The Definition of Hooding (the Club)

Mike Kemp/Getty Images

"Hooding" is a term about which there is some confusion. Among recreational golfers, yes, but even among golf "experts" and instructors. The term (and its variants, hood and hooded) is used to denote two different things, and there is disagreement among the users about which is correct.

1. In the more common usage, "hooding the club" means pressing the hands forward, which makes the clubface more upright, as a way to de-loft the club. A 5-iron that has been "hooded" will produce a lower trajectory than a normal 5-iron shot. This meaning is used when talking about lowering the ball flight, increasing roll or, on the green, producing topspin in a putt.

2. But some people think of hooding as something completely different. Many golfers and golf instructors refer to shutting the clubface as "hooding." By shutting the clubface, we mean closing it to, among other things, counteract a slice or produce a hook. In this usage, the hooded club's toe is pointing inward relative to the target line, rather than being square at address (a righthander would rotate the club counterclockwise to hood it, in this definition). A club hooded according to this definition can also be used to dig out buried lies in sand bunkers.