How to Stop Shanking Your Golf Shots
How frustrating is it to shank a golf shot? When you start shanking golf shots, your mental confidence drops quickly and you start questioning every shot you’re about to hit from then on forward in your round. Scary stuff isn’t it?
So what can you do to stop shanking golf shots the very moment you start doing it? What’s the quick fix?
Well, if you want to know how to stop shanking your golf shots, take a look at this article that will give you several tips and educational insights to help you stop shanking golf shots in your future rounds of play.
First we need to break down what it even means to “shank” a golf shot for beginners who are just learning the game of golf.
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What is shanking a golf shot?
Shanking a golf shot is hitting the ball in such a way that it goes almost 90 degrees right to the target, for a right-handed player. The trajectory of the ball is usually straight and low.
What causes you to shank a golf shot?
Shanking a golf shot occurs when the ball hits the bottom of the shaft, known as ‘the hosel’, instead of the club face and is usually caused by the club face coming too open on the downswing.
Every case of the shanks is different. Some golfers struggle with their drives while others struggle with their irons. The shanks can even happen with your wedge shots and your putting!
So to cover all the different cases, we’ve created short sections below specific to each club you may be shanking golf shots with.
How to stop shanking my drives
If you want to stop shanking your drives, you should put the ball more forward in your golf stance and also stand two or three inches further away from the ball.
By doing this, you’ll lower the chance of hitting the ball on the heel of the club. You’ve just moved the ball away from your body more, taking away any chances of jamming yourself up.
By moving the ball forward, you are also giving yourself more time to complete the swing before your club makes contact with the golf ball.
Your drive will be on the upswing by the time it makes contact with the ball which will help launch your ball flight compared to a shank were the shot would be low due to getting jammed on the down swing.
How to stop shanking my irons
In order to stop shanking iron shots, you should make sure to shift your weight to your left leg for right-handed players, and your right leg for left-handed players before you begin your downswing. Also, try to place most of your weight on the heels of your feet rather than on your toes.
This will allow for a more natural downswing and will prevent you from leading with the heel of the club into the ball. Remember, a shank is caused by hitting the ball with the heel of your club and not hitting it with a squared up club face.
How to stop shanking my wedge shots
Well, this is a big problem to correct, right? How many times have you wasted a beautiful drive and an amazing iron shot getting you down by the green in good position to save par only to end up shanking a wedge shot? A lot, for sure, because actually it’s more frequent to shank a wedge shot than any other kind of shot.
This is because in wedge shots we need the club face to be open and a steep outside-in swing path in order for the ball to fly straight and high (flop shots with spin), thus placing the hosel of the club dangerously close to the ball.
This is why shanking a wedge shot is most common when trying to hit higher spin golf shots that you need to stop quickly on the green.
To avoid shanking wedge shots, you should make sure to leave room between your arms and body by pushing your rear end back as if you were about to sit, and also let your arms hang from your shoulders as naturally as possible trying not to tension them.
By doing this, you’ll minimize the chances of the hosel hitting the ball, you’ll hit that sweet spot more often and shanking wedges will begin to become no more than a bad memory.
How to stop shanking my chip shots
As we get closer to the hole, your wedge play turns into chip shots. A chip shot is super important as it determines how close you get the ball to the hole for your one putt par save!
One of the common reasons someone shanks this golf shot though is their mental game is weak! Therefore, the first fix I always recommend to stop shanking chip shots is don’t overthink.
Overthinking leads to fear, lack of concentration, indecision…and shanking. So just check your target once or twice, make one or two practice swings, and just hit the ball with confidence and trust.
Wrists are also a key factor in short shots. When in the follow-through, make sure that you are rotating them back counter-clockwise at the target which will result in the club face being square to the target.
Then again, how you stop shanking chip shots is mostly a matter of letting your wrists rotate naturally and thinking as little as possible. Overthinking will lead to tension in your wrists and can cause you to blade the shot from poor release into the ball.
An important thing to remember is that although we divided these tips in different categories, they still apply to all kinds of shots in general! Remember each of these tips:
- Space yourself further from the golf ball to avoid hitting it on the heel from being too close
- Focus on the proper weight shift during your swing to promote solid contract with the ball
- When opening up the club face for wedge shots, make sure to adjust your swing path to offset the degrees you are opening up the face. Otherwise you may lead with the hosel and shank the wedge shot
- For chip shots around the green, don’t overthink and definitely don’t think about shanking! Be confident and trust your judgement when you look at the hole and decide on your shot.
Now that you know how to stop shanking your golf shots, go and enjoy your golf rounds!