good news is, there’s a way to fix those pulled shots.

Understanding some simple swing mechanics like club path and target line will help you straighten out your ball flight and find the fairway more often.

Let’s dive in…

TL;DR: Stop Pulling Shots
  • Understand the Problem: Your ball pulls left because your swing path is too far inside, and your club face is closed (pointing left) at impact.
  • Diagnose: Watch your ball flight and use drills (like the “Ball Gate Drill”) to see what’s going wrong.
  • Drills to Fix:
    • Practice an exaggerated inside-out swing path.
    • Focus on your lead hand and keep a neutral grip.
    • Work on a smooth tempo to prevent rushing your swing.
  • Extra Tips: Check your ball position and alignment, and consider a golf lesson for personalized help!

Remember: It takes practice, but you can fix that pull and hit straighter shots.

Why You Pull the Golf Ball

Picture this: you’re on the golf course, ready to hit a great drive.

But as soon as you swing, the ball veers sharply to the left – another pulled golf shot!

Understanding why this happens is the first step to fixing it.

focusing on the ball

It’s All About Clubface and Swing Path

Think of your golf swing as a path.

Where the ball goes depends on two things:

  • Clubface: This is the flat part of the club that hits the ball. If it’s pointing left at impact, guess where your ball is going?
  • Swing Path: This is the direction your club travels during the swing. If your path goes too much from outside to inside the target line, it can make the ball curve left.

Why Do I Keep Pulling Shots?

Here are some main reasons those frustrating pull shots happen:

  • Swinging “Over the Top”: If your trail shoulder comes down too hard in your downswing, it throws your swing path out of whack.
  • Closed Clubface: Your hands might be rolling over too quickly, pointing the clubface left at impact.
  • Strong Grip: How you hold the club matters! A super strong grip (hands rotated too far on the club) can make it easier to close the clubface.

Don’t worry; we’ll tackle these issues with some drills coming up!

Diagnosing Your Pull

Before fixing your pulled shot, we need to figure out exactly what’s going on with your swing.

Let’s dive in…

initiating a shot

The Ball Flight Tells the Story

Please pay attention to how your ball flies after you hit it.

Does it start left and stay left?

Or does it start a bit right, then hook sharply left?

Different ball flights give clues about what’s happening in your swing.

Tools to Help

some golf club

Here are some ways to get a better look at your swing:

  • Record it: Your phone camera is all you need. Watch yourself back to see what your swing path and clubface are doing.
  • Impact tape: Get special tape or face spray to see where the ball is hitting your clubface.
  • Launch Monitor: These fancy devices (often found at golf shops) measure everything about your ball flight.

The “Ball Gate” Drill

Grab a few extra golf balls and try this:

  1. Set up the gates: Place two balls slightly ahead of your normal ball position, one a little outside your target line and the other a little inside.
  2. Swing: Try to hit your normal straight shot, getting your club to go between the “gate” balls. This helps you visualize the correct swing path.

The Truth About Ball Flight Laws

Stay calm in the old ball flight laws.

I’d like you to focus on where your ball starts in relation to your target and how it curves.

That’ll give you big clues!

Drills to Fix Your Pull

Now it’s time to ditch those frustrating pulled shots and hit the ball straight!

Let’s try some drills that focus on the common causes of a pull.

teaching how to take shot

1. Exaggerate the Feeling!

This drill helps you get a sense of a proper inside-out swing path.

  1. Set Up: Place an alignment stick or another club just outside your target line.
  2. Big Exaggeration: Take some practice swings and really focus on swinging from the inside while leaving the clubface slightly open through impact. It’ll feel strange at first!
  3. Hit Some Shots: Once you get the hang of it, start hitting shots with this exaggerated feeling.

2. The Lead Hand is in Charge

A strong grip or overactive hands can create a closed clubface.

This drill helps you find control:

  1. Focus on the Lead: Grip the club with a neutral grip (especially your left hand for right-handed golfers).
  2. Mini Swings: Make short, slow swings while concentrating on keeping the back of your lead wrist flat. This helps prevent the clubface from closing too early.

3. Tempo is Key

Rushing the downswing can throw your swing path off.

