April 5th, 2013 by Matt Keller
A shank is one of the most frustrating shots in golf. It easily shatters confidence and often results in repeated shanks. A shank occurs when the ball strikes the hosel of the club face and causes the ball to shoot off to the right (for a right-handed golfer). Obviously, you want the ball to strike the sweet spot located in the center of the clubface.
Set Up Correctly
Allow your arms to hang under your shoulders. Setting up in the correct position will allow your arms the correct amount of space to swing past your body. Standing too close to the ball can lead to a shank. Standing slightly farther back could change impact from the hosel to the center of the club.
Poor Impact Position
Allow your hands at impact to return to the same position as your set up. Shanks sometimes occur when the arms and hands extend out through impact. Therefore, swing your hands and arms closer to your body. If your hands and arms are extending a few inches out at impact, the clubface will be moving out a few inches. Contact could move from the center of the clubface to the hosel.
Maintain better balance throughout the swing. Make sure you stay off your toes as you swing into impact. In addition, make sure your upper body and head do not move closer to the ball. The swing should be a rotational movement around your fixed spine angle. Maintain your spine angle throughout the swing. Focus on the rotational movement and avoid any lateral movement.
Cutting across the ball also leads to a shank. This is known as an outside-to-inside swing path. The Inside Approach is an effective tool to fix an outside-to-inside swing path. A less expensive way is to place a cardboard box 4 inches to the outside of the golf ball. Swing without hitting the piece of wood. Both of these methods will help teach you the correct swing and steer you away from the outside to inside swing path.
Accelerate through impact. Many players shank the ball because they decelerate into the shot. Focus on maintaining your spine angle and follow through. Simply finishing your swing will often produce more solid golf shots. Many shanks occur around the green due to a large backswing and no follow through.
There is nothing more frustrating than shanking the ball. Avoid some of these common mistakes to hit more consistent shots.