Shanking the golf ball can be one of the most frustrating experiences for a golfer. It happens when the ball hits the hosel of the club, sending it off in a completely unintended direction. However, with a few simple adjustments, you can eliminate this problem and improve your game. Here are some tips on how to stop shanking the golf ball:
Check your setup: The first thing you need to do is check your setup. Make sure your feet, hips, and shoulders are aligned properly. If your stance is too narrow or too wide, it can affect your balance, making it more difficult to hit the ball in the sweet spot. Ensure that your weight is evenly distributed on both feet.
Adjust your grip: Your grip can also play a significant role in shanking the ball. A grip that’s too strong can cause you to hit the ball with the heel of the club, resulting in a shank. Try loosening your grip slightly to prevent this from happening.
Keep your head steady: During your swing, it’s important to keep your head still. Moving your head up and down or side to side can cause your swing to be off-balance, leading to shanking the ball. Focus on keeping your head in one place throughout your swing.
Practice with a towel or headcover: One effective way to stop shanking the ball is to practice hitting with a towel or headcover placed just outside the ball. This helps to prevent you from hitting the ball too far on the inside, which can lead to a shank.
Focus on your ball position: The position of the ball in your stance can also affect your swing. If you’re consistently shanking the ball, try moving the ball slightly back in your stance. This can help you hit the ball more in the center of the clubface.
Take lessons: If you’ve tried all of these adjustments and still can’t seem to stop shanking the ball, consider taking lessons from a golf professional. They can help you identify the root cause of your problem and provide you with specific drills to improve your swing.
Use a shorter backswing: An overly long backswing can lead to shanking the ball. Try shortening your backswing and focusing on a smoother, more controlled swing. This can help you hit the ball in the center of the clubface and avoid hitting the hosel.
Slow down your swing: Another common cause of shanking the ball is swinging too quickly. Try slowing down your swing and focusing on a smooth, fluid motion. This can help you maintain better control over the clubhead and hit the ball more consistently.
Use a different club: If you’re consistently shanking the ball with a particular club, try switching to a different one. Sometimes a different club can provide a better feel and help you hit the ball more consistently.
Relax and stay focused: Finally, it’s important to stay relaxed and focused during your swing. Shanking the ball can be a frustrating experience, but getting frustrated or tense will only make it worse. Take a deep breath, relax your muscles, and stay focused on the shot at hand.
Practice with a mirror: Practicing in front of a mirror can help you identify flaws in your swing that may be causing you to shank the ball. Set up a mirror next to you and take a few practice swings, paying close attention to your body position, head movement, and swing path. This can help you make the necessary adjustments to improve your swing and avoid shanking the ball.
Visualize your shots: Visualization is a powerful tool that can help you improve your golf game. Before each shot, take a moment to visualize the ball flying straight and true towards your target. This can help you focus your mind and body and make a more controlled, accurate swing.
Get in better shape: Being physically fit and flexible can help you avoid shanking the ball. Regular exercise and stretching can improve your balance, coordination, and range of motion, making it easier to maintain a proper swing and hit the ball in the sweet spot.
Play more often: Like any skill, golf requires practice to improve. The more often you play, the more comfortable you will become with your swing and the less likely you will be to shank the ball. Try to play as often as possible, even if it’s just a few holes after work or on the weekends.
Don’t be too hard on yourself: Finally, it’s important to remember that golf is a challenging game, and shanking the ball is a common problem that even the best golfers experience from time to time. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you shank a shot or two – just focus on making the necessary adjustments and enjoy the game.
In conclusion, shanking the golf ball can be a frustrating and discouraging experience, but with practice and patience, you can overcome this problem and improve your game. By making adjustments to your setup, grip, swing, and mindset, practicing with a mirror, visualizing your shots, getting in better shape, playing more often, and maintaining a positive attitude, you can become a better golfer and enjoy the game even more.
Common Causes of Shanking in Golf
Open club face
Club face is pointing right, towards the target
Square the clubface at address and impact
Place an object such as a tee on the toe of the club
Hitting a shank from the fairway or rough
Hands and wrists release the club too soon
Delay the release of the club
Practice making half swings
Shank on full swings
Over the top
Downswing path is too steep and outside-in
Swing on a more inside-out path
Place a ball or tee outside the target line
Shank off the tee or with short irons
Standing too close to the ball
Address position is too close to the ball
Move away from the ball at address
Take a step back from the ball at address
Shank on short irons
Tension in grip and arms
Grip and arms are tense and rigid during the swing
Relax the grip and arms
Practice swinging with a lighter grip
Shank with all clubs
Recommended Drills to Stop Shanking in Golf
Place a towel under your arms to restrict arm movement
Promotes a more compact and controlled swing
Helps prevent early release and over the top swing
Alignment stick drill
Place an alignment stick outside your target line
Helps you swing on an inside-out path
Helps prevent over the top swing
Impact bag drill
Strike an impact bag with a mid-iron
Helps promote a proper impact position
Helps prevent shanking and fat shots
3 o’clock/9 o’clock drill
Swing the club to the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions
Helps promote a more compact and controlled swing
Helps prevent shanking on short shots
Place two tees outside your target line
Helps promote a proper swing path
Helps prevent over the top swing
Common Mistakes to Avoid when Trying to Stop Shanking in Golf
Focusing too much on the shank
Constantly thinking about the shank can create anxiety
Leads to tension and inconsistent swings
Focus on the process and not the result
Trying to fix the shank mid-round
Trying to make swing changes during a round can be difficult
Can lead to further frustration and poor play
Focus on the fix during practice
Not practicing enough
Trying to fix a problem without proper practice can be ineffective
Leads to slow progress and inconsistent play
Make time for dedicated practice sessions
Analyzing too many swing thoughts can be overwhelming
Can lead to poor swing mechanics and inconsistent play
Focus on one or two swing thoughts
Not seeking professional help
Some swing faults require professional guidance
May lead to further frustration and poor play
Seek out a qualified instructor
Equipment Adjustments to Stop Shanking in Golf
Ensuring that your clubs are properly fit to your swing
Helps promote consistent ball striking
Get fitted for the correct shaft and clubhead combination
Adjusting the size of your grip to fit your hands
Helps promote a comfortable and secure grip
Experiment with different grip sizes to find the right fit
Adjusting the weight distribution of your clubs
Helps promote a more consistent swing path
Add lead tape to adjust the club’s weight distribution
Loft and lie adjustments
Adjusting the angle of your clubface and shaft
Helps promote consistent ball flight
Get your clubs checked and adjusted by a professional
Choosing a ball that suits your swing and playing style
Helps promote consistent ball flight
Experiment with different ball types and find one that works for you