The deliberately hooked low iron is a valuable shot that is especially useful on a course where there are lots of trees to be maneuvered around or under, or where there is a great deal of wind. It can be used effectively from within a short-iron distance of the green on any occasion when the ball must be kept quite low and brought into the target from right to left to avoid branches or other such obstructions.
Contrary to the general belief, it is not a hard shot to master. It should be executed with most of the weight on the left side and the ball played back toward the right foot. Aim well to the right of the target—practice will determine how much—and keep the club face at address square or slightly closed to the line of flight. Use an iron that is one lower than the distance calls for. From nine-iron distance, for example, an eight-iron should be tried, but with a three-quarter swing. The swing must be a pronounced inside-to-out one, with the clubhead taken up abruptly on the backswing and brought down into the top of the ball. The wrists should roll over naturally at impact. Using a lower club than usual and making a firm but unforced swing takes quite a bit of the excessive hook spin off the ball. The result will be a slightly hooked shot that stays low, stops reasonably quickly and is fairly easy to control; it does not run a long way, as a low hook normally would.