How to Stop Shanking the Golf Ball
Have you ever shanked a golf ball? Perhaps you shank a lot of golf
balls. If so, you already know that this creates one of the worst golf shots imaginable.
For those who do not know, a shanked ball is when the ball is hit with the neck of the club or hit with the
hosel (where the club head is fitted into the shaft).
It normally ends up with the ball screaming hard right, and many consider this to be one of the funniest shots
in golf... as long as you are not the one making it!
Here are some tips on how to stop shanking the ball once and for all. Note: these tips are best done under the
watchful eye of your local pro or an experienced golfing buddy.
A very common reason for shanking the ball (and this one applies to everyone who is not careful) is standing too
close to the ball. When a golfer stands too close to the ball, he or she has to change body posture in order to
make the club face and ball "fit". Bad mistake.
One way to check this is to simply allow both arms to hang in front of you while you grip the club as you
normally do. Now, bend your upper body as if you are about to sit down and place the club head where the ball would
Your forearms should be fairly extended, with the left arm being straight (for right-handed golfers). If your
elbows are bent, you are most likely standing too close to the ball. If your elbows are bent, slowly move your feet
back until your arms are straight. Make sure you remember to keep the weight off your toes.
The next tip has to do with tension in your arms. It is important to reduce as much tension in your arms as
possible. Too much tension in your arms makes it impossible for you to release the club properly on the downswing
and this leads to the hosel moving into the impact zone.
Keep in mind that cutting across the ball or performing an inside-to-outside swing can also result in a shanked
If you have a tendency to cut across the ball, try this: Take your stance in front of a ball and then raise your
club two feet above the ball. Now, slowly begin your backswing and note the
plane that the club takes. On the downswing, keep the plane of the club below what it was through to impact.
The above drill also helps to eliminate the inside-outside swing that many golfers suffer with. Try it.
Another cause for the notorious shank is weight distribution. It is very important that your weight shifts from
your back leg to your front leg (the one closest to the hole) before you start your downswing.
Fail to do this and you will come over the top and this often results with the heel of the club hitting the
Lastly, and this is one you definitely need a buddy to watch in order to know for sure if you have it or not, is
the flying elbow syndrome.
All golf swings require that
you keep control of your elbows, especially that right elbow (for righties).
If you have a shanking problem, go through each of the above and try to determine which one is the cause of your
problem. Once you know the problem you can begin to solve it, and solving a shank problem is time well spent!
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