Don’t Let The Shank Ruin Your Golf Game – Here’s What To Do

Shanking is common in the sport of golf. It is most common among novices, beginners, and intermediates. Getting out on the course with friends can be fun, but regularly shanking in golf can drain all the good times away. For this reason, all types of golfers should do everything possible to ensure they don’t shank!

In this article, we will discuss everything related to shanking, from what it is to what causes it and finally how to avoid it. By the end of this article, you’ll have a handful of drills and the swing knowledge to finally stop the shanks for good.

RELATED: The 7 Best Golf Tips For Beginner Golfers

What Is Shanking In Golf?

Shanking is a phenomenon that occurs when the clubhead doesn’t connect with the ball solidly. Instead, the club head will hit the club’s heel, resulting in a dribbled shot. Most of the time, it occurs when the golfer strikes the ball with the club’s hosel; this is the part that connects the club head to the shaft. As you’d expect, no one expects to shank. It can happen anytime.

What Causes Shanking In Golf?

There is a myriad of reasons as to why a golfer may shank the round. Let’s look at a few.

Positioning Of The Ball

It is paramount that the golfer makes sure that the golf ball is at the right distance away. Too close, and the golfer loses the spine angle during the downswing and hits a shank. Additionally, if the ball is placed too far away, there can be some overcompensation in your swing, which can cause more problems.

Check out this video on where exactly your ball positioning should be.

Unstable Grip

If you don’t grip the club with the right amount of pressure, it will move when swinging it. Even if you have aimed at the golf ball perfectly, chances are that the club’s movement will result in a shank. For more on griping the club properly, check out this video.

Swing Path

The swing path is often the reason why golfers shank the ball. Most golfers know that the ideal swing path comes from the inside to outside the ball to the target line. For one reason or the other, you may find that the swing path isn’t as accurate. Here is a 6-minute video on how to fix your swing plane.

Sliding During Your Downswing

Lowering your body during the downswing is also another cause of golf shanking. As the ball is struck, the lower body slide will lead the hosel into the ball, making another dreaded shank. Watch this video to improve your balance in the swing.

What Are Some Drills To Help Prevent Shanking?

The good thing about shaking is that it can be remedied through regular exercises and drills. Some of them include:

Non-Dominant Hand Only Drill

One of the most effective drills is to practice taking swings using your non-dominant hand only. This way, you can practice making contact between the ball and the clubface more effectively. If your right hand is dominant, then practice the swings using your left hand, and vice versa.

Most golfers starting out want to use their dominant hand to crush the ball. This, in fact, makes the swing worse and causes an out-to-in swing. The swing is typically more efficient when the non-dominant hand is mostly used. Check out this video to get a better understanding and some drills to use.

Practice The Spine Turn

If you change the spine angle too early, it may result in a shanked shoot. By keeping a consistent spine angle towards the golf ball without popping up at impact, you’ll have a better chance of squaring up the ball at impact every time.

Check out this video on why spine angle affects your golf swing and how to hit more consistent shots.

Shanking Prevention Checklist

You can do several things before you take a swing to prevent and avoid shanking your shot. Some of them are the basics of golf, but doing them correctly ensures that you make effective contact with the ball. Keep in mind this checklist at your next driving range session:

  • Place the ball the right distance away from the body.
  • Position your stance centered with the golf ball for higher irons.
  • Position your stance with the ball more towards your leading foot for lower irons, woods, and driver.
  • Make sure your club head is square at the address.
  • Ensure that your grip on the golf club is tighter in your non-dominant hand than your dominant one and you have a proper grip.
  • Have the correct spine angle in your stance.
  • In the backswing, focus on your balance with more pressure on your back heel going into the ground. DO NOT LEAN FORWARD OR TOWARD YOUR TARGET!
  • Keep your spine angle through impact while shifting your weight to your front foot.

Have you had the shanks before? What helps you have better rounds without shanks?


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