Golf Magazine

Tips for Getting Rid of the Shanks on the Golf Course

By Golfforbeginners
The Shanks are probably the most horrifying words in golf! The hozel hits the ball instead of the face and POW, off your ball bolts to the right (if you are a righty) - it's a frustrating feeling and you probably are fearing even bringing up the subject lest it creep into your game!
Once you "catch" the Shanks, it's hard to get rid of them (snowball effect) as it shakes your confidence down to the core.
Briefly, what are the shanks? According to top professional golf instructor Butch Harmon, "shanks usually come from an excessively closed face. The player swings out to in with the face closing hard -- both actions push the hosel closer to the ball (top). If the hosel catches the ball, it's shank city." 

What is the golf shank

Wait a minute! According to Michael Breed it is an open club face which causes the shanks! Which one is it? Two different thoughts with one probable outcome?

Believe it or not, getting the shanks is not as bad as it seems. Short game guru Dave Pelz says the shanks are, "very close to a solid golf shot. If you are shanking your shots, your impact point is the hozel of the club instead of the club face (only about a 1/2 inch difference)."
Whether the clubface is closed or open at impact, it seems that all pros agree that the hitting the hozel instead of the face at point of impact causes the shanks. Let's now figure out how to end the shanks.

Tips for Getting Rid of the Shanks on the Golf Course:

- Change Golf Clubs: Taking a golf club out of your bag that you always have success using, even if it doesn't accomplish you goal, may help stop the downward spiral.
- Try using a different shot in your bag even if its not appropriate for what you want to accomplish. Switching up your physical game might change your mental game. Anything you do is better than a shank switch up until your confidence returns.
- Core Fundamentals - GASP: Make sure you didn't change any of your swing basics: check your balance, (standing tall to the ball), make sure weight is evenly distributed, and that you are not gripping the club too tightly.

A Few Drills to Get Rid of the Shanks:

-While waiting your turn to hit, take a club out and stand at address (in a practice swing). Put a tee an inch in front of the toe of the club face and another tee an inch behind the hozel. Take several practice swings without hitting either tee. - keep the distance from the ball and your line straight at point of impact.
The Shanks don't have to ruin your round of golf. Take a step back, take a deep breath, change your thoughts and think about all of the great shots you have taken up to this point. A positive mental attitude is still your best friend on the course.
How do you get rid of the Shanks? Add your golf tips in the comments section of this golf blog and on Twitter @Golf4Beginners.
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