How to Eliminate the Shank from Your Game

If there was just one shot that most golfers would want to eliminate from their game above all else, what would it be? The slice? The hook? The missed short putt? All of those are frustrating when they occur, but none are as bad as the shank.

A shank is a shot that hits the hosel of the golf club instead of the club face itself, and generally shoots off to the right (for a RH golfer) before travelling any significant distance forward. A shank almost never leads to an acceptable result, and often the golf ball is never to be found again. If you are suffering from a case of the shanks, you understand just how frustrating it can be.

In order to fix your shanks once and for all, you need to understand what causes them in the first place. With that understanding, you will hopefully find it easier to avoid in the future and can eliminate the worry in the back of your mind when you get ready to hit a shot.

The Cause of the Shank

Getting too close to the ball, either during your swing or before it, is an easy way to create a shank. Without enough room to release the club properly through the shot, the hosel (or heel) of your iron can come in too close to the ball - sometimes striking it and creating the shank. Those who hit shanks on a regular basis often feel ‘crowded’ in their swing, instead of feeling free to rotate the club through the ball and hit down confidently at impact.

Fixing It

It’s not quite as simple as just backing up when you are trying to avoid shanking the ball. Instead, you need to improve your posture overall to get away from hitting so many shanks. Work on having a more athletic posture, with your back straight and knees flexed, so that you don’t start to lean into the ball during the swing. If you are standing with your legs straight and are hunched at the waist, you may start to lean in during your backswing, causing you to get too close to the ball and making another shank a real possibility.

The shank doesn’t have to ruin your golf game, as long as you take steps to eliminate it. Work on having good posture and balance during your swing to create a motion that isn’t prone to the dreaded shank any longer.