What is a shank?
Have you ever watched Tin Cup? I know it’s a movie, but there is a scene when Roy ‘Tin Cup’ McAvoy (Kevin Costner) is at the practice range, and he is hitting shank after shank.
How did he do that?
Well Roy did the same thing that I did and every other golfer does when they shank the ball and that is when you hit the ball with the hosel of your club. The hosel is the rounded bit between the shaft of the club and the club face. This part of the club has a rounded surface, and so the ball shoots off to the right at an amazing angle (to the right for a right handed player and to the left for a left handed player). Basically you are hitting the ball too close to the heel of the club, rather than the center of the clubface. Most likely your shot will fly off as a line drive directly away from your body.
5 Common faults that will cause a shank
Reason # 1 – You are transferring the weight from your heels to your toes
Weight transfers to the toes at impact making you lean forward When you set up to hit the ball, you may find that you feel more pressure in your heels than in your toes. This occurs because you are basically leaning or sitting back. As a result you may be compensating for this imbalance during your swing. This will have the effect of leaning slightly forward and thereby moving the club head forward. Remember looking at the photo of a shanked shot, all it takes is ½ inch of forward movement from transferring the weight from your heels to your toes and you will get a shank! An uneven weight distribution between the back and the front of your feet during your swing may be causing you to shank the ball.
Reason #2 – You are standing too close to the ball at setup
If you are standing too close to the ball at setup, your natural tendency will be to adjust your downswing to a more comfortable and natural swing path. The effect will be that the club head will move away from you, and as we have found out, even ½ inch will cause the dreaded shank to appear into your game. Simply standing too close could be the reason that your are shanking the ball!
Reason #3 – Your natural swing aim is flawed
When you are hitting the ball, you are most probably aiming at the middle of the ball, and expecting the middle of the club face to make contact with the ball. The cause of your shanks could be as simple as a slightly incorrect aim!
Reason #4 – Your arms move away from your body
When you are making your downswing, do your arms drift away from your body? If they do, the effects can be disastrous! One of the effects is the club head moves away from the correct swing path and so the club connects the ball with the hosel, and you get a shank.
Reason #5 – You have an incomplete shoulder turn
If you are not getting a good or complete shoulder turn, then your swing will become too narrow and steep. Your left shoulder should rotate to a position above your right knee. If you are not getting to this position, the result is that you are likely to be swinging on a very narrow arc. Having a narrow swing due to an incomplete shoulder turn may be causing you to “fall” into your shots during your downswing, and by leaning forward by ½ inch will cause a shank. The cause of shanking could be due to an incomplete shoulder turn.
How do you cure a shank?
The main reason I cured the shanks was because I found a Simple Golf Swing that is easy to learn, and real easy to repeat, giving you great consistency.