Golf Tips: How to Prevent Ball Shanking

The shank is the most-dreaded shot in all of golf. Instead of striking the ball with the clubface, you accidentally hit the ball with the hosel of the club (which is where the shaft and clubhead connect). The result is usually an ugly shot that shoots off low and to the right (for a RH golfer). Not only is a shank harmful to your score, it is also downright embarrassing to hit one in front of your friends and fellow golfers.

One of the difficult things about dealing with a shank is that the more you think about it, the more it seems to happen. Use the tips below to try and eliminate the shank from your golf game.

  • Improve your posture. Often, a shank can be caused by losing your posture during the backswing and getting closer to the ball and you swing down. Work on making sure that your legs are engaged at address and that you are keeping a consistent spine angle throughout the swing. Good posture almost always starts from the lower body, so focus your attention on the legs first, and move up from there until you have built a solid posture.
  • Let it go. If you are afraid of hitting a shank, you likely won’t let the club release through impact – making it even more likely that you will end up hitting the shank after all. Trust yourself and let the club release naturally through impact into a full and balanced finish position. You just might be able to take the shank out of your game simply by refusing to be afraid of it and making a confident swing.
  • Hit some drivers. It is much easier to hit a driver on the clubface because of the larger size of the clubhead itself, as well as the design of the club. If you are struggling with the shanks on your irons and can’t seem to get it out of your head, switch it up and hit a few drivers on the practice range. After you have some success hitting some quality drives on the range, go back to one of your irons and hit a few balls. Hopefully, the confidence that you have gained from hitting the drivers will translate to your iron swing and the shanks will be a thing of the past.

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