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Easy Golf Tips to Stop the Shanks

Stop the Shanks

Are you looking for some Easy Golf Tips and Drills to Stop the Shanks? The dreaded shanks. No, not some medical malady, we are referring to the golf shanks so many golfers are afflicted with. Shanking your shots is not only very frustrating, it can also be embarrassing if your shot goes straight out of bounds, with all your foursome watching. So what does the shanker have to do to remedy this problem? Here are a few golf swing tips to cure the shanks.

Are You Too Close?

Hitting the hosel or junction where the shaft and the clubhead meet is what causes the dreaded shank shot. Start by assessing your position relative to the ball. Are you standing too close? If so this will more often than not result in a shanked shot, and is probably the most common cause. This is due to the natural centrifugal forces of the downswing moving the club head further out from where you assume it will be when making contact with the ball. So this is a simple step one correction–move back from the ball until your clubhead is hitting the ball where you want it to, directly on the sweet spot.

We’ve said this before in this blog: if you’re hitting shanks consistently, you should be excited! That most likely means you’re hitting the ball essentially perfect, and you just need to move back a little to start whacking it straight toward where you’re aiming!

Are You Balanced?

Another thing to now look at is how your feet are planted. Are you in a stance where most of your weight is resting on your heels? This is not a good golf stance — your weight should be mostly on the balls of your feet. Think “athletic stance”, like that of a baseball player, or a linebacker, balanced in a slightly crouched position. To hit a golf ball properly your weight should be transferred to the inside of the back foot during the backswing. Then as the swing is transitioned to a downswing the golfers weight needs to be shifted to the outside of the front foot by the force of the downswing onto the front foot. Rotate completely through the swing for maximum effect. Practice this golf tip until you begin to hit the ball more squarely, solidly, and accurately.

Do Your Clubs Fit?

Correcting a shanking problem can often be as simple as the golfer is using golf clubs that are too long. To see if this might be the problem borrow a friends clubs that are shorter than yours, or a practice set from the pro shop, and hit the ball a few times. I know this sounds like a simple fix for the shank but many habitual shankers can cure this problem with a simple switch to shorter clubs.

Shanks Drill #1:

One of the Easy Golf Tips and Drills to Stop the Shanks is to try this. Select a pole or even a stick tall enough to make contact with your froward hip. Place this object in the ground roughly two to three inches in front and the same distance behind where your front heel is when you assume your normal stance before the ball. Have fellow golfer help with this if possible. Go ahead and take a normal swing. What we are attempting to do using this exercise is to see if your hip is making contact with the pole as the head of the club reaches the point where contact with the golf ball would occur. A correct swing will leave your leading hip making contact with the pole at the moment of ball and clubhead impact. If this is not happening then you’re still standing to close to the ball, resulting in the shanking issue. Practice this swing exercise until your front/leading hip is making contact with the pole and shanking your shots will become far less of a problem.

Shanks Drill #2:

Here’s another good drill: “Don’t Hit the Box”. Address the ball normally, then put down a box of roughly shoebox size or larger about 1/2 inch outside the ball, parallel to the aim line. You should be hitting the ball without hitting the box. If you do hit the side of the box as you hit the ball, you’re too close, and this is what’s causing your shanks. Practice until you “Don’t Hit the Box”, or you hit further along the boxafter you hit the ball. Hitting the box like that would show that you are hitting with the desired “in to out” swing path.

This is also a great drill for curing an “Over The Top” swing — if that is your problem, you will hit the top of the box first on the downswing.

Shanks Drill #3:

Peter Headland, PGA member and Teaching Professional at the Roseville Golf Club in Sydney, Australia, shows a drill very similar to Drill #2 above. This drill will help if your problem is the wrong angle on the downswing:

Hopefully these Easy Golf Tips and Drills to Stop the Shanks will cure your shanking problem quickly and have you hitting it straight again. The “Don’t Hit the Box” drill worked well for me a few years back when I got into a swing fault rut where I was consistently shanking.

Do you just hit a shank occasionally, or is it a serious swing fault of yours? Almost all of us duffers shank one occasionally, and it’s nothing to get uptight about if your swing is normally consistent. Feel free to share these tips with your golfing pals below.

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