Golf Tips And Lessons

Tips to Eliminate Golf Shanks

Shanking the ball is one of those frustrating things most golfers dread. Fortunately, it can be avoided if you take time to practice your swing.

In order to learn how to stop shanking the golf ball, you need to know the swing flow that causes the shanked balls in the first place.

What is a shanked ball? 

A shanked ball is a shot where the golf ball violently flies offline, either to the left or to the right direction, depending on whether the golfer is left-handed or right handed respectively. It results from striking the ball with the club’s neck or hosel, instead of the clubface.

Correcting the swing

Knowing the causes of a shanked ball is only the beginning. It takes an effective strategy to correct shanking of the ball. There are basically three focus areas that must be worked on to correct shank shots – clubface position, weight distribution, and aim.

• Clubface position at set up – The main objective of any golf swing is to return the club back to the very position it was when it made contact with the ball. Therefore, it’s only logical that you get the best set up of the club.

• The first area to check is ball alignment: where is the ball aligned compared to the position of clubface? Is the ball closer to the heel or toe of the clubface? If most of your shots have been shanks, you need to align the ball more towards the club’s toe.

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This helps to counter-balance any swing deviations that cause the clubface to return to a position much farther from the body than when the swing was started.

• Weight distribution – Here, we’re talking about ‘side-to-side’ weight distribution, rather than back-and-forth distribution. When you set up your standing posture, are you bending forward with more pressure on your toes, or do you lean backwards on your heels?

If you feel that your weight is more towards the back on your heels, farther from the ball, then you will naturally try to move your weight in a forward leaning position to counter-balance the backward leaning. Eventually, this will most likely cause the clubface to come through farther from the body on the downswing and the hosel will have more chances of hitting the ball, resulting in a shank. A proper golf stance will not only allow you better performance but also helps in avoiding golf related injuries.

• Aim – Here, we’re referring to what your swing aims at, not where you intend the ball to land. Most golfers normally focus on the center of the ball. If this is what you’ve been doing and you hit shanks, then it would be best to try aiming at the inside of the ball. Think of an imaginary ball inside the real golf ball and try aiming at it.

Place a ball on the ground and set up your shot in the typical format. Now, bring a second ball and place it next to the first one, but much closer to your body. With your feet stationary, set up to hit the ball close to you (second ball). Keep the club stationary and remove the second ball, then take your normal swing, but only aim for the first ball.

These techniques will help you hit the ball squarely on the clubface and eliminate golf shanks.

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