This drill helps you find a smooth rhythm:

  1. Smooth and Steady: Start with slow-motion half-swings, focusing on a smooth transition from backswing to downswing.
  2. Gradually Increase: Slowly expand your swing, maintaining the same smooth tempo.

Bonus Tip: The ‘Justin Rose Drill’

Many pro golfers use this to fix a pull hook.

Focus on Your Elbow: At the top of your backswing, try to point your right elbow towards your right pocket. This helps create a better swing path (reverse for left-handed golfers)


  • Don’t try to fix everything at once! Pick one drill and practice it consistently.
  • The “Two Ball Gate Drill” is great to revisit and see if your swing path is improving.

Putting It All Together

Fixing your golf swing takes time and practice.

Here’s how to make the most of the drills and start seeing those straighter shots!

putting golf ball
  • Start Slow: Don’t try to change everything at once. Focus on one problem area at a time – maybe your grip or your swing path – and really work on it.
  • Practice with Purpose: Don’t just mindlessly hit balls! Use the drills from Section 3 with each practice session.
  • Seek Help: If you’re still struggling, a golf lesson is a great investment. A pro can pinpoint exactly what’s going on and give personalized tips.
  • Pre-Shot Routine: Develop a simple routine you do before every shot. This helps with focus and can prevent you from rushing your swing.

Remember: There’s no quick fix! Keep practicing, and you’ll start to see consistent improvement.

Additional Tips to Stop Pulling the Ball

Here are a few more things to think about as you work on fixing those pull shots:

golf ball up to the hand

Equipment Check

  • Ball Position: Make sure the ball isn’t too far forward in your stance. For most shots, it should be positioned just slightly ahead of the center.
  • Club Type: If you’re constantly hitting a pull slice, check if your clubs are the right fit for your swing. A club fitting with a pro can help.
  • Alignment Matters: If you aim left, you’re probably going to swing left! Double-check that your feet, hips, and shoulders are lined up towards your intended target.
  • The Mental Game: Don’t get down on yourself if you hit a few bad shots. Stay focused on the process and trust that the improvement will come with practice.

Drills for Specific Issues

  • Strong Grip: Place a second ball under the last three fingers of your right hand when you grip the club. This promotes a more neutral grip. (Reverse for lefties)
  • Overactive Wrists: Try a training aid like the Hackmotion wrist sensor to help you understand proper wrist angles.
  • Timing and Tempo: Practice swinging while smoothly saying “one-two-three” to help develop a better rhythm.

Remember, you’re not alone! Many golfers struggle with pulled shots. With patience and these tips, you can straighten that ball flight out!


Friends are walking into the golf ground

Fixing a pull shot in your golf swing takes some work, but it’s definitely possible!

Remember the key things we talked about:

  • Understand why you’re pulling the ball slightly ahead – is it your swing path, clubface, or even your grip?
  • Use those drills! Practice with the purpose of fixing the specific issues causing your pull shot.
  • Get help if you need it. A golf instructor can be a great resource.

Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results overnight.

Keep practicing and focus on the basics, and soon enough, those straight shots will start flying down the fairway!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I keep pulling my iron shots?

Most likely, your iron shots pull left because of an inside-out swing path and a closed clubface. This can be fixed with drills that focus on your path and clubface control at impact. Remember to check your grip, too, as a strong grip can promote a closed clubface.

I hit every shot straight except my driver; why?

The driver is the longest and often the most difficult club to hit straight. If your other shots are fine, focus on a smooth tempo with your driver’s swing. Rushing your downswing can throw your swing path off and lead to pulls.

Can a weak grip cause a pull?

Yes! A weak grip can make it harder to control the clubface. Make sure your grip is neutral, especially the lead hand for right-handed golfers.

How do I stop my pull slice?

A pull slice means your ball starts left and then curves further left. Focus on fixing your swing path. An over-the-top swing path is the common culprit, so work on drills that promote an inside-out swing.

Will golf lessons help fix my pull shot?

Absolutely! A golf instructor can quickly analyze your swing and give you personalized drills and tips to fix your pull shots. It’s a great investment if you’re serious about improving your game